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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default What moral obligations do companies have towards their workers?

    A Chief Officer at your organization is told by Finance and Accounting that they must reduce their staff salaries by $100K in order to meet their budget for the fiscal year.

    The CO makes $400K/year and can reduce their salary by $100K and not lay off anyone.

    The CO can layoff two mid-level employees both making $50K/year.

    The CO can layoff three entry-level employees all three roughly making $35K/year.

    Since the organization is in fiscal deficit they can't replace any employees they layoff.

    In which cases would each scenario make the most/least business sense?
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  2. #2
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    everyone should take a 10% pay cut. Thats what I would do.
    Let whoever objects get fired. Otherwise, its all for one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    Most COO don't control their own salary. But given the situation, I would say it depends on the the reason for cutting back.

    If the company performed horribly, it should come from the CO.

    If it is part of a larger economic downturn, it should be progressively taken.



    I think the question is, what moral obligation does a business have to its workers.

  4. #4
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post

    I think the question is, what moral obligation does a business have to its workers.
    Yes! That's where I was going with this. Maybe I should retitle the thread.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  5. #5
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    The question presented does not contain sufficient information to make a judgement on what would make the most business sense.

    It does however make an interesting case of business ethics, in two aspects. First, the that the CO in this example has the option of cutting his own wage (conflict of interests), and two, all factors equal, do take a lesser loss at a higher tier or a greater loss at a lower tier (people-wise)?

  6. #6
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    19. The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth. Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity. Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvelous and manifold. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice.

    20. Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers -- that is truly shameful and inhuman. Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings. Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this -- that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one's profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine. To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. "Behold, the hire of the laborers . . . which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath."[6] Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen's earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred.
    --Rerum Novarum: On Capital and Labour

  7. #7
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    To hell with corporations. Bring forth the cooperatives!
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  8. #8
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Issue paychecks that don't bounce.
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  9. #9
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I agree that an overall percentage pay cut would keep everyone employed. The important part is the job now-a-days, not so much how much money you can make. Most people are happy to be working at all right now.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    As long as all employees are competent in their job, the CO should be taking the short end of the stick for the good of the company. Other high ranking executive could also contribute. Besides, "the boss" should be held accountable for such oversight (lack of planning to have such a deficit). Otherwise its time to pluck the apples that has worms.

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