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Business Ethics Case Study


Moral considerations play a critical in determining the success of the organization in the modern organizational culture. The ethical codes determine the relationships between customers and the company in the sense that any organization willing to follow the established moral codes will increase its market share (Duska, 2007).

In the case provided, Soybean Derivative Research Initiative has to observe moral codes in order to achieve its intended objectives. The organization stands to benefit in four major ways, as listed below if it observes ethics:

  1. The company will attract potential investors, as well as keeping shares high. In this regard, the management will have protected the organization from a possible takeover.
  2. Many excellent employees will be willing to join the organization since any person feels comfortable when associated with strong moral conducts. This will perhaps bring down the costs associated with recruitment. The talented workers will be retained, which is an advantage to the organization.
  3. The productivity of the organization will be high, as labor turnover will be reduced tremendously.
  4. A company with a good business name attracts many customers implying that the sales of the firm will always be high hence increasing profitability.

The Financial Executive

Issues related to finances are always important to the survival of any organization, including Soy- DRI. In particular, the issue of trust must be taken into consideration since it might bring down the performance of the finance unit.

Due to the fact that organizations are constantly in violation of the financial fair play, a number of global bodies have been set up to ensure that ethical codes are observed when handling the financial matters of any firm. When drafting financial policies, the top executive has to be sensitive to the demands of clients regarding the environment and social issues. These issues must be resolved before moving on to make any financial policy.

Based on this, the financial officer is advised to be an active owner by simply integrating the issues into the policies and practices of the organization. As a rule, any financial officer should disclose any unfair solicitation of funds since it would maintain the position of the organization in the ever-competitive market. For this to happen, the officer has to work hand in hand with other organizational units.

Organizational investors are expected to carry out their fiduciary duties pertaining to environmental, social, and governance issues. In one of the studies conducted by the Asset Management Working Group of the UNEP Finance Initiative, it was established that stakeholders should stop concentrating on making profits and instead focus on following the law in order to preserve the environment and safeguard lives.

The law on social governance is very clear since it states that all organizations have a role to play in safeguarding the lives of citizens. The finance manager should explore some of the ways that will enable the organization to introduce its customers to the correct brand other than using a different brand in serving babies. A different report published in 2009 by EIRIS suggested that many financial executives obey the ethical codes, even though the financial sector is yet to accept this reality.

Since the organization is faced with a major ethical issue, the finance officer will have to come up with strong financial management codes to protect the reputation of the organization. For this to happen, he or she is expected to observe some principles, including the following:

  1. The officer should act honestly meaning that he or she has to be an individual with high integrity. The official has to come up with financial policies to minimize the misuse of company products without necessarily creating any conflict of interest in personal or professional life.
  2. The executive has the moral responsibility of offering financial information to various units. The information ought to be realistic, precise, inclusive, objective, pertinent, well timed, and comprehensible. The financial executive should pass any form of information whether negative or positive. Moreover, all sections should be addressed independently to avoid any chance of breakdown in communication. Timely disclosure of information will perhaps help in presenting the accurate picture of the organization regarding the financial position of the organization. This will go a long way in ensuring that the business achieves its financial objectives.
  3. The organization is faced with both ethical and legal issues. Apart from resolving the moral issues, the financial expert should advise the company on the best way to handle the situation to prevent any form of legal action (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013). The financial operation of the organization should abide by some of the established rules put in place by the state, the federal authorities, and the local governments. Some public and private statutory bodies are charged with the role of setting up rules and regulations to be followed by all organizations. Since the company’s product is being misused in the market, the financial officer should report this to the relevant section for action to be taken. The financial executive has to notify the auditors about the misuse of the company product for corrective measures to be taken.
  4. The position of the financial manager is very challenging, as it needs a lot of care, competence, and diligence when handling issues. Based on this, the finance officer should restrain himself from making personal judgments and instead follow the professional financial codes.
  5. Other units in the organization might not have adequate skills as regards to legal issues associated with misuse of the company product. The role of the financial expert in this case is to share any information that will help avert the situation before it deteriorates.

Marketing Officer

The role of a marketer is always challenging since he or she is supposed to ensure that the company product is a household name in the competitive market. In this regard, many marketers are never concerned with the way the product is consumed, as their role is to popularize the company product.

In the United States, the professional body for marketer established some of the well-established ethical codes that must be followed by all marketers. Soy-DRI faces various challenges related to marketing, which means that the officer in charge has a lot to do to ensure that the problem is resolved. The continued misuse of the product on babies might bring several problems to the organization, some being ethical issues while others might be legal in nature.

Therefore, the marketing executive must ensure that the organization comes up with strategies that will facilitate accurate usage of the product that is already in the market. This will be managed through following the guidelines provided in the marketers’ professional code of conduct. The marketer should be sensitive to the needs of customers since he or she is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the company image in the market.

The top marketing official should understand that values are often used in evaluating the performance of any organization in the market (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013). Based on this, any marketer should understand that, apart from serving the interests of the organization, they are also stewards of society as far as generating, facilitating, and implementing efficient and effective transactions in the economy is concerned.

In other words, marketers are responsible to all stakeholders in the organization, including clients, fellow employees, investors, distributors, regulatory bodies, and the community in general. When the marketing official meets with other employees of the organization, he or she will have to remind them of the general norms of marketing, which include the following:

  1. All marketers have to understand that their skills should not be misused in causing harm to members of the public. They must do everything under their control to ensure that the organization achieves its financial objectives while at the same time safeguarding the interests of the customer. Therefore, the executive in charge of marketing must insist on following the applicable laws and regulations in handling the situation at hand.
  2. The second concept that all marketers have to understand is the major role of fostering trust in marketing structure, which implies that all products should be suitable for use. Marketers should not engage in promotional activities that mislead customers on the best products in the market. All officials in the marketing unit ought to desist from actions aiming at deceiving customers or misleading clients. The senior official in the department should recommend the setting up of the department that will be in charge of addressing customer complaints and guiding clients on the usage of company products. A marketer has to act in good faith while at the same time showing some fairness (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013).
  3. Marketing is one of the functions that must embrace ethical values, which are achieved through communication. Efficient communication improves the confidence of the consumer and boosts the integrity of marketing exchange system.

The third principle of marketing is the most important and the marketing official is advised to embrace this general norm. All marketers should be honest implying that they have to be truthful in all situations. The products promoted should be aiming at fulfilling the needs of customers other than affecting their lives. Even though the products are reported to be misused in the market, the marketing department should not criticize any of the products.

Since the merchandize is misused in the market, the people responsible for the fault are the marketers. Therefore, the top executive in the department should accept the responsibility of not sensitizing customers on the usage of the product. Consequently, the marketing executive should come up with ways that will enable the proper handling of the vulnerable segment of the market, which include children and the elderly.

Director Research and Development

The official in charge of research and development should be aware that the company’s success depends on the corporate image since a spoil image will definitely interfere with the performance of the organization in the market. Incorporating stakeholders into the strategic plan of the organization is one of the ways of ensuring ethical governance.

Once all stakeholders are incorporated in drafting the organizational strategy, handling issues emerging from the market will be easy (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013). Based on this, the director in charge of research is advised to employ participatory planning as one of the ways of involving stakeholders in managing the affairs of the firm.

The method suggests that the director of research and development identifies the major concerns and ethical issues emerging from members of the public and moving a notch higher to develop a broad consensus regarding the drafted initiatives. The method allows the utilization of vast information that stakeholders hold in establishing a practicable, proficient, and sustainable solution to the problem at hand.

Vice President Sales and Marketing

The executive charged with the responsibility of disposing off company products is often under pressure to increase the profit margins of the firm, even though other stakeholders are often concerned with this move. In many cases, the sales person might not care whether the product meets the needs of the customer or not.

In this case, a wrong product is often sold just to increase sales. Any sales person is advised to be aware of the three masters in case he or she is to executive services diligently. The three masters have various agendas and the sales person comes in as an arbitrator. The organization, which is the employer, has the aim of ensuring that sales increase with an aim of making profits. On the other hand, the customer is concerned with the value of the product (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013).

The salesperson has a different objective that is mainly related to income. Irrespective of the agendas of various masters, the salesperson has to ensure that all parties are contented with the sale. The manager in charge of sales should be concerned with the performance of the new product, as well as the misuse of the other two products. As he or she seeks to correct the situation, the profit margins and the targets set by the organization should be considered.

Conclusion

In any business establishment, employees play a critical role in ensuring that the organization achieves its ambitions. Irrespective of the size of the organization, an employee is an important asset. The chief executive officer should be aware of the impacts of employee behavior on the performance of the organization (Cory, 2004). Some employees might spend the whole day checking personal mails instead of concentrating on the important matters that affect the performance of the organization.

Employees should be taken through an extensive training schedule to ensure that they are well groomed to accomplish organizational goals. Some ethical issues related to employee relations attract legal actions, especially issues related to discrimination based on gender and race. Therefore, any top executive is advised to seek the help of a professional in drafting rules and regulations that would govern the behavior of an employee.

When recruiting employees, the company should consider following all established laws to avoid any legal suits that might come about because of discrimination based on gender and race. The company ought to follow the law when signing contracts with its employees. This is important to prevent the loss of resources in legal tussles.

The head of any company has to ensure that selection process adheres to the established standards since t boosts the image of the company in the market. In other words, following labor laws strengthens the corporate governance of the firm. The company has to follow the environmental laws has established by the national and international bodies. Employees should be trained to conserve the environment.

References

Arnold, D. G., Beauchamp, T. L., & Bowie, N. E. (2013). Ethical theory and business. Boston: Pearson Education.

Cory, J. (2004). Activist Business Ethics. Boston: Springer

Duska, R. (2007). Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics. Boston: Springer.

This Case Study on Business Ethics was written and submitted by user Maliah Workman to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Maliah Workman studied at the University of Minnesota, USA, with average GPA 3.29 out of 4.0.

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Workman, M. (2019, November 29). Business Ethics [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-ethics-9/

Work Cited

Workman, Maliah. "Business Ethics." IvyPanda, 29 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/business-ethics-9/.

1. Maliah Workman. "Business Ethics." IvyPanda (blog), November 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-ethics-9/.


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Workman, Maliah. "Business Ethics." IvyPanda (blog), November 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-ethics-9/.

References

Workman, Maliah. 2019. "Business Ethics." IvyPanda (blog), November 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-ethics-9/.

References

Workman, M. (2019) 'Business Ethics'. IvyPanda, 29 November.

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