Ethics Of Positive Discrimination Policy Essay

2035 words - 8 pages

As society develops, people are attaching much importance to managerial ethics. Every business has its own principles of ethics to guide the business behaviour and decision making. Sternberg (as cited in Just business: business ethics in action by Elaine Sternberg,1996) writes "The principles of business ethics are those enjoining the basic values without which business as an activity would be impossible." This essay will discuss the ethics about Smith Bank's positive discrimination policy for female employees in New Zealand and the ethics of implementing this policy as international strategy. It will be divided in two parts. The first section will provide a brief discussion for the ethics of positive discrimination in New Zealand. In particular, the Distributive Justice ethic and the Moral Rights ethic will be considered. The purpose of the first section is to prove that positive discrimination policy to female employees is ethical in New Zealand's organization. In the second section, the ethics of extending the policy into other countries will be examined. By analysing the relationship between ethical policy and the national culture values, it will reasonably come to the judgement that it is not ethical to engage a policy to foreign countries without understanding and respecting their culture values.In New Zealand, women make up nearly half New Zealand's workforce, but only five percent of the directorships held by female employees. The positive discrimination is therefore taken to balance this unequal phenomenon (CORORATE GOVERNANCE-Gender on the Agenda-Boards and the sexual divide, 2005). There arises a heated debate on the issue of positive discrimination policy. Those who criticize this policy argue that it is not ethical for business. Admittedly, it is believed that positive discrimination is not equality. Distributive Justice, one of the business ethics concepts, states that "different treatment of people should not be based on arbitrary characteristics" (Samson & Daft, 2003, p150). The Distributive Justice concept believes the focus should be on the employees' ability, such as job skills, experiences etc, but not on the gender. Within the positive discrimination in favour to one group of employees, there must be discrimination towards to the other group. It can be given a concrete example about positive discrimination for women: " the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit has told minister that "non-merit" criteria could be used to give more women lucrative positions on New Zealand's 350 crown boards, panels and councils"( Christine, 2001, p.2). Accordingly, the purpose of this example is to increase the number of female directors by supplying "'non-merit' criteria". Women are chosen because of the policy rather than their genuine merit. Although some of the women are not talented enough, they still get the positions to make up the standard number. It is inequality towards to the employees who have the genuine merit but still lost...

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