Some may be unfamiliar with the term but not with the act itself. Fraternization is a romantic or an overly friendly social involvement that may occur among employees or employers who work within the same organization. Fraternization may lead to many problems within an organization and outside an organization. Some organizations have fraternization policies and others do not. Although some organizations obtain fraternization policies there is a possibility that fraternization has occurred within that organization. Fraternizing with employees may also lead to some very unpleasant circumstances and unexpected outcomes.
Employee fraternization may cause situations relative to unfavorable behaviors, such as claims of favoritism, tension, manipulation, and employee separateness. This could be damaging to individuals and to an organization. An organization should have a code of ethics but whether fraternization is included in a particular organization’s code of ethics remains within the preference of that organization.
A code of ethics is a set of principles of conduct within an organization that guide decision making and behavior”. The code of ethics provides employees with guidelines or a pathway towards making ethical choices (Henry, 2010). It also establishes accountability and responsibility within their working environment (Henry, 2010). Codes of Ethics are very important in that it ensures efficient and effective action by public employees or private employees, maximizes public trust, removes unlawful discrimination and encourages behavior that displays fairness, loyalty, compassion, accountability, and respect towards co-workers and their clients (ASPA’s Code of Ethics, 2006).
Remembering that ethical behavior provides a positive image for an organization and applying the appropriate behavior may save the company and employee’s time and cost. Meaning the time it takes the company to recover from a relationship gone bad within the organization, its effects on other employees, and the cost of lawsuits that could possibly result from complaints by employees because of the behavior.
Administrators or managers that have a enforce ethical behavior, tend to manage organizations that have a fewer number of lawsuits, and because of a managers strong sense of ethics they are able to implement efficient and effective productivity improvements, than those organizations managed by administrators with a lesser sense of ethics and who as a result, pursue innovation but disregard accountability and responsiveness (Henry, 2010). It is very important that a Code of Ethics be established and enforced in order to create a productive, respectful, and highly reputable organization.
Incorporating fraternization policy within an organization’s code of ethics I believe is entirely up to the organization, but one should weight the advantages and disadvantages during the decision making process.
American Society of Public Administration. (2006). ASPAS’ Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://asapnet.org/scriptcontnet/index_codeof ethics.com.
Henry, N. (2010). Public Administration and Public Affairs. New York, NY: Longman.