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The Unethical Issue at Work: Case Analysis


Ethical behavior is something good since it empowers human beings to demonstrate desirable attributes such as dignity, fairness, integrity, honesty, and equality. The concept of ethics guides individuals to act by their social values, norms, and practices. The principle is also applicable in different settings such as learning institutions and working environments. The moral law is embraced by people in an attempt to exhibit the best behaviors and support what is righteous in the eyes of God. This paper uses different moral principles to describe an unethical issue that was encountered in my place of work.

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Identified Issue

Within the past few weeks, I have observed that one of my workmates has been using the company’s resources to pursue his personal goals. Jimmy (not his real name) has been spending most of his office time working on his school projects. He admitted to me that he was pursuing a certain course that would make it easier for him to achieve his professional goals. He has been using the company’s resources such as stationeries, plain papers, and printers to complete his coursework.

On top of that, he has been downloading articles, e-books, and videos from the office. I decided to talk to him about the misbehavior but he indicated that his actions were not against the company’s regulations. He was also keen to suggest that he was one of the company’s most productive employees. According to him, it was to use the corporation’s resources and time to complete his school assignments and research projects.

Analysis of the Issue: Ethical Principles

The above behavior encountered in my workplace is ethically questionable. To analyze the malpractice from an ethical perspective, it is appropriate to consider several moral principles and concepts. By so doing, it will be easier to understand why Jimmy’s actions or behaviors are unacceptable (or acceptable). To begin with, ethics is a concept that guides people to pursue specific actions that are reasonable, desirable, and unquestionable.

Jimmy’s decision to use different resources in the office to pursue his objectives is questionable. This is the case because he is expected to focus on the organization’s mission and goals. Additionally, using the company’s resources will disorient the company’s goals and make it unsuccessful.

The second principle that can be used to analyze this issue is the code of conduct. Every business organization has a unique code that dictates the behaviors, actions, and practices that should be taken seriously by every employee. The company’s code of conduct dictates that employees should focus on the outlined goals, complete their tasks efficiently, and protect their resources and assets. This argument shows conclusively that Jimmy’s actions are unacceptable and inappropriate. That being the case, reporting the malpractice to the relevant manager or supervisor would result in disciplinary action.

Immanuel Kant’s deontological theory goes further to explain why human beings should be guided by the power of reason. When people use “reason” effectively, they find it easier to engage in actions or behaviors that are moral. The theorist asserts that goodwill should be the principal or maxim behind every decision, duty, or activity. This means that a given employee will only be interested in doing what is right or capable of protecting the assets (and resources) of the targeted company. According to this ethical law, Jimmy’s actions are unacceptable and should be disallowed in any business organization.

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Solutions and Recommendations

After realizing that my colleague was engaging in unethical behavior, I decided to encourage him to stop it. However, Jimmy was keen to acknowledge that whatever he was doing was right since he was a hardworking employee. He did not see anything wrong with his actions. I went further to inform the department’s manager to receive his views. I believed that it was appropriate to report the matter because it was unethical. Although Jimmy was unhappy with the move, I decided to do what was right in an attempt to support the company’s business goals and agenda.

The manager warned Jimmy against the misbehavior and every potential consequence. He pointed out to him that the malpractice could result in job termination and disciplinary actions. The leader went ahead to inform every employee about the issue and why similar malpractices should be avoided. The best recommendation is that organizational leaders should implement powerful strategies to monitor their employees and encourage them to focus on the existing codes of conduct. The strategy can minimize unethical behaviors and make every company successful.


The presented case echoes most of the misbehaviors and activities associated with many employees. The above ethical principles and notions show clearly that the use of a company’s assets to pursue one’s goals is inappropriate and unethical. Business leaders should, therefore, encourage their employees to act ethically and implement powerful codes of conduct to inform their actions and behaviors. This strategy will minimize such unethical issues and make many corporations profitable.

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