Several ethical issues are evident in the case study involving Miami Dolphins in 2013. Several ethical issues have been making headlines, especially those involving discrimination and fairness issues in the NFL. These ethical issues significantly affect organizational practices, employee relations, and company operations. In the case of the Miami Dolphins football club, offensive lineman Martin has experienced some patterns of harassment including vicious sexual taunts and racial slurs from fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito (Clark et al., 2016). Apart from unethical leadership, other ethical issues evident in the case include discrimination and toxic workplace culture.

Within workplace ethics, discrimination is a serious offense that can occur through several aspects such as cultural, racial, social, sexual, and political discrimination. Discrimination comes in different sizes and it can lead to significant impacts not only on the employees but also on the entire organization (Akella, 2020). In the case study, Martin was among the three Miami Dolphins employees who were subjected to racism and homophobia by Incognito, John Jerry, and Mike Pouncey. Martin became a subject of particular racial and homophobic taunts (Clark et al., 2016). According to federal law employee harassment by coworkers or managers based on the employee’s color or race is a type of bias violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In this case, Incognito engaged in discrimination by harassing Martin based on his race.

Another unethical issue evident in the case study is toxic workplace culture. Most organizations with unethical leadership often have toxic workplace cultures. Leaders who pressure employees or ignore misconducts not only encourage bullying but also disrespect employees. Miami Dolphins was a prove of toxic workplace culture through the incidents experienced by Martin (Clark et al., 2016). Martin was subjected to unprecedented harassment since they believed that he did not incite or solicit the conduct of his teammates and viewed the harassment as offensive and undesirable. Even though he did not confront Incognito concerning the bullying and abuse, Martin’s calls and texts to his mother show that he was undergoing emotional distress resulting from toxic workplace culture.

Another ethical issue is unethical leadership. This issue contributed to a troubled relationship between Incognito and Martin of Miami Dolphins leaving the team in turmoil and players sidelined. The case raised significant questions on whether the coach and management were negligent and allows issues between Incognito and Martin to fester (Clark et al., 2016). This shows a lack of ethical leadership since Incognito and Martin’s teammates did not intervene. The team management should have prevented the problems between the two linemen from escalating by taking critical measures. However, they ignored the issues that lead to significant problems not only for Miami Dolphins but also for Martin’s health.

The connection between Workplace Bullying and Performance

Workplace bullying is a prevailing problem that has significantly affected the performance of many organizations. The issue has existed in many organizations for many years. Most organizations rarely address the issue of bullying at their workplaces leading to significant impacts not only on the employees but also on the productivity levels of the companies (Akell, 2020). Bullying can lead to higher stress levels among the bullied employees leading to significant mental health problems such as depression. As a result of stress, work performance may be impacted. As a result of bullying from Incognito and fellow teammates, Martin developed mental health issues and even contemplated suicide (Clark et al., 2016). This significantly affected his performance at work. Sometimes, he would miss playoffs for the fear of mistreatment. Martin also almost gave up on his career since he felt unmotivated, not wanted on of no value to the team.

Besides affecting one employee, workplace bully can also impact the performance of the entire organization. Due to ongoing bullying incidents, organizations are likely to be faced with monetary losses. When employees quit because of workplace discrimination, an organization is likely to spend a lot of money hiring and training new employees (Akella, 2020). The bullied employees may also file lawsuits against a company leading to major financial losses. The companies may also have to pay legal aides to solve the issues of bullying which may need more money. Nonetheless, productivity is likely to reduce and cause financial loss. In the case of the Miami Dolphins, the actions of Incognito towards players led to lawsuits against the football club that caused major financial losses (Clark et al., 2016). This significantly affected the performance of the football club.

When employees feel like there is a lot of mistreatment and harassment in their workplace and that they are not treated fairly, they will start feeling resentful towards other employees. The negative attitude is likely to lead to lower performance which will eventually affect the overall performance (Akella, 2020). Not only does workplace bully affect the performance of employees it also impacts the reputation of the company and leaders. Workplace bullying also affects the job satisfaction of all employees, not just those who have been bullied against. For instance, since other team members saw the way Martin was bullied by Incognito and other linemen, their drive to perform their best of abilities was negatively affected leading to lower performance.

Employees who regularly observe workplace bullying are more likely to leave their workplaces leading to an increase in turnover levels. Voluntary turnover in an organization means that the organization is losing competent and skilled employees (Akella, 2020). If employees believe that there is no future for them in an organization due to continuous racial discrimination, they will become less invested in the jobs. Thus, workplace bullying not only reduces employees’ loyalty to a company but also their commitment to work. Since Incognito started working in NFL, he only managed to win only two championships (Clark et al., 2016). His behavior towards the players significantly affected his performance. His harassment towards Martin affected the morale of other players. Nonetheless, besides never playing in post-season playoff games, Incognito has never been on a team with a winning record.

Training Method

One of the most effective ways to train employees against workplace bullying is through technology-based learning. With technological development, computer-based learning has become widely used in many organizations (Sottilare et al., 2018). This training technique will be effective for all Miami Dolphins employees to enable learn about different practices that will help them avoid any form of harassment or mistreatment. This training technique will be beneficial since it will allow employees to work through the materials at their own pace while removing the need for a person facilitator. Nonetheless, this technique mimics the normal classroom teaching styles by providing employees voice overs with visuals supporting the content. In most cases, additional readings accompanied by videos may be used to help in the training process.

Several outcomes are expected from this training technique including reduction of workplace bullying, a better relationship between employees, and improved performance of the team. The computer-based training will help employees acquire significant knowledge concerning the effects of bullying in the workplace and different ways of avoiding bullying practices. Employees will become more aware and eradicate any idea of harassment. More importantly, they are likely to encourage each other concerning better practices to avoid bullying (Sottilare et al., 2018). Also, team members with extensive, knowledge on how to cultivate effective relationships are more likely to feel the need of becoming more involved in each other’s success. They are also likely to work together cohesively. The training will help them understand the importance of good relationships and teamwork. Nonetheless, it is expected that Miami Dolphins will achieve better performance after the training. Training against bullying will empower team members and enable them to understand the importance of good relations. As a result, they will work together towards better results.

Evaluation Method

To measure the short-term and longer-term effects of the computer-based training method, the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation model would be effective. The Kirkpatrick was created by Donald Kirkpatrick and is one of the best models for evaluating and analyzing the results of a training technique (DeSilets, 2018). While using the Kirkpatrick model, four levels will be used to assess the efficiency of the technology-based training method. The first level is a reaction that will incorporate evaluating the degree to which the Miami Dolphins employees find the technology-based training engaging, favorable and relevant. It will provide critical information on whether the training method used is effective and necessary for Miami Dolphins employees.

The second level involves learning. This model will evaluate the amount of learning that the Miami Dolphins employees have acquired and the intended skills and knowledge. This provides the idea of how much they have learned from the technology-based taring and the areas of focus that need to be revisited to help them understand the issues of bullying better. The third level in Kirkpatrick’s model is behavior (DeSilets, 2018). At this level, how much the employees can apply in context or practice is evaluated from what they have learned during the training. This is where they will evaluate whether the knowledge concerning workplace bullying has been transferred to the employees so that they can apply it in their work. The final level is the evaluation of the training results to see if the employees have achieved the outcomes of learning. In this case, the effectiveness of the training technique will be measured on achievement of better performance and a decrease in bullying practices.













Akella, D. (2020). Workplace Bullying and Ethical Issues. In Understanding Workplace Bullying (pp. 169-182). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Clark, R., Kimbell, J., Philpot, D. & Terry, N. (2016).  Hazing and bullying in the NFL. Journal of Business Cases and Applications (16), 1–19.

DeSilets, L. D. (2018). An update on Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation: part two. The journal of continuing education in nursing49(7), 292-293.

Sottilare, R. A., Burke, C. S., Salas, E., Sinatra, A. M., Johnston, J. H., & Gilbert, S. B. (2018). Designing adaptive instruction for teams: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 28(2), 225-264.

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