The companies’ leaders are expected not only to be the professionals in their area but also to have the necessary characteristics to solve difficult situations and make data-driven decisions. For example, recently, my manager was making a decision about which of two employees to promote. The first worker, Mary, was a highly experienced woman with the best performance among the whole team. In contrast, the second employee, Jim, was our leader’s good friend – a man with average results and characteristics. Despite the apparent advantage of Mary, she was not chosen for the promotion.
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The final decision does not seem entirely fair and ethical. Certainly, the managers are usually more aware of their employees’ performances and capabilities, but in this situation, it is evident that the leader was driven by personal interest, namely friendship. An ethical and equitable decision should be based on facts like a worker’s potential, determination, productivity, success, and other objective characteristics.
It is possible to suggest that the final decision is not only subjective but also an example of promotion discrimination. According to researchers, such discrimination is a situation when several illegal reasons influence one’s promotion (Prummer, 2020). In this case, Mary’s gender may have impacted the manager’s decision. Moreover, she got married recently, and the opportunity of her becoming pregnant soon could have made the leader choose the other worker to promote. These and the fact of friendship are the obvious biases in the final decision.
Several factors were considered in the decision-making process. The manager took into account both employees’ genders and social statuses, as well as his own relationships with them. It is possible to suggest that the workers’ performance and success were not considered or did not seem a priority.
To improve the outcome of the decision, the manager could have done several steps. First, if it was actually essential to promote the male employee, the leader should have explained why he made such an unexpected decision and what were the potential benefits. Second, he could have talked with Mary and found some ways to encourage her and appreciate her hard work.
The decision was communicated at the end of the team’s meeting with the manager. He thanked everyone for the hard work and determination and asked to congratulate Jim on his promotion while saying nothing about Mary. Only the manager himself was involved in the decision-making process.
To draw a conclusion, I would like to note that this situation could have been solved differently. If I had authority over the decision-maker, I would ask him to evaluate both workers objectively without considering their genders and social statuses. To ensure that the decision factored multiple points of view, I would let both workers make a six-month plan to improve the productivity of the team and the company as a whole. Moreover, I would ask them to name three changes they would introduce after getting promoted. My final decision would be based on the employees’ plans and answers, as well as their overall performance and potential.
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Prummer, A. (2020). Discrimination in promotion. Social Science Research Network, 1-24.