CMI accuses managers of thinking 'robotically'
Hywel Roberts, March 25, 2014
Research published today suggests managers are too concerned with following processes and not are using their judgement to make moral decisions.
The report, Managers and Their Moral DNA, by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and MoralDNA, found 74% of managers do not properly consider the impact of moral decisions on others at work.
This figure is 28% higher that the general population, suggesting managers at work are more inclined to comply "robotically" with the rules than people in non-work situations. The report surveyed 1,533 managers.
Co-author of the report Roger Steare, visiting professor in the practice of organizational ethics at Cass Business School, told HR magazine managers should be encouraging "constructive dissent" within their teams. This involves employees challenging managers' decisions without reprisals.
Steare said HR has a part to play here. "HR has to cultivate an environment where this behaviour is accepted and welcomed," he said. "If managers just follow the organisation's rules and don't make moral judgements for themselves this can lead to huge problems for business. The PPI mis-selling [scandal] is a good example of this."
CMI chief executive Ann Francke told HR more needs to be done when hiring managers to ensure they have the right values.
"One of the reasons there are so few good managers around is that the values of moral decision-making and care of employees isn't tested in the recruitment process," she said. "A lot of the tests are only on basic competencies. Add to this the fact managers are often not given training in this area, and it's not surprising there are problems."