[ANSWERED 2023] How can firms ensure that their code of business ethics is read, understood, believed, remembered, and acted on rather than ignored?

Written By: Dan Palmer, RN

How can firms ensure that their code of business ethics is read, understood, believed

How can firms ensure that their code of business ethics is read, understood, believed, remembered, and acted on rather than ignored?Assignment TWO:

1.How can firms ensure that their code of business ethics is read, understood, believed, remembered, and acted on rather than ignored?

Your response should be 75 words in length.

2. Discuss bribery. Would actions, such as politicians adding earmarks in legislation or pharmaceutical salespersons giving away drugs to physicians, constitute bribery? Identify three business activities that would constitute bribery and three actions that would not.

Your response should be 75 words in length.

3. If you owned a small business, would you develop a code of business conduct? If yes, what variables would you include? If not, how would you ensure that your employees were following ethical business standards?

Your response should be 75 words in length.

4. Why is it important not to view the concept of “whistleblowing” as “tattling” or “ratting” on another employee?

Your response should be 75 words in length.

5. What do you feel is the relationship between personal ethics and business ethics? Are they or should they be the same?

EXPERT ANSWER AND EXPLANATION

Analysis of Code of Business Ethics

Question 1: Ensuring the Code of Business Ethics is understood and acted on

An organization can adopt various measures focused on ensuring that its employees understand, believe, remember and act on the code of business ethics. Creating awareness about the code of ethics and the benefit of this code, for instance, can help the staff know how to behave. The organization can carry the awareness campaign by giving employees the copies of the code of ethics or even positing the same on the notice boards of the different departments within the organization. It can also integrate these codes into the job training, and administer exams to test whether the employees understand the codes.

Question 2: Bribery and Bribery Examples

Bribery is an illegal practice or an act in which one solicits, gives, promises or offers a favor or money so that they can be favored by others who are either enforcing laws, or offering business deals. Such san act, therefore, lead to one having unfair advantage over others. Examples of such an act is one offering to give another person a certain amount of money if the individual awards them a business contract.

Other examples include giving a judge money to rule in one’s favor, and a border official accepting money to allow one to illegally enter into a country (Vranka & Bahník, 2018). Acts such as giving offerings, selling drugs, and accepting token of appreciation do not constitute acts of bribery.

Question 3: Formulation and Implementation of Strategies

It is imperative that firms should formulate and implement their strategies from the perspective of the environment in which they operate. Adopting this approach when formulating and implementing the strategies is important because it influences an organization to take into account the sustainability and corporate social responsibility when it is deciding on the best strategy. An organization does this to ensure that it engages in ethical business practice, and that its practices does not lead to the depletion of resources and environmental degradation (Samuel, Derrick, & van Leeuwen, 2019).

Question 4: The Importance of Whistleblowing

When an individual reports an incidence of breach of business ethics, this act should not be seen as an act in which one rattles or rats another employee. Instead, people should see the act as a good thing to do because it can help an organization in various ways. For instance, it can prevent the legal ramifications which may arise when an organization fails to meet certain ethical or legal obligations. It may also help save the organization’s reputation (Garrick, 2017).

Question 5: Relationship between Personal Ethics and Business Ethics

It is common to see people having personal ethics, and an individual project their ethics in terms of the way they behave. In this case, one can tell an individual’s personal ethics by observing the behaviors of the individual. This is the same case with the business ethics which is about dictating how people should behave or the kind of attitude they should have.

One’s personal ethics can determine how they accept or comply with the business ethics, and if one’s values clash with the business’ values, then it is difficult for such a person to work in such a business environment. The personal values which one hold can influence how they see the organizational ethics (Pope, 2015).

Things which matter to one may not necessarily matter to the organization they work. If an organization’s ethics dictate that one should behave in a certain manner, an individual would have an obligation to behave as the organization requires even if such dictates go against one’s values. Therefore, the ethics of a business, and those of an individual should not be the same.

Instead, one should direct their personal ethics towards helping enforce or implement the codes of the ethics of their business.

References

Bergman, C., Dellve, L., & Skagert, K. (2016). Exploring communication processes in workplace meetings: A mixed methods study in a Swedish healthcare organizationWork (Reading, Mass.)54(3), 533–541. Doi:https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-162366.

Garrick, J. (2017). Peer Support for Whistleblowers. Federal practitioner : for the health care professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS34(7), 38–41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6370439/.

Pope, K. S. (2015). Steps to strengthen ethics in organizations: research findings, ethics placebos, and what works. Journal of trauma & dissociation : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD)16(2), 139–152. Doi https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2015.995021.

Samuel, G., Derrick, G. E., & van Leeuwen, T. (2019). The Ethics Ecosystem: Personal Ethics, Network Governance and Regulating Actors Governing the Use of Social Media Research Data. Minerva57(3), 317–343. Doi https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-019-09368-3.

Vranka, M. A., & Bahník, Š. (2018). Predictors of Bribe-Taking: The Role of Bribe Size and Personality. Frontiers in psychology9, 1511. Doi https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01511.

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FAQs

To be successful business ethics training programs need to?

Successful business ethics training programs need to:

  1. Be Comprehensive: The training should cover a range of ethical issues that may arise in the workplace. It should not only focus on legal compliance but also address broader ethical principles such as honesty, integrity, and respect for human dignity.
  2. Be Customized: The training should be tailored to the specific needs and culture of the organization. This will ensure that the training is relevant and resonates with employees, and will help to create a culture of ethics and integrity.
  3. Be Engaging: The training should be delivered in a way that is engaging and interactive. This can be done through the use of real-life scenarios, case studies, and role-playing exercises that encourage employees to think critically about ethical dilemmas.
  4. Be Ongoing: Ethical training should not be a one-time event. It should be part of an ongoing process that includes regular updates and reinforcement of ethical principles. This will help to keep ethics top of mind and ensure that employees are consistently making ethical decisions.
  5. Be Supported by Leadership: The success of an ethics training program is dependent on the support of organizational leadership. Leaders should model ethical behavior, communicate the importance of ethics, and provide resources and support to employees who are facing ethical dilemmas.
  6. Be Measurable: The effectiveness of the training program should be regularly evaluated to ensure that it is achieving its intended goals. This can be done through the use of surveys, focus groups, and other evaluation tools to measure changes in employee behavior and attitudes towards ethical decision-making.

How can management ensure that ethical behavior is followed in their business?

Ensuring ethical behavior in a business requires a combination of leadership commitment, clear policies, effective communication, and a supportive organizational culture. Here are several strategies that management can employ to foster and ensure ethical behavior within their business:

  1. Lead by Example:
    • Demonstrate ethical behavior at all levels of management. Leaders should serve as role models for ethical conduct, reinforcing the importance of integrity and honesty.
  2. Establish a Code of Ethics:
    • Develop and communicate a comprehensive code of ethics that outlines the expected behavior and standards for all employees. Ensure that the code is easily accessible and understood by everyone in the organization.
  3. Implement Ethical Training Programs:
    • Conduct regular training sessions on ethics and compliance to educate employees about the company’s ethical standards, policies, and relevant regulations. Training should include practical scenarios and case studies.
  4. Promote Open Communication:
    • Encourage open and transparent communication channels within the organization. Employees should feel comfortable reporting ethical concerns without fear of retaliation. Establish anonymous reporting mechanisms, such as hotlines or confidential email systems.
  5. Create a Supportive Environment:
    • Foster a positive and supportive work environment where employees feel empowered to raise ethical concerns and seek guidance. Avoid punitive measures for honest mistakes and encourage a learning culture.
  6. Incorporate Ethical Considerations in Decision-Making:
    • Integrate ethical considerations into the decision-making process. Leaders should evaluate the ethical implications of business decisions, seeking input from relevant stakeholders, and ensuring alignment with the company’s values.
  7. Establish Clear Policies and Procedures:
    • Develop and enforce clear policies and procedures that address ethical issues relevant to the business. Regularly update and communicate these policies to ensure they remain relevant in evolving business environments.
  8. Conduct Regular Audits and Assessments:
    • Implement regular internal audits and assessments to evaluate the company’s adherence to ethical standards. This can help identify areas for improvement and ensure ongoing compliance.
  9. Recognize and Reward Ethical Behavior:
    • Acknowledge and reward employees who consistently demonstrate ethical behavior. This reinforces the importance of ethical conduct and motivates others to follow suit.
  10. Enforce Consequences for Violations:
    • Clearly communicate the consequences for ethical violations and consistently enforce them. This helps establish a culture where unethical behavior is not tolerated.
  11. Seek External Guidance:
    • Engage external consultants or ethical experts to provide guidance on ethical practices, especially in industries where specific ethical challenges are common.
  12. Encourage Stakeholder Engagement:
    • Involve key stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and the community, in discussions about ethical business practices. Consider their perspectives and feedback when making ethical decisions.

How do ethical codes ensure the success of an organization?

Ethical codes play a crucial role in ensuring the success of an organization by providing a framework for responsible and principled conduct. Here are several ways in which ethical codes contribute to organizational success:

  1. Builds Trust and Credibility:
    • Ethical codes help build trust among stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the community. When an organization consistently adheres to ethical principles, it establishes a reputation for integrity, which is essential for long-term success.
  2. Enhances Reputation:
    • A commitment to ethical behavior enhances the organization’s reputation. Positive public perception can lead to increased customer loyalty, attracting and retaining customers who value doing business with an ethical and socially responsible entity.
  3. Attracts and Retains Talent:
    • Ethical codes are attractive to employees who seek to work for organizations with strong values. A commitment to ethical conduct can help attract top talent, and a positive ethical culture can contribute to employee satisfaction and retention.
  4. Mitigates Legal and Regulatory Risks:
    • Ethical codes often align with legal and regulatory requirements. By adhering to ethical standards, organizations reduce the risk of legal and regulatory violations, avoiding legal disputes, fines, and damage to the organization’s reputation.
  5. Fosters a Positive Organizational Culture:
    • Ethical codes contribute to the development of a positive organizational culture. When employees understand and embrace ethical principles, it creates a harmonious work environment, enhances teamwork, and contributes to employee morale and well-being.
  6. Drives Decision-Making and Accountability:
    • Ethical codes serve as a guide for decision-making at all levels of the organization. When employees are guided by a shared set of ethical values, it facilitates consistent and principled decision-making. Ethical codes also establish a basis for holding individuals accountable for their actions.
  7. Facilitates Responsible Business Practices:
    • Ethical codes promote responsible business practices by encouraging organizations to consider the social, environmental, and economic impact of their actions. This focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility contributes to long-term success.
  8. Strengthens Stakeholder Relationships:
    • Ethical behavior fosters positive relationships with various stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, investors, and the local community. Strong stakeholder relationships contribute to organizational resilience and success through collaboration and mutual support.
  9. Reduces Organizational Risk:
    • Ethical codes help identify and address potential risks associated with unethical behavior. Proactively managing ethical risks reduces the likelihood of crises that can negatively impact the organization’s success.
  10. Promotes Innovation and Creativity:
    • An ethical culture encourages openness, trust, and collaboration. This environment is conducive to innovation and creativity as employees feel empowered to share ideas without fear of unethical practices or repercussions.
  11. Aligns with Consumer Preferences:
    • In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of corporate ethics, organizations with strong ethical codes align with consumer preferences. This alignment can lead to increased customer loyalty and support.
  12. Contributes to Long-Term Sustainability:
    • Ethical conduct contributes to the long-term sustainability of the organization. By considering the impact of decisions on all stakeholders and the broader environment, the organization is better positioned to adapt to changing circumstances and thrive over time.

What action is an example of bribery?

Bribery is an unethical practice involving the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value (such as money, gifts, favors, or benefits) with the intent to influence the actions of an individual in a position of power or trust. Here’s an example to illustrate:

Scenario: Imagine a business executive seeking a government contract for their company. To influence the decision-making process, the executive offers a substantial sum of money to a government official responsible for awarding the contracts. The money is given with the explicit expectation that, in return, the official will favorably consider the executive’s company for the contract.

Action: In this scenario, the act of the business executive offering money to the government official in exchange for favorable treatment is an example of bribery. It involves an attempt to use financial incentives to influence a decision-maker in a way that undermines fair and impartial judgment, potentially compromising the integrity of the decision-making process. Bribery is illegal in many jurisdictions and is considered a serious ethical violation in both business and public sectors.

What type of bribery does the Bribery Act principally aim to prevent?

The Bribery Act principally aims to prevent and address several types of bribery, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to combating corrupt practices. The Bribery Act of 2010 is a piece of legislation in the United Kingdom that addresses bribery-related offenses. It is known for its strict and far-reaching provisions. The Act primarily focuses on four main offenses:

  1. Bribing Another Person (Section 1):
    • This offense occurs when a person offers, promises, or gives a financial or other advantage to another person with the intent to induce that person to perform a relevant function or activity improperly. It also covers situations where the person being bribed is not the same as the person performing the function.
  2. Being Bribed (Section 2):
    • This offense involves the act of requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a financial or other advantage with the intention of performing a relevant function or activity improperly.
  3. Bribing a Foreign Public Official (Section 6):
    • The Bribery Act addresses bribery of foreign public officials. This offense occurs when a person offers, promises, or gives a financial or other advantage to a foreign public official with the intent to influence that official in their official capacity and obtain or retain business or a business advantage.
  4. Failure of Commercial Organizations to Prevent Bribery (Section 7):
    • This is a corporate offense that holds commercial organizations accountable for failing to prevent bribery carried out on their behalf. It applies to businesses operating in the UK or conducting business there. Commercial organizations can be held liable if a person associated with them bribes another person for the organization’s benefit.

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