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Ethics: Concepts and Cases Report

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Ethics are moral standards code of conduct that a person or a company uphold. Codes of ethics are not international but vary between individuals and companies. People, who uphold ethical reasoning in their actions, do not fail into transgression. People who uphold high respect for their ethics not only do the right thing and have peace of mind; but also are also able to transform episodes of temptations to their benefit. They are also able to influence other people to an acceptable behaviour (Weiss, 2008). Organisations code of ethics defines how an organisation responds to internal or external stimulus. In most organizations, they are in blue prints and an internal policy. They form part of organisational training needs. Organisations that uphold high respects for their code of ethics maintain good internal and external relations with their stakeholders (Lee, 2005). This paper is divided into two parts, where the first part will discuss my personal ethics and the second part is a case study of Toyota Motor Limited code of ethics.

Personal code of ethics

When going on with life, I ensure that I uphold ethical behaviour. I ensure that I am accountable for all my actions. My inner feelings guide my ethics, when I do something’s against what I believe or against my moral code of conduct, I feel guilty and ashamed of myself. On the other hand, when I do something that is in line with my ethical code, I feel happy and proud of myself. As I grew up, there were some believes that I held from the society that I was brought up in through socialization process. My peers have shaped some ethical conducts, whereas I have developed other by myself. To ensure that I keep to my code of ethics, I have them in heart and I have a blue print that I carry always in my wallet.

My Personal values

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Trustworthiness
  • Professionalism
  • Creativity and innovativeness and
  • Self-respect and Respect for others

Personal vision statement

To live a life with peace of mind and transform other people’s lives for the better.

My ethical codes are in five major areas they are;

Integrity

Being honest in all my action is a wish my heart. Honesty is a virtual learned and internally developed by the person concern; it is a choice that I have made to talk the truth and do the right thing. In my career, integrity will assist me when managing different sections. I will be accountable and can be relied on my supervisors or top management.

Respect

The first thing is in respecting is self-respect. When I respect myself, it means I have a stand that I can defend. When someone has respected himself, he respects others and commands respects back. As a manager, I need to make firm decisions and stand accountable for them. I also need to respect others and be respected as well. This is the way that I will be able to develop orchestrate team, it will also assist me tap intellectual assets in my subordinates.

Hard-work

Working hard is important in my life. It is through this virtue that I will be able to attain my personal goals in life. As a manager, I need to work smart to ensure my organizational goals are met. When I work hard, I will influence my juniors and seniors to work hard too.

Accountability

In every action that I undertake, I ensure that I can be answerable to consequences thereafter. I stand on my grounds however, I listen and consider other peoples advice but I decide what action to talk. This virtue as a manger will assist me made decisions timely and involve other employees in decision-making. This will lead to informed timely decisions.

Promising less, deliver more

I make promises that I am certain that I can fulfil. If I have doubts on anything, I avoid promising. If I promise on such an issue, I make sure the uncertainty is well understood. I work hard to deliver more than the people expect me to. I aim at surpassing the expectations of the people. This virtue as a manger will assist me in making strong teams and develop good interpersonal relationships.

Toyota case study

Toyota is an international automobile company; established it in 1937. In 2008, the company surpassed general motors’ to be the world largest automobile company by volume production and sales. To assume this position, the company uphold ethical behaviours in its activities. Ethic in the company are written in blue print which every employee when renewing his contact or new employee are supposed to read and understand them before committing to uphold them.

Toyota has five values statements that they ensure that they uphold in their activities regardless of the country they are operating:

  • Kaizen which means continuo’s improvement
  • team work; forming teams that stimulate personal development and assist in tapping intellectual assets in human resources
  • Challenges; it forms a vision to solve future challenges that comes with the business
  • Respect ; respecting other people including their competitors
  • Genchi Genbutsu , which mean go and see; making informed decisions after researching what their customer expect from them (Toyota Motor Company corporate website, 2010).

Toyota vision/mission statement

The company vision statement is to remain profitable through provision of high value goods to its customers and dealers. The vision statement runs concurrently with the company’s five core values.

Toyota code of ethics

Toyota code of conduct is guided by operating philosophies that were developed in 1992 and revised in 1997. The philosophies were named ““Guiding Principles at Toyota”. There is also addition to the guideline that was developed in 2001 and named as “Toyota Way”. The guidelines are upheld in head office and all Toyota branches national or international.

The first code of ethics adopted by the company is contribution towards sustainable development; this is attained through creativity and innovations of processes that do harm the environment. Employees are expected to be innovative and creative. Any move by an employee to improve the company’s processes is welcomed and supported by the management (Lee, 2005).

The company aims at respecting national and international laws and regulation. These laws take different forms ranging from labour laws to environmental laws. The company have different policies that aim at respecting these laws and regulations.

The company seeks to work with humility, honesty and integrity. This is when working internally and relating with its external customers.

The company developed a code of ethics to be followed by employees in 1998; it was later revised in 2006. It serves as the mode of conduct that is expected on employees and defines the relationship between the company and the employees. It includes jobs and daily business operations.

The following chart summarises Toyota’s code of ethics:

Toyota’s code of ethics.
Diagram 1: Toyota’s code of ethics. (Toyota Motor Company corporate website, 2010).

Toyota social corporate responsibilities

Toyota undertakes different social corporate responsibilities to create good relations with its customers and the environment are operates in. This is in line with the company’s guiding principle where it aims at sustainable development and respect to people. SCR in the company are at five guiding areas as follows:

Environment

The company has embarked on different environmental conservation programs in different countries. The company in Japan conserves the environment through collaboration with non-governmental organisations under a program called Grant Program. In this program, the company engages in tree planting programs, financing environmental conservations policies like drainage cleaning and natural habitat conservation. There is also Forest of Toyota (Japan), which focuses on planning trees in Japan.

In Australia, the company developed “Toyota Community Spirit” in 2001. A program integrates the company’s employees and the community and joins in efforts of conserving the environment.

In Malaysia, the company have developed a program called “Toyota Eco Youth”, the program aims at ensuring the people respect the environment (Toyota Motor Company corporate website, 2010).

Education

Toyota has sponsored education at an individual and community level in different countries. This is the effort to ensure that there is Good Corporation among communities and the company as well as poverty eradication.

In South Africa, the company have financed a program called “Toyota Teach” the program targets elementally and junior high students where the company caters for their fees. The best ten students each year are sponsored for college education.

In china, the company through China’s Soong Ching Ling Foundation has assists students who are not able to complete their university education. This program has been in existence since 2006.

In Korea, the company through a program called “Toyota Dream-Plus Scholarship”, since 2005 has been assisting 45, students pursue their education form high school to university level.

Neighbours/Achieve program

The company have embarked on a number of programs that can assist neighbours. In Vietnam, the company have a program called “Go Green Program”, which aims at assisting the community farm their land as they maintain natural vegetations.

In unites States, the company have a “TogetherGreen” which teaches local communities on measures they can use to produce yet they are conserving the environment.

In Venezuela, the company have a program called ”Pinta Tu Escuela” which paints schools.

Traffic safety

To ensure that the users of Toyota products are safe on the roads, the company have constantly innovated for ways to make their clients safe in case of an accident. They have programs that teach children on road safety and offer materials for such programs. For example, it has a White Road Campaign in Thailand.

Society and Culture

The company involves in programs that promote culture of a community. For example in Japan, it has “Toyota Choreography Award” (Toyota Motor Company corporate website, 2010).

Evaluation of Toyota SCR

Toyota Company has embarked on different social corporate responsibilities, which have developed public confidence with the company. The sales of the company are rising with time. The reason why it was able to surpass general motors and assumed number one motor producer in the world is the good relation it has developed with the community. Early 2010, the company was faced with a problem when its products were faulty and cause death in America. The company was able to call back thousands of vehicles and the misfortune did not influence its sales negatively. The above misfortune was proving that the company is respected by customers (Velasquez, 2006).

Ethical analysis and training programs

To evaluate the ethical standards of Toyota Company, this paper will analyse how the programs fit in theories of ethics.

Norm theory

Under this theory, something is considered ethical if the will of the greatest number in the society is fulfilled or the minimum number in the society feels pain. Toyota ensures that its process, both internal and the products that it manufactures go well with a majority. For example, the company has embarked on recycling programs to safe guide the environment. Currently communities are willing to conserve the environment thus the company is working in line with the expectations of the people (Velasquez, 2006).

Consequent theory

Under this theory of ethics, an act is considered ethical if the consequences are favourable to the communities affected. When making automobiles, the company has embarked on massive technological development to produce vehicles whose effect on the environment, being the consequences of using their products, is minimal. New models of the company are fuel-efficient; there are electric vehicles (EVs) and bio-diesel cars. The new brand of vehicles is in efforts by the company to comply with ethical code of conduct, which stretches to the product they offer to the market (Weiss, 2008).

Ethical training programs

To ensure that the entire company uphold ethical behaviours in its processes, the company organises different seminars and training in this effect. For example, research and development team as well as marketing team are mandated with the task of realising an ethical gap that the company is not fulfilling. After such gap has been, established measures to fill it are sort where intensive training is undertaken. After an innovation that is likely to assist the company in its sustainable development policy comes by, all employees in the company are alerted through a training process (Hino, 2006).

Moral philosophies and ethical principles affirmed most in Toyota

One of the most affirmed philosophy of Toyota Company is sustainable development. The philosophy is the guiding force towards many forms of social corporate responsibilities and innovation. To have a sustainable development, the company ensure that it has adopted efficient technologies in their production. For example, the company have adopted EVs (electronic vehicles) technology. The move was in the company’s effort to sustainable development. Another example is the company’s environmental policy in different countries. All the policies aim at proper utilisation of resources and environmental conservation.

The company is accountable for its operation and products. To ensure that it maintains its ethics of respect to the people, the company in November 2010, ordered its United States dealers to change accelerator pedals of vehicles recalled in the country, which amounted to 3.8 million vehicles. The company showed that it could take blame and work to rectify it.

The company is concern about carbon emission. In 2010, the company was able to reduce carbon emission by 56% from compared with what it has produces in 1991 and by 16% of carbon emission it had emitted in 2004.

The company has policies that aim at improving the health of different communities however, this is not seen as a major social corporate responsibility but its undertaken when the company have been approached. For example, the company supports 2010, Dettol heart run in Kenya.

Conclusion

Ethics are classified into corporate and personal ethics. Personally, I ensure that I uphold to an ethical code of conduct in all my actions. I uphold the following ethics, integrity, respect, accountability, and hard work and promising less while I aim at delivering more. The above ethics will assist me in my career as a manager. Toyota Motor Company is an international automobile company, which has upheld high ethical standards in its processes both internal and external. It adopted code of ethics in 1991, reviewed it in 1997, and then made an addition in 2004. Briefly, the company’s codes of ethics are contribution towards sustainable development, respect and accountability. It has upheld these ethical codes in its activities both internally and externally.

References

Hino, S. (2006). Inside the mind of Toyota: management principles for enduring growth. Tokyo: Productivity Press.

Lee, M. (2005). Critiquing code of ethics. London: Routledge.

Toyota Motor Company corporate website. (2010). Web.

Velasquez, M. (2006). Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Weiss, J.(2008). Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.

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