Ethical Issues in the Workplace Thesis Description Choosing to work in a predominately male environment while working the same late hours, enduring the same amount of time on deployments, and listening to males argue over how much tougher they are than females, is a challenge to a woman in a leadership role. The predominantly male field is not the place for a female who is sensitive. When a female decides to enter the military and work with a military that has a male majority, it can cause things to be shaken up a bit. In fact, placing a female in charge of males may cause friction in a work environment.
A situation occurred while on a seven month deployment out to sea in which a fellow sailor wanted to call home to check on her child at a specific time. In addition, she had promised her child she would be available to call. However, the time she asked to call was during a time when our ship would be entering a training evolution that would take about three hours. I was placed in charge by my Chief to monitor the times the phone could be used by my division’s team members. Due to the training environment the ship would be entering, use of the phone would be unauthorized by team members.
No one would be allowed to use the phone until the training evolution was completed. Training evolutions are a common exercise conducted by ships on a deployment. Training is conducted by members to help prevent safety mishaps and prepare for unforeseen attacks. Therefore, training is essential to keep the crew and the ship safe. While in a training environment the Commanding officer takes the opportunity to inspect his crew while walking around to ensure everyone is performing their work safely and efficiently.
This is where the ethical dilemma began to appear in the workplace. Each team member was only able to use the phone for ten minutes at a time because the ship would travel in one direction for a specified amount of time to allow multiple people to place their phone calls before changing directions. Therefore, time ran out to use the phone because the ship had scheduled the training evolution earlier in the day. The female sailor had a hard-charging personality, confident in tone, and performed all tasks assigned in a timely manner.
She was a single mother with little support at home because the husband had abandoned her and her son. By making a decision to allow her to call home could affect the way my team would view my decision. Moreover, my Chief would be disappointed by my actions as a leader. On another note, to not allow her to call home could affect her work ethic, behavior, and her son’s behavior. SH Analysis My watch team consisted of seven males and another female. Each member of my team came from different states with various views, religions, ethics, morals, and principles.
Nevertheless, by allowing someone on the team to use the phone during a training evolution could be viewed as favoritism and unauthorized. Favoritism amongst the team could cause a trickle effect. When it would come to delegating duties to other members of the team, some may feel jealous of the female sailor I allowed to slide by with making an unauthorized phone call. The other members could report my actions to the Chief or eventually place a grievance due to favoritism. The overall affect would decrease the cohesiveness of the watch team whereby affecting the production of work.
If the Sailor was unable to call home her performance may decline rapidly due to the stress of worrying about her situation. She would not have the energy needed to perform her job as well as the focus which could affect the team as to job accomplishments, picking up her slack, and complaining. This would overall affect the division as it trickles up and down the chain of command. Her child if not checked on could also have issues that the mother should be aware of such as health, food or anything in which the mother would have to provide guidance to over the phone.
As a result, the son could suffer from the decision made. Conclusion The cause of this issue is the manning of the ship and the personnel that have been recruited that are very sensitive to specific needs. The Navy consists of ship life and shore duty life. Ship life is very demanding and is on a tight schedule. Numerous missions, lack of sleep, possible lack of nutrition, and being away from family from long periods of time. People from all different walks of life are grouped together and forced to accomplish a mission.
How is this possible when there are so many different work ethics, morals and principles involved? The stress this brings requires specialized individuals to endure. On the other hand, many shore commands are not bad. It is basically like working an 8-4 at the end of the day in which one is able to go home to his or her family living a mostly normal life. Before recruiting personnel in the navy both males and females should be able to go out to sea for at least a month to see what it’s actually like and if they can cope with the lifestyle.
This method would eliminate bad recruits, but it would also help the navy determine where personnel should be placed—sea duty or shore duty. On a smaller scale, whether female or male, the supervisor that has the issue in regards to their personnel requiring special treatment or needs should always be aware of the possible consequences of decisions made. When making decisions in your workplace as a supervisor or manager one should possess social skills, open mindedness, critical thinking skills, and be a good listener.
A female leader must realize that every decision made will have some type of consequence that will follow her. Getting to know assigned personnel helps as one makes important decisions throughout her career. Lastly, it allows the load to be lighter and allows subordinates to open up with concerns which would help solve many issues that may occur. As a female in the military it is more important to think clearly about all consequences of decisions made and behavior exhibited to others.
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