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Business Ethics Essay

1953 words - 8 pages

Social Networks and the Workplace
In today’s society we have all sorts of technology at our fingertips every day. Social networking sites can be great for making contacts but they can also defame your organization. Companies now have the option of typing an applicant’s name into a search engine and if that person is part of a social networking site, their personal information may be readily available. Throughout this paper I’m going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of this behavior and whether it is an ethical option for employers during an application process.
Ever since Tom Anderson created MySpace, social networks have exploded into the lives of Americans. Facebook and ...view middle of the document...

So, the users can gain public recognition for their skills, companies have high traffic channels to advertise on and sites are paid for advertisement spots, it seems like a great set of profits coming out of a simple set of social networks. However, these benefits don’t come without problems.
Whenever personal information is put on the internet there is going to be a risk of identity theft. Making your personal information public knowledge is never a smart decision but sometimes it is unintentionally done by unfamiliar users. Threats from pedophiles are more of a concern for younger users but it is still be a worry for adults using the sites, especially women. One of the biggest issues concerning networks and employers is if their employees or applicants have profiles on these sites.
Companies run into problems when their employees are pictured on the internet performing a distasteful act in the company’s eyes. Whether it is something as simple as having a drink with some friends or doing something more extreme like an illegal act, companies see this as potential risks. What parent would want to send their child to a school where the teachers have photos on the internet of wild parties involving alcohol? It becomes a serious problem if the employee is wearing some sort of company attire. Either way it gives the company a bad reputation and can serious hurt their business. Employees have posted defaming comments and even private information about their employers over social networks. Employers now have the ability to look up their applicants before even meeting them and determine whether they are worthy of a professional interview, simply based off their internet profile.
The ethical issue that comes up with this is if is right to punish employees for their actions outside of the office, and whether or not applicants should be judged by their photos on the internet. For example, let’s say that Cindy is working for Glenoak Schools as a teacher. She is hard working trustworthy individual in the organization and is in well standing with her superiors. Suppose that Cindy goes out for a drink with some friends and is photographed in the process. Days later, the principal is shown the photo on the internet by a concerned parent. The parent exclaims that she doesn’t appreciate the fact that the school district finds it okay to hire teachers who enjoy partying over preparing lessons for the classroom. The principal then is faced with a difficult decision. Should he keep Cindy and potentially damage the reputation of the school district, or let her go and lose a valuable key to the school’s community?
Let’s consider another example. Todd is applying for various jobs right out of college. He has excellent credentials and experience, but can’t seem to even land an interview at most of the organizations he is applying to. Todd decides to call and check up on his applications and learns that the managers of the firms he was applying to have...

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