Just Following Orders: An Unreliable Reason

We have been taught via textbooks, seminars, plus casual conversations that leaders inform followers what to do and followers perform as they are told (i. e., leaders lead and followers follow). Some followers adhere to the tips that informs when leaders state jump the follower asks how high. Although many followers have been compensated for simply asking how high, some have been punished for following their leader’s orders. Attempting to justify actions by simply saying you were following an orders given by your leader is not going to always avert disciplinary actions.

Market leaders expect to have power over their fans and are accustomed to having their purchases carried out-sometimes without question. Nevertheless , some leaders fail to realize the importance of garnering follower trust in an effort to earn the respect necessary to make followers feel comfortable with unquestionably subsequent orders. Many leaders instill plus rely on fear to activate their own followers and many of those followers are actually punished for carrying out the purchases of their leaders out of fear. Probably the most noted leader-follower relationships where dread influences followers’ decisions to follow orders occur in the military. Lower positioned service members often blindly the actual orders of their superiors.

There have been various military trials where followers were punished for following the orders of their leaders. Widely known trials where many of the indicted followers were sentenced in order to death were named the Nuremberg Trials. The followers (defendants) in those trials attempted to justify their actions by saying they were subsequent orders. The defense became referred to as Nuremberg Defense. Although the defense lessened punishment for some of the defendants, the Nuremberg Defense was not enough to escape punishment.

An Army Lieutenant, who claimed he was just following purchases when he directed the Our Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, was charged with murdering more than 100 Vietnamese civilians. The Lieutenant, after being released from confinement, demonstrated remorse for his actions plus admitted he was foolish for following the orders of his commander. The Lieutenant’s commander was by no means held liable for any role within the massacre. The Lieutenant might not have been aware that soldiers were required to disobey unlawful commands.

Civilians have also been punished for following the unlawful orders of their superiors. Many fear that will disobeying an order might result in harm to their professional career. Although it is true that disobedience is a form associated with misconduct and may be viewed as the breach of contract that can justify dismissal, followers should be mindful of the ramifications of following orders that violate laws. An employee is not obliged to obey unreasonable or illegal orders. If the employer insists that this employee carry out an order which is unreasonable or unlawful, the employer’s action can be viewed as a breach of contract and the employee might be granted some legal remedy. Laws, like the Whistleblower Protection Act, offer employees protection from reprisal if they report misconduct that includes an abuse of energy or a violation of a law, principle, or regulation.

One civilian used the Whistleblower Protection Act to gain a remedy after being punished for disobeying an order. The civilian was removed from a leadership position and given a low performance evaluation score because he refused to obey an order he felt violated a law. In a recent ruling, a three judge panel at the Merit Systems Protection Board ordered the civilian’s leaders to return him in order to his prior leadership position, revise the civilian’s performance appraisal score to an appropriate level, and spend the civilian back pay.

Teachers at a public high school in Seattle, Washington refused to administer a standardised test that their leaders ordered them to give to their students. The teachers were informed that the results of the tests would be used to evaluate the competence of the teachers. The teachers argued that using check scores to measure a teacher’s effectiveness is unfair and refused to follow their leader’s order.
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The particular teachers’ actions show that there is strength in unity and that employees do not need to follow unethical orders.

Followers are expected to carry out the orders of leaders. Failure to follow orders can lead to disciplinary action-including dismissal. Followers should understand they do not have to follow unreasonable or even unlawful orders and have access to protections emplaced to assist employees who really feel they are being forced to follow unethical purchases. Followers who use those defenses to challenge unlawful orders help positive leadership changes that cause a more ethical, trustful, and respectful working environment where employees feel comfortable following the orders of their leaders.

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