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Case Analysis "Eating Time"

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This case study analyses the “Eating Time” situation, which implies the issue of exceeding the time required for the performance of a particular task. Kevin, the main character of the actual case study, faces accusations from Bo and Moe of “Eating Time”. Kevin had been deployed to the firm for only 3 months when he was informed on inefficiency in his job. Bo and Moe insisted that the management had learnt that he took more than half the time set to complete the audit work. As it appeared, this was a serious concern to the company since each hour over the intended time meant more spending of the company’s budget (Steven, Mintz, Roselyn &Morris, 2010). Kevin’s response was in a way seeking for some clarification from Bo and Moe on whether their concern was aimed at slashing down his work or was simply a request demanding him to increase his output.

Kevin saw this issue as a threat to his job and in order to keep it, he was ready to sacrifice his personal time excusive of any overtime compensation to complete the work within the required time. In the view of this, he asked Bo and Moe to allow him to take his work home at night and during his free time for the timely completion of the required work. This request took Bo and Moe by surprise since it was the first time for an employee to offer overtime job without demanding any form of compensation. Therefore, they had no idea on how to respond to the matter at hand (Steven et al., 2010).

Formulating a proper response towards Kevin’s request put Bo and Moe on a tight spot. A direct response for this request proved to be a tricky ordeal, especially when the company’s principles on the employee’s welfare, the quality of work of its employees and the ethical considerations have been put into consideration. Moe responded by stating that they were not in any position to have the firm’s audit work, as well as the principles on the execution of their tasks be compromised in any way. However, they also appreciated the fact an employee willing to work extra time without any form of compensation. According to Moe, this was a good idea given that the output was considered to be one of the most important components of the performance appraisal for the company. Even though they attested to the idea, they did not want to give a direct yes since one of the missions of the firm was to improve its employees’ quality of life. Consequently, Moe provided Kevin a vague response which was an agreement to Kevin’s suggestion. Having an indirect response towards Kevin’s demand is unethical since it is considered to go against the company’s principle of promoting the welfare of its employees (Steven et al. 2010). The suggestion should have been considered after proper consideration of the welfare of the employee.

Bo and Moe had a bold position especially in ensuring that the budget was not exceeded. This position seems to have a number of moral implications especially to the welfare of the company’s employees. According to Kohlberg’s model of moral development,  a number of Piaget’s story telling techniques aimed at conveying information regarding moral dilemmas, are used. In a number of cases presented in this model, there is a variety of choices that need to be considered before making a final decision. The rights of a given authority together with the needs of the individuals facing unfair treatment from their organization are the main factors of ethical interaction in the work environment. Kohlberg’s model of moral development revolves around three levels, which are pre-conventional morality, conventional morality and post-conventional morality (McLeod, 2011).

Pre-conventional morality basically involves an individual accept and follow organization’s rules and principles based on some of the physical consequences in respect to some particular actions. Conventional morality is presupposes an individual accept the rules of his/her respectful organization or society without any questioning, irrespective of the possible consequences, with the reasoning being based particularly on the norms of a given group which an individual belongs to.  Finally, post-conventional morality is whereby a particular individual j depends on some self-chosen principles together with having the moral reasoning being based on the individual’s rights, as well as justice. Bo and Moe’s position does not correspond to Kohlberg’s model of moral development. Bo and Moe focus on achieving the goals of the company which is having the work done within the assigned budget without having any consideration of adjusting it. Accepting Kevin’s suggestion to have him complete the extra work during his personal time without any compensation is unethical and it does not go in line with the issue of moral development. As described by Kohlberg in all the three levels of moral development, it is required that the moral reasoning be employed to come up with a proper decision especially regarding the company where Kevin works. Bo’s and Moe’s position has a significant impact on the culture of the organization especially concerning future treatment of the employees (McLeod, 2011). The rights of employees may be overlooked especially when they face intimidation if they fail to complete their work on time as required by the management team. Just like Kevin, most of the employees may be forced to work extra time to achieve their target even without any compensation.

If, in any case, I faced Kevin’s position and find myself exceeding the budget and the allotted time in my next audit, first of all, I would evaluate myself and try to determine the reasons which dragged me behind. I would then present my evaluation report to the management together with a request of having a critical review of their policy of exceeding the budgeted time. This policy will be formulated with an aim of considering all the new employees who have not yet gotten used to proper management of their time.

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