Ethics can be defined as an acceptable manner in which people behave, and it is influenced by how they view right and wrong (Carmichael, 1995). It is the human conduct in light of moral principle that governs human beings established by beliefs of good or bad. The code of ethics can be defined to us by other people, for example, in the work place or it can be created individually (Shaw, 2010).
Ethics are influenced by the values carried by an individual or an organization, because values are a set of beliefs that guide and encourage our attitude and how to act (Velasquez, 2006). The values guide the way an individual sets their personal code of conduct, which act as a guiding principle to that person.
Organizations today want to develop a code of ethic that represents the values of the organizations (Velasquez, 2006). The organization values set however could sometimes crash with the employees personal values, leading to conflict of interests. Ethical concepts in an organization need to be resolved today to align with employee’s moral issues in order to be relevant in the organization.
Personal values, mission, vision and personal code of ethics
Personal values that guide me include accomplishment of tasks as agreed upon, been accountable to responsibilities given to me and perceive it as my obligation. Allegiance to the company I work for and its shareholders and being able to appreciate significantly the quality work of others. I also uphold authenticity that emphasis on quality and genuine work, that is capable of yielding results to create trust amongst our clients (Cory, 2005). I also believe in commitment towards the things I do and active participation with others to join intellectual effort.
My main vision is to set principles that will see the company in a better position in the future as a growing and competitive company. Meanwhile, my mission is to manage firm resources to optimization using intellectual and idealistic strategies
My personal code of ethics that act as guiding principles starts with keeping high levels of professionalism (Cory, 2005). This means in my position as a manager when dealing with my immediate seniors and juniors I should keep a professional relationship and work alongside them in a professional manner. Secondly is the level of consistency in performance, at all time I should deliver quality and be consistent in analyzing how the other employees are working. I also wish to exercise democracy by respecting every individual’s opinion and coming up with fair decisions that do not discriminate anyone.
My code of ethics also provide for a culture that allows free communication, as long as respect of one another is observed (Shaw, 2010). The use of company resources ought to be used for its purpose to safe guard embezzlement and fraud. Lastly, the organization’s information is private and ought not to be disclosed to any third party for whatever reasons.
The organization’s values, vision, mission and code of ethics
The organization on the other hand has a number of workplace values that guide the employees and represent the beliefs and ideas of the organization (Velasquez, 2006). Some of these values include adaptability of both workers and the organization to the change of preferences and taste of the clients. Aspiration and assiduousness of the company that sees the organization carry out diligent and persistence of high performance (Cory, 2005). Charities that will see the organization carry out their social responsibility and also show acts of kindness to its workers. Credibility and dedication are employed to give quality service with selfless devotion of both energy and time. Other values include honesty, ingenuity and initiative shows the organization strict adherence to innovation, hard work and moral value and principles.
The organization culture or climate is backed on an off-policy model that means that there is decentralization in every department. The head of departments are at will to make empirical decisions that directly affect the organization’s position. Employees on the other hand adapt well to changes in the organization structures and the implementation process is eased, because a lot of training is offered. It however, does not much up well to a learning organization; this according to Cory (2005) means the organizations does not have structures that employ new knowledge and process. Organizational learning is meant to improve organization performance and should be carried out time to time; to not only to address change but also motivate the employees to be creative.
The organization one time, due to lack of organizational learning lost a contract that required the use of teleconferencing. The employees are only trained when the organization introduces new systems, and since teleconferencing had not been introduced; none of the workers had a clue on how to go about it. The trading company had even offered to provide the equipment, meaning the organization did not have to buy the equipment, but the employees lacked the technical knowledge.
The vision of the organization is to be a model company for future companies, and to stand out strongly in terms of market share due to our core competence. The organization mission is to provide the number one service to our clients in order to satisfy all their desired needs and the unforeseen needs.
The organization also has a written code in which the organization uses to act as a principle guide to all the employees in the organization. The following are some of the organization’s fundamental code of ethics.
Employment practices: This code provides for how an employee should act and how to relate to the fellow colleagues. Acts such as workplace harassment, diversity and work-family balance is well defined to elaborate on how the workers are expected to act. It also covers issues on discrimination and equal opportunity that allows everyone in the organization to progress by merit (Carmichael, 1995).
Employee, client and vendor information: this provision talks about the organization’s information and resources. The employees are requiring to protect the company’s information and not to disclose client’s records in public. The employee should also not reveal company’s secrets to third parties regardless how small the piece of information is like.
Public information/communication: This is a clear code that elaborates how information about the organization should be relayed and when to relay it. In advertising and marketing situations, the employ is guided how to bring out the information with clarity to prevent misconceptions. This act also limits information to various persons, for example a junior staff is not allowed to access confidential reports of the organization. It also guides the workers on how to relay information about the organization in a transparency manner that does not compromise its image.
Conflicts of interest: This act talks of how to deal with dilemma, if the organization is involved to keep employees loyal. It talks of how employees should act in cases where family is involved or an outside employer. Just in case of powerful influential forces outside the organization or gifts and gratitude’s. An employee of the organization should represent the organization with commitment in such cases.
Tenders/contracts: this act often guides employees to avoid corruption or kickbacks when choosing suppliers or vendors on behalf of the organization. During procurement and negotiating contracts, the employee is required to be opening minded and vigilant to avoid acts of nepotism or favoritisms.
Management practices: this provision targets the managers and guides them on how to handle the organization’s assets and also how to protect it. The act calls for accountability towards the organization and protection of crucial information that is proprietary.
Environmental issues: This code talks of how to safe guard the internal and external environment of the organization. It talks also of health and safety and how to maintain a safe environment for the future.
Employment practices: This act follows to guide the human resource department on how to tap manpower resource. This ensures the management handles the recruitment with integrity and equal treatment. This also ensures that the vetting conducted is by merit and with the best interest of the organization.
Organization’s social responsibility
The organization has the social responsibility of preserving the environment and giving back to the external community (Carmichael, 1995). The organization is very stringent in preserving the environment because; it disposes its waste properly and preserves the outside environment. The firm also sets aside donations that contribute to environmental projects seeking to better the environment and reduce the level of pollution. The organization engages in joint partnership to empower the less fortunate in society and also contributes to improve the standards of living of such people.
The organization is however not clear on what specific amount of contribution should be set aside for corporate philanthropy. In most occasion funds are drawn from miscellaneous expenditure and used to source the project in line. This shows the organization carries out strategic projects that are going to in the long-term benefit the organization as a whole.
It also shows that the social act is less and obligation of the organization and not a sign of goodwill to the community. The organization will always spend from the miscellaneous account, which on budget is the expense put aside when need arises. The good side of these projects however, is that they are always well accounted for in the budget and affect the lives of the community at large positively.
Ethical analysis and training programs
The organization reviews the set code of ethics yearly, and this is carried out by the human resource department. The department allows the employees to participate in analyzing the code of ethics. A questionnaire is made with a stream of questions on how the employees feel about the code of ethics. The HR department also consults the ethics department and the organization legal councils to inquire about new laws that govern employees in the state. In case of any changes in standards and structure, the sets of guideline also require amending.
The HR department also carries training of the employees, especially interns and new workers. These training sessions are meant to be a source of information on guidelines on code of conduct and also as an orientation process. Every employee is required to read and accept the organization’s ethics before signing the contract. Sometimes if there is an addition to the set of codes, while in the organization and it interferes with personal values, the employee’s contract can be terminated on request. The training is carried out after every six months and it is carried out by the HR department.
The organization’s way of carrying out the analysis is a form of strength because it is involving. The organization is formed by people and not vice verse and so when the people participate in principles that guide them when working; they are likely to follow as opposed to being imposed on guidelines that are alien to the workers. However, the training sessions are not sufficiently carried out as would be required. Training is not meant to only create awareness of the set of codes, but rather training should be able to emphasis on the implementation process. The training carried by the organization is meant to let the workers learn the ethics of the organization. This is the organization’s weakness because the workers are aware of the code of ethics but do not implement them in the day-to-day business.
Moral and ethical philosophies affirmation
The moral philosophy that I affirm most to in the company is respect to all the people working in the organization and keeping a professional relationship. The organization requires that all workers carry certain attitudes and respect each other professionally. I always put limits when relating to my colleagues and respect their privacy, culture and opinions without discrimination. However, I least affirm to the organization’s provision of referring to fellow colleague with their official name, I sometimes refer to close colleagues by their first name.
With regard to ethical principles, I respect the employee practices and the organization’s information. I maintain and file the organization’s record according and secure the files using passwords. I also avoid racial or age discrimination and office harassments to junior or new employees in the organization. However, from time to time I breach the policy on company resources when for example I print documents for personal use, and use the company’s internet for personal research.
Overall judgment and reflection
The organization has moral principles such as appreciation, kindness and respect towards each other but sometimes when a fellow colleague disrespects another, the moral conduct is broken (Carmichael, 1995). Cory (2005) note the organization as a result also has a code of ethics that provides an act in case of misunderstandings amongst workers.
If I became a leader, I would change the organization’s climate by taking up organization learning culture. This is the act that has the organization acquire knowledge constantly and learning processes that allow the organization to develop and learn how to adapt to change. This will motivate employees to always seek ways to improve their performance and this will drive the organization to great heights. The employees will also learn how to implement ethics while on duty and conduct themselves as required of them.
By introduction of learning programmes, the management will take up special training to learn how to motivate employees to apply ethics in the work scenario and what approach to use when in an ethical dilemma.
Business ethics is an integral part that requires an organization’s commitment to its implementation. Careful thought code of ethics backed by organizational learning will improve the organization’s set performance. Most important the employees in the organization will carry the guidelines with significant importance.
- Carmichael, S. (1995). Business ethics: the new bottom line. London: Demo
- Cory, J. (2005). Business ethics: the revolution of minority shareholders. Boston: Business media Inc.
- Shaw, W. H. (2010). Business ethics: A textbook with cases (7th Ed.) New York: Cengage learning
- Velasquez, M.G. (2006). Business Ethics: Concepts and cases (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.