A. To make you aware that many performance appraisal decisions involve ethical issues.
B. To familiarize you with some of the many ethical performance appraisal issues.
C. To familiarize you with various criteria that can be used to determine if an action is ethical.
D. To make you aware of some of the reasons why a manager may be tempted to act unethically when evaluating subordinates.
At the start of class, the instructor will divide the class into teams of three to five students. Your group should discuss each of the situations below and answer the following questions in the space provided:
l. Is the manager in the case acting in an ethical manner? Yes or No? (Answer Y or N under the letter "E" below.)
2. Would your Group act in the same manner as the manager? Yes or No? (Answer Y or N under the letter "G" below.)
After all groups have answered the questions above, the instructor will ask one or more of them to present their answers.
In trying to answer the first question, your group may want to consider some or all of the questions listed below that could be used to judge whether an act is ethical. You may also want to consider other criteria/questions provided by your instructor or suggested in the textbook.
A. Does the action involve intentional deception?
B. Does the action purposely benefit one party at the expense of another?
C. Is the action fair and just to all concerned?
D. Would you or the manager feel comfortable if the action was made public, or must it remain a secret?
E. Would you need to justify the action by telling yourself that you can get away with it or that you won't need to live with the decision's consequences?
F. Would you recommend the action to others?
G. Will the action build goodwill and better relationships?
Instructions: Read each of the following scenarios and answer questions 1 and 2 above in the space provided with either a "Y" for Yes or an "N" for No.
1. A supervisor has only two subordinates, one a poor performer and the other a truly outstanding worker. There is a job available in another department that the truly outstanding employee wants. In order to reduce the chances of losing a great employee, the supervisor purposefully rates him lower than deserved on his performance appraisal form.
2. A firm has recently been charged with discriminating against minorities. The firm denies the charges but asks all supervisors to make sure they do not discriminate. In order to avoid any possible discrimination charge, a manager rates one poor performing minority employee higher than deserved on the performance appraisal form.
3. A manager has a male subordinate who is married with three children. This employee is a known womanizer and has been spotted by several employees hanging out with women other than his wife, including prostitutes. The supervisor does not believe this is appropriate and rates the employee lower than deserved on the performance appraisal form.
4. A manager has one subordinate who is very argumentative and aggressive. In order to avoid a confrontation during the performance appraisal interview, the manager rates the subordinate higher than is deserved.
5. A firm has a 360-degree performance appraisal system that includes asking all subordinates to rate and evaluate their boss. A manager wants to be promoted so he gives all employees higher performance evaluations than they deserve in hopes that they, in turn, will rate him higher.
6. A manager realizes that an employee's attendance is so poor that she is likely to get terminated within the next few months. So, in order to build a more solid case against the employee and further justify the inevitable termination, the manager rates the subordinate lower than deserved on the performance appraisal form.
7. A manager wants to get promoted in order to get a substantial raise. He believes that he will be judged, in part, in terms of how effective he has been at developing high performing subordinates as evidenced by his subordinates' performance appraisal scores. In order to enhance his promotion chances, he rates his employees higher than deserved.
8. A manager wants to give one particular subordinate a big raise in order to keep her from accepting a job elsewhere. However, there is limited raise money available, and it is based on merit. So, he rates another employee lower than deserved, thereby reducing this person's raise, in order to be able to give the other a larger raise.
9. A manager wants to get rid of a disliked subordinate, so she rates the employee lower than deserved in hopes that the employee will quit.
10. A manager wants to help a subordinate get promoted, so she gives her a higher evaluation than deserved.