As an interested stakeholder in the 'Family Business' case is R&S Electronic Service Company, Jane as the head of Payroll Department, the 75 employees, Eddie the General Manager, Brad the owner, Greg a service technician. Eddie, the General Manager who has informed her of the need for maintaining strict confidentiality regarding the employee's information and also has the authority to hire and fire the employees, including Jane. While talking to Jane he introduced her to Brad, the owner, who told her to see him if she has any questions or problems arise in her current position in payroll. They both made her feel welcomed to the company (Helms, 1992).
In this particular case study, there are many stakeholders within R&S Electronic Service Company; Jane is now working for as their head of payroll. She is definitely concerned about her job security because this is her first job since college. Brad, who is the owner of R&S, wants his employees to be in high spirits while able to develop a successful business and a profitable company as any owner would want. Eddie is the General Manager has the authority to hire and fire the employees, including Jane that was stated earlier. The dilemma that Jane faces is Greg is receiving special treatment by Eddie due to that they are brothers. Greg is receiving much easier work that is paid in higher commissions that the other technicians (Helms, 1992).
There are many other stakeholders in this case study interest would include Jane's family members and why it's so important for her to keep this job. This is her very first job since college, and it's important to be able to support her family and maybe she has dependents to take care of. If may be unethical towards other employees of this company that are also stakeholders. They want their salaries to be confidential and want the continued employment. The general public and the shareholders care very much about the company being profitable and bringing revenue into their community.
It seems to me that the second exception is employment At-Will doctrine applies to this case. 'Most often, businesses are sued for wrongful termination, but hiring practices, promotion decisions, and job assignments can also be at issue in a lawsuit. Even in an at-will employment environment, effective managers must understand that at-will employment is not an absolute concept'there are exceptions, and violation of those exceptions may bring serious liability' (What does employment at will mean to the manager, para. 1, Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 3).
Eddie is telling Jane to 'lie' about seeing the separate tickets he has given to Greg. Job assignments were altered when Eddie gave his brother Greg specific job assignments. The General Manger, Eddie, violated company policy demonstrating favoritism toward his brother. If an employer orders another employee to lie under oath and the employee refuses, the employer cannot terminate that employee. Eddie is not telling Jane to lie under oath, but is still threatening her with firing her if she tells anyone about what she saw (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 3). By violating company policy Jan and the other service technicians have the legal right to file a suit against the company and report the incident to the owner, Brad.
In this case Jane should read the company handbook about the termination policy of employees on probation. 'The third exception to the 'termination for just cause or no cause' principle is that an employer may not claim that a termination was lawful under the employment at-will doctrine if the termination violates the implied contract exception (i.e., the termination violates an implied contract right of the employee). For example, an employer's handbook states that no employee will be terminated during a probationary period of one year' (What does employment at will mean to the manager, para. 4, Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 3). Eddie does have a right to terminate Jane, but not if he is firing her just because Greg is getting paid a higher commission he should not be getting. To fire Jane would be in violation of societal expectations of fairness (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 3).
If Eddie's decision is applied to the Kant's imperative theory is ethical if the act is a universal norm. There are a lot of companies that have family members working together receiving different benefits compared to the other employees, like pay. It this is a universal norm paying family members differently, but threatening Jane is an unalloyed motive and this is not ethical (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 1). If the decisions are applied to the Utilitarianism theory the good does not seem to outweigh the bad in this case. Paying Greg a higher commission is not benefiting anyone but Greg. There is no greater good for the greatest number of people. If the decision maker applied utilitarianism theory, Eddie would have made his decision for the greater good for the greater number. Ethically when it benefits more than one person which is this case it is only to Greg's is not the greater good for the greater number, (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 1). If the decisions are applied to the right's theory individual rights would be to give the others technicians the rights they desire. Eddie is paying Greg a higher commission and telling Jane to not say anything, but no one's rights are being violated. Jane could tell the others, but at the cost of losing her job in the process. In this theory, it states that individuals could take in consideration and protect the rights of others and still benefit themselves. That is what is happening in this case where Greg is getting paid a higher commission and no one's rights are compromised (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 1). If the decisions are applied to the Rawl's justice theory is being used in this particular case, the result would be, different because Eddie would have to demonstrate fairness to all involved. Eddie is being unfair by giving his brother, Greg the higher commission jobs, which were unfair to all the others involved. Individual rights to fairness and justice are definitely being violated. This is completely unfair and unjust to the other workers that are doing the same job; Greg is doing (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 1).
Conclusion and Recommendation
The first recommendation is to act in an ethical manner by giving his brother, Greg the same options he will give to all other technicians, being family doesn't justify special treatment. It is truly unethical to be given the higher commissioned jobs to Greg because he is Eddie's brother. He has a corporate social responsibility to abide by certain ethical codes of conduct. 'Under these ethical codes, organizations are responsible for identifying stakeholders, (those who have an interest in the business's decisions and will be affected by the outcomes) and responding to their needs and interests' (The four areas of corporate social responsibility, para. 3. Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 2). Secondly, it is not fair or just to the other workers. 'Individuals expect that organizations will abide by the laws and that they have the same responsibility as other citizens to follow the laws of their expected jurisdictions (The four areas of corporate social responsibility, para. 2, Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 2). Eddie should have never put Jane in that particular position is viewed as an unethical act being performed. Eddie needs to look over the At-Will Doctrine and should have never threatened Jane her job. What he should have done is to allow her the right to speak up on the issue and take whatever punishment that Brad sees fit. Lastly, Eddie should never been in charge of Greg's work tickets and commissions, because they are family and someone else that is unbiased should of been assigning Greg's work tickets so it would of be done fairly and just (Kaplan eGuide. Chp. 3).
This does happen more often than not in a company where there is a family member(s) that are treated differently from other employees. There are more times than not, the family members cannot even perform the job that they were hired for. They are kept on because of the family ties and that it's truly unethical for the other employees. This can cause a lot of ill feeling in the office environment and the employees that are not family who will eventually feel insulted and eventually resign. This could cause a high turnover rate for the company which in the end could cause the business to lose money or for the business to fail completely. You should always treat family, employees, the same for all other employees like for the payroll tax you pay, and every benefit you give to other employees should be the same as family members.
Helms, Dr. M. M. (1992) Family Business. Retrieved from https://wpweb2.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/AA/mgmt01-case
Kaplan EGuide. Ethics and the Legal Environment. Chapter 1, 2 & 3. Retrieved form Kaplan University.
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