Read the following paper:

FLYNN, F. J., & WILTERMUTH, S. S. (2010). WHO’S WITH ME? FALSE CONSENSUS, BROKERAGE, AND ETHICAL DECISION MAKING IN ORGANIZATIONS. Academy Of Management Journal53(5), 1074-1089. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2010.54533202  (attached below)

Prepare a position paper considering the following:

  • Identify the parties involved, their rights, their responsibilities
  •  Identify the salient ethical issues of the case.
  • Identify the relevant factual issues, conceptual issues, social constraints, and any additional information necessary for an accurate understanding of the case
  • Formulate possible courses of action.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those actions, indicating which course of action you would choose, and why.
  • Provide your own opinions; do not regurgitate others’ opinions. 

“Use your facts/sources to convince me of your ethical point of view”.


In this essay we have tried to open the puzzles of moral culture and explore the routes with which they affect employees/workers. Its concentration on codes of morals perceives the expanding significance of the subject ‘Who’s with me? False Consensus, Brokerage, and Ethical Decision Making in Organizations’ and the profit of survey representative correspondence through a partner lens. The part of workers in, and their impact on, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) procedures is an ignored part of CSR research. In this article it is portrayed that the outside good environment is a key player in CSR, so that the principle’s center is on interior partners and the need to recognize CSR and ethical business practices (EBP).

I. Representatives versus Organizations: Morals and Ethics Perspectives

According to Flynn and Wiltermuth (2010), the false agreement’s inclination that may be received by administrators when actualizing formal morals systems, for example, codes of morals and implicit rules. I have recognized a requirement for new points of view on and models of corporate administration, particularly those that fuse representatives as a critical piece of inward and outside administration frameworks. In doing as such, they perceive workers as both beneficiaries and deliverers of administration frameworks (Trundle, 1989).

Representatives are beneficiaries in two regards. Initially, associations try to impact representative demeanor and conduct through the embrace and spread of codes of morals or sets of accepted rules. Second, representatives are those specifically influenced by an association’s kin administration arrangements and practices and subsequently assess the value of how they are dealt with by them. Thus, from the representative viewpoint, “morals” implies basically how the association oversees them and their kindred laborers on an everyday premise.

On the other hand, representatives additionally convey business morals. Communication with clients, suppliers and different partners makes them the society’s general face of the association, the epitome of its moral guidelines and a belittled yet critical correspondence channel with its partner voting public (Armstrong, 1998).

II. Business Morals and Legitimate Commitments – Foundations of Business Ethics

Business morals (additionally corporate or proficient morals) are a manifestation of connected morals that analyzes the standards and good convictions that guide administration choices. Moral issues incorporate the commitments an organization has to its workers, suppliers, clients and neighbors. Specifically, business morals is concerned with circumstances when those commitments are conflicting with monetary or key decisions, or are in clash with one another.

Legitimate commitments are not the same as moral ones; laws are implemented through the risk or inconvenience of discipline by an administration or through common case. All people and associations must take after the law; yet agreeing to moral convictions is intentional, not forced. Business morals concern the obligations and commitments an association has to its partners, including representatives, clients, suppliers, and groups (Hazelton, n.d.). It is the obligation of all managers to see that their association keeps up moral practices. These two (2), in my opinion, are strong foundation to which the standard ethical practices within an organization are established.

III. Significant Points of Flynn and Wiltermuth’s Article – A Discussion

Flynn and Wiltermuth specify three (3) goals which the article aims to accomplish. One: is “to introduce the concept of false consensus bias in the context of ethical judgments”; Two: is to explore whether a location of a person in an advice network has impact on false consensus bias, through which ethical decision making within organizations are examined as a social judgment; and Three: is to suggest, through studies, that contrary to popular belief, ethical standards can be impaired by being on the “fence”, specifically, a broker role that has a high level of “betweenness”. In this section of the paper, these three (3) goals, and my personal views on how effective the two (2) authors of the article have been in supporting these ideas, shall be discussed.

  1. False Consensus Bias and Ethical Judgments

Ethics are sometimes perceived different from their actual standards in most of organizations wherein the accepted rule (though not explicitly pertained to as the standard) is: “If everyone is doing the same, then it’s ethical, and it’s the standard”. This is the problem with false consensus bias, wherein a person, putting him/herself in a certain category by his/her unique personality, attitude, goal, habits, etc., tend to socially project a similar categorization to other people, with the thinking that navigation in the social environment will be easier and more successful by doing so (False Consensus Effect, n.d.)

The dilemma is, “How to determine the number of people within the group who share the same vies or values?” Failing to satisfy this question more often than not leads to offensive situations and contradictions with others.

  1. False Consensus Bias vs. Location in Advice Network

The second important goal of the academic article is to present the significant link between false consensus bias and location in advice network/social network, which builds on the fact that consensus views and biases, and their connection to the social norms, are deeply connected to an individual’s social relations, beliefs, and unique psychological, cognitive and emotional framework (Ross, 1998).

According to Flynn and Wiltermuth, a person with greater centrality, or someone who sees both sides from the fence, is less susceptible to the common misgivings of being on the defined position of left or right, specifically being biased, because they are continuously fueled with information from both sides, and therefore has the greatest opportunity to decide how to meet in the middle. The findings of the study conducted by Krackhardt in 1987, contradict this idea.

  1. The Threats of “Being in Between”

Originally, the understanding of experts is because ethical standards are mostly an implicit dictation of what society judged as correct, individuals therefore are naturally inclined to consider the personal views and attitudes of their peers or the organization they belong to, to effectively and successfully gauge how the kind of behaviours and the location where they must stand with respect to the norm, and determine as well the possible reactions they can expect from others. The findings of Flynn and Wiltermuth stated that generally, people have the natural difficulty in effectively estimating the portion in the organization that agrees or shares the same values with them. This ultimately leads to the same ending, which is false consensus bias.

Being in between doesn’t help either. In fact, acting as a broker can have more dangerous implications than expected, particularly in situations where determination of what should be done in a certain conflict, and making decisions that are in line with moral views, are a must. Brokers, according to Flynn and Wiltermuth, has the greater probability of falling into the false consensus bias trap, than anyone, due to wrong assumptions of ethical judgments vis a vis colleagues’ perceptions and personal views.

Conclusion: There is greater need to introduce actual standards of Ethics in the organizations in order to prepare employees about the actual standards of ethics. New comers or loners who prefer to work on individual basis might adopt seniors or group of people following different standards of ethics but it is not totally true. There is need to implement actual rules and laws of Ethics so that everyone willing to follow should not be misguided. Brokers, who are prone to overestimating their ability and therefore falling into the false consensus bias which they try so hard to avoid, must understand and apply the principle that “personal moral values are not often shared” (Flynn and Wiltermuth, 2010)

False consensus bias, or avoidance of its negative aftermaths, can be utilized in a positive way however. For instance, people can use it to build rapport within organizations, but extreme care and aim for respect must be practiced at all times. It’s important to always see others as they are and not what you wanted them to be.

There are several studies which found that a “positive relationship between ethical and socially responsible behavior and firm financial performance” exists, hence, ethical considerations in all decision-making within an organization is essential (Daft and Marcic, 2015).



Armstrong, M. (1998). Professional ethics review: Ethics. Redwood City, CA: California CPA Education Foundation.

Ross, W. (1998). The Nicomachean ethics. Oxford (Oxfordshire): Oxford University Press.

Trundle, R. (1989). “Is There Any Ethics In Business Ethics”. Journal of Business Ethics, 261-269.

Hazelton, R. (n.d.). Law and Norm in Ethics: A Comment on the Ethics of Logical Positivism. Ethics, 450-450.

S.n. (n.d.). “False Consensus Effect”. 19 Sep 2015

Daft, R. and D. Marcic. (2015). Understanding Management. 9th ed. Canada: Cengage Learning.