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Philosophy and ethics of intervention

Ethics is one of the most debatable subjects today. It is primarily because everyone has their own understating of ethical behavior, also many people have their own definition of what behavior is ethical and what is not. My philosophy of ethics revolves around this simple concept that every person has a certain inner indicator in them. This guides a person about how to behave or act in particular given situation. Those who follow this indicator in turn end up being wise and ethical and those who shut it off try to justify their actions. (Dewi, 1992)

One of the emerging problems of every workplace is the barriers that exist while dealing with ethnic minorities. This in my opinion is one of the most challenging interventions in the mind of a human being. All human beings in this world are biased in some way or the other. It totally depends upon the situation. But when this bias crosses a certain limit where it starts affecting the living of other human beings then it becomes non-ethical behavior. No piece of land in this world consists of purely one breed of human beings. Through development and communication human beings have dispersed in every corner of the world.

Globalization is making this trend much more common. This type of diversity is found all around the world. People belonging to different cultures are intermingling. The world is becoming a global village and a place where everyone is trying to co-exist with each other. But even today we observe that a certain level of discrimination still exists. Some people show it in a very evident manner whilst others tend to hide it. The greatest sufferers are indeed the ethnic minorities. A well known example is that of the Muslim community living in the USA and Britain especially after the terrorist attacks.

Before the event of September 11th, the situation was bad but not as worse as what it is now. All Muslims have been labeled as terrorists. Same is the case with the Jewish community, despite of their hard work and commitment to their work they are still labeled as greedy and selfish. (Mark, 2005), Such mental models and misconceptions have always existed in all communities. But the sad part is that they have become a major hindrance for people who work hard to get to a certain level of achievement. When they are discriminated on the ethnic grounds, frustration grows and efficiency drops. (Dewi, 1992)

Such a problem is encountered mainly due to two reasons. One is ethnocentrism which is the belief that ones community is the best and superior in all aspects. Another reason is due to racism which is an attitude that is adopted by people who discriminate others on the basis of their race, color, ethnicity etc. Both these attitudes are pretty much learned. They are not genetic. It is the kind of background mainly upbringing and schooling that makes a person act in a particular manner. So in such cases members belonging to ethnic communities take the route of non-ethical behavior to help them climb up the ladder.

For this they have to compromise on their religious and cultural values in order to succumb to the pressures. People today are actually trying to hide their identities. Especially in USA and Britain we observe that many ethnic minorities are keeping English names of their children to save them from any future harassment. One such example of problem is a situation from my workplace where a Muslim girl who used to cover her head, abandoned her hijab because she could not bearing the harassing comments that were passed by her colleagues.

Also she could not quit her job because she was really needy and when she applied to other organizations, she was discriminated on ethnic grounds. Such issues can be referred to as unresolved issues that are not going to be resolved in the near future also. The Muslims everywhere are being targeted with harassing comments and sometimes even beaten up. Such kind of problems exist in all workplace with almost all ethnic groups (Dewi, 1992) To intervene into such situation is one of the most difficult tasks. Because here one has to deal with the psychology and target the mind set of a person.

One has to encounter the thinking of a person. This is indeed the most complex kind of intervention that can have various consequences for the person who is showing the courage to raise their voice for a cause. 2. Write out a critical moment when this problem emerged for you as important. Use the “discipline of noticing” method that we explored during class. (Some explanation of this method is posted on this moodle site). That is, start with the bare details of the encounter (using as few adjectives and adverbs), then add in important adjectives and explore these further.

Include the purpose of your intervention, the setting, the people involved, and other important characteristics. One such incident emerged in my organization where the Muslim girl was being pressurized so much so that she was on the verge of collapse. She was being teased and harassed with racial comments because of the September 11th incident and also that she covered her head. Covering the head is an obligatory action for the women in Islam. I noticed how she was shattered and terrified of her existence and identity. My encounter occurred in a small room where I saw her crying.

After counseling I came to know of her problems. (Mark, 2005), At this critical point of time I realized how important this problem was. If my company is entertaining people who perform discriminatory acts, then our company shall never be able to attract talented people. It shall never develop a good organizational culture that would influence employee loyalty. This was a serious issue. Therefore it required the involvement of higher authorities and management. So that they could bring in some changes, that would change the face of the organization on the whole.

Also there was a need to send a strong message to those who were carrying out such practices within the organization. (Dewi, 1992) The other important characteristics involved in this intervention were to make a mission statement of the company that is free from bias. So that people form various ethnicities come to join the company and serve in a conducible environment. 3. Write a few paragraphs regarding your strategy. What were your objectives, how did you intend to achieve them, why did you select these goals and strategies. Describe the steps you took (or plan to take) to address the problem. With whom would you meet or expect to meet?

What was the purpose of the meeting as you recollect it (or as you expect it to be)? The strategy I designed was based on the feedback that was received from the employees. Primarily a lot of counseling was done so that people would be open in their opinions and also pinpoint those who were involved in such kind of activity. The strategy basically revolved around the fact that employees in the company should not feel empowered beyond the powers that were given to them, so that they don’t harass other employees. The strategy was also to design such rules and a mentor system to help support the effected.

The main goal behind these strategies was to achieve an organizational culture that welcomes everyone to give their inputs and to make it a place where the employees would love to come. One of the steps taken to address this people was to start a mentoring system. It is a system where a person from the top management would be the mentoring a small group of employees. The basic aim of mentoring is to help employees open up and discuss their problems. The inclusion of people from the top management will help bring changes because they are the decision makers. In this way they can also monitor the progress of the company.

For this purpose I shall be meeting the CEO of the company who has all the authority. The basic purpose the meeting would be to inform the management with the various problems faced by the employees so that they could take some actions that bring about a change in the attitudes. (Dewi, 1992) 4. Divide the next several pages in half. In the right hand column, write the conversation as you can best recollect it. Begin with what you said, what the other(s) said, what you said, etc. If it is a session that has not been held, describe what you plan to say, what you expect other(s) to say, and so forth.

In the left hand column, write down any thoughts and feelings you had as the conversation or encounter proceeded (or what you believe that you will have when you meet in the future). (Also, see Argyris, Action science and organizational learning, pages 23-25–on the moodle site) If a session is held for the intervention into the matter the strategy that I would take into account would be that of counseling and consultation. This is a matter that can be solved only with dialogue because here one has to deal with the mind sets of those who have performed the discriminatory act and also those who have been the victims.

Perceptions and thoughts can only change by the help of dialogue. When people discuss they usually come up with various specifications and support material in order to back their ideas. In this way if they have an appropriate argument eventually the other party aggress on changing their pattern of thought altogether. The conversation shall accompany the main issues and shall also have discussion upon the incident that took place. It may also include some influential people form the company that can help resolve the problem and also put an appropriate amount of pressure on those who are guilty

5. Briefly state what, if anything, puzzles or confuses or challenges you, or stands out for you as you think back on the encounter. What are the underlying assumptions that you think you held about effective intervention in a human system? When I think back of the encounter the only thing that challenged me were the tearful eyes that had many stories and many questions. It challenged me to take up step for all those people who are discriminated or harassed during job at workplace on the basis of something that they have inherited, something they are not responsible for.

This challenge gave me an opportunity to become the voice and crutches of the helpless. (Mark, 2005) 6. Now step back from the problem and describe the external influences (including structures, people, personal history, etc. ) that would keep this problem from being solved or maybe even exacerbates the problem. How would you deal with these conditions that affect the problem and its resolution? In this particular situation external influences had a major role than that of the internal ones. One of the biggest external factors was the attitudes of many employees.

Attitudes are very difficult to change. They are part of the personality therefore they are most not very flexible. Secondly the mental model or the mind sets of various people is very different to change. When people become older and acquire higher positions it is indeed impossible to convince them on a particular idea that is different. Another factor was the recent events that got associated with the Muslim community because the frustration and anger that was brought about after the advent of such attacks. Such a reaction was very much expected. (Harold, 1978)

These conditions were proving to be great hindrance in solving this problem. In fact at many places the problem became even worse due to problems in communication. To deal with such problems it is very important to create awareness. Secondly to inform people about the adverse effects of such actions. Also it was essential that everyone working in that environment recognizes and realizes the need and importance of diversity. How a diverse workplace can make all the difference in any organization and that it can prove to be source of gaining competitive edge over others.

Finally another way to handle this problem is with regard to the understanding of the phenomenon of employee satisfaction. (Mark, 2005), 7. What are the questions that emerge for you arising out of this writing? One of the most important questions that arise in my mind with regards to this writing is about the prevalence of respect and ethical behavior today primarily in the corporate or organizational culture. According to my philosophy of ethical behavior such an act was not appropriate. But due to my various professional commitments I could not raise a voice of the amplitude at which it was required.

So despite the fact that I knew whatever was happening was wrong. My counter to such actions was not as strong as was required because of the several fears and insecurities that surrounded me with regards to my career and my job. Therefore the problem that arises here is that even if people at different levels are suffering from many problems. They are bound by such pressure which suffocates them and don’t let them come out of the circle and fight for their right it is one of the reason the ethics in today’s world is a word that is dying down and losing its meaning too a great extent.

It is not because that people have forgotten their ethics. It is because the non-ethical powers have become so gigantic and powerfully that a person who wants to achieve something in life, doesn’t have enough courage to raise a voice. Because either the voice would be crushed or the person would be abandoned. Another big question that arises is with regards to the role of those who are in power and simultaneously are aware of the issues. Why is it that no one is able to penetrate the monopolies of these powerful.

Such questions basically emerge from my write-up. 8. What are the issues/themes/areas of investigation that arise from your review of this writing? And this situation? The main areas of investigations that arise from the review of my writing include the reasons as to why people keep a bias towards ethnic groups. And also how this is adversely affecting the working environment of the organization. The basic issue as was identified earlier is the mental framework of the different people. Many a groups and communities feel as if they are superior.

This attitude brings a sense of pride, but it also has some negative affects. These are that these people feel that other communities are inferior to them in every aspect. Due to which the mental compatibility is difficult to achieve and the situation no longer stays flexible. (Harold, 1978) Another very important of investigation is regarding the impact of such discriminatory beliefs. The first impact is on the relationship between the colleagues and bosses. It is severely affects the overall efficiency of the team.

Also it proves to e a source of hatred and rivalry. 9. Why is this important to you? This issue is extremely important for me because it will have an adverse affect on the working of my company. Also every issue that is related to ethical dilemmas are of great interest to me. Intervention is very complex act that requires expertise and intelligence. To intervene in a forceful manner can often prove to be negative. This issue is important for me because I also belong to one of the ethnic groups that are in a minority.

And to bring about a change in the environment it is essential to invite diversity. Diverse employees belonging to various groups can only be part of such an organization that gives them the desired amount of respect and address their issues. . (Harold, 1978) References Dewi D. Z. (1992), Interventions in Ethics, State University of New York Press. Harold, H. D. (1978). The Ethic of Power: The Interplay of Religion, Philosophy, and Politics. Mark R. A. , (2005), International Ethics: Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics, Rowman & Littlefield.

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