The situation poses a dilemma as to what constitute group andindividual privacy. The group comprises of members who work for thesame company but in different departments. This shows that theoperations of the group are not run as a specific department’sfunction. There is a dilemma as to whether the information discussedin the group is the property of the group or the property of thecompany (Moore, 2005). Ifthe information is the property of the group, revealing anyinformation to external parties would constitute infringement ofgroup’s right to confidentiality. However, if the informationdiscussed in the group is the property of the organization it wouldnot be considered unethical to reveal the information to theemployees of the same organization. It would be unethical if it isrevealed to a party that are outside the company (Hugman, 2013).
Ethically, privacy is a fundamental right of the party to be freefrom intrusion by parties that are not privy to the information.Therefore, every member of the group or the party has an ethicalresponsibility to safeguard the entrusted information (Nagy, 2011).When the group members obtain the information promising to keep itprivate, they assume an ethical responsibility of respecting othermembers and handling the information with the utmost integrity.Revealing the information of the group to other employees isunethical. It is also unethical to reveal the information about othergroup members without their consent. The responsibility of revealingthe information is discretion of the group. The group decides what toreveal, whom to reveal it and who is it to be revealed (Collins,2009). In many cases, the leader of the group reveals the informationon behalf of the group when it is decide that the information shouldbe revealed.
In handling the situation, I would first ask for the opinion of themembers on the step to take on a member who infringes theconfidentiality of the group. After getting the opinion, even of theerrant members, we would set rules that stipulate who should beconsidered privy to the information. We would also reveal who shouldtalk on behalf of the group. Every member should sign the rules andagree to observe the privacy in handling the information. To dealwith a member who is giving out the information, I would firstapproach him personally. I would notify the member of his duty tohandle the information with utmost privacy. I would also inform himthat his practice is unethical and infringes on both the group’sprivacy right and the individual members privacy. This has thepotential of jeopardising the functioning of the group and ruiningthe relationship not only between the group members, but also withother organization employees.
I would deal with the individual involved personally. This wouldensure that cordial relationship transpires within the group. Itwould also ensure that there is trust. Addressing the issue in agroup would ruin the trust between the members. Working as Part of agroup requires trust between members. Trust helps members to speakout their minds without fear that there will be leakage ofinformation to an unintended party (Boylan, 2014). I would alsoaddress the problem in the group without telling them that aparticular member has revealed the information. I would urge them toensure that the information about the group and group members istreated with utmost confidentiality.
Boylan, M. (2014).Business ethics. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley &Sons, Inc.
Collins, D. (2009). Essentials of business ethics creating anorganization of high integrity and superior performance. Hoboken,N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Hugman, R. (2013). AZof Professional Ethics: Essential Ideas for the Caring Professions.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Moore, A. (2005). Informationethics privacy, property, and power.Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Nagy, T. F. (2011). Essentialethics for psychologists: A primer for understanding and masteringcore issues. Washington,D. C.: American Psychological Association.