National Do Not Call List (Canada)

To limit the number of telemarketing calls you receive, you (or a person you authorize to act on your behalf) can register your phone, mobile and fax numbers on the National Do Not Call List.

Ways to register:

    Online at
    By phone at 1 866 580- DNCL (3625)
    Via TTY device at 1 888 362-5889
    By faxing your fax number to 1 888 362-5329
    There is no charge to register your number(s) on the National Do Not Call List.

Your number(s) will remain on the National Do Not Call List indefinitely.


A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

First, let’s quickly overview PIPEA: What is it?

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA, is a law passed by the Parliament of Canada respecting privacy for the private sector and applies to personal information collected during the course of commercial activities. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What employers have to work within PIPEDA??

Any employer who falls under federal jurisdiction in the Constitution of Canada.

Those areas being:

  • banks (but not provincial credit unions).
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services.
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines.
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders.
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders).
  • telephone, telegraph, and cable systems.
  • radio and television broadcasting.
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills.
  • uranium mining and processing.
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource.
  • many First Nation activities.
  • most federal Crown corporations.
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act. (Government of Canada, 2018)

Specific employers include but are not limited to:

Government of Canada and most federal Crown corporations such as Canada Post, Banks (Bank of Montreal, RBC, Scotiabank, Tangerine), Airlines (Air Canada, Porter, Westjet), and Phone and cable companies (Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus), for examples.

What are federal employers’ obligations under PIPEDA?

  • obtain consent when they collect, use, or disclose their personal information;
  • supply an individual with a product or a service even if they refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction;
  • collect information by fair and lawful means; and
  • have personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What are federal employees’ rights under PIPEDA?

PIPEDA gives employees the right to:

  • know why an organization collects, uses or discloses their personal information;
  • expect an organization to collect, use or disclose their personal information reasonably and appropriately, and not use the information for any purpose other than that to which they have consented;
  • know who in the organization is responsible for protecting their personal information;
  • expect an organization to protect their personal information by taking appropriate security measures;
  • expect the personal information an organization holds about them to be accurate, complete and up-to-date;
  • obtain access to their personal information and ask for corrections if necessary; and
  • complain about how an organization handles their personal information if they feel their privacy rights have not been respected. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

As a federal employee, how can I access my private human resources file?

Ask! Or send a written letter to your organization’s Chief Privacy Officer or whichever officer is in charge of the company’s privacy policy. Details on who that person is will be available from your employer.

“Ordinarily, it should cost you little or nothing to gain access to your personal information. The law requires an organization to respond to your request at minimal or no cost to you.” (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2016)


Government of Canada. (2018, November 9). Federally Regulated Businesses and Industries. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. (2016, September 12). Accessing your personal information. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, November 13). Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from

This article was written by J2DW CEO Peter V. Tretter


The facts about incentive pay

In the following essay, I am going to analyze incentives for workers to perform tasks, and thus come up with a conclusion as to what makes the most sense for employers to incentivize their employees with. I will back up my analysis with the mention of two research papers.

The exchange of money for the completion of tasks, the labour market, is arguably one of the most important transactions for the ongoing of our economy. If it did not exist, we would not be able to progress further into developing our world into a better home for the generations to come. And with this importance, comes a concept just as important, keeping employees just as motivated to continue working.

Human nature is such that motivation within us does not last forever, and thus refilling ourselves on a constant dose of motivational fuel is pivotal in the success of our tasks.

There are in general, two types of incentive pay, which are merit pay and bonus pay. Merit pay can be defined as the permanent increase related to performance against a standard that reflection evidence of permanently increased productivity. The term bonus can also be defined similarly as a single period additional pay related to performance that may not be reproducible in the next period without sufficient additional effort. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of both these pay structures.

Under the umbrella of merit pay is the piece rate, where workers are paid on the basis of the output they produce. Piece rates hold the benefits of workers are motivated to produce more output because of the fact that their wages are directly proportional to their pay, it is a system that attracts good workers due to the fact that more skilled labour will want to join the company because of such a pay structure, and there exist savings of monitoring workers and keeping track of their productivity.

Seeing how effective such a piece rate method of payment is, I am going to support my argument with supporting research. Edward Lazear wrote a paper titled “Performance Pay and Productivity” where he examined how effective the incentive pay of piece rate was in inducing workers to produce more output. His examination of personnel economics uses data from a company called Safelite Glass Corporation, which is an auto glass company. His use of this data derives from the fact that in 1994 and 1995, management in the company changed the compensation from hourly wages to piece rates. This provided the necessary data to analyze how effective the new piece rate was in inducing more output.

His findings can be summarized into the following points:

1. A switch to piece-rate pay has a significant effect on average levels of output per worker. This is in the range of a 44-percent gain.

2. The gain can be attributed to two components. Approximately half of the gain in productivity resulted from the ability of the company to hire a more able workforce.

3. The change to piece rate resulted in both gains in productivity for the firm and benefits for the employees. Employees on average earned 10% higher due to the change.

4. Switching to a piece rate increases the variance in output. More ambitious workers have less incentive to differentiate themselves when hourly wages are paid than when piece-rate pay is used.

Even though these findings are specific to one firm, they provide useful insights into how piece rates can affect employees and firms.

In a different research paper titled “Pay Enough or Don’t Pay At All” by Gneezy and Rustichini, the researchers find that some employees react negatively to the piece rate offered if the wages are not substantial enough.

The researchers set out to figure out whether the default economic theory that incentives should induce performance is realistic in the complex world we live in. The researchers conducted an experiment in a lab where students were asked to answer a few IQ test questions and were told that they would be paid a piece rate related to the number of answers they got correct. They got a base pay for showing up for the test and then the subjects were divided into three groups that were randomly assigned a piece rate.

What the researchers found is that the test subjects perceived the piece rate as follows. The test subjects just offered the base pay and nothing more did the job more effectively than subjects that were offered a small piece rate plus base pay. This is because offering a small piece rate changes the perception of the contract as explained below.

If a zero piece rate is offered, subjects tend to perceive the ‘contract’ as follows: “The experimenter has offered me 60 cents to do a job. Now I know what that job is –answering questions—and it is my job to do it satisfactorily.” Putting this in a different way—subjects interpret this as a gift exchange contract.

If a positive piece rate is offered, subjects tend to perceive the contract more as follows: “The experimenter has offered me 60 cents to show up. I’ve done that. Now he is offering me 10 cents per question to answer questions.

The question of incentive pay is an important question labour economists have been trying to answer for years and we need to strive as a society in figuring out what the most effective way of motivating our employees is. In the above analysis, I briefly touched upon piece rate with some evidence from research, but there are a variety of incentive pay schemes the labour market can take advantage of.

Piece rates can be effectively put to use to induce productivity if used correctly. In the case of the first research paper, the nature of the work determined the success of the piece rate. In the second research case, a high piece rate was effective in inducing higher productivity. The piece rate, if implemented wisely, can be a very important determinant in a company’s labour output.

1. Gneezy, Uri, and Aldo Rustichini. “Pay Enough or Don’t Pay at All*.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 115, no. 3, 2000, pp. 791–810., doi:10.1162/003355300554917.
2. Lazear, Edward. “Performance Pay and Productivity.” 1996, doi:10.3386/w5672.


Are the costs of University worth it?

In this essay, I will present data from a research that Douglas. A. Webber finds to analyze whether college costs are worth the financial costs they implicate on the individual. In today’s competitive labour market, it is pivotal to know whether college costs are worth the effort. There are varying forms of education, and some occupations are better learned from on-the-job training.

Douglas A. Webber, in his paper, addresses through in an analytical approach whether it is a sound financial investment to go to college after high school. His approach takes the form of comparing the monetary costs associated with the 4 years of attending college with the monetary wage benefits that people who have attended college enjoy. He controls for settings such as major, student loan debt and ability in his analysis.


“The most recent graduating college cohort is burdened by an average of roughly $30,000 in student loan debt, while the national total has surpassed $1.2 trillion, a figure that some claim represents an economic bubble which could have substantial negative effects for future generations.”

Weber conducts this research due to the fact that college debt and people graduating college has been on the increase for a while now, with a number of students reporting a sense of non-fulfillment from their educations. This paper discards the opinions and conducts a quantitative analysis.


Weber makes use of 6 data sets in his analysis: NLSY79, NLSY97, 2014 ACS, CPS, 1993 NSCG and 2003 NSCG. He makes use of such varying data sets to control for different characteristics such as cognitive ability and age. This is important to make sure the analysis is done in a fair and accurate manner.


Weber formulates a methodology that aims to calculate the age at which the costs of a college education are surpassed by the benefits attained from attending college. The costs of a college degree include both implicit and explicit costs, implicit costs related to the forgone earnings from the time taken up when attending college. The model created caters for selection into college and specific majors based on cognitive and non-cognitive factors.
Weber uses regression models to calculate the age at which an individual would find a college education worthwhile.


Weber presents 6 tables in his results section, including summary statistics, simulated expected lifetime earnings, break even ages, and the discounted value of degrees. He presents a variation of some data at the 25th percentile of ability and for the discounted value of a degree, he presents a version that allows for major switching.

The most important of the tables that lead to the main conclusion is shown here.

The expected earnings include the possibility supported by statistics that college graduates are likely to not graduate in 6 years’ time. The college costs included in the analysis are $30,000 of debt at graduation at a 4.3% interest rate and $7000 per year not financed by debt.
Weber then discusses the time it takes for the expected value of a college degree to exceed that of a high school diploma. Results presented in the table below.

The notable results from the above table are that there is only one case where the expected value of a college degree will not surpass just a high school education when college expenses are high and the individual majors in Arts/Humanities. Most majors for different variations exceed their costs at some point during an individual’s life.

Conclusion and remarks:

Weber finds that attending college is a sound financial decision for most people and supports this claim by analyzing and controlling for rate of dropout, an ability of individuals, majors etc.

Weber admits that there needs to be added transparency to high school graduates about what exactly they are getting themselves into. High school graduates are at a young age when making the decision to go to college and finance this experience with debt; a lot of students might not fully understand the nature and payoffs of their decisions. Society plays a role in this too, in the way that society has created the notion that the best step forward after high school is college.

Another point to discuss for the Weber analysis is the lack of attention towards other implicit costs of college such as stress and mental health. Full credit is given to Weber for his thorough analysis and control of ability, and I assume the reason he did not include other implicit costs was the subjectivity of assigning a monetary value to a concept like stress, but I do believe it could have been incorporated somewhere into his model. An effort to estimate average yearly spending towards counseling by universities and distributing this to each individual is an example of a method that may have been used.

To wrap up, Weber takes the question of “Are college costs worth it?” and gives a thorough analysis in answering the question for the purposes of making it easier for high school students easier to choose or avoid college. My personal thoughts on reading the paper were quite ‘bittersweet’. It was insightful to see why most people choose to go to college, but there is a feeling of unease that I am reading this just as I am about to graduate college.


Webber, D. A. (2016). Are college costs worth it? How ability, major, and debt affect the returns to schooling. Economics of Education Review, 53, 296-310. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2016.04.007

This article was written by volunteer & co-op student Mohammadali Saleh.


The Gender Wage Gap Explained

Many famous individuals have used the quote “Women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes”, and although this fact is statistically true, there is a lot that is unexplained in it. The above fact only compares the two median wages of men and women and does not factor into account how the wage gap plays out in individuals with different education levels, different occupations or different ages. These factors are very important to take into account if we want to ever close the gender wage gap.

To explain much of the argument on the gender wage gap, I must first state that economists have modeled wages through the Mincer Wage Equation, which can be stated as:

The equation above can be interpreted as log wages is a function of the years of schooling, plus the amount of career experience, and career experience squared, and an error term and a constant term for other unaccounted for factors. In simpler words, employers reward employees for the amount of schooling and experience they hold.

Child-bearing responsibilities

June O’Neill wrote a paper in 2003 studying the gender wage gap in the US economy by looking at two population surveys. In his conclusion, he writes, “As I have shown in this paper, the unadjusted gender gap can be explained to a large extent by nondiscriminatory factors. Those factors are unlikely to change radically in the near future unless the roles of women and men in the home become more nearly identical.”

What June O’Neill meant to convey in her conclusive remarks is that much of the gender wage gap can be attributed to the fact that females are the only sex that is biologically able to produce offspring. It is not a discriminatory attribute that women have the ability to give birth, and this ability has continuously led to the difference in the amount men and women earn.

What usually tends to happen after college graduation in today’s labour market is after holding a stable job for a few years, when women are in their mid-twenties and thirties, they usually take some time off to give birth and nurture the child after birth. In a study conducted by Bertrand, Goldin and Katz to examine the gender wage gap in MBA graduates, they state that one of the principal reasons why there exists a big gender wage gap between men and women is that in the first fifteen years post-graduation, women take on more career interruptions and work shorter weeks because of household responsibilities. The study also finds that even though some women took modest breaks from work for parental leave, the labour market penalized these breaks greatly. The discontinuity in a professional career during this age is also the prime time to build one’s career.

Such discontinuity is penalized by a lower wage, and this is quite fair because the said individual took time off during a time where they could be obtaining prime experience in their careers. June O’Neill finds that 34% of women with children under the age of six were out of the work force between the ages of 25-44 compared to only 16% of women who were out of the workforce who did not have children. Making the choice to have a child is a quite strong indication of work discontinuity which will directly lead to a loss in experience gain and a lower wage.

Career choice

The science behind the labour market is centralized around human capital theory, where employees are rewarded with wages for their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and do so efficiently.

Again, it is no secret that some careers are better paid in today’s world than others. This is a harsh reality in some underpaid occupations, but in other cases, it is quite justifiable. Rewarding an occupation like a surgeon to perform life-saving operations is very fair in my opinion.

“The expectation of withdrawals from the labour force and the need to work fewer hours during the week are likely to influence the type of occupations that women train for and ultimately pursue” – O’Neill, 2003. This statement in his paper is given by examining the career choices that women have chosen and how they came to the decisions that they did through population surveys. Women tend to lean towards occupations where there is more leniency towards career discontinuity and careers where part-time worked is more readily available. A direct example of this is the nursing versus doctor industry, where most nurses are women. Nurses hold set shifts and know exact times when they will be working and so is more favourable to a mother who has to care for a child. As an emergency doctor that can be called in at any time during the day, your shifts can vary a lot and it would make life difficult to care for a child and be on-call at a hospital.


Much of the gender wage gap can be explained by the two factors that are outlined above. The fact that women take breaks during their working life to nurture children and build their households, and that women choose careers that are more flexible in the hours that employees are required to work, which is a result of the time off women need to take to have children.

Although this explains a lot of the gender wage gap, there is evidence to support that some of the wage gap is purely discriminatory. But there is some good news to accompany this, Pew Research Centre conducted a study that found that “The gender gap in pay has narrowed since 1980, particularly among younger workers…” and so there is some hope that someday we will be able to eliminate the gender wage gap completely.


Brown, A., & Patten, E. (2017, April 03). The narrowing, but persistent, gender gap in pay. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from

O’Neill, J. (2003). The Gender Gap in Wages. The American Economic Review, 93(2), 309-314. Retrieved August 7, 2017, from

Bertand, M., Goldin, C., & Katz, L. F. (2010). Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2, 228-255. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from

This article was written by volunteer Mohammadali Saleh.

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Journey to Diversity Workplaces.


Ethics, organisational culture and behaviours

I. Introduction

One of the big issues in ethics is the basic problem of how to create an ethical culture within

an organisation i.e. how culture shapes organisational behaviour. We have heard a lot about

how culture influences organisation by driving organisational behaviour. It is true that the

workforce is becoming more of a knowledge workforce and they are now not treated as being

“naturally lazy” or can only be motivated by money (suggested as Taylor theory – one of the

neoclassical management theories). Hence, excessive controls or rules might not be as

efficient as it used to be to curb employees’ behaviours. Culture then becomes a modern way

to manipulate organisational behaviours. It is obvious that, people might be reluctant to rules

because they have their own judgements. Moreover, the reverse psychology problem is so

common that when something becomes rule, people would try to figure out a way to get

away with it. Therefore, culture is then a perfect solution of diverting behaviour by the norm

without forcing anyone to obey it. This essay will analyse different approaches in the issue of

aligning ethics to culture so as to accelerate ethical behaviours.

II. The relationship between culture and ethics

Anand, Ashford and Joshi’s paper (2004) by analysing the most well-known corruption

scandals (Enron, Worldcom, etc.) has figured out their common features which are partly

created by rationalisation tactics and socialisation tactics. This means that rationalisation

allows people to justify their corruption and if this is collective used, new employees would

be affected accordingly and commit unethical acts (Appendix 1). Thus, culture considering as

the act of the norm cannot be ignored within an organisation as it drives ethical behaviours.

With the help of a euphemistic language, social cocoon and group attractiveness, the

rationalisation tactics and socialisation process become more intertwiningly facilitated, which

in turns leads to organisational corruption (Appendix 1). Ethical behaviour among employees

ensures that employees complete work with honesty and integrity. This is where the “magic”

happens after the tone of the top (particularly in ethics) has been passed down. The power

of the norm plays an important role in diverting behaviour because acting to what most of

other people do satisfies individual social needs. However, ethics can guide behaviours by the

code of ethics or policies and rules (which align the organisational goals). Having said that,

those rules should only establish a guidance or framework which help people make ethical

decisions. Furthermore, sometimes being ethical is actually self-harm. The clear example is

that most whistle-blowers after reporting wrongdoings because the feel it is ethical to do so,

are shamed against, got redundant, etc. all sort of bad consequences. Then, the norm power

is now actually more harmful and it acts as the “bad side of the blade”.

On the other hand, Anderson and Englebardt (2007) have explained this relationship by

various ways. They started by arguing that organisation involves a commitment of

relationship with a common identity of membership. Hence, the culture if formed by

communication and structures, which make culture greater than the definition of the norm.

Indeed, “Culture involves major systems of ideology and practice that constitute the

conditions of our daily affairs” (Anderson and Englebardt, 2007), which is more than just

shared values. This requires organisations to establish the right membership identity and

framework of action that is culturally embedded. Therefore, culture would relate to ethics in

terms of the “interrelationships between the true and the good – between the knowledge

that justifies and the values that qualify” (Anderson and Englebardt, 2007).

Militaru and Zanfir (2012) also shows the influence of organisational culture on ethical

principles internationally. In fact, organisational culture and ethical behaviour are

interdependent and this provides firms a competitive advantage in the long term. Hence,

once the culture is embedded, it is difficult to implement as it represents collective perception

of all individuals to the business values, morals and beliefs (Militaru and Zanfir, 2012). Thus,

“the economical performances of every company are influenced, sooner or later, by the

manner of applying business ethics” (Militaru and Zanfir, 2012).

Some researches have studied this relationship empirically. Valentine and Barnett (2003)

concluded that ethics code awareness and organisational commitment (as components of

organisational culture) are driven by perception; an ethics code awareness existing within a

company suggests higher ethical values and higher level of organisational commitment. Bejou,

Ennew and Palmer (1998) reveal a more particular relationship in the financial services sector

that customer perceive their satisfaction on many factors and ethics is one of them. According

to the authors, ethics directly affects satisfaction via the relationship quality but it also

influences satisfaction indirectly via trust factor along with customer orientation, expertise

and sale orientation. Obviously, ethics contributing to satisfactory customer relationships

assists enhancing organisational performance. Another similar study assessing employee

satisfaction (Koh and Boo, 2004), “indicates significant and positive links between ethical

culture constructs (i.e. top management support for ethical behaviour and the association

between ethical behaviour and career success within the organisation) and job satisfaction”.

Therefore, management is suggested to encourage organisational ethics to manipulate

organisational outcomes.

III. The problems of creating an ethical culture

Defining ethical behaviour

According to Business Dictionary, having ethical behaviour means “acting in ways consistent

with what society and individuals typically think are good values”. If we are considering the

culture environment in an individual society, following the norm does not necessarily mean

the act is ethical. Moreover, it also depends on individual perceptions as well. One person’s

ethical values are not the same as others. In addition, the ethical values of the norm changes

through time. For examples, Hilary Clinton used to be an anti-LGBT leader but when she ran

for the president, she actually changed and supported it just to allegedly adapt to the norm.

Therefore, it’s important to set the right culture to reflect what is truly ethical internally and

externally to the wider society. Since “the ethical philosophy an organisation uses to conduct

business can affect the reputation, productivity and bottom line of the business” (Kelchener,

n.d.), organisations have to constantly tailor and implement their ethical frameworks to align

with the demand of the society’s ethical necessities.

As the businesses are now more socially oriented rather than economically responsible,

culture seems to become the key in driving collective mind-set of individuals. Hence, Militaru

and Zanfir (2012) has argued that culture has to be managed by considering different level of

collective “mental programming” to drive behaviour at individual, collective and universal

level. Moreover, morality is also included in the definition of organisational culture. Internally,

what morally drives the perception of an ethical culture could be the board, company’s values

and history; or external factors such as national culture, technical, juridical or economic

factors could have impacted culture accordingly (Militaru and Zanfir, 2012). Lozano (1998)

explained the critical relationship of ethics and corporate cultures that this link is exposed

from 2 perspectives: corporate culture is part of the factors institutionalising ethics and

corporate culture is the base of forming corporate ethics. This is said to cause many

confusions in creating a corporate culture, since companies have to approach things

differently depending on which side of those perspectives they perceive. For example,

organisations deciding on their processes have to deal with the core cultural identity values

(difficult to change) or with expressions of culture (easy to change) (Lozano, 1998). Only when

companies are able to understand this, the definition and the execution of a corporate culture

could be emerged within an organisation.

Therefore, the relationship between ethics and culture seems to be Intricate due to different

paradigms being perceived. “The concept needs to be defined broadly enough to include

basic elements for a comprehensive definition, and it must be defined distinctly enough to

facilitate the examination of the concept” (Smith and Hume, 2005), especially for

organisations when they try to create or implement their culture.

Trust is everything

The mechanism of ethics and culture is interrelated with some factors such as the economic

and politic system (Anderson and Englebardt, 2007). It is a fact that trust in the economy is

fierce because it involves resources allocation (i.e. values determining). The reason is that

trusts help justifying for action and acts as the invisible hands so that the market goes back

to equilibrium from time to time. Culture maybe embedded in the economy that it entails

obligation and, and obligation entails morality (Anderson and Englebardt, 2007); However,

the reality is more complicated as multiple market economies are having obligations which

compete or contradicting. More importantly, the social system is the one which creates trusts.

Recently due to many events, the people seem to loose trust from the social system from

many huge political events such as the Scotland referendum, the Brexit, Donald Trump got

elected, etc. As Sir Bischoff (2016), the chairman of the financial reporting council, has said

that something must be done to restore trust and building confidence in business and

corporate sector in order to enhance economic development. Indeed, without trust, the

ethical values become more unstable than ever. For example, supporting Trump does not

mean that one person is unethical. However, most of his sayings are unethical from being

very racist to unreasonable (asking Mexico paying for the Wall); it is hard not to associate

Trump supporters with supporting unethical behaviours. The attention brings to the point

that the whole America is being divided just because of the ethical values associated with


It is stated by Kimmel (2015) that trust is more superior than compliance and ethics because

compliance requires enforcement, whereas, ethics and trusts are voluntary. Also, ethics is a

subset of trusts and being ethical does not guarantee trustworthiness. Hence, many papers

have claimed that “trust is essential for understanding interpersonal and group behaviour,

managerial effectiveness, economic exchange and social or political stability” (Hosmer, 1995).

In particular, trust within an organisation is proved to influence the association between

ethical environment and employee engagement (Hough, Green and Plumlee, 2016). In other

words, employee’ perception of an organisation’s ethics influences their behaviours in

engaging more in their work because they are more likely trust the organisation. Trust is such

an important factor in driving ethical culture; however, it is a personal choice. Hence, there

exists a challenge of how to making people place trust in the organisation in terms of ethics.

Without trust, the rationalisation of norm towards ethical behaviour would be non-existent.

In addition, the code of ethics might not be powerful enough to drive ethical behaviour

because the employees do not trust the organisation. Newer generations facing threat of

redundancy from financial crisis or technology advancement do not trust the organisations as

much as the previous generation did that they expected to stay with a company and work

there for the rest of their lives. Therefore, the degree of trust and loyalty to an organisation

has changed and it is a challenge for managers to figure out a way to gain trust so that it drives

ethical behaviours. As Brien (1998) has stated that “the culture is one that seeks to promote

trust in the profession and trust worthiness as a virtue exemplified in each individual”; thus

culture of trust would lead to ethical behaviours “at first by the hand, then through the heart”.

Culture Matters More than Codes

Militaru and Zanfir (2012) stated that “culture of ethical rules to meet up society’s expectation

but it does not provide instant benefits to firms”. It is true that corporate culture is proven to

gives companies with better competitive advantages and, eventually, superior profitability.

Nonetheless, those are long term so, with the short-termism concern of the management to

manage expectation, the culture might be neglected. Besides, in the long term, all companies

will be having what they called “corporate culture”, which does not make having a culture

unique as a competitive advantage anymore. Hence, this threatens the recognition of the

invisible benefits bringing by culture, or ethical culture in particular. Lozano (1998) referred

to this issue by a simple question “Do organizations have a culture or are they a culture?”.

Obviously, thinking organisation itself as a culture is better helping firms focus more on the

culture side of it without imposing culture as the sake of having it.

The pressure of having an ethical culture might be there but organisations focus too little on

how to manage it. Obviously, promoting an ethical culture just for the sake of having it

without enforcement will not work and it does not contribute anything to the organisation at

all. It would be a continuous process of understanding, improving, sustaining the ethical

behaviours. Specifically, implementation has to reflect what is perceived as general principles

and values of an organisation. The code of ethics or policies could be useful tool in shaping

culture as they established a baseline of what should be done and what should not. To

continuously improve and sustain this, it is essential to notice the effects of business

environment to ethics up to standards. Organisation also need to educate people and rewards

people to encourage ethical behaviours so that they can benefit the most from an ethical


Statistics from LRN (Marketwired, 2017) reported that management is trying to foster ethics

and compliance but it is just for the purpose of ticking the checklists. Specifically, 90% of chief

ethics & compliance officers agreed that their middle managers are able to communicate the

code and 70% ethics officers holds leaders accountable for their ethical behaviour.

Nevertheless, not many managers are aware of their responsibility of implementing or

actively supporting the code. Evidently, “too many companies don’t do anything with the

documents; they simply paste them on the wall to impress employees, customers, suppliers,

and the public” (Donaldson, 1996).

Enron is one of the great example in illustrating that “business ethics is a question of

organizational “deep” culture rather than of cultural artifacts like ethics codes, ethics officers

and the like” (Sims and Brinkmann, 2003). From a company with the status of being economic

and ethical, Enron’s collapse emphasises the intrinsic value between words and deeds. All of

those established code and procedures did not shed a line on the true culture of the company

where it is so competitive that employees were pushed to stretch the rules further and

further until the limits of ethical conduct are easily overlooked in the pursuit of the next big

success” (Sims and Brinkmann, 2003). The competitive culture creates pressures on earning

expectation over the boundary of what is ethically acceptable, while their ethical policies

were left in negligence.

Cultural conflicts

Culture does not stop at individual or group level; it could be extended to a larger paradigm

such as national level. It is obvious that, if culture means what people do things around here,

different countries may impose different ethical standards, values, conduct and culture. For

examples, many acquisitions made my Canadian banks in the US failed because of the ethical

culture of the banking industry in both countries. Canadian banks obey the “know your

customer rules” when accepting but US banks focus more on building customer base by their

network (asking a university friend to make a loan). Hence, it might be unethical in Canada to

bypass some of the “know your customer” criteria but it is how they do retail banking in the

US. Furthermore, the specific culture embedded in a country could be potentially affecting

business culture. As illustrated in Appendix 2 by Alas (2006), in a culture with undesired

practices, more undesired practices lead to higher need for ethical values and vice versa.

“People feel that they need some kind of regulation mechanism in an aggressive society, a

mechanism with strong interest groups and a strong hierarchy” (Alas, 2006). Reversely, a

culture full of desired practices where ethical values are well established, the need for ethics

is not as high. Thus, different ethical values across countries or subcultures creates cultural

conflicts, especially for multinational companies.

It is stated that organisational values would be more visible and effective if “values are

selected by leadership to make sure everyone understands what the organization stands for,

including ethical behaviour and social responsibility” (Ferrell and Ferrell, 2011). Another

example could be that the CFA institute established their professional code and ethical

standards as a principles based so that when they got into an ethical culture conflict situation,

the standards would guide them to solve the dilemma. For instance, if a CFA member lives in

a country with no security law and does business in a country with less strict law than the CFA

standards; he must adhere to the CFA standards (CFA institute, 2016). Davidson (1996) also

argued that many managers came working overseas then returned shortly after due to the

culture conflict of development and conflict of tradition. This is when the concept of the

“moral free space” emerges (good activity might be considered bad in other culture).

Therefore, it is suggested that “codes of conduct must be explicit to be useful, but they must

also leave room for a manager to use his or her judgment in situations requiring cultural

sensitivity” (Davidson, 1996).

IV. How to create an ethical culture?

“The leaders of a business may create an ethical culture by exhibiting the type of behaviour

they’d like to see in employees” (Kelchener, n.d.). The code of ethics seems to be a great tool

in curbing ethical behaviours. However, the tone at the top seems to be more important. A

research from Toor and Ofori (2009) reveal that ethical leadership plays a mediating role in

the relationship between employee outcomes and organizational culture. Specifically,

“ethical leadership is positively and significantly associated with transformational leadership,

transformational culture of organization, contingent reward dimension of transactional

leadership, leader effectiveness, employee willingness to put in extra effort, and employee

satisfaction with the leader” (Toor and Ofori, 2009). We can see that people from Trump’s

cabinet are the ones who have the same philosophy as him. Deregulation, for instance, could

ruin the corporate governance system to ensure market functions ethically and people have

spent years developing it. I am really curious to know what will happen when this tone of the

top is passed down to organisations, society and individuals. Some signs have been shown

from the fact that Uber is still accepted by people even though it has a bad reputation of a

very unethical of culture from the CEO (lack of respect for employees, arrogant, etc.) to

company image (“male-dominated, high octaine investment banking” – Leigh, 2017) and


It is suggested that managers should develop more “humane and future-oriented practices”

depending on the characteristic of a specific entity and its ethical dimensions (Alas, 2006).

According to Alas (2006), over-regulated should be abandoned because the internal

mechanism would “encourage creative solutions, risk taking, and learning from mistakes”.

This inner mechanism is also said to lead by collectivism of the entity itself instead of group

collectivism. Moreover, “Managers should avoid aggressiveness in social relationships and

also avoid high levels of power distance” (Alas, 2006). Hence, given the importance of the

code, it should not be overpowered.

Sinclar (1993) discussed two main approaches managers to improve organisational ethics via

culture: the unitary culture approach and the subcultural approach. An organisation with a

unitary culture consider ethics bring in common shared values but it does not always lead to

morality because it excludes self-reflection. On the other side, subcultures within an

organisation nurture ethics from self-reflecting instead of imposing standards. By

understanding this, managers could better reflect cultures and get the best mix of each into

the organisation.

The role of the Board is also important in “establishing and delivering the right behaviours

and importantly the right incentives” (Bischoff, 2016). They can do this by applying the

mechanism illustrated in Appendix 3. It is obvious that one the culture of Ethics and

Compliance is embedded, companies have to continuously implement and assess it using the

factors specified in the chart with the principle performance of people, process and

technology. As the environment is changing dynamically, ethical values could be successfully

reflected in culture using this mechanism.

V. Conclusion

The individuals’ moral structure is so complex than what any organization includes as their

culture. “By a careful examination of a culture that flourishes under the concept of organizing,

a moral organisation is continuously making decisions based on ethical considerations, mixed

with political systems, and social enactments” (Anderson and Englebardt, 2007). Poor culture

would lead to a widespread of bad behaviour, which in turns will taint the organisation

ethically. “For that we require a concerted effort to improve the integrity of business and its

connectivity with society” (Bischoff, 2016). As mentioned above, the Code should be tailored

to the best suitable practice in each organisation. As the value ethics brings into the

organisation is intangible and long term, it is necessary to measure it with the right proxy so

that it is well transferred and interpreted within the organisation. Moreover, Bischoff (2016)

has stated that “we need to promote a culture in our organisations that resonates with

employees and other stakeholders important to us, as much as with the top management”.

Hence, companies that are on the way of designing an ethical culture should analyse what

values are best perceived by their employees and clients in terms of cultures. For the ones

with the culture already emplaced, they should continuously enforce, assess and improve it.


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organisational trust on employee engagement. Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory

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1. Rationalisation and socialisation of the norms

(Anand, Ashford and Joshi, 2004)

2. Ethics in countries with different culture dimensions

(Alas, 2006)

3. Ethical framework


Safety in Global Workplace


Advierta este papel entrará en llamas en diez segundos ! If you can read Spanish you might have already dropped this paper. However, if you cannot, let me translate the first line for you. It reads…”Caution, this paper will burst into flames in ten seconds!” Imagine yourself as a foreigner working in a country without being able to speak or read the language. Many foreign workers are too embarrassed or afraid of termination to admit that they do not understand instructions or safety procedures. A recent Census Bureau report indicates the number of United States residents for whom English is a foreign language is nearly 32 million 1. Mexican immigrants make up the largest minority group in our country today and many of these individuals have poor English language skills or none at all. They come to this country for an opportunity to work and make a better life. In order for these employees and their fellow workers to be protected properly, a way must be found to communicate safety information to them. We must familiarize ourselves with the way in which people communicate and learn and adapt our techniques to get the message across most efficiently.

A 16 year old Mexican immigrant working for a construction subcontractor from Texas who had been contracted by a framing contractor in Oklahoma, who in turn was working for a general construction contractor in Alabama, fell to his death from a roof at the construction site in Alabama. The Texas based contractor had a safety plan but it was written only in English. The general contractor in Alabama had a safety plan for its employees but it did not make any provision for subcontractors. Evidence indicated that the crew understood little or no English. Evidence gathered during OSHA interviews of the crewmembers, indicated that the crew had no knowledge of the safety plan 2. There were many mistakes made in this scenario and we must be mindful of this type of situation due to the changing composition of the modern workplace. As managers, we will face employees with various cultural and language backgrounds and these employees must be a vital and productive part of the overall scheme. The general contractor in this case should have incorporated any subcontracted employees in its safety plan. In so doing, these contingencies are provided for before they occur and may limit the company’s liability. With the rampant litigation in our country it is very important to cover all the bases where safety is concerned. The safety plan should include all employees and their unique language or culture situation. The subcontractor made the crucial mistake of hiring an underage individual. The further error occurred in not making arrangements for a non English speaking person to be made aware of all proper safety procedures.


The watchword of the new century is without a doubt “Globalization”. Globalization has been defined as the evolution of economies and technologies across national borders. However, the term encompasses more phenomena than merely an exchange of currency and technology. Globalization has also created a migration of beliefs, cultures, languages and philosophies between the nations and peoples of the world. With the explosion of technological innovation, people around the world can communicate ideas, beliefs and social commentary in mere seconds and goods and services can be exchanged in hours or days. People from all areas of a country, or from around the world can travel to distant locations in search of freedom, adventure or financial betterment. Therefore we can conclude that globalization is a way to express the coming together of many nations and cultures, forming a new world environment of many varied and unique peoples living and working side by side. Even within our own borders there exists a multicultural and often multilingual work force. We find ourselves living and working next to people who may speak a different language than ours, have different beliefs and values than ours and reflect a different culture from our own. It is very important to realize that our safety and theirs depends on mutual respect and an ability to communicate with one another.

Global is a new term in the workplace as well. Businesses employ people from different cultures and backgrounds. We work with those who speak a different language, whether in our own company or the companies that we do business with. The bottom line is still the same, we all want to do our jobs efficiently and make a profit. The aviation industry outsources much of its maintenance work today. The industry figure for outsourced maintenance was recently reported at $2.5 billion. Ted Ozdemer, vice president of technical and engineering for Morten, Beyer and Agnew, says that within ten years as much as 80% of airline maintenance work will be outsourced 5. Safety is paramount in the aviation industry and these maintenance operations are under intense scrutiny. Studies are currently under way to uncover unsafe practices and procedures at the sites that perform this outsourced work. The number of incorrect parts, poor safety procedures and out of date information has been alarming. Communication is highlighted as the core reason for the deficiencies. It is evident that language barriers are a prime reason for putting workers and consumers at risk and new efforts must be made to tear down the barriers and establish clear lines of communication.


Outsourcing has added new dimensions for management as well. Outsourcing refers to the delegation of internal production tasks to an external entity 3. Contracting out certain aspects of the companies operation to outside sources can be profitable and time-saving, but it brings new challenges in the safety field. “Offshoring”, which is simply outsourcing to companies outside the borders of your country, can sometimes expand these challenges further. We must be aware of our responsibilities for the safety of our employees, the safety of companies that we are affiliated with and also the ultimate safety of our consumers. It is important that we communicate and implement good safety procedures to those employees directly working for us and to those who are subcontracted labor. Ever changing international law and our favorable public image dictate that we begin to pay attention to these areas.

As in the earlier example of the 16 year old immigrant worker who died in Alabama, management must be aware not only of workers who perform their duties ‘in-house’, but also take into consideration the safety of workers who might perform duties at other locations under contract 2. Workers who are employed by other firms that business is outsourced to might also fall under our care, if not legally, then at the very least morally. Legal responsibility and the public image of our company should be foremost in our minds in regards to safety procedures. When the decision is being made whether or not to outsource, these safety issues should be addressed.


The world’s largest 100 financial companies are expected to transfer about $356 billion of operations offshore in the next 5 years. Two million jobs will also make the journey. More than a million jobs will be relocated along the Indian Ocean rim in the next five years. The reason for the shift to overseas locations and employees is of course, profit. The aforementioned 100 financial giants expect to see a savings of $1.4 billion each by the year 2008. Surveys have estimated that the cost savings of shifting operations overseas is approximately 39 percent 4. Salaries are lower, operating costs are lower, government restrictions are far more lenient and of course safety and environmental standards are considerably lower than in the United States.

The employees in these offshore locations should have the same right to safe working conditions as we expect for ourselves. Whether employed by our firm or contracted to perform a service, we may be legally linked to these employees and therefore liable for possible litigation. Opening the borders of business around the world comes with a responsibility to learn how to communicate effectively. If you have ever dealt with a companies call center to resolve a problem or ask about a product, you have most likely encountered some of the difficulties of offshore communications. Most call centers today are shifting to overseas location and chances are if you are speaking with one of the representatives, they are in India or the Philippines. Even those foreign workers, who seem to have a grasp on the technical side of the English language, may have problems with the double meanings and nuances of some words.


For the safety manager the existence of a diverse workforce with varying cultures and different languages, presents a unique problem. How do you effectively convey the proper safety information to all employees in a way that is real and understandable to them? Safety is education and education is, at its core, communication. We communicate safety information through training sessions, posters and signs, and literature. To be sure the message gets across effectively to everyone we must first understand the communication process. We have a need to educate our employees concerning the “safety culture” of our organization and to have them understand and practice what they learn.

In order for communication to exist there must always be a sender, a medium and a receiver. We as management are the sender. The message, of course, is safety. The medium is the literature, signs or symbols, or the spoken word in training sessions. The receivers are the employees who make up our workplace. If the medium is ineffective or if the receiver fails to comprehend the message then there is no communication. The job of the safety manager is to ensure that the message is presented to the employees in a form that they are sure to comprehend. Even among a group of individuals who speak the same language and are basically from the same cultural background, there often exist many different learning styles. This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways. The learning styles theory implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is geared toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are “smart.” For instance, some people learn visually and would be influenced strongly by signs and symbols. Other individuals may be tactile learners, meaning that they learn by use of their hands. This individual would most likely be impacted strongly by physically repeating a certain process time after time, or by handling the tools or instruments in question. An individual might retain the knowledge more effectively by simply reading a safety manual or pamphlet. So even with people of a like group, effectively communicating the required information can prove somewhat complicated.

If a workforce consists of multi- or bilingual individuals, or possibly Non English Speaking (NES) people, the task of communication becomes even more difficult. However, most safety-training programs are geared toward English speaking people. The cost of translating documents, signs and posters to other languages is slight compared to the potential costs of accidents due to poor communication. Lost productivity, workers compensation, equipment repair, cleanup and damages awarded from lawsuits are some of these costs that might be negated by just a little effort to communicate safety information in a clear and comprehensible manner to all employees.


The culture that one identifies with is an important influencing factor when it comes to learning and practicing safety procedures. For instance, countries such as the United States, Canada and Great Britain have an individualistic culture where people view circumstances as to how they will affect the individual. Members of this type of culture are considered “doers”, in that they are trying to achieve certain objectives in life, “keeping up with the Jones’s” so to speak. Internal pressures such as guilt or pleasure motivate people in this type of culture. If you are a member of mainstream American culture you would probably respond more readily to statements such as “Follow these safety procedures or you could lose your job” or “Following these safety procedures could mean a raise in salary.” Mexico, on the other hand, has a collectivist culture that is group oriented. An individual in this type of culture is more concerned with the outcome as it pertains to the whole of society rather than the individual. Members of these cultures are considered “beers”, meaning that they experience life, are tradition oriented and focused on the group as a whole 6. External pressures and control are the motivating factors that guide members of this culture. If you were a member of Mexican culture you would probably respond to such statements as, “Follow these safety procedures because management wants you to” or “Follow these safety procedures because it will benefit your fellow employee.”

It is important to establish a safety culture for our employees to work in. The term safety culture is equivalent to what we think of when the word culture is used to identify a group of people. It is a set of beliefs, traditions and practices that a group of people hold common to themselves and that binds them together as a unique entity. Therefore a safety culture is a way of behaving, thinking and acting that permeates every individual in the group and perpetuates its self simply by existing. To create this culture the keyword has to be ownership. Employees must take ownership of these ideas and practices in order for the culture to flourish and produce the desired results for management. The culture will communicate the desired safety procedures to its members as part of the group behavior. By establishing safety teams consisting of member of the group, the members can experience a sense of ownership by being a part of the creation and implementation of the safety procedures. Those members of the workforce who come from a traditionally collectivist culture can be of great benefit in establishing this environment.

Techniques for Communicating Safety

If any program or endeavor in the workplace is to succeed, there must be a commitment from upper management. In a global workplace attention needs to be paid to the various cultures, languages and differences in the workforce. Communicating the necessary safety information in a comprehensible format can be justified from a cost standpoint with a little research and work. When management is made aware of the potential costs of not properly communicating with the employees, the cost of translation and various education materials will most probably be viewed as a sound investment. As mentioned earlier, the well being and positive attitude of the employees will boost productivity, limit downtime and turnover, and make for an efficient, more pleasant working environment. Ownership is a key element in fostering a successful program. If an employee feels as if heshe has a vested interest in the outcome of the process, then they are more likely to consider it important that they learn and practice the applications that are being presented to them 7.

As a safety manager you should develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive written safety program. In order to make the program as effective as possible for all employees of every language background and culture, a good manager should…

– develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program written in all the languages that apply to your particular employees.

– provide comprehensive safety training to employees to include, but not be limited to, safe work practices, hazard awareness, identification, and avoidance.

– ensure that workers who are part of a multilingual workforce comprehend instructions in safe work procedures for the tasks to which they are assigned.

– ensure that international warning signs and symbols are placed in the appropriate locations and are readily visible.

– ensure compliance with child labor laws, which prohibit youth less than 18 years of age from conducting work recognized to be especially hazardous.
– Additionally, general contractors should ensure through contract language that all subcontractors on site have appropriate safety programs in all appropriate languages.
Following are some further recommendations to make safety training more effective.
– The use of visual aids
– Participatory training, involving employees
– Playing games
– Turn testing situations into learning sessions
– Use a translator when necessary
– Offer hands-on training
– Show workers empathy from management
– Always positive reinforcement
– Context of training, why the information is necessary
– Creating ownership in the safety culture


Take into account the diversity of your workforce when considering the safety environment. Form safety committees to establish a sense of ownership among the employees. By incorporating members of the various cultures contained in the workforce, you can better ensure that the message will be communicated to all members of the group. Employees who identify with a similar culture or language skill will obviously have a greater chance of successfully communicating information to one another than with someone of a different culture or language. A fellow employee might be able to reach a worker and bring about a better understanding of the safety environment in ways that you never though of. Try to overcome the barriers of language and culture by using applicable languages in pamphlets, signs and posters whenever possible. Do not be hesitant to use translators in training sessions and to translate written communication to the appropriate language. You may also want to establish classes to help the non English speaking employees with their English skills. This may help them better understand company rules and the safety procedures you wish to impart to them. You may be able to develop a happier, more productive employee and possibly a more valued member of the community. When training employees, especially non English speaking employees, a good idea is to always have them repeat to you what they understood you to say or repeat steps that they have observed. This can prove very helpful in determining if the desired point is getting across. Have your safety committees do interviews and run spot inspections to help determine if their fellow employees really understand the goals that we are aiming for. Feedback is an extremely important part of any system. You will want to receive feedback from as many sources as possible to ensure that all members of the organization are moving in the same direction with the same purpose.
Community members of diverse cultures can be invited to hold seminars or lectures. Certain employees may identify with these members of the community who are like themselves and thus be more responsive to their message. This not only enhances employee contributions to the company by making individuals feel a valued member of the group, but may also have a positive impact on the image of the company in the community at large. I have worked at several organizations alongside employees of various backgrounds. Some of them had little or no English skills and I have experienced first hand the problems that they encounter. Even though it may sound like a cliché, people are truly the same everywhere. We all have the same basic needs, desires and fears, it is only in how we communicate these aspects of who we are to the world that make us different. The effort to establish communication between different peoples is really minimal if the desire and determination is there.
The last four years of my life have been filled with gaining knowledge in the field of education. The main purpose of this paper has been to enlighten the reader concerning the education of employees with various backgrounds and language skills. As I have learned in many classes, there is no one right way to proceed when it comes to educating people and all avenues should be explored in order to do the job properly. Establishing communication is the key and must be the first order of business in relaying information to another person. We should learn how to communicate effectively with those who are around us on a daily basis. In so doing we will find that not only can we better understand the person who is culturally different from ourselves, but also we may find we can communicate with members of our own culture on a much higher and more satisfying level.

Works Cited

1. Pouliot, Janine S. (2002) Selling Employees on Workplace Safety. California Job Journal Retrieved from
2. FaceWeb. (2003) A 16-year-old Died After Falling 27 Feet at a Residential Construction Site-Alabama. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Retrieved from
3. Clifton, D. (2004) Outsourcing Documentation Development – Assessing the Offshore
Option. Integrity Group.
4. Offshore Outsourcing. (2004) Retrieved from
5. Boksanske, F. (2003) The Third Annual Aircraft
Outsourcing Conference for the America’s.
6. Ghosh, R. (2004) Globalization in the North American region: Toward Renegotiation of
Cultural Space. McGill Journal of Education39(1). Retrieved from
7. WorkCover Authority of New South Wales. National Occupational Health and Safety
Commission, Australian Government.

We got this essay from: (2016) Safety in Global Workplace. Retrieved from


Sexual Harassment Interventions

Sexual harassment affects people of all ages and races and of both sexes. Although it has been outlawed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibited under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, many companies and schools have yet to develop adequate policies and procedures for addressing sexual harassment. Evidence of this is apparent in the increased number of grievances filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): from 10,532 filings in 1993 to 15,889 in 1997 (Ganzel 1998). The Supreme Court rulings in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth are an attempt to halt these incidents by requiring harassed employees to work within their companies to resolve grievances before turning to the EEOC. They place responsibility on the employer to set guidelines for preventing sexual harassment and on the employee to follow them (Barrier 1998).

This Digest examines the implications of federal laws covering sexual harassment, the characteristics of company policies and grievance procedures to prevent and report sexual harassment, and program strategies for preventing sexual harassment in schools and workplaces.

What Institutions Can Do

The Supreme Court’s recent rulings are motivating employers to take actions that reflect their compliance with federal laws as protection against sexual harassment litigation. Emerging from the literature on sexual harassment prevention are three key steps that employers can take to counter sexual harassment (Kimble-Ellis 1998; “Protecting Employees” 1998):

1. Develop a strong company policy that specifies in writing outlawed behaviors and penalties for their demonstration

2. Establish grievance procedures for reporting, processing, and resolving complaints

3. Provide sexual harassment training for supervisors, managers, and workers that explains what sexual harassment means and how it can be recognized, confronted, and averted.

Strong Company Policy

Although a number of large companies have already established policies governing sexual harassment, effective compliance with the Supreme Court’s rulings on sexual harassment requires that all companies, as well as schools that receive federal funds, establish sexual harassment policies that they put in writing, disseminate, and enforce (Barrier 1998). A company policy addressing sexual harassment must clearly specify (1) the behaviors that constitute harassment and the company’s intolerance of such behaviors; (2) channels employees must follow to report sexual harassment complaints to their supervisors or designated company representative; (3) strategies the company will follow in investigating and resolving a complaint, including confidentiality practices; (4) warnings that violation of the policy will result in punishments that could include dismissal; and (5) assurance that retaliation will not be allowed (Ganzel 1998).

Good policy statements reflect collaboration among executives, supervisors, and employees and among administrators, teachers, and students. They respond to the organizational climate, which includes family and community as well as school influences. Because “sexual harassment is a manifestation of deeply held beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and cultural norms . . , it is predicated on sociocultural views and sex-role stereotypes” (Brandenburg 1997, p. 39). It reflects the abuse of power, a gender-power differential, and sometimes power-related retaliation. Some authors add sexual orientation power struggles to that list (ibid.).

In an address to educators at a conference organized by the Safe School Coalition, Marjorie Fink, a national sexual harassment prevention trainer, identified climate as a major component to guide prevention efforts (“Trainer: Stop Bullying” 1999). Every school, like every business, has its unique climate. In some organizations, verbal teasing, dirty jokes, and sexual pictures may be the dominant behavior that reflects sexual harassment; in others, improper touching, stalking, or shoving may be the misbehavior (ibid.). When all members of a work organization or school become involved in establishing policy, these contextual issues can be more effectively addressed and behaviors targeted.

Grievance Procedures

Although companies are required by law to handle grievances internally before seeking outside litigation, schools are also finding internal grievances procedures to be more effective in handling sexual harassment complaints. “Internal grievance procedures may save time, minimize emotional and financial expense, and be more sensitive to all persons” (Brandenburg 1997, p. 53).

Effective grievance procedures should clearly define the steps for submitting complaints, both informally and formally. Procedures for informal complaints should detail how the harassed person should go about seeking advice or counsel about a proper response to the offending behavior and describe the process of mediation, negotiation, and problem solving that may be used to resolve the issue. Procedures for formal complaints should require that the grievance be submitted in writing and present all facts related to the incident-who, what, where, when, the scope of the incident, and names of individuals involved. Typically, these reports must be submitted immediately after the incident, not weeks later. However, it is the responsibility of each company and school to specify the procedures it wants its employees or students to follow.

Grievance procedures should also identify the person or persons to whom grievances must be submitted. In the grievance officer model, all complaints are processed through a designated supervisor or officer; in the grievance board or committee model, grievances are submitted to a group (Brandenburg 1997). Although the grievance officer model offers the advantage of one entry point for complaint submission, it has the disadvantage of possibly requiring the harassed employee to deal with someone with whom he or she may be uncomfortable. The committee model, which places the problem in the hands of many, has the disadvantage of requiring greater communication and coordination between committee members and the harassed employee, making it more difficult to ensure confidentiality (ibid.).

Whatever process is adopted, the procedures the grievance officer/committee will follow must also be identified, e.g., receive the written complaint, identify the specific harassment, interview complainants, interview the accused, interview witnesses, determine if sexual harassment has occurred, present the findings to both parties along with the consequences of the action, and require employees to accept mandatory arbitration (“Protecting Employees” 1998).

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

No policy or set of grievance procedures will be effective unless all employees, from supervisors to line workers, administrators to custodial staff, are knowledgeable about the company’s policy and grievance procedures. To prevent vulnerability to sexual harassment allegations, an organization must provide access to training for all employees and document their participation in and completion of the training program. Employees need to be aware that, although the recent Supreme Court’s rulings held companies liable for harassment by supervisors even when management was unaware of the incidents, they made it clear that companies cannot be held liable for incidents in which an harassed employee did not follow the company’s reporting procedures or did not participate in company-sponsored sexual harassment prevention training (“Protecting Employees” 1998).

Sexual harassment training should explain the law that prohibits sexual harassment, identify the actions that may be categorized as sexual harassment, describe the company’s policy and its grievance procedures. However, the training should also heighten awareness of sexual harassment and present strategies for intervention.

Effective programs define sexual harassment and provide information on its incidence. Sexual harassment should be defined as “unwanted sexual attention that would be offensive to a reasonable person and that negatively affects the work or school environment” (Brandenburg 1997, p. 1). The key word in the definition is “unwanted.” Two categories of sexual harassment may be given to guide thinking during the training program: quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment harassment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs “when submission to or rejection of such (unwelcome sexual) conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual” (ibid., p. 2). Hostile environment harassment, on the other hand, occurs “when unwelcome sexual conduct causes the environment to become hostile, intimidating, or offensive, and unreasonably interferes with an employee’s or student’s work” (ibid., p. 3). Training programs should ensure that participants understand these definitions so that they can construct their own meanings of sexual harassment as they discuss the experiences of others.

Effective programs reflect good teaching and learning practices. They are descriptive, intensive, relevant, and positive (Berkowitz 1998):

They require the involvement of all members of a company or school and include family and community members who have an influence on the employees’ or students’ life.

They offer participatory, problem-based learning experiences that are interactive and actively engage the student in learning.

They are tailored to the “age, community culture, and socioeconomic status of the trainee and are contextualized to the individual’s peer group experiences” (ibid., p. 3).

They present information from a positive viewpoint, encouraging healthy behavior rather than forbidding poor behavior.

Effective programs teach intervention skills. Berkowitz (1998) identifies the following steps for converting bystander behavior to intervention (pp. 3-4):

Help learners to recognize sexual harassment incidents by providing them with appropriate and relevant definitions and examples of sexual harassment.

Help learners to interpret which behaviors signify harassment.

Encourage participants to share their experiences and their intolerance for certain behaviors as a means of illustrating their common ground.

Encourage participants to feel responsible for dealing with the problem.

Teach intervention skills and provide opportunities to practice them. Use role play scenarios to help participants find comfortable and appropriate ways to express their discomfort with another’s behavior.

Help participants be free of retaliation. Explore participants’ fears about retaliation and provide examples of how interventions will be supported.


Sexual harassment training programs for a business or school organization’s supervisors and employees can be internally or externally provided. Some companies are making training available online. Corpedia Training Technologies in Phoenix, or example, has an Internet-linked CD-ROM-based sexual harassment program to help employees and their supervisors recognize and take steps to prevent sexual harassment (“Sexual Harassment Training Online” 1999).

Although the sources of training may vary across organizations, each program should result in the achievement of designated learning outcomes. Case studies, scenarios, and ill-structured problems offer ways to connect knowledge about sexual harassment to its prevention in the workplace. The ultimate success of a company’s or school’s sexual harassment prevention training program will be reflected in the organization’s ability to eliminate the behavior and avoid sexual harassment lawsuits.


Barrier, M. (1998) Sexual Harassment. Nation’s Business 86(12), 14-19.

Berkowitz, A. (1998) How We Can Prevent Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault. Educator’s Guide to Controlling Sexual Harassment 6(1), 1-4.

Brandenburg, J. (1997) Confronting Sexual Harassment. New York: Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Ganzel, R. (1998) What Sexual-Harassment Training Really Prevents. Training 35(10), 86-94.

Kimble-Ellis, S. (1998) Safeguard against Sexual Harassment. Black Enterprise 29(5), 36.

Protecting Employees-and Your Business. (1998) Nation’s Business 86(12), 18-19.

Sexual Harassment Training Online. (1999) Best’s Review 99(9), 82.

Trainer: Stop Bullying and Teasing in K-6 to Prevent Sexual Harassment Now, Later. (1999) Educator’s Guide to Controlling Sexual Harassment 6(4), 1, 3.

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education under Contract No. ED-99-CO-0013. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Digests may be freely reproduced and are available at <>.

This paper came from: (2016) Sexual Harassment Interventions. Retrieved from


Workplace Discrimination

In an ideal world, people would be equal in rights, opportunities, and responsibilities, despite their race or gender. In the world we live in, however, we constantly face all kinds of neglect based on different attributes. All over the world, certain people treat others with prejudice because of particular features they possess. Unfortunately, this happens even in places which, by definition, should be free of all personal prejudices – specifically, in offices and other business surroundings. This phenomenon is called workplace discrimination; not every unfair behavior at work, however, can be assessed as discrimination. Workplace Discrimination

What exactly is workplace discrimination? It can be defined as a less favorable treatment towards an individual or a group of individuals at work, usually based on their nationality, skin color, sex, marital status, age, trade union activity, or other defining attributes (Australian Human Rights Commission). It can appear as a denial of certain rights, negligent treatment, intentional underestimating of a worker’s personality or work results and achievements, and so on. A person can be discriminated by their employers, or by their coworkers as well. Discrimination can result into severe psychological consequences for the victim, such as emotional stress and anxiety. Discrimination often causes an employee to leave the workplace, resign from a position, or in severe cases, to commit suicide or act violently against the discriminators.

Workplace discrimination can take more open and threatening forms, which are known as workplace harassment. It occurs when an employee is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated, based on such features as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical or mental disability, or on any other characteristic specified under legislation (AHRC). The two most radical forms of workplace harassment are the application of physical violence, or sexual harassment; women are especially exposed to this kind of discrimination. Workplace violence can take several forms: the direct exercise of physical force against a worker which causes or could cause injuries to the worker; an attempt to exercise such physical force; or a statement or behavior which a worker can reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force (Ontario Ministry of Labor). Sexual harassment can take the form of obscene jokes and allusions; intrusive body contacts; inappropriate gestures, or even direct actions aimed at sexual contact.

There are several ways to deal with workplace discrimination; such measures can be held both on the individual and on the collective level. Individuals who have experienced discrimination or harassment at work, are recommended to stand firm under verbal attacks, remain confident about their own abilities and judgments, and try not to stay alone with the abusive person (UnionSafe). At the same time, collective measures can be taken as well. They usually include calling for a meeting in a quiet confidential place in order to admit and discuss the problem; complaining to competent authorities; developing respective policies together with sanctions applied in case there is an infringement enacted by workers.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and not all people can enjoy equal opportunities and rights. This refers not only to our personal lives, but to our working environment as well; employees can be discriminated and abused because of certain features they possess, such as the color of skin, their ethnicity or gender, age, marital status, disabilities, and so on. To eliminate workplace discrimination, both individual and collective preventive measures should be made.


What Is Workplace Discrimination and Harassment? (2013) Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved from

Preventing Workplace Violence And Workplace Harassment. (2011) Ontario Ministry of Labor.(sic) Retrieved from

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace. (2013) UnionSafe. Retrieved from

We got this essay from:

Workplace Discrimination (2013) Academic Help Retrieved from


Sexual Harassment and Diversity in the Workplace

Workforce diversity is a new term in business and industry. It is a term that is still uncommon in various areas of the world. Diversity can be considered by taking two different perspectives. Firstly, there are those fundamental individual attributes that make everyone on the earth unique for example disability, personality among others. Secondly, there are those differences that exist based on group membership for example race, ethnicity, and cultural differences among others (Barak, 131). Diversity is being an associate of either an indiscernible or discernible groups that are believed to be mainstream in the society (Barak, 131).

Pluralism, on the other hand, is the distribution of supremacy among the many groups of the society (Carroll and Buchholtz, 8). In other words, pluralism means decentralization and diversification of authority from a group of few individuals from the top to the majority at the bottom of the societal hierarchy.

Workplace diversity brings about a variety of ethical issues in the places of work. For example, sexual harassment due to sexual orientation, racism and ethnicity, gender issues among others. Sexual harassment is characterized by annoying sexual advances and innuendos meant for others; who think that such actions violate their right or interfere with their work. People take part in sexual harassment because of their sexual desires, or when, they want some sexual favors; prompted by the prevailing situation. For example, employees may be harassed sexually, by their managers, so that they get promotion. Sexual harassment is one of the ethical issues that face managers and employees alike. If it is perceived in an organization, it can strain the relationship between the organization and the society (Carroll and Buchholtz, 4).

My personal view
Regarding sexual harassment, I personally think that people need to have a more mature way of dealing with issues of sexuality. We need to go about them more carefully and privately. Sexual advances can be made provided the two individuals consent on the same. These advances should not be pegged on certain expectations on favoritism in workplace but can be for the continuity of the genealogy or for the purposes of procreation.
Various cultural practices have seen various forms of sexual relationships that exist within the society. As a Christian, I think is wrong and unfair to engage in irresponsible sexual behaviors like sexual harassment. We should bear in mind that it is against Christian teaching and against the ten commandments of God. I strongly believe that matters of sexuality and sexual harassment are matters of personal commitment to one special individual and having personal principles to adhere to.

In many places of the world, sexual harassment has prompted the enactment of various legal frameworks to guard against the vice. Besides, various nation-states have various definitions of what constitute sexual harassment. At workplaces, various suggestions have been postulated to deal with sexual harassment. For example, telecommuting, career development, education and training on what is tantamount to sexual harassment (Barak, 258).
Telecommuting is a program where one can work from home and not necessarily be present at workplace. Besides, education and training of workers and sensitizing on their rights as well as the course of action that they need to take when faced with sexual harassment and lastly, there should be clear paths for career development and advancement for those vulnerable to sexual harassment.

In conclusion, there are several ethical issues that arise in business and industries. It calls for every individual to counter these perceived vices in society. Thus, matters of inclusion and personal intuition are very paramount to be alive in a world which is more ethical.

Works Cited

Barak, M. (2010) Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. Los Angeles: SAGE

Carroll, A & Buchholtz A. (2008) Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder
Mason: Cengage Learning

This essay is from: (2016) Sexual Harassment and Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved from