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You submitted what you thought was a masterful report to your boss over three weeks ago . The report analyzes current department productivity and recommends several steps that you think will improve employee output without increasing individual workloads . `Brilliant ,` you thought . But you haven`t heard a word from your boss . Did you overstep your boundaries by making recommendations that might imply that she has not been doing a good job ? Did you overwhelm her with your ideas ? You`d like some feedback . In your last email to her , you asked if

she had read your report . So far , you`ve received no reply . Then yesterday , you overheard the company vice president talk about some productivity changes in your department . The changes were ones that you had recommended in your report . Now , you`re worried that your boss submitted your report to senior management and will take full credit for your terrific ideas What , if anything , should you do ? Should you confront your boss about this ? Develop a solution to this sticky situation Explain your rationale Ethics Question

The first thing that I would do is to make an appointment with my boss to discuss the memorandum that I had written to him . Instead of instantly assuming that my boss took the memo to his supervisors and took credit , it is important to give him the benefit of a doubt and assume that the new productivity changes , although similar to ones suggested by me , may have been developed independently by another person

At this point , after having gone through the memo , you may want to point out that you have heard that new productivity changes were being implemented and that they are similar to what was in the memo . What is important is to avoid accusing your boss of stealing your ideas or labeling your boss as opportunistic

As Skinner points out , there are several dangers inherent in the use of labels to explain human behavior . Labels provide a means of classifying individuals by type and , in that sense , facilitate communication however , they do not explain why a particular behavior occurred , nor do they prevent or correct unwanted behaviors . Knowing that a worker is dishonest ' for example , does not explain the basis for the dishonest act , how to correct it , nor how to prevent it in the future . Rather , it is best to keep your opinions of your boss to yourself and to communicate your concerns to your boss in a professional manner that encourages futher communication


Organizational Communication Ethics : The Radical Perspective of Performance Management

Daniel J . Montgomery and Peter A . DeCaro American Communications Journal Volume 5 , Issue 1 , Fall 2001

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