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Ethics: The TERA model
Ethics is a process which allows us to analyze the principles that underlie a decision and it culminates into a specific action. Ethical analysis involves norms such as possibilities and interdictions which act as a guide to human behavior as well as the practical rules and values that lead us to choose one way over another as well as the moral principles which we strive to respect when it comes to the relationships we have with ourselves and towards others. The TERA model is part of the existing ethical vision that aims at discovering and highlighting elements which will allow a moral reflection. This model was inspired by the theoretical construction and its utility has been confirmed by several researches as well as training sessions which involved several different organizations and different employee categories. The TERA model is based on three fundamental ethics; Critique, Justice and Care.
Ethics of critique
The approach seeks to unveil the injustices which can be perceived in social relations or those that are created by laws or those perpetuated in organizational structures or by using language which seeks to block the real problem or render a relationship dominant. In other words those who proposed this wanted to uncover situations that were beneficial to a person or group while being detriment to others. This ethics of critique aims to find out whether a group is dominating another and show how this situation started out in order for that injustice to be corrected. This ethics comprises of four questions which are designed to help in the understanding of relations of power. Who benefits from a situation? Is there a group that is dominant? Who defines the structure? Who defines what is undervalued or valued? Whenever there is a discovery of an injustice, those that use this ethical perspective attempt to sensitize others so as to obtain a better balance when it comes to distributing social benefits. Those acting on the basis of ethics of critique intend to ensure that social arrangements and organizations are in line with the human rights. It also allows stakeholders to offer their recommendations, suggestions or critiques which are necessary to improve a society or organization.
This can be termed as a form of social responsibility one which perceives justice and ensures that the well being of those who find themselves difficult to be heard is taken care of. Examples in which this ethic of critique is relevant in an organization include; prejudice to others religions and cultures, racism or sexism in hiring process, unfair representation in committees, racist or sexist language, lack of programs that promote equality and so on. These examples bring about an ethical challenge since they involve presuppositions that are unjustified or offer disproportionate advantage to some while determent to others. The weakness of this ethic is that there are times that critique can be exaggerated and destructive, challenging all decisions made and the abuse of power everywhere. Another weakness is that it rarely offers strong proposals on how to reconstruct the social orders that are not satisfactory.
Ethics of justice
There are two schools of thought regarding this ethics of justice. According to the first school of thought social justice is a technique that serves to bring harmony on needs and desires of individuals independent and autonomously of each other in society. In this view justice is based on an individual's choice. According to the second school of thought ethics has its roots in practices within the community. Therefore moral reasoning and choice are facilitated by a community environhemnt.in this view justice is based on the choices in the community and it aspires to equitable governance. Workplace engage both perspectives on justice in that individual choices are made based on certain consciousness of the community while the organization choices are a sum of individual choices that are made each day at work. This ethics of justice requires that an institution serves both individual rights and the common good. The goal therefore is to strike a balance between the two. Effective governance requires continuous consultation with stakeholders on policies and regulations. The goal of this ethics of justice is for the provocation of exchange, engaging in debate in order to demonstrate transparency within management and foster understanding and consultation.
Those that act according to this ethics aim for responsible autonomy that is based on cooperation and the promotion of just social order in an organization. Fostering ethics of justice in a workplace involves the incorporation of ethical training activities as well as collective choices so as to foster discussion on individual and collective choices so as to sharpen sensibilities of all. This could include programs like conflict resolution, multicultural understanding, and value clarification and so on. The weakness of this ethics is that involves efforts required on part of the community in order to manage its affairs while at the same time putting into consideration the common good and individual rights. Another disadvantage is that it can become bogged down when it comes to minimal considerations.
Ethics of care
This ethics relates to the fundamental requirements of interpersonal relations not from a legal or contractual viewpoint but in terms of the absolute respect. Those practicing this ethics consider human relations as the most important thing for a proper functioning organization. There has to be concern on the welfare of those working in the organization. This approach is about management with people and not of people. It requires that individuality of a person is recognized and quality of openness which welcomes everyone's uniqueness. This ethics goes beyond superficial relationships that are based on legal obligations to build relations that are based on esteem, loyalty and mutual respect. Organizations that are concerned with the ethics of care establish cultures which encourage development of harmonious relations. When an organization pits people against each other, encouraging competition and encouraging them to take extra burdens then it moves way from care. One short coming of this ethic of care is the fact that it can be difficult to announce decisions that might hurt someone or cause concern.
Case; William's ethical dilemma
William is human resource advisor that works for an engineering firm. He noticed an irregularity during recruitment for a manager position in the coming year. A man was offered the position even though he was less experienced compared to the other candidate who was a woman. William understands what is at stake; the woman would lodge a complaint if she found out what had happened. William's first reaction was to inform his supervisor and suggest that the woman has a right to the position reinstated. Instead his superior lets time pass and says nothing to the woman. However, since William is just but an advisor he can do nothing. His loyalty to the organization is shaken but he decides to take the side of the management. William is faced with a serious ethical dilemma as he sees that the situation is part of a well established practice and not just an isolated event. When he studies the file closely he discovers that the man is married to his superior's sister. Based on the ethics of justice, he will feel uncomfortable if he turns a blind eye. Should he ignore the situation and demonstrate false loyalty to the organization so as to preserve his place within the organization or should he strike out and demand the situation to be corrected?
Ethics involved in this case are ethics of justice such as labor laws, policies against favoritism in allocating positions. Ethics of care is the empathy for the woman and any other people who could be affected in the future. Ethics of critique involves need for conveying information in a transparent manner in order to avoid one person benefiting at the…[continue]
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