Code of Ethics Reflecting on Personal Experience
Course Name and Number
Code of Ethics
Ethics form an essential part in any individual, group, or organization, especially if the subject regularly interacts with other parties and organizations in a corporate environment. It is the duty of every individual and / or organization to develop ethical and moral standards to enhance relations with other parties in accordance with international ethical standards. A code of ethics is a set of personal or organizational values developed according to acceptable ethical standards and approaches to enable the concerned parties to carry themselves out according to the set ethical standards. Normally, individuals and institutions develop codes of ethics for their personal and professional lives to promote harmonious and acceptable behavior within their respective environments. Although a number of approaches to developing codes of ethics are available, the underpinning ruledemands all standards of ethics toensure clarity and objectivity in the values and principles, plainly indicating the implementation and monitoring plan, and a plan for periodical ethical auditing.
Statement of Values
For an individual or organization to succeed in personal or professional world, there is need to put in place a concrete statement that determines the values and principles that party cherishes. These values include personal integrity, responsibility, honesty, excellence, and respect. These values haveproved to be effective as far as both personal and career advancements are concerned (Hatcher & Aragon, 2000).
1. Personal integrity one needs to engage in constructive behavior that has the benefit of enhancing individual or organizations image. In order to ensure personal integrity, an individual should always build their reputation and avoid any behavior that questions ones credibility.
2. Responsibility to conduct ones self in a wise manner that attracts dependence and opportunities. Responsibility calls for accountability in every undertaking.
3. Honesty ensures credibilityand trustworthiness in all endeavors and consequently leading to more opportunities towards honest persons.
4. Excellence This means always aiming for the best quality in productivity and output in school or professional lifestyle in accordance to the prevailing evaluation criteria. Since this is a continuous process, a person can undergo continuous process of perfection, as there is no limit to this principle.
5. Respect it implies obey prevailing regulations, all stakeholders, and third parties. By being respectful at all times, one earns respect and integrity that in turn that helps in boosting their ethical perception.
Through responsible upbringing, most parents have been able to instill these crucial values into the systems of their young ones through constant guidance and correction. This forms the basis of ethical development as high ethical values and good morals begin from as early as during the childhood years of a givenperson.Individuals can acquire ethical principles from learning activities at school or while attending religious teachings where they inculcate a myriad of moral teachings that over the years form their ethical standards. Various approaches through which parents, mentors, teachers, role models, and guardians impart the ethical values exist with the one commonly used by parents at home being the end-based approach. This method involves evaluation the benefits or otherwise consequences of a particular course of to the family members or the public. Through understanding the consequences, individuals especially the children can reconsider their actions thereby shaping their own ethical principles (Hatcher & Aragon, 2000).
While at school or in religious meetings, the teachers employed the rule-based approach that contemplates the evaluation of the motive of n action. In this case, a particular course of action was morally wrong or right depending on its motive. Through this strict approach, children were able to follow only the right ways with good motives while evading ill motivated acts at all costs and by practicing this, they were able to acquire the desired ethical values.In such situations, several approaches existed like the virtue-based approach where the children shared common values like the love for one another, strive for academic excellence, and the general obedience of the general rules governing such institutions. While experiencing learning in various settings, individuals undergo ethical transformation to enable them cope efficiently with the dynamic world(Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
It is clear that these ethical principles have experienced a significant evolution over time especially considering the fact that both career and personal progression demands some injection of such values. Firstly, the progression of excellence as an ethical principle has been due to the continued advancement in education and constant practice. The theory of continuity supports the advancement and perpetuation of ethical values and principles over time to have a situation of impeccable ethical standards. Such values as responsibility, honesty, and integrity are very crucial when it comes to personal and professional development and indeed, they do develop as one matures provided there is passion and determination (Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
While developing a code of ethics, various persons or organizations face certain issues of moral philosophy, depending on the approach employed. The commonest one is the normative ethics because people have to grapple with determining whether a particular course of action is bad or good, right or wrong, on a daily basis. This tends to shape their general standards of ethics besides making them choose different approaches as regards ethical values. For example, in the Virtue-end approach, individuals have to face moral issues like differentiating between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in diverse environments (Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Training and Communication Plan
In acknowledging the significance of communication plan in an organization, training is equally important especially concerning the code of ethics. In order to make an organization to achieve general prosperity,both the employees and the management have to keep the companys image at its best. Most corporate leaders attain this best by employing a training and communication plan as a management tool. It entails various steps that employees and stakeholders have to go through (Schwartz, 2002).
Under normal circumstances, the first step in communication planning is the identification of the target audiences. This is important to know which kinds of materials to develop anddistribute to the audience. In a corporate environment, the appropriate target audience would be the organization staff, with special emphasis on the employees. The target audience can as well be friends and relatives if the communication is at a personal level. The second step is the identification of appropriate communication channel. In doing this, the management is able to evaluate whether group or personal approach would be convenient based on the size(Hoff, Larose, &Scaturro, 2002). Most organizations make use of various channels such as the internet platform, public communication through conferences, and board meetings. The most suitable channel of communication for training the employees on code of ethics is through conferences and seminars(Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Furthermore, it is imperative that the communication goals and outcomes be included in the plan. The objectives of this communication plan are to impart ethical values and principles to all stakeholders in the organization and to improve on their general conduct and professional ethics. The expected outcomes will be more or less corresponding to the objectives as outlined in the communication plan (Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Accordingly, the training program will be a function of collective responsibility whereby the steering committee will liaise with respective public relations officials in order to determine the implementation procedure and timeframe.In the training program, the management may decide to include the scope of the training as far as code of ethics is concerned, the priority of training the employees, and the schedule of the training. When the organization plans its training program, it enhances efficiency and eliminates the chances of possible disorganization during training (Schwartz, 2002).
According to Hoff, Larose, and Scaturro (2002), when an organization makes radical changes in its structure, procedures, or management, implementation planning comes in handy considering the fact that perfecting any code of ethics takes some time. Ordinarily, employees will have to take time to adapt to new policies and operating procedures, a factor that necessitates a follow up through the implementation plan.The implementation plan has numerous benefits in aiding the implementation of code of ethics within the organization and overseeing itssmooth take off. In this case, the organization or individual drawing the implementation plan has carry out certain assessments to ensure that all the employees or parties concerned are performing well in upholding set code of ethics. The concerned parties will use the implementation plan to estimate the time needed to adopt the new ethical values and principles effectively while clearly charting out the roles and responsibilities of every stakeholder in the adoption of the said ethical values. The management has to confirm whether the implementation of such project is feasible taking into consideration the diverse personality of the persons expected to assume the ethical codes of conduct. The employees or rather the subjects of these ethical standards, have to agree on their part to fully support and observe the code of ethics set by the organization or themselves (Schwartz, 2002).
Plan for the Role of Leadership
In management, Leadership forms a crucial part in ensuring that all the policies and ethical codes of conducts are followed to the latter. It is therefore important to develop a realistic and timely leadership plan through the incorporation of ethical values into the possible roles. In determining the best leadership style for an organization, the following code of ethics is vital(Alahmad, 2010).
a) Predicting and picturing the leadership team that would suit a particular individual. This entails finding estimates on how many people one will work with as a team, their respective skills, competences, and role within the organization. Envisioning the team that one would lead is an important forecasting aspect in managing teamwork.
b) Settingboth career and leadership goals corresponding to the expected leadership positions and working towards achieving them can be a progressive technique. This is actually a function of excellence and determination as aspects of ethical values and principles.By constantly pursuing the best in all circumstances and situations, an individual is able to break through when a leadership opportunity comes by.
c) Strategically picking winning techniques that would give an individual a competitive edge over their rivals. These methods may include mentoring other people, teaching, attending workshops and seminars, and engaging in exchange programs at various levels. These activities, when evaluated carefully, reveal the evolving nature of ethical values and principles based on the prevailing environmental aspects.
Developing ones self as a potential leader is a proactive step towards attracting and retaining lucrative leadership positions. By assuming leadership mentality in advance, an individual is able to envision their role in a particular business or management environment and as stipulated in their code of ethics (Schwartz, 2002).
Corporate Social Issues
Despite the fact that some organizations are still skeptical about engaging in social issues, those that have embraced corporate social responsibility have enjoyed various benefits. According to Cragg (2005), it comeswith an equal share of challenges though, as more concerns surface with the expansion of stakeholder base. Corporate social responsibility just like any other ethical principle is a worthy course that more organizations should embrace without any fear of contradiction.
While some organizations focus more on the market place, they forget to evaluate the quality and safety implications to the stakeholders. An organization following acceptable code of ethics should only engage in legal business with legitimate products and services. This fosters stakeholder confidence in the individual or organization thereby enhancing cordial and healthy relationship between the stakeholders and the corporate (Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Another weighty issue relating the corporate world to the social world is the concern for the environment. With increasing demands for all organizations to embrace and uphold cleaner production, most corporates have had to endure stringent policies that demand the use of greener energy in production. This concern has rapidly won the public perception and recent studies indicate that companies with higher carbon footprints have reduced public appeal. In real sense, pollution is a mere misnomer for waste products or materials found in wrong places. The best ethical procedure for an organization is to care for the environment by reducing pollution. The code of ethics envisages the protection of environment from pollution through reducing, reusing, and recycling the waste products (Cragg, 2005).
Perhaps the most interesting social issue that most corporates encounter is the treatment of various employees within the organization. It is always advisable to treat employees with utmost dignity as they represent an invaluable asset within the company. This is a set of ethical standards that corporates will only ignore ate their own peril as it form the basis of the existence of that particular organization. Finally, the community plays a major role in as far as the sustainability of the organization is concerned. A responsible corporate should integrate the participation of the local community into their practices as not only does this spice up its ethical standards, it is also a suitable way of market research and identifying the major challenges in the vicinity(Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Recent Laws and Regulations Influencing the Corporation
Within the US legislative system are a number of laws that significantly touch on how businesses found within its jurisdiction ought to operate. These laws enforce, prohibit, or regulate business enterprises and corporates in their modes of operation. A good example of such laws is the21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 210, Part 211, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. These recent regulations affect many companies operating in the food, drugs, and cosmetic industries. They regulate the manufacturing process and the extent of information disclosure as regards the products and services offered. Ethical standards dictate that corporates ought to be honest about the components of the products and services they offer and the processes involved in their manufacture as this is in line with the international best practices(Cragg, 2005).
Monitoring and Enforcement Plan
As full adherence to the code of conduct may prove to be an uphill task, it is recommendable that an organization put in place a monitoring and enforcement plan. The monitoring and enforcement plan elucidates on how the management ought to investigate monitor the implementation progress of the code of ethics so enshrined within the organization policy. In addition, the management also evaluates any confirmed or alleged breaches as far as adhering to the code of ethics is concerned. This is especially useful to consider any disciplinary action against the alleged suspects. It is the duty of the enforcement body to ensure that proper investigatory and regulatory options that allowsappropriate employee complaint channels exist. Lastly, the monitoring and evaluation plan consists of elaborate permission and prosecution procedures that allow fair hearing and penalty in accordance with the code of ethics (Winstanley& Woodall, 2000).
Ethics and Auditing Plan
An organization can opt to carry out ethics audit either on a monthly basis or on yearly basis, depending on the extent and complexity of the audit.Overall, the first step in planning an ethics audit is the review of the existing code of ethics and policies regarding the organization to bring the auditors up to speed with the current values enforced and practiced by the organization. The second phase includes the review of various breaches of the code of ethics from different and archives. The third and final stage involves reaching out to the employees in order to hear from them what challenges they encounter in efforts to adopt the code of ethics. The audit team may at this point out various occasions and incidences of breach of the code of conduct, taking into consideration that not every breach of the ethical code of conduct is intentional or illegal (Hatcher & Aragon, 2000).
Considerations for Working Internationally
Taking an international job is a challenging affair in spite of the fact that it brings along new and dynamic opportunities that entice many individuals. When considering taking up an international job opportunity, ones needs to assess the cost and the organization by carefully valuating the program beforehand.Another possible consideration would be to evaluate whether the proposed position is in line with the subjects career development plan. This would be essential in avoiding job descriptions that would divert an individuals attention from their preferred and set code of ethics. Last but more importantly, one needs to acquaint themselves with the prevailing laws and regulations in the foreign land in order not to breach any contractual laws. It is advisable that individuals learn some foreign language and code of ethics as appertains to the country of visit (Alahmad, 2010).
Although a number of approaches to developing codes of ethics are available, the underpinning rule demands all standards of ethics to ensure clarity and objectivity in the values and principles, plainly indicating the implementation and monitoring plan, and a plan for periodical ethical auditing. As it is apparent, every organization and individual requires some code of ethics and management planning skills in order to prosper both at the corporate and personal level.
Alahmad, A. (2010). To be ethical or not to be: An international code of ethics for leadership. Journal of Diversity Management, 5(1), 31-35. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/195579458?accountid=45049
Cragg, W. (2005). Ethics codes, corporations and the challenge of globalization. Cheltenham: Elgar.
Hatcher, T., & Aragon, S. R. (2000). A code of ethics and integrity for HRD research and practice. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 11(2), 179-185. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/234903798?accountid=45049
Hoff, J. M., Larose, L. A., & Scaturro, F. J. (2002). Public companies. New York, N.Y: Law Journal Press.
Schwartz, M. S. (2002). A code of ethics for corporate code of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(1), 27-43. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/198143684?accountid=45049
Winstanley, D., & Woodall, J. (2000). The ethical dimension of human resource management. Human Resource Management Journal, 10(2), 5-20. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/199417324?accountid=45049