There is a two-sided ethical dilemma in this scenario. On one side is the ethical issue of workplace monitoring of activities through the telephone, email and surveillance cameras. There are employees that feel that there is, to some degree, a violation of their human rights to privacy. This is a basis for debate but as long as the company explains its organizational values effectively to the employees and defines the parameters of its policy, then there would not be great deal of ethical issues. The company also has to make sure that they implement the monitoring for justifiable reasons, and not just as a means to violate employees' privacy. Monitoring is necessary for most businesses because it is a great tracking tool. If there are preceding events of workplace dishonesty or misbehavior, then monitoring also becomes essential to keeping the workplace safe.
The bigger issue here, which is the stimulus, is the ethical dilemma of employee misconduct, which consequently, triggers the company's implementation of workplace monitoring. This a causal relationship. The company first states its mission and values, its policies and expectations. Any employee that knowingly goes against this is violating company rules.
When managers are faced with such ethical dilemma, they should first understand the situation, the cause and extent of such behavior. It is necessary to get everybody in the organization involved in the plan of action.
The first step is to facilitate management orientation. “Meet with top management to share your initial approach to data gathering and early stage intervention” (stressdoc.com, 2003). Use this as an opportunity to openly discuss the possible causes of such an ethical dilemma. It is an advantage for management to establish that there is in fact a problem and that intervention is necessary.
The next step is to conduct individual interviews. “Have one-on-one interviews with a substantial number of employees across the organizational spectrum” (stressdoc.com, 2003). Talk to as many ndifferent employees, individually, to obtain different views and positions taken. This is one good way to determine if there is guilt or fear associated with the situation. This can also give the managers an insight on the issues that may have been overlooked at the initial management orientation.
Next is to conduct large group workshops