Friday, October 10, 2008

How Ethical Are You???

This weeks episode of "The Office" centered around the characters taking a workplace ethics seminar, which was not taken very seriously. Rather, Michael, as per usual, tried to make the expererience into a joke, and he had everyone divulging all of there transgressions. Meridith actually divulged that she was having rendevous with a supplier in order to get discounts on company mechandise (and steak). Holly, the HR rep tried to have Meridith officially reprimanded by the company, because she believed her actions were unethical, but her bosses were simply pleased with the discount they were getting on the supplies.

I started to think about ethics at YorkU. Every year we have to complete online tutorials concerning academic integrity. But how many people actually read though all of the materal, and how many skip ahead to the multiple choice quiz? Do people obey academic ethics, or do they simple find creative ways to cheat?

At one point in the show, Jim timed Dwight with a stopwatch, documenting every time he took a personal break thoughout the day, because Dwight claimed to be completely focused on work during company time. In my work experience, quite a bit of the day is in fact spend conversing with coworkers. It got me wondering, what is really expected of the workforce? Is it reasonable to expect someone to sit at a cubicle absorbed in their work for the entire day?

Funny moments of the week:
Jim timing Dwight's time wasting. He always has the funniest expressions when dealing with Dwight.
Kelly saying that she will take up smoking in order to get a break away from her desk during the workday.


jjccjc said...

I think in general, people behave ethically when they feel they are being treated ethically. If an employer treats you fairly, then you respond in kind. If you feel your employer doesn't value your time, then you might respond similarly and not value the employer's time and therefore practice "time theft". Dwight's behahiour (urinating in a bottle so as not to waste time) shows that some personal time is of course required and also supported at work,the ethics issue comes in to play when the employee/employer crosses the imaginary line. Where this line is situatued is employer and employee dependent and hopefully guided by ethics.

Cathy said...

After watching the recent Canadain election one might ask whether ethical behaviour is valued by our society. The Harper campaign focused on insults, lack of policy, smear campaigns and distortion of facts. However, his government was returned with an increase in the numer of seats in the house. Dion's attemp at sticking to the issues and avoiding smearing the other party resulted in a loss of seats.

Soukvilay said...

"Not worth the risk"
....Poor Stephen Dion...haha

Cathy said...

and my point is made-fear mongering rather than issues drove the election.

Patti Marshall said...

The interesting thing about having an episode about ethics is that most of the episodes are based on things that the employees are doing that are unethical - with "time theft" at the top of the list