Ethics and Todays Administrative Professional
COM 325 Communication and Conflict
CASE #1 The Boss’s Expense Report
Your boss conveniently loses his expense report for his last trip. On his way into a meeting he drops a blank report on your desk and asks you to fill in the blanks, saying “Make it add up to #300 or so.” What will you do?
In a case like this one must be very careful. There would be many things for me to assess before I begin to fill in the blanks on the expense report. I would be rather upset at the idea of my boss asking me to lie on the report; I would also be upset with my boss’s carelessness. I would have to use S-TLC (Stop, Think, Listen, Communicate) in a situation such as this one. First I would take a few minutes to clear my head and organize how I will approach my boss. I know I cannot approach him in an aggressive manner because it will only increase the negative feelings I am having in regards to this situation. I would then approach my boss in a calm manner and ask if he can provide me with any forms or receipts that would assist me in filling out the appropriate figures. If he were unable to provide me with this information I would have to remind him that it is unethical to falsify documentation such as these. (American Management Association, 2006) I would not be able to complete the expense report with values that maybe incorrect. I do not want us to be liable for figures that are false on such a document.
Case #2 Lunch Reservations
Ever since you took the job last year, your boss has asked you to schedule a weekly lunch date with his mistress. You don’t like doing it, but you’ve made the reservations anyway. Last month you met his wife at a business luncheon. Now that she has met you, whenever she calls and he is out, she asks, “Can you tell me where he is?” You can’t stand being an accomplice. What will you do?
In a situation such as this I would not have to worry about approaching my boss in a manner that is very calm. Because it is a personal matter with my boss and his wife I would have to decline on scheduling the affairs with his mistress and explain that he is placing me in a position that may have a negative affect on his personal life. I would then explain that I do not want to be involved with his personal affairs. I would explain that his wife is questioning me of his whereabouts and I do not feel comfortable lying. I would express the love of my job and my appreciation of his management but placing me in this situation makes me very uncomfortable. Then I would try and present him a few ideas that may make the situation better for the both of us such as having him schedule those meetings in private and not letting me know about it so when his wife calls I would not be lying. His meetings with his mistress will now be kept private and I would not feel so uncomfortable speaking with his wife when she calls.
Case #3 Dinner a La Corporate Card
A very attractive manager from another department asks you out to dinner. You are surprised when you arrive at a restaurant with average prices of $50 a plate. But you enjoy the meal and the conversation—especially since work doesn’t even come up. Dessert and after-dinner coffee are added to the bill. The big surprise comes when your date pays for everything with the company’s credit card. What will you do?
As a starting point it is never a good idea to have outside personal/intimate interactions with anyone within a company that you work with. It is prohibited in some organizations. Before accepting dinner from a manager within the company I must first check the rules and regulations on dating co-workers. If there is no rule prohibiting such behavior then I will proceed with caution. At the very moment I take notice that the company card is being used I would have to decline his method of payment and attempt to use my own personal card. I would have to remind the manager of his responsibilities as a manager when dealing with the company finances. I would show my gratitude for the wonderful evening but I would let him know that it makes me feel rather uncomfortable but if there is to be another outing I must insist that the company finances not be used.
Case #4 The Confidential Report
It is afternoon and you have just received a very bulky interoffice mail package. As you begin sorting the contents, you discover a cover letter addressed to someone else and a folder stamped “Confidential” in big, red letters. As you begin to put it back in the mail bag, half the contents of the folder slip out and fall all over your desk. Since it is “Confidential,” you try not to look, but you can’t help yourself. You discover your company is involved in the scandal of the century. What will you do?
A scandal is a very serious issue in a company. If it is an issue that is of an unlawful nature I would have to realize that this is a very sensitive topic that I would have to proceed with caution. Because I work for the company I maybe view as a collaborator if something were to happen. According to the IAAP Core Values a company and their employees must follow certain standards. The company and their employees must be display “Integrity, Transparency, Excellence and Collaboration.” A situation like this does not follow those standards. I would have to schedule a meeting with my direct manager and discuss the issue. I would explain how I came across this information, discuss the severity of the situation and then find a way that I am able to assist in clearing it up. I am apart of the company so I have to express how this affects me as an employee. As long as the solution does not go against the code of conduct than I see no reason why I cannot assist in the situation. If my manager cannot find a way to assure me that the situation is well in hand and will be soon rectified then I will be forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Case #5 Party Marty
Marty is another administrative assistant who works in your office. Over the last two years the two of you have become great friends. The only thing you don’t like about Marty is her cavalier attitude toward “sampling” company property, like packages of ballpoint pens and reams of paper for her home computer. You have never said anything before, but now she has gone too far. Yesterday she announced that she had “borrowed” the keys to a condo at the corporate retreat. “No one will be there this weekend,” she says, “so I’m throwing a party! Wanna come?” You know Marty’s boss has no idea his keys are missing and you’re uncomfortable participating in such an incriminating activity. What will you do?
This act of taking company property is very unethical. (AMA, 2006) Having Marty take things with out asking is in fact steeling and that is illegal. This is something I cannot partake in. I may like Marty as a person but to be involved in steeling and then possible breaking and entering is something that goes against all morals I uphold both professionally and personally. With Marty’s party there maybe possible defacing of private property. This goes beyond office ethics and now has move into illegal activity. I will have to consult with Marty and decline her invitation to the party. I will give her warning and try my best to discourage her and make her aware of the consequences if she is caught. After this I will not longer allow myself to be in the company of an employee that continues to conduct her self in a manner that goes against the professional ethics.