1.1. Background Of The Study
Ethical behaviour and the productivity of any organization is very important for overall development, production of products and services, provision of national wealth, the achievement of organizational goal and the inclusive gain of human developments. This emphasizes how proper organizations heed to ethical standards. It determines the state of all stakeholders, organisation's productivity and the subsequent profitability, as well as the economic growth and development of a nation (Adeyeye, Aina, & Ige, 2012). Efficiency as applicable to the context of employment relationship is a product of proper management of employees at work, coupled with the adherence to workplace ethical standards. Agreeably, work occupies the lives of majority of men and women, and the management of staffs, both individually and collectively, remains a central feature of organizational life (Matanmi, 2007). The summary of the necessity of work in society is that it is the basic determinant around which human lives are ordered, organizations enhanced and nations are developed. Also the primacy of work in society and the major role of the production function have practically contributed to the growth, development and advancement of nations throughout human history. In practical terms, nations are in existence to provide security, safety and most importantly developments to people who had surrendered their sovereignty in exchange for the aforementioned necessities of life, using organizations and all human resources available to them. Indeed, organizations advance the fortunes of nations through efficiency, productivity, output level and performance, as engendered by the institutional labour or a group of people known as workers. These workers are human beings with aspirations, hope and feelings. They render their human efforts (labour) in exchange for equitable wages and salaries, good physical working environment and longevity of employment relationship, anchored on ethical standards and human resource best practices, (Adeyeye, 2010). Any behaviour contrary to the expectations of these actors would rather hinder the trajectory of production processes and the development of the organizations. Since national development is dependent on what the labour can generate by way of Gross Domestic Products (GDP), a substantial attention must be paid to the agreement legally, socially and economically entered into by all the stakeholders for the parties to enjoy the expected efficiency, equity and development, which are the main objectives of employment relationship and the overall impact on the organizational productivity. Managerial Ethical Behaviour (MEB) refers to what managers do in their everyday work, in a way that respects ethical principles and norms established by themselves, the organisation and the society of which they are members. Managers are the visible people in organisations; they set what owners, proprietor or shareholders would like to be the ethical tone of their firms and the manner in which they want to be recognised. Webley (2010) says that one of the factors that show how an organisation is dealing with ethical issues is the behaviour of Directors and Senior Managers. (Knouse and Giacalone, 2011) stated in addition that, managers are a critical reference group for ethical beliefs and their behaviours are seen as examples to follow by their employees. In an investigation related to ethics among employment managers, Wiley (1998) found that MEB was influenced by Senior Managers and Supervisors’ behaviour more than by gender, position or company size. One reason for this finding could be the power and authority over other people that managers have due to their positions (Longston & Yuthas, 2010). Ferrell and Fraedrich (2011) stated that superiors, peers and subordinates have been found to be the most influential variable affecting ethical decisions in organisations. Ferrell and Fraedrich (2011) stated that If managers and co-workers provide positive role models, superiors, peers and subordinates become a force to help individuals make better ethical decisions. But when there is severe role conflict and pressure to commit unethical acts, unethical behaviour in the organization may increase. Initially the study of MEB was addressed in differing ways by the disciplines of philosophy, psychology and sociology. Recently, integrative approaches are trying to combine the contributions of these disciplines into a more coherent body of MEB understanding. Most of the attention of researchers has been put into the implications of Kohlberg’s Cognitive Moral Development model in ethical decision making (Trevino 2013, 2013, 2011; Maclagan, 2009; Fraedrich, 2011; Mason and Mudrack, 2010) and in studying models of ethical decision making. Little attention appears to have been put to managerial ethical behaviour and organizational productivity.
Every organization, either large or small struggles to acquire productivity so as to achieve success and maintain a valuable image in this present world of intense competitions emanating from the business environment. There are incidences of managers who manipulate cash flow figures to secure a needed loan from banks, salesmen who pad the expense account to help themselves or worse still, buy gift for a girl friend or even the worker who stretches out his job and original products being carefully diluted, adulterated and sold to unsuspecting customers. Ifedi (2009), corroborates this point when he posit that “seeking preferential treatment, kick-backs to purchasing officers, pay-offs to government officials, price rigging between suppliers and contractors and collusion in contract bidding, underbidding, with substitution of inferior workmanship and materials are rampant with some companies.” What this suggests therefore is a state of almost complete ethical and moral breakdown thus, raising questions about the moral value of public officials and enterprise managers in our society today and whether managerial ethical behaviour significantly affects the productivity of our businesses. Perhaps one can therefore venture to say that the most serious managerial challenge facing Nigeria’s businesses is the issue of ethics. Ethics is a problem not only for managers but also for almost every facet of our society today
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