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MORAL

MUTENESS
SUBMITTED BY:
ADITI BANSAL
MBA GEN B
MORAL MUTENESS
People are morally mute if they fail forthrightly to
voice moral concern regarding issues about which
they possess moral convictions.
The fact that managers rarely talk about ethics
directly. Managers talk instead about:
a. organizational interests
b. practicality
c. economic good sense

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM4dOriGOWI
IN REALITY, MANY OF THEIR
DECISIONS ARE ACTUALLY GUIDED
BY
a. morally defined standards codified in law

b. professional conventions

c. social mores
GO IT ALONE

Managers struggle with ethical issues, but


dont talk to one another about it much
Morality is a live topic for individual
managers but it is close to a non-topic
among groups of managers.
CAUSES OF MORAL MUTENESS
1. THREAT TO HARMONY :
Sometimes talking about morality leads to conflicts.
People disagree about moral principles and how they
should be applied and sometimes these disagreements
can become personal. The business world is no place for
such personal disagreements or tensions and so to avoid
them managers refrain from casting their decisions and
actions in moral terms. In private corporations moral
discourse of this kind may seem self serving or arrogant.
In the public sphere it can be perceived as crossing the
line between the separation of church and state which
often makes people nervous.
CAUSES OF MORAL MUTENESS
2. THREAT TO EFFICIENCY.
In the business world decisions must be made
and often on very tight timetables. Moral
discourse often has a way of slowing things
down. We have to investigate moral principles,
make sure theyre justified and consistent, figure
out how to apply them in the particular case, and
reach a consensus about all of this. Needless to
say this can be quite time consuming.
CAUSES OF MORAL MUTENESS
moral talk adds an extra burden to
business decisionsseen as distraction

Adds additional rules and regulations, may


hinder quick decisions
CAUSES OF MORAL MUTENESS
3. THREAT TO IMAGE OF POWER AND
EFFECTIVENESS
a. moral ideals highlight imperfections in
current practices
b. managers dont want to expose their own
moral illiteracy
c. lower managers are expected to solve
their own problems
CONSEQUENCES OF MORAL
Consequences of Moral Muteness
MUTENESS
1. MORAL AMNESIA
This is a fancy way of saying that by neglecting
moral discourse the impression is created that
morality is not a part of the business world. That
is business is an amoral (not immoral) activity.
Business decisions are made purely on the
basis of profit and loss and shareholder
concerns. But, these are moral values and
moral discourse is relevant to each of them.
CONSEQUENCES OF MORAL
MUTENESS
2.INAPPROPRIATE NARROWNESS IN
CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY:
This is closely connected to the first consequence.
Look at the terms often used to describe business
decisions. Terms such as feasibility, profitability,
practicality. They seem morally neutral; as if there are
no moral issues here at all. Moral concepts are
relevant to other decisions but not to business
decisions. But, this obviously is not the case. What
criteria we use to determine whether something is
feasible, profitable, and practical end up containing
some moral component.
CONSEQUENCES
Consequences OF MORAL
of Moral
MUTENESS
Muteness
3. MORAL STRESS
Think about how stressful it might be to be making
decisions using one set of factors but feel unable to express
these factors to your colleagues or subordinates. Worse,
what if youre having difficulty making a moral decision?
Who can you discuss this with in an environment where
moral muteness reigns supreme? Not surprising, then, a
consequence of moral muteness is stress. Of course,
making decisions is stressful in any case but the stress can
usually be lightened by discussing the issues. If such
discussion is not possible the stress level can only go up
CONSEQUENCES
Consequences OF MORAL
of Moral
MUTENESS
Muteness
4. NEGLECT OF MORAL ABUSES:
In a climate where morality is not discussed it
usually doesnt take long for morality not to be
applied. If moral muteness is the phenomenon
of using moral criteria to make decisions but not
discussing them, it seems that this can
potentially lead to the much worse situation
where moral criteria are ignored completely.
CONSEQUENCES
Consequences OF MORAL
of Moral
MUTENESS
Muteness
5. DECREASED AUTHORITY OF MORAL
STANDARDS
When we cease to have vigorous conversations
which include moral concepts we cease to take
moral concepts seriously and cease to recognize
their authority. This also can lead to a sense of
fatalism. Sure, things are bad but nothing can be
done to improve them. This line of thinking is all
too common in many corporate environments and
often prevents much needed improvements.
HOW TO MAKE CHANGES

1. Must provide an opportunity for open


discussion without any danger of
retribution or corporate punishment.
MAKING CHANGES
2. Important to help all involved realize that
they hold similar long-run objectives and
value common principles
Help make shared commitments seem
basic/core
Less likely to become contentious if unity is
emphasized
Legitimate dissent will be more cordial and
controlled if ground-rules are set up first.
MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN
3. Role of Senior Managers:
Must demand that these ethical
conversations take place
Need to build these into fabric of
organizational life
Interventions require patience