Values and Ethical Communication Behaviours


Ethics are the standards or moral principles that determine whether particular actions or deeds are good or bad. In addition to this, ethics helps to understand whether the choice of action pursued is right or wrong. Values and ethics are a part of all communication and organizational experiences. Certain ethics are applicable to different types of situations and dilemmas. This essay outlines two types of dilemmas that a newly appointed personnel director would be faced with due to the new role and responsibilities acquired.

Situation 1

Being the newly appointed personnel director for a large beverage distributor, there are new job responsibilities include screening all applicants for promotions to management positions. The company’s usual procedure is for the personnel director to screen applicants and select the top three for further interviews with management.

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A factor to be considred is the company’s president opinions about the staff members, and his desire to keep woman away from his personal staff. The decision is challenging because the most recent vacancy is on the president’s personal staff and the top three applicants are female.

The possible causes of action include: sending the three applicants to the president and wait to see what happens; rethinking the selection criteria and trying to have a male applicant in the top three; and re-opening the position, hoping to attract additional qualified applicants.


This situation can be tricky in that as a personnel director one is supposed to get a solution that will suit the company without any collusion with management including the president. With this in mind, it is best to do away with the top three applicants and schedule for another interview session after re-advertisement of the position.

The men applicants who did not make it to the top three are probably not good candidates, and would therefore be sent away. with a higher rank in the organization, it would be appropriate to inquire from the orgnization’s president on his standing about recruiting female members of staff.

Situation 2

You have overheard a conversation between your manager and the manager of a department in which your best friend is employed. From their conversation, it is apparent that your friend is not pleasing her manager and she will definitely be passed over for the promotion she badly wants. You don’t want to see her hurt, and you happen to know she has a job offer from another group within your organization.

Should you tell her about the conversation and urge her to take the new offer? Should you remain silent because of the manner in which you heard the information? Should you go to your boss and tell him that you accidentally over- heard the conversation and are concerned because your friend might turn down a good job offer? Should you urge your friend to confront her boss? You have other options. What would you do? What should you do?


In this situation, I would give my friend the information i over heard, but insist on avoiding confrontations. As she already has another job offer, the best thing would be to walk away silently and get the other job thereby avoiding office conflicts. This way she might get a recommendation letter from her job. Confronting the manager might be a messy situation. It also would ruin my position in the job as my manager will lose trust in me.

However, overhearing information and going ahead to tell it is not company ethics. It may viewed as gossip. It would be better if this information was kept silent and let events take their toll. If my friend’s manager is not pleased with her work, it could mean that she is inefficient therefore passing her over the promotion would be the right thing to do. Again, this would turn out positive as she would sole search herself and opt to work harder and correct her mistakes.

In the two situations, what I would do and what the right move should be differ. This is because I chose personal beliefs over company laws. Most of the time we let personal behaviors outdo the organizational responsibilities. For example in the second situation, I chose to help out a friend and ignore normal company beliefs. In layman’s language, human beings let their hearts speak.


The criterion used to solve these dilemmas was observation of the behaviors of people in their personal communication. The solutions provided have to be efficient in order to eliminate arguments and disagreements with superiors while maintaining company ethics, for example, by avoiding gossip and scandals.


Ethics ensures that organizations run effectively by eliminating problems related to the manner in which employees conduct themselves with regard to each other, as well as top management. All employees should avoid unethical behavior in order to create a good and comfortable work conditions. Managers should also ensure that company ethics are observed, by providing correct guidance to the various situations that arise in the work place, and making rational and just decisions regarding employee conflicts.


Zalabak, P. S. (2011). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication (8th Edition). Needham Heights, Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.


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