This paper examines how an organization can develop a system of inquiry.
This system of inquiry is to be used to evaluate decision making, problem solving and employee behavior in a business setting. This paper elaborates how the system of inquiry will be implemented, and why, how and when as well as by whom it is used. In addition it considers the reaction of the employees towards the code as well as the effects the code will generate in the organization. It further discusses the steps which an organization can take incase there is a breach of the code of ethics in an organization considering that it maintains confidentiality and objectivity as well as avoiding publicity when necessary and also calling for publicity when need arises. It also analyses the reactions of an organization in case there is an accusation as whether to sack all employees or investigate before taking action. The basic analytical framework used here is based on the fire systems of inquiry as described by churchman (1971) and his co-workers Mitroff and Sagastic (1973).IntroductionThis system of inquiry will be developed from the code of conduct that serves as the code of ethics.
The code of ethics is responsible in providing guidance to its employees which include how to engage in work ethically and legally without violating the organizational culture and beliefs. The code of conduct also serves as a tool to define the responsibility of an employee in an organization. The code of conduct can be defined as a set of unwritten rules of which people in a particular group, class or situation must abide by so as to achieve the set mission and vision otherwise there will be a breach of the organization’s rules and regulation (churchman 1971). Inquiry on the other hand is defined by churchman (1971) as “a multifaceted activity that involves making observations, posing questions, examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known, using tools to gather, analyze and interpret data, proposing answers, explanations and predictions and communicating results”.
The framework used to examine approaches to inquiry is based on the work of churchman (1971) and his colleague’s Mitroff and sagasti 1973: Mitroff and turroff 1973: they outlined five systems of inquiry: these areLeibnizationLockeanKantianHegelianSingerianOf all the five systems as given by churchman (1971). The Singerian system is the most complex and usually synthesizes all the other inquiring systems. This system of inquiry can be used to apply any system repetitively including itself, however there is a continuous questioning of the underlying assumptions subject to analysis. For many researchers the tentative nature of such an approach to inquiry is problematic. In Singerian approach to inquiry the ethical considerations are an important addition to the modes (churchman, 1971). Ethical domains for this investigation are multifaceted, ranging from the “real world” issues to concerns regarding employee actions.BodyA system of inquiry serves to evaluate decision making, problem solving and behavior in a business setting.
It demonstrates the careful alignment of the document and the organizational goal and mission and vision statements. It is developed from the code of ethics which can be defined as “a standard of conduct of ethical behavior governing an individual behavior as regards to his/her relationship with colleagues, company executives, other organizational, the community and society at large” It serves three purposes, which include:To increase professional and ethical consciousness among professionals and their sense of responsibilityTo guide professionals in making more informed ethics choicesTo help the profession it self function at the fullness of its potentialThe code of ethics is necessary since it is the basis for an organization to run efficiently and employees must agree among themselves as regards to their profession, what they profess and particularly their values and ethics at work(Mitroff ,I .I &.Turoff.1973).Code of ethics (Churchman .1971).
All employees and other personnel must observe the laws and regulations of each of the country in which the organization operates.The company does not permit the bribery of any form and any person involved in the group’s business should not engage in this vice..All employees and personnel of the organization must maintain the confidentiality of price sensitive information.Employees and other personnel should avoid situations where personal interests could conflict or appear to conflict, with the interests of the organization.Employees and other personnel should not use price sensitive/inside information for their personal advantage.It is agreed that many organizational decisions may involve ethical difficulties.
In case where an employee is unsure of the correct course of action, he/she should inform the immediate line manager first for guidance. The company and all its personnel must respect the laws of all nations and communities in which the organization operates. However incase of any conflict between our company policy or procedure and the laws of any country or society claim should be directed to the company secretary. Any breach of this company code of ethics or of any individual code in place from time to time will usually be considered to be a disciplinary matter.System of InquiryThis is a sample of a system of inquiry as discussed by(Mitroff and sagasti ,1973)..
1. Incase you are faced with a dilemma in the work place what steps will you take?2. What will you do if an item needed urgently by a customer is out of stock and you know a competing company which has the same item but at cheaper rates?3. What will you do if a rival company needs confidential information of your company from you?4. What will you do incase someone offers to reward you in order to do him or her a favor?5. Incase of violation of the laws of the country in which your company operates, what steps will you take?This set of question will make a part of the system of inquiry which will be used by the organization to test the knowledge and adherence of the company code of ethics by the company personnel and all other employees. It will also be used to evaluate decision making, solving of a problem as well as establishing employee behavior as regards to business and organization at large.
Implementation of the System of InquiryAfter the development of a system of inquiry based on the organization code of ethics the next step is the implementation. Implementation is the process of putting into action a new rule or procedure. It is the most critical phase of the development of an organization system of inquiry. This is because the company personnel and other employees may receive it with suspicion and may result into rejection and revolt.
However the management must implement it with a lot of care so as to be effective. The Singerian system of analysis will then be employed this system of approach embraces the ethical considerations of inquiry ranging from real world issues to concerns regarding employee response towards the investigation (Churchman, 1971).This system of analysis also defines the direction in which an investigator could take incase it is unsuccessful and still retain its employees and also decrease suspicion.The company management will first discuss with its line managers on the details of the code of conduct/ethics and the system of inquiry.
They should elaborate clearly to them and clarify all ambiguities. This will involve the system of rewards and punishments, job design, individual performance, evaluation process and empowerment of staff for decision making. The line managers will then be sent to their respective juniors so as to discuss with them. Once all employees are aware of the system of inquiry, the management should also give them the repercussions incase there is a breach of a group or any of the laid down rules and regulations. Employees should also be given handouts so that they can remind themselves on the rules. Equally every office should have a copy of the code of ethics. In addition, the company should state its vision, mission and goals clearly, precisely and to the point such that every employee owns them and becomes part and parcel of the team that strives to achieve the objectives of the company.Effects of the Code of EthicsThe code of ethics has both positive and negative effects to the organization and its members.
Although the advantages outweigh the demerits studies have shown that organizations with the code experiences less difficulties when compared with those without these codes. Some of the merits and demerits of the code of ethics in an organization includeMerits of code of ethicsSurveys have collected evidence that support the effectiveness of the code of ethics these are:Establishment of ethical climate: the code of ethics demonstrate that an organization is conscious of the fact that people may need to choose between right and wrong while they are at work.Reduced sabotage- studies have shown that instances of fraud, virus invasion and other forms of sabotage are less likely when codes of conduct prohibiting these are clearly spelt out in an organization.In a professional association, the code of ethics serves as an agreement between the members regarding the standard of professional behavior that is expected from them.
The code spells out the need to take into account what whole community and their fellow professionals have to say on ethical matters and ethical behavior.Incase of a challenging disaster, an individual may not be able to decide wisely alone on how to resolve conflict of interest or any ethical dilemma but if there is clear professional code one may make ethical decisions with reference to them.Demerits of Code of EthicsIn some organizations, code of ethics is a source of propaganda, instruments of organizational self-preservation rather than for purposes of reducing harm to all stakeholders and the society at large. Organizational code of ethics also gives shareholders a false sense of security which may not be the case in reality. Opponents of the code of ethics further argue that codes are ineffective unless reinforced by structural aspects of the organizations such as traditions, culture, belief and role models. They further argue that code of ethics could displace individual ethical reasoning by causing individuals to follow the code instead of following their conscience which rationally tells what is right or wrong(Mitroff and sagasti,1973).ConclusionThis paper concludes that the Code of ethics of an organization is very essential in the development of a system of inquiry in an organization.
This is because the system of inquiry will base its investigation on the code of ethics and since this code of ethics specify why, how, when and by whom they are used. Since the system of inquiry investigates the adherence of the code of ethics and the possible resentments from the employees towards the code. The code of ethics also helps employees to abide by the ethical tenets of an organization and not rely solely on their own conscience.
Although many organizations have the code of ethics and always emphasize on its advantages, the proponents argue that the code of ethics makes employees to depend on it when making judgments instead of using their own conscience which tells them what is right or wrong. That not withstanding, the code of ethics have been found to have many advantages key among them being reduced sabotage, improved working standards and establishment of ethical climate which demonstrates that an organizations consciousness in doing right to everybody.