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Professional Workplace

A workplace environment should be a place for improvement and growth. It should be a place where employees can perform their tasks properly and further develop their craft. It is also important that employees go along with each other and cultivate a harmonious and productive relationship for the benefit also of the organization. The working environment is a place where relationship among employees is highly valued. Professionalism demands high value of ethical standards to every employee. Ethical values are important in every person for it defines your maturity and capability to work with others.

Our contained ethical values define how we conduct ourselves in public. It also shows that we are able to accept each other’s differences and it shows that we are able to conform on the existing culture within the organization. The occurrences of problems in the workplace that are related to ethical concerns are inevitable. Some people tend to break some of the ethical rules and put some people or the organization in shame. One of the ethical problems within the organization is grapevine. Grapevine is both an ethical and communication problems that is common in the workplace environment.

It is also considered as one of the destructive dilemmas in every organization. Grapevine is a form of informal communication that travels neither upward, downward or horizontally and the source can be either subordinates or superiors. Informal communication such as grapevine has always existed in the working environment. Grapevine can be destructive at times, especially when the content of the message is malicious. Rumors and slander can be categorized as grapevine for it travels informally around the workplace.

Therefore, grapevine should not be neglected by managers and supervisors for sometimes business concerns travel around the workplace in an informal manner and do not reach the ears of the people in the higher positions. Although some of the topic in informal communication is not business-related, research reveals that almost 80 percent of the content of grapevine somehow pertains to business. Informal communication should not be dismissed because by listening to grapevine allows the managers to grasp the views and concerns of employees toward the company (“Heard it on the Grapevine”).

An example for this type of communication problem is the rumor in the Bendix Corporation. In October 1980, Mary Cunningham, who joined the company for 15 months as Agee’s executive assistant, was promoted twice as vice president and chief corporate planner. Rumor went around the company speculating that her promotion was due to the romantic relationship she had with the company’s CEO. The rumor was strengthened by the sudden divorce of Agee and his wife for 23 years. Due to the destructive effect of the rumor in the company, Cunningham was forced to resign (“Bendix Abuzz”).

I experienced grapevine in an organization in one of the jobs that I handled, when an unknown employee proliferate derogatory electronic mails pertaining to our manager. Our manager is quite a slack and laidback and some employees are not confident on the quality of work he does. They thought that he does not attend to the matters that greatly demand his attention and concern. The electronic mail contained insulting statements towards our manager. Everything on the electronic mail was already known to many, including me.

There are speculations on who was responsible for the offensive electronic mails but no one was put into sanction and no concrete evidence pertains to a particular employee. The whole dilemma is against the manager and an employee who was dissatisfied with the work he does. It is considered as grapevine for it travels in an informal manner and worse, the content of the message is insulting and malicious. This is a major ethical dilemma in the workplace both pertaining to the manager and the unknown employee. The ethical values of both parties are put in question for the occurrence of the dispute.

The manager should be responsible with his actions. He should be the role model of the employees in carrying out their duties and performing their tasks in the workplace. He should embody someone with high ethical values at all times. This is a way of motivating your subordinates in working hard at the same time because they see that their leader is a hardworking man. The manager, despite his authority, should act professionally and do his duties appropriately. He should attend to the matters that are in need of his knowledge and expertise.

The employee, on the other hand, should put the matters in the appropriate and proper way. It is immature to send electronic mails that will degrade the whole organization. The employee could have called the attention of the managers in a discrete and respectful way and express his grievances. It is never wrong to speak your mind as long as you do it in a diplomatic way. In that way, the misunderstanding and the root of the problem could have been straightened out in the first place. The leadership skill of the manager is at risk.

The manager may not be equipped of the appropriate skills in handling people. He may also lack effective communication skills to know the demands of his employees. However, the ethical values of the employee were put into question as well as his loyalty to the company or organization. The employee’s professionalism was also put into question. In attempting to solve the various dilemmas, it is important to understand first and determine the exact problem. Before attempting to solve a problem, the difficulties of the organization must also be assessed (Harlig).

The incident is very unprofessional indeed and it may have cause greater impact on the image of the organization which is not in the aims of the perpetrator of the ethical dilemma. Harmonious and productive relationship among the members of an organization is crucial for its success. Lack of synergy and cooperation, the organization may suffer loss and inefficiency on the type of work they do. The employees should maintain high ethical standards when it comes to professionalism and relating to others to prevent ethical conflicts that may have negative implications on the workplace.

References Bendix Abuzz. 1980, October 6. Time. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,954585,00. html. Harlig, J. 1999, May/June. Effective Workplace Communication? : It’s More Than Just Talk. [email protected] Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www. words-at-work. com/goodcomm. htm. Heard it on the Grapevine. 2 April 2001. Southeastern Louisiana University. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www2. selu. edu/Academics/Faculty/srobichaux/GBBT234CH1b. html.

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