Myths on Business Ethics
The first myth to be discussed is the assumption of companies that they select and train ethical employees who will always do the right thing. A survey conducted by various prosecuted individuals serving time for white-collar related crime all reveals that the source of unethical behavior isn’t whether a person is ethical or not in comparison to other employees but rather if the opportunity is there and there are no apparent means of control. In such cases where there is no opportunity and stringent means of control exist even apparently unethical employees have no choice but to conform to an ethical method of doing business. For example, an ethical employee is told to find a method of keeping costs down to help the company survive the recession, the employee helps the company lower costs by outsourcing the means of production to China. Everything seems to follow an ethical guideline however a closer examination of the situation reveals that the labor used in the outsourced factory complex is tasked to produce items 18 hours a day, under harsh conditions and minimum safety standards to cut down on the cost of production. From an ethical viewpoint, such a situation seems horrid yet it is a part of nearly everyday business operations for various retailers.
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While companies may train employees to do the right thing the fact remains that the company itself is still a business. When told to minimize costs in favor of survival one of the first principles to take a hit is the concept of ethicality wherein low-cost production comes at the cost of an abused labor force. The second myth of business ethics is the belief that you will always do the right thing, the inherent misunderstanding from this particular concept is that there are no assurances that a person will always do the right thing, if it were, training classes on business ethics would not be a requirement. The fact is when presented with the opportunity and the necessity to commit certain unethical practices most people in positions do very likely commit questionable acts. The fact is proper business ethics is more of a framework that a person attempts to abide by rather than a belief in one’s own ability to stick to ethical practices.
If one believes that they are following proper business ethics under the belief that they will no do wrong without the need for a proper ethical framework then it is very likely that such individuals will commit unethical practices shortly. One final myth to be examined is that business ethics is based on legal compliance. Going back to the example of outsourcing to China, while outsourcing to another country is perfectly legal and that employee environment standards are laxer there as compared to countries such as the U.S. it must be noted that knowingly subjecting people to a hazardous production method and at low pay is a violation of numerous ethical standards despite the act being compliant with the country’s legal code. The fact is business ethics is based on the concept of what is perceived to be the right course of action which positively affects a person. Any act that negatively affects an individual yet is legally compliant is still considered an unethical act.
8 Ethical Principals
The eight ethical principles found in the Global Business Standards Code are fiduciary, property, reliability, transparency, dignity, fairness, citizenship, and responsiveness. The fiduciary principle can be described as a form of duty or obligation of an employee to the firm wherein they work to promote the interests of the company, ensure that other employees are benefitted from one’s actions, and lastly do not pursue any action that promotes one’s self-interest. In essence, the fiduciary principle can be described as one’s loyalty to the company. The property principle on the other hand is oriented towards an employee respecting the property of the company as well as other individuals. This comes in the form of ensuring that should the opportunity arise between a choice of stealing from the company or another individual or choosing an ethical course of action it is hoped that a person will choose the most ethically sound choice. The reliability principle on the other hand is directly connected to honoring one’s commitments. This comes in the form of following the guidelines set in employee contracts or following through with a promise made to a customer. By acts related to performance the transparency principle specifically states that an employee must work openly and truthfully to better reflect company rather than personal agendas. The principle of transparency is an important matter to take into account since if an individual is transparent in the way they work then it is likely that they will not get into any trouble regarding issues related to honesty.
The dignity principle on the other hand is connected to the belief that an employee must respect the dignity of all individuals. This comes in form of ensuring company operations in production or services adhere to proper ethical guidelines that ensure that a safe working environment is assured to employees and that adequate compensation is given for their work. The fairness principle is directly connected to the belief that stakeholders who have a vested interest in the company should be treated fairly. When it comes to corporate actions this takes the form of fair competition wherein companies won’t result in underhanded techniques to get ahead in a competitive business environment but rather will utilize fair business strategies that ensure the company is looked upon respectfully by others. The final principle is the citizenship principle which is based on the belief that an employee should act as a responsible citizen within a community.
Within companies, this takes the form of the employee committing to adequate moral codes of conduct that do not harm either the company or the various employees that work in it. One example of a company that follows these types of principles would have to be one that immediately puts a stop to unethical business procedures when it is discovered that the means of production degrades human dignity. For example, with so many companies outsourcing to China it is easy to turn a blind eye to the environmental conditions in a Chinese factory since not only is the facility far away but it assures the company of a steady profit. A company that follows the Global Business Standards Codex would insist on better working standards for employees at an outsourced factory despite increased production costs to better uphold the principle of human dignity and fair business. On the other hand, a company that doesn’t follow these principles would have to be one that is well aware of the unethical working environment in Chinese factories yet does not anything about it to preserve profits.
Recently at I ate the last yogurt mango cup that I didn’t realize my father was saving since it was his favorite. He was furious when he noticed that the last mango cup was missing, at this point I had a choice of either not saying anything or telling him that I was the one who ate it. I wound up telling him I ate it and had to go all the way to the nearest convenience store to buy it. In this particular problem, the moral problem I was facing was whether, to tell the truth, or not to my father. During the problem analysis phase, I realized that I would get into trouble for eating it yet since he didn’t know who did it I could have gotten away with it. Under my options of actions, I had the choice of either telling the truth or not. Based on my reflection on the situation in that the punishment probably wouldn’t be that severe I came up with the solution of going up to him and confessing I ate it. An examination between the ethics cycle and the three simple ethical tests used for business decisions reveals that the use of the ethics cycle is required in every ethical test. Whether it comes to transparency, effects, or fairness each type of test requires a morally acceptable action that can only be arrived at when utilizing the ethical cycle as a basis for making the decision.
During a recent class presentation, I had the responsibility of being the leader of a group that was going to present a PowerPoint presentation in front of the whole class. My group members consisted of 4 people I didn’t know and one person who was a good friend of mine. To ensure that people wouldn’t question the delegation of tasks I first and foremost implemented a degree of transparency in my decision-making process in assigning each particular task to a group member. I clearly and succinctly explained my reasoning behind assigning each task to not create a sense of fairness in the assigned material. About being fair I made sure that each assigned section of the presentation had roughly the same content like any other, thus ensuring that no one would assume that they were unfairly given more work than necessary. All of these decisions were done with the effect of the project presentation in mind wherein no particular individual felt that they were unfairly treated or that any apparent favoritism was used.
The concept of ethical egoism is based on the belief that individuals should act in a way that promotes himself or herself if the result is will be a balanced or positive result for the individual. This particular framework focuses more on the concept of self-interest and as such would have a marginally different viewpoint regarding following specific ethical frameworks since their actions are all influenced by self-motivation. While such a framework has the advantage of enabling the pursuit of individual desires the fact remains that this, in turn, would make a person more predisposed towards self-thought rather than selfless motivation thus resulting in an individual who would be only marginally concerned regarding the plight of others.
This particular framework, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of ethical egoism wherein instead of basing one’s actions on self-motivation utilitarianism focuses more on providing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. It is based on the assumption that an individual’s actions add up to the overall utility of the community thus improving it over time through a moral and ethical framework. While this particular principle shows the greatest social benefit it neglects to take into account individual pursuits of happiness but rather focuses more on the betterment of the community rather than the individual.
This particular framework can be considered integration of both ethical egoism and utilitarianism wherein both an individual’s pursuit of happiness as well as achieving actions for the common good are done in a balanced manner that enables individuals to both to pursue their wants and desires while at the same time contribute to the community.
The belief of existentialism focuses on its assumption that the only person who can determine right from wrong is the person making the decisions. Thus it can be stated that each individual is ultimately responsible for his or her actions and their consequences. The inherent problem with such a method of decision making is that it neglects to take into account possible codes of conduct created by society and focuses more on the individual rather than on society as a whole.
Contractarianism / Social Contract Theory
The basis of contractarianism is the belief that all individuals agree to certain social contracts when they become members of society. It is a view that states that once an individual becomes a member of society they are automatically encumbered with certain duties and responsibilities. Such a view is supported by various social customs and methods of public conduct which a majority of society abides by. While such a view can be compared to how a large percentage of the way the population acts it neglects to take into account the ability of individuals to shrug off social contracts in favor of individual pursuits.
For Kant, ethical decisions are inherently based upon the free will of the individual wherein individuals are expected to act in a way that they were expected to act with their treatment of other individuals being the end and not a means to an end.
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The Government, Corporations and being Environmentally “Friendly”
When examining the actions of corporations not all of them are guided by the concept of corporate social responsibility a lot of them seem to act in an environmentally irresponsible manner. It is due to causes such as these that the government should act as an enforcer of environmentally sustainable practices when it comes to corporations whose activities have been deemed distinctly “unfriendly” towards the environment. It is its role as an enforcer the government has the role of making sure corporations follow distinct guidelines regarding practices involving resources utilization and waste disposal. This is done to ensure that the surrounding environment and wildlife does not turn into an environmental wasteland. Governments have the responsibility of ensuring that the country their citizens reside in continues to become inhabitable as such ensuring the proper compliance of corporations towards environmentally sustainable practice is merely an extension of the government’s role in safeguarding the lives of its citizens.
The reason why such actions are important is that in instances where the government has been lax in implementing environmentally sustainable practices on corporations the result usually adversely affects the citizens of a country. For example, in the case of China lax government enforcement on environmentally “friendly” methods of operations has resulted in the occurrence of regular clouds of toxic smog composed of C02 and miscellaneous other emissions from various factories in China’s manufacturing sector. As a result, problems related to lung-related illnesses are on the rise in China resulting in potentially billions of dollars in medical care for people adversely affected by the pollution. It is in situations such as these that it becomes obvious that the government’s role as an environmental enforcer is a necessity to safeguard the health of its citizens from possible corporate environmental abuse.
The basis behind environmental is the assumption that since the Earth is a closed-off ecosystem with a finite amount of resources if nothing is done to conserve and ensure these resources stay replenishable in the long run there may come a time when the Earth will no longer be able to support human civilization. Such an assumption is not without merit, as the human population continues to expand so too does the demand for resources increase. Unfortunately, resources that command the highest demand (wood, freshwater, and food) are only replenishable to a certain extent while others have a set amount (oil, gas, and certain chemicals) and cannot be replenished at all. Advocates of environmental conservation such as former U.S. vice president Al Gore continue to reiterate the need to change the current rate and method of consumption to better utilize resources to ensure that they will continue to remain there for future generations. While environmental sustainability is an issue that can be dealt with by industrialized 1st world countries that fact remains that for developing and emerging economies such as those in southeast Asia sustainability of environmental resources is not an option to catch up to industrialized countries in terms of economic impact and the production of goods and resources.
The fact remains that the current global economic market is more inclined productively and economically towards 1st world countries that have already effectively utilized their resources to get to where they are at the present. To remain viable within this particular environment developing and emerging markets have to utilize their resources to survive in an increasingly globalized market economy or face the possible consequences in terms of monetary depreciation, trade deficits, and lack of foreign investment. While they can adhere to a path of environmental sustainability the fact remains that such a step would require them to adopt measures that could curtail their economic growth. It must be noted though that the concept of going green is not a recent trend rather it has been going on since the early 1970s through the creation of various recycling programs and centers. Despite this, it has only been within the past decade that the concept of environmental conservation has entered into popular culture. Advocates such as Al Gore, Nichol Richie, Lance Bass, and various other pop culture icons were among the primary reasons why environmental conservation became popularized with younger generations today.
From: (Place Name Here) Ethics Officer
Date: May 12, 2011
Subject: Proper Environmental Stewardship
As our company continues to grow in size due to the ever-present need for various organizations, company’s and individuals to dispose of their trash the process of effective waste management gets arduous due to the ever-increasing amount and the need to utilize proper methods of environmental stewardship. The inherent problem our company faces is that due to the nature of our business we sometimes engage in practices that are environmentally detrimental such as the disposal of garbage in landfills or burning it in various incinerators. While in the past such actions have proven to be the backbone of our business lately the environmental movement and a growing concern for ethical environmental stewardship has questioned the practices of numerous companies and I fear our procedures may be questioned within the near future.
The concept of going green is based on the process of altering approaches towards the consumption and utilization of resources to ensure a more environmentally friendly method of using and consuming resources (Bos, 2010). In the case of our company, we can adopt “greener methods of waste disposal” such as the use of various recycling facilities to convert waste into reusable products. While such measures may entail a significant initial cost the fact remains that this would show the general public that we practice sufficient corporate social responsibility through environmental stewardship thus diffusing early on any questions regarding our methods. While such a change in operational methods may be difficult at first I assure you that in the long run, such measures will prove to be quite fruitful.
(Place Name Here)
The concept of an online pharmacy enables consumers to purchase various medications at a cheaper price and have them delivered to their homes which enables a far more convenient method of purchase especially for the elderly who have problems getting out of their homes. The inherent problems though with such a concept are twofold, namely: people utilizing the pharmacy to obtain heavily controlled drugs such as Vicadin and the unknown origins of certain drugs that could be potentially poisonous. The problem with purchasing certain types of medication through an online pharmacy is the fact that the anonymous nature of the internet means that most people would be able to purchase controlled drugs under the identity of a person in constant pain but are doing so for “recreational” purposes.
Online selling is a number’s game with the potential for indiscriminate amounts of controlled substances potentially being sold to people who have no medical conditions whatsoever. Not only that, when it comes to utilizing online pharmacies there is no actual method to determine whether the type of medication you purchased is legitimate or not, due to the nature of the internet an online pharmacy can be there one day and gone the next as such when purchasing from an unknown online source there is always the risk that what you’re taking my be the equivalent of rat poison. While it may be true that online pharmacies do have certain advantages in terms of convenience and price the fact remains that they pose too great a potential for possible abuse. In terms of me using one, I probably would not because I cannot trust drugs from a company that I barely even know.
The 5 types of internet fraud are auction and retail schemes, work at home schemes, identity theft and fraud, market manipulation, and finally credit card schemes. All of them work under the assumption that through misrepresentation and presenting inaccurate information the average internet user can be fooled into acknowledging an online fraud scheme as being valid. This can range from buying into a scheme that has not to merit such as several online works at home advertisements, buying products that are not what they seem or have been tampered with, it even ranged to online fraud schemes fooling users into providing personally identifiable information, credit card details, or other types of information that can be used for fraudulent activity. The difference online schemes have with traditional methods of fraud is that such schemes incorporate the services of valid online companies to reach a greater population base of users.
For example, online advertising services provided by Google Ads are endemic with advertisements from various fraudulent companies yet Google and other online advertisers make a rather large percentage of their yearly ad revenue from fraudulent online companies created to seem legitimate but are there to fool online users. Online market services such as eBay and Multiply are also utilized due to the anonymity granted to users which enables various internet fraudsters to effectively sell fraudulent or defective goods under the guide of real products (Bauerly, 2009). It is due to this use of popular valid services that most internet frauds work on certain users which results in several million dollars in internet consumer losses per year. While I haven’t been directly affected by internet fraud I have seen many fraudulent advertisements from Google Ads, on eBay, and Multiply that do indicate that internet fraud is a growing trend that is already a multimillion-dollar industry in itself.
The best way, in my opinion, to prevent oneself from becoming a victim of internet fraud is to simply use proper precautions and hindsight before utilizing any web based service. For example, if an additional offer or product price seems too good to be true it usually is and does not bode well for any purchase made. Not only that, apparently good services must first be properly researched by Google searching at least 6 or more websites which say something good about the service. The more reviews a particular service has, both positive and negative, the more likely it is legitimate. Other precautions involve not placing any personally identifiable information on websites you know, using third-party credit services such as PayPal when making online purchases to protect your credit card info, and finally proper research regarding the seller of particular items in eBay or on Multiply. At times the site itself has a ratings and comments section which can be used to determine whether a seller is trustworthy or not.
A cookie in general helps companies to determine what preferences users have when utilizing certain websites. This can come in the form of regional specific information such as where a person is accessing the website from to their buying habits, what topics interest etc. A website cookie helps a company’s website by having it show exactly what the customer is looking for based on experience. On eBay for example if a consumer were to search for processors long enough the next time they log in deals on processors would appear more easily on the search bar as well as on the special offers section.
4 Schools of Thought
The 4 relevant schools of thought that specifically deal with computer ethics are Kantianism, Relativism, Social Contract, and Utilitarianism. The proponents of Kantianism specifically state that a person’s actions are inherently guided by a moral code wherein moral laws are universal, such a view is in stark contrast to the ideas behind relativism wherein there is no set universal norm for either right or wrong but rather people decide what in their opinion is right or wrong. On the other hand, Utilitarianism states that if the result of action benefits someone then it can be classified as good while on the other hand if something negatively affects someone then it can be considered bad. Lastly, the concept under Social Contract states that for society to continue to rise and maintain order a main set of rules, a moral code if you will, must be agreed upon to set into motion proper ethical values. For me, I agree with the framework of the Social Contract school of thought since I believe rules and moral code are standards which are created and agreed upon rather than something being inherent. The reason why I believe in it is due to the current international system wherein different sets of moral and ethical guidelines exist each with its code built up through historical precedent and agreed-upon codes of conduct.
U.S. Patriot Act
The main provision of the U.S. Patriot Act in effect enables the government to expand authority over matters directly attributed to electronic communications as well as computer and monetary transactions. In effect this enables the government to obtain transaction records, monitor emails, phone calls as well as various other methods of electronic communication on individuals or organizations that they “possible hostile” to U.S. interests. The main reason why the act has generated so much controversy is that it violates a person’s inherent right to privacy. Unfortunately, the government justifies its use under the concept of national security wherein individual rights give way to social rights wherein protecting the interests of the country takes precedent over a person’s inherent right to privacy. While its use is justified considering the current state of global affairs and the fact that America faces the threat of terrorism the fact remains that the U.S. Patriot act has in effect granted the government the ability to violate a person’s privacy at a whim which in effect could be used as an impetus for future laws which would further deteriorate a person’s inherent rights (Yager, 2008).
Ethical guidelines specifically state that if an email comes across as being similar to sexual harassment then the employee who sent the message should be called in to explain why such an email was sent. It must be noted that though that such an incident may be an isolated affair or that both individuals are in an inter-office relationship. Before any action is undertaken a basic investigation must first be conduction wherein emails sent by the perpetrator will be monitored to see if similar content is sent to other members of the office. This is done to determine whether this is an isolated incident or not, in cases where it is determined that both the send and the recipient have been investigated as being in a mutually exclusive office relationship then charges about possible sexual harassment will not be filed but rather both individuals will receive a memo regarding proper decorum when utilizing company systems. If the incident proves to be a case wherein intentional sexual harassment has been proven then it is the ethical responsibility of the HR Manager to schedule a meeting with the employee and give him a warning regarding proper conduct within the office. If the behavior continues strict disciplinary actions will have to be enforced culminating in the suspension and possible termination of the employee conducting improper actions while utilizing company resources.
There are two types of computer monitoring that companies use to keep tabs on their employees, the first involves direct access to the computer itself while the other measures how long a computer remains idle. The first method of monitoring is a form of software that is installed on a computer that enables a manager to monitor exactly what is on an employee’s computer screen or hard drive. The reasoning behind this is directly involved in the rising rates of nonessential activities being conducted on office equipment such as visiting websites or playing games while working. By installing software that allows an outside user to observe exactly what an employee is doing this in effect allows a greater degree of control over company operations resulting in better employee efficiency since undesirable behavior can be traced to a specific employee, monitored, and then stopped. Another form of computer monitoring involves the use of installed software to determine whether a person is working on a computer or not. Idle time can be defined as a period in which a person within the office is not working. This can be measured via the amount of activity accomplished within a given hour on a computer.
If a person isn’t working when they should such a lack of activity can be measured via installed software usually resulting in an investigation wherein an employee is questioned as to why they aren’t working. Besides computer monitoring, another method of employee monitoring in most workplaces comes in the form of phone monitoring which comes in the form of either randomly recording phone calls that an employee makes or examining the total records made on a specific phone. Such activities are done to make sure employees are utilizing telephones for company use only and are not engaging in outside activities which may be considered a waste of company resources. While such activities are in clear violation of an employee’s right to privacy the fact remains that a company also has a right to make sure its equipment is being utilized effectively for the right reasons. Not only that they expect a person to accomplish the job that they were paid for. If that person doesn’t do so then the company loses money as a result of that individual’s idleness. As such the preservation of company profits, in this case, supersedes an employee’s right to privacy especially when taking into consideration the continuing trend of employee idleness and online browsing within several large corporations.
Ensuring the Integrity of Online Transactions
Since absolute privacy can never be truly guaranteed what is then needed is to ensure that the process of online transactions is as safe as possible is to ensure that a user’s personally identifiable information and payment information is protected at all times. An examination of recent trends in online theft shows that at times it isn’t a problem of privacy but rather an issue of integrity wherein a client’s information is usually obtained and used not from any inadequate system of security but rather from a company’s employee. A recent case in India involving Norton’s online purchasing website reveals the user information used on the site to purchase software was obtained by an online customer services associate and sold to various online users for use in an online credit card scheme. It is due to a case such as this that it can be seen that ensuring the integrity of online business transactions not only requires ensuring adequate protections are in place from letting unauthorized online users from obtaining a client’s information online but also requires ensuring that on the company’s end enough stringent protection is in place to ensure that the “human factor” does not create potential problems.
Role of Government in Policing the Internet
As of late, there is no specific government agency that deals with policing every aspect of the internet but rather various organizations working in different capacities with each attempting their version of policing the internet. For example, the FBI tracks down the illegal exchange of child pornography online and promptly arrests the individuals who deal in it, the Department of Homeland Security confiscates the domain names of websites within the U.S. that it deems “subversive to American interests” while other Departments related to ensuring continued adherence to intellectual proprietary regulations often take action against websites with servers within the U.S. who illegally distribute pirated copies of various software applications.
It is from instances such as this that it can be seen that the government has no singular role in policing the internet but rather has a multi-faceted approach that deals with several types of problems directly related to online crime. Based on this it can be assumed that the role of the government is to ensure users are using the internet in a manner that does not promote illegal activity. Since the internet itself is in the global public domain an international agency should be created that is given authority by governments to police all matters about online activities of dubious activities, bring these to the attention of the respective countries where the servers are located, and have them proactively prevent such behavior through any means necessary. On the other hand, it must be noted that policing the internet has the potential for reducing the online freedoms of various internet users thus any attempt at policing it should take into consideration the inherent right of any online user to practice whatever freedoms are deemed possible online so long as they follow the law.
Internet Attacks and Cyber terrorism
While there are various types of internet attacks and methods of cyber terrorism that threaten various businesses the most prevalent types of attacks are denial of service attacks, viruses that can wipe out company data, email crimes, identity theft, and finally the installation of spyware. A DOS (Denial of Service) attack comes in the form of thousands of computers linking up and sending continuous requests for data from a company’s website (Sen, 2011). This is done through the use of an online botnet (several computers that have been infected with Trojans or viruses that in effect gives control over the computer to an outside user) (Sen, 2011). The goal is to overwhelm the servers of that particular website and cause it to crash, this particular action has been used by the online hacker group “Anonymous” in various cases of cybercrime to propagate their agenda of ensuring the freedom of online computer users (Sen, 2011). Another method commonly used is to attempt to gain access to a system to obtain the personal and payment information of various customers.
Such an incident happened rather recently with the theft of literally millions of personally identifiable information and credit card details from Sony’s Play Station Network. This is done to commit acts of identity theft thus enabling a person to pose as another individual and buy a product under their name. One method of cyber terrorism has been the intentional creation and proliferation of viruses meant to cause havoc on particular computer systems. This particular type of malicious attack is usually done to either create an online bot network or to merely amuse its creator into seeing the potential chaos that can arise through the virus that he/she created. The last method of cyber-terrorist crimes is the use of false email addresses, this particular strategy involves the creation of a fake email address that is so close to that of a company doing business with another company that officials from a particular company are thus fooled into thinking its from the company it’s doing business with. This is done to change payment transaction details wherein a new account is given for the payments to be transferred to due to supposed problems with the “old account”. This particular type of online crime has been known to cause millions of dollars in lost income every year which is often unrecoverable.
Ethics Officer Job Description
Ethics officer: This position entails having responsibility for overseeing various aspects of a company’s daily operations to make sure that they abide by the company’s code of business ethics. This position also entails a certain degree of responsibility in ensuring that the company’s code of business conduct is regularly updated to take into account changing attitudes in local and international business environments to ensure that the company continues to abide by a strict code of corporate social responsibility that will increase customer patronage to the company.
Specific Responsibilities for this particular position entail the following:
- Identifying specific corporate values of the company and ensuring compliance on all levels.
- Creates training programs specifically designed to help employees familiarize themselves with proper ethical responsibilities to make ethical decisions.
- Investigating various reports of unethical behavior that is going on within the company and taking action based on authority.
- Creating periodic reports to members of upper-level management to inform them of the current state of corporate ethical affairs within the company and make recommendations when necessary.
Candidates for this particular position must possess an MB degree that has focused on corporate ethics and responsibility as well as having strong convictions regarding what can be considered right or wrong behavior.
Whistleblowing is the act of an individual telling the public or a person in authority of possible illegal or dishonest activities being conducted within a company, department, or agency. It must be noted that whistleblowers are almost always looked down upon within a company due to the problems that ensue during the investigation of a company’s wrongdoing. Yet, despite such instances, whistle-blowing is an important study in corporate business ethics since it helps to prevent instances of corruption, fraud, or illegal activity that may negatively impact individuals outside the company. For example, the recent 65 billion dollars Ponzi scheme created by Bernie Madoff was only brought out to public knowledge after his sons told the Securities and Exchange Commission of the actions of their father. They had the choice of either allowing the fraud to continue or put an immediate stop to it. They chose the most ethical decision to prevent more people from being victimized by their father’s schemes.
It is under this moral and ethical framework that most whistleblowers operate since it helps to justify actions that may bring down a company and cost several hundred people their jobs. One of the reasons why employees sometimes refrain from whistle-blowing is directly related to the fact that their actions may have negative repercussions for various innocent people who work for the company and depend upon their salaries (Mansbach & Bachner, 2010). Any act of corporate whistle-blowing could result in the closure of the company resulting in job loss making the whistleblower guilty of their economic destitution. It is based on this train of thought that most people are reluctant to say anything to the proper authorities regarding the actions of the company due to the possible repercussions (Mansbach & Bachner, 2010). In terms of a corporation establishing an ethics hotline it does seem like a plausible idea and one which could help to prevent unethical behavior however there are certain problems with its creation that need to be taken into consideration. For one thing, an ethics hotline would act as a method of enabling members of upper management regarding actions of dubious ethical origin yet if they are in on it the establishment of an ethics hotline would thus cause them to make it seem like the problem has been resolved but the fact remains that those who are guilty of instigating are not punished in the slightest. The best solution when it comes to acts of corporate whistleblowing is to always go to a third-party organization that is outside the scope of control of the company. It is only by doing so that true ethical change can be accomplished resulting in the punishment of those responsible for the unethical behavior.
From: (Place Name here), Manager
Subject: Global Ethics Training Program
As our corporation has now just expanded into the global market we are no longer subject to the same limitations that we once experienced before the expansion. New perspectives are needed as well as new ethical frameworks since with the inclusion of new global corporate tactics come the need to adhere to principles of ethics, morality, and corporate social responsibility to ensure that the image we have built up at the local level gets transmitted to other’s perception of the company on the international stage. Our employees need to be trained to expect new environments wherein their previously held ethical guidelines will not hold sway, it is due to this that a new global ethics training program needs to be created to better prepare our employees to make the right decisions when it comes to judging whether an action fits our company’s core ethical principles.
While I am well aware that individually none of us has any experience in administering ethical training or for that matter international management however I believe that by sitting down and discussing what possible problems may crop up through our new international operations I am sure that we can come up with something that can be effective.
The benefits of an ethics training program can range from not only preparing our employees in a manner that will result in them in making the right ethical decisions but will positively impact our company, as well as our international consumers, realize that all our operations follow strict ethical principles. Corporate social responsibility and its impact on consumer patronage should not be underestimated and as such, we need to make sure our employees will be ready to make the right type of decision at the right time to ensure that consumers feel well treated and as a result will patronize our services.
This particular program will be implemented by first investigating what other corporations in the same line of business have done in terms of implementing proper ethical principles in their methods of international operations. After which programs incorporating both proper international ethical principles, management training in terms of dealing with international clients and employees and finally proper ethical standards in international trade and export will be incorporated into the training program to give our managers and employees sufficient information on what will be needed to properly transit from local to international operations.
It is believed that through the proper implementation of this program our employees will be able to successfully deal with international clients and workers resulting in a new and successful phase in our company’s history.
I look forward to hearing your ideas regarding this particular matter.
(Place Name Here)
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Mansbach, A., & Bachner, Y. G. (2010). Internal or external whistleblowing: Nurses’ willingness to report wrongdoing. Nursing Ethics, 17(4), 483-490.
Sen, J. (2011). A ROBUST MECHANISM FOR DEFENDING DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACKS ON WEB SERVERS. International Journal of Network Security & Its Applications, 3(2), 162-179. Web.
Yager, L. (2008). USA PATRIOT ACT. GAO Reports, 1.