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Organizational Behavior Trends

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This paper will examine two distinct topics, ethics in decision-making and the impact of technology on work-related stress. King and Spalding is use as an example in the discussion of ethics. We will examine the dependence on technology, the associated stress, and measures one can take to eliminate or reduce technology-related stress. We will include an example of a typical morning on the help desk at King and Spalding.

Each day we are faced with making some type of ethical decision. From the moment we wake-up, we must decide whether to go to work or call in sick. As we drive into the office, we must decide whether we should make an illegal left turn, to save some time, or wait in traffic for an additional 30 minutes. We are running late for work, so we call ahead to ask a coworker to clock us in on the electronic attendance system. This type of decision-making process is defined as ethical behavior. "Ethical behavior is that accepted as morally "good" and "right", as opposed to "bad" or "wrong", in a particular setting." (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, pg.13)

What drives the decisions we make in the business arena? This question has been the topic of long debates. However, there are at least four opinions that direct a person's decisions and actions. The utilitarian view believes that ethical behavior "delivers the greatest good to the greatest number of people." (Schermerhorn, etc, pg.15) Someone acting in this behavior would normally consider that saving the life of many is more critical then that of a few. If one makes decisions "that is best for an individual's long-term self-interest", they would be defined as having an individualism view. (Schermerhorn, etc, pg.15) The American Civil Liberties Union, the Carter Center, and other human rights organizations would likely hire individuals who believe in basic human rights. The moral-rights view "considers ethical behavior to be behavior that respects the fundamental rights shared by all human beings." (Schermerhorn, etc, pg.15) The "justice view considers behavior to be ethical when it is fair and impartial in the treatment of people". (Schermerhorn, etc, pg.15) One might see a judge, or human resource manager acting in this behavior.

No matter what drives one's decisions, he or she must always consider ethics in his or her decision-making process. Each day we are face with any number of opportunities to make sound ethical decisions. When faced with such dilemmas one must simply choose to "do no evil". (Schermerhorn, etc, pg.14) This goal, set by the founders of Google has led to their becoming a premier global site for Web searches.

The phone rings and a man on the other end empathically yells help, I have not been able to check my email on my wireless device for over an hour now! I am waiting for an important email that I cannot miss. Forgetting that just two months ago he promise not to get addicted to this new wireless email device. Somehow, his dependence on using this device has increased to the point he can no longer function. A second line rings and another customer demands that someone come to her office to demonstrate the features of the new system. She complains that everything is different on this new system and she is very confused. She is frustrated and worried that she does not understand enough to make minor edits to a time-sensitive document. Suddenly one notices a group of customers standing at the desk screaming, the internet is down, and we cannot sign-in. King and Spalding recently invested in a web-based, multi-million dollar electronic attendance system, the internet is down, and no one can clock-in.

These and other technology-related stress issues are defined as technostress. "Technostress can be defined in a number of ways. Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D.



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