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Scheduling people to work second and third shifts (evening and "graveyard") is a problem in almost every 24-hour company. Medical and ergonomic data indicate the body does not respond well to significant shifts in its natural circadian rhythm of sleep. There are also significant long-run health issues with frequent changes in work and sleep cycles.

Consider yourself the manager of a nonunion steel mill that must operate 24-hour days, and where the physical demands are such that 8-hour days are preferable to 10- or 12-hour days. Your empowered employees have decided that they want to work weekly rotating shifts. That is, they want a repeating work cycle of 1 week, 7 am to 3 pm, followed by a second week from 3 pm to 11 pm, and the third week from 11 pm to 7 am. You are sure this is not a good idea in terms of both productivity and the long-term health of the employees. If you do not accept their decision, you undermine the work empowerment program, generate a morale issue, and perhaps, more significantly, generate few more votes for a union.

  • What is the ethical position and what do you do?
  • How would you handle their request?
  • What measures could you put into place to ensure this was the best decision for the company and the employees?
  • Would these changes require management to make any changes other than the schedule?

Requirements: 12 pt Font, Times New Roman, APA Format

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