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Business/Office Ethics and Etiquette. Is there supposed to be employee and supervisor confidentiality?

Updated on February 20, 2009

Company Office Ethics Etiquette in practice

All companies, whether they are government, private, or non-profit start with a philosophy or statement about what the company stands for. For example the government philosophy is to serve the citizenry. General Electric 's philosophy is "better living." A cancer charity is there to "wipe out cancer." The real purpose of any organization, however, is to survive. Whatever occurs between opening and closing, whatever the rhetoric, however a CEO chooses to run the company, the main philosophy centers on the goal of being around tomorrow.

Every organization adheres to established rules that guide management practice in order to get the job down, cheaply and efficiently. Otherwise the guy down the street gets the business. Unless you are the government, then there is a rule for everything.

The theory is that codification of every move to get a job done the same way, in every shop, saves money and manpower. It's an idea that most business cannot afford. Management grows top heavy as each new rule adds to the potential hiring of another manager to implement the rules.

there are two organizations thriving in any business or enterprise, public or private. The first is the unofficial organization which runs on the company "grapevine." An alternate culture thrives in the back rooms and lunch rooms, and it is powerful. It is the foolish manager who does not keep an ear to the ground to pick up signals about the unofficial goings on in the company. All kinds of things get mediated, traded, and bought and sold underground, and not necessarily company property. Nevertheless, blue prints, copies of the company management plan, budgets, suppliers, profit and loss are subject to land in the lap of a competitor.It may be sabotage because someone didn't get a promotion or certain perks. It may be that the plans are sold for cold cash., Espionage has always been a concern in government, military, or business. Foreign governments will pay a premium for certain secrets. It's also a crime with severe penalties.

The official organization is the day- to-day function of the company, its protocol or etiquette, written rules, and management chain-of-command. there may be an official policy for firing an employee but often at the management level the one on the outs will get the cold shoulder or lose his office and be left out of the loop.  the hint is less than subtle and it won't take much of this humilation to get the manager to leave the company without a peep.

Many companies allow blatant gossip and back-stabbing to occur in the open, fearing that if they try to shut it down they won't be able to keep up with everything going on in the business. These are usually troubled companies that cannot loosen control. Workers and management resent the open back- stabbing, petty bickering, and the oppressive atmosphere that feels like a prison camp. Absences are high in these companies, through illness, accident, or malingering. Turnover is a continuing problem as workers quit and join competitors. Managers are frustrated as organizational chain of command is ignored, creating havoc amongst the team.

The unofficial organization provides valuable information to the organization and gives workers a place to sound off about petty gripes and management practices. Companies need to give employees a little breathing room. The truth is an unofficial organization runs in prison where every move is monitored. Short of drastic spying on employees, it's highly unlikely one does not exist in almost every organization.

Discontented employees may destroy the morale of a company. It is well for employers to work with managers to see that small matters do not escalate into more serious crisis' that can be deadly for the company.

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    • santhov profile image

      santhov 5 years ago

      Very Interesting

    • kipronor profile image

      kipronor 6 years ago from Nairobi

      Sure, confidentiality is the glue, trust is the most key in life relationships.

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