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He appreciates Adam's forthrightness about his being gay and what he intends to do during the planned dinner where he will be honored. He would have heard about it from other employees who already know about it. But Adam has the courage to inform him about it directly and George appreciates this trait of directness. However, what Adam has the courage to directly to George pits it against moral sexual values and business interests. It creates a burden and a need to change plans for the silver anniversary in order to fulfill two major goals.
George's problem is not the result of poor relationship from his end. He has communicated effectively with Adam with regard to his work. Adam has been adequately motivated and he has achieved impressive results. But he has kept his gay identity from George who makes the decisions. Instead, Adam has made it known to other employees but they do not make the decisions and are not inclined to squeal about it to George. Adam reveals his identity to George now that the details of the anniversary dinner have been set and important clients are expected to attend. Caught in the quandary, George must now weigh his sense of fairness to recognize Adam's achievement against the moral sensitivities of clients who will be offended by the presence of Adam's lover during the planned dinner. George cannot choose from these two considerations but fulfill both and in a way that is satisfactory to both sides.
George may decide to speak individually with the other sales persons who have been exposed to the presence of Robert and elicit the impact of Adam's identity on them. As the manager, George has the authority and privilege to acquire information on matters, which affect employee working conditions. Confidential consultations like these foster honesty and good will. Employees are encouraged to reveal how other employees make their working relations easier or more difficult. George can discover their viewpoints on homosexuality too. He can elicit the reactions of these employees' spouses to the presence of Robert during their dinners or Adam's being gay. These employees have as much right to their moral belief against homosexuality as Adam has in favor of it. George will impress upon them that the company recognizes their right to a workplace where decency is truly observed. George will determine the extent to which Adam's gay practice has affected the productivity and comfort of other employees and make a decision from there.
A ly, George will reflect on his own biases and the extent to which his handling of this issue is influenced by personal biases. He will examine the grounds of his personal moral beliefs along with the company's mission, objectives, policies and set of moral values. If they agree, he will the measure these beliefs and values against Adam's importance to the company and the negative effects of his gender preference. He will then evaluate the probable consequences of the change of plans for the silver anniversary dinner. When he gets the sincere answers to these inner questions, then he is ready to take the proper steps.
George will first call Adam to a one-on-one and confidential meeting. First, George will inform Adam of the change of plans for the silver anniversary dinner. Second, George will relay to Adam how the other employees really feel about Robert's presence during their socials. This closed-door meeting will be different from the one where Adam caught George by surprise with his revelation. George will emphasize the primacy of decency in the company's dealings with clients and the dealings among employees. He will also emphasize the value of efficiency, determination, courage, straightforwardness and justice to the company. Then he will express the company's recognition of his valuable contribution and plan to proceed with a dinner, which will be an inter-office event only.
Adam will ask questions and even make some objections during this meeting. George will exhibit the same forthrightness shown by Adam the first time. George will follow the same path as Adam's argument that success in their organization depends on an open attitude between management and its employees. With all possible tact and respect, George will straightforwardly express due recognition for Adam's contribution and value to the company. He will then state the mission and goals of the company to both serve the best interests of clients, which include respecting their moral sentiments, and, at the same time, the welfare of its employees. George will inform Adam that he has studied the situation in consultation with major participants in the matter. George will then inform Adam that he has decided to change anniversary plans to avoid the risk of offending clients' moral values in the event that he brings Robert to the planned dinner. Whether Adam raises objections or not, George will tell him categorically that his gender preference is an issue in the firm at the present time. He will tell him that he is free to choose a different or opposing lifestyle but he should also consider the impact of his choice upon those who sincerely do not share his belief. He will explain how the culture of business exists within the culture of the larger society. His lifestyle may be gaining increasing acceptance but, in the larger society, it is only at best tolerated. George will stick to facts and try to refrain from making biased comments. He will try to make Adam understand that his choices are not without consequences and effects, whether in the workplace, among clients or in the larger world. George will not question the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality and Adam's basis for his gender choice. But he will call attention to the rightness or wrongness of Adam's placing undue pressure on those who do not share his gender preference, whether in the workplace, among clients or in the outside world. George will tactfully explain to Adam that the courage to reveal his homosexuality and partner to a major business event is not equivalent to honesty. It may constitute openness in that the other parties to an agreement are informed about one's personal preferences and people who are important to him. Adam's revelation does not stop at being just a revelation. Those who do not share his moral beliefs will be affected. George at this point will mention the sentiments of other employees who are secretly offended by Adam's open practice of homosexuality. Then he will explain how the company mission, objectives and policies underlie an implied commitment to decency or established sexual norms. The company's major clients also hold this commitment, bound to or guided by the same sexual norms. Although Adam has confined Robert's appearance to socials, George will explain that relationships among employees extend to socials or even when work is interrupted. The planned silver anniversary dinner would have been a very large form of socials with clients where working relationships would have been at stake if the company took the risk of offending moral sensitivities by allowing Robert's presence.
Purposes and Consequences
The priority goals are to preserve the company reputation of decency with clients in order to retain their patronage and to proceed to honor and reward the valuable contributions of the firm's employees in a fitting occasion. The decision to convert the dinner into an inter-office event will realize both objectives.
The first action is to notify the clients that the firm is changing its silver anniversary into an inter-office event. A valid excuse may be a change of venue to a distant resort or the house blessing of one of the officials, which will not accommodate a large group. This may be the first time the company anniversary will be held without clients' presence but it will be worth the exception. In the meantime, the company will work out the organizational changes needed to respond to the issue. When settled, the succeeding anniversaries can include clients again.
The company will review its rewards and incentives programs. Policies will be reviewed to strengthen employee loyalty, efficiency and productivity, cooperation and sense of decency. It will also re-evaluate its mission, vision, goals and overall policies to determine or alter its current direction in dealing with moral issues, such as sexual morality, if needed. The sales staff will continue to undergo periodic training on policy changes and new incentives to keep them motivated. The rest of the workforce will also be informed of these changes through their weekly or monthly staff meetings.
A major action focuses on Adam. Depending on his response to the decision to revert the silver anniversary dinner into a purely internal event, the company will closely monitor his performance and behavior. While the official attitude towards his now-open gender preference is maximum tolerance, the company will confine his exposure to clients to strictly official representations. These representations will be scheduled well in advance and will not require un-official companions for Adam. Adam will perceive strong signals of the…[continue]
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