BUSINESS ETHICS

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BUSINESSETHICS

BusinessEthics

PartA

Thenotion of corporate social responsibility is a momentous one and hastaken a significant position in the world of business. The concept ofcorporate social responsibility emerged after the emergence of theconcept of globalization and has been perceived as a crucial idea tobusinesses due to promoting competitiveness of businesses. Corporatesocial responsibility describes a way that a business is required tosustain its resources so as to be capable of utilizing them now andeven in the future. Corporate social responsibility focuses oneconomic performance, business ethics, and philanthropiccontributions. Therefore, a corporate social responsibility policyacts as a mechanism that a business uses in monitoring and ensuringits compliance with the ethical standards, international or nationalnorms, and spirit of the land (Lee &amp Kotler, 2013 pp.84). Theidea of social responsibility is thus focused on chiefly on how togenerate value to all the stakeholders of a business (Lockett et al.,2006 pp.68).

Carroll’sPyramid Theory

Accordingto Carroll, for corporate social responsibility to be acceptable,four dimensions should be followed. These four dimensions constitutetotality of corporate social responsibility and they includeeconomic, ethical, legal and philanthropic responsibilities. Theseresponsibilities are discussed in the paragraphs that follow.

EconomicResponsibilities

Businessesare created as economic entities that have the responsibility ofproviding goods and services to members of society. In the process ofproviding goods and services to consumers, businesses are supposed tomake acceptable profits (Gottschalk, 2011 pp. 102). The economicresponsibility is very important and helps to predicate otherbusiness responsibilities.

LegalResponsibilities

Businessesare not only sanctioned by society to operate in accordance with theprofit motive, but they are also required to comply with the societallaws and regulations. As a fractional achievement of the socialcontract amid business and society, businesses are expected to followtheir economic missions within the provisions of the law (Carroll,1991). Legal responsibility reflects an outlook of codified ethics inthe essence that they represent notions of fair operations asdeveloped by lawmakers.

EthicalResponsibilities

Economicand legal responsibilities constitute ethical norms concerningfairness and justice, while ethical responsibilities grip practicesand activities which are expected or restricted by societal memberseven if they are not codified into law. In short, ethicalresponsibilities constitute standards, norms, and expectations thatmirror a concern for what employees, consumers, shareholders andcommunity consider fair and just. Ethical responsibilities areperceived to respect or protect the moral rights of stakeholders.

PhilanthropicResponsibility

Philanthropycomprises actions of the business that are in response to theexpectations of the society that businesses should be good corporatecitizens. This entails actively being involved in actions or programsthat promote human welfare (Carroll, 1991). In considering CSR,businesses have to comply with the philanthropic responsibilities.

AnIllustration of the CSR Pyramid

Source:Carroll (1991)

Accordingto the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD),corporate social responsibility is a plan that shows the obligationof business in contributing to economic development while enhancingthe quality of life of employees, the local community and the societyat large (WBSCD, 2014). The World Bank is supportive of idea ofbusiness being committed to the concept of corporate socialresponsibility and indicates that companies that are sociallyresponsible watch their impact on the environment and communitieswhen making decisions thus, they balance the needs of the businesswith those of the stakeholders (Doane, 2004 pp.108).

EthicalDimension from A Manager’s Perspective

Accordingto Madura (2012), a manager is usually charged with theresponsibility of allocating resources of a business in an effectivemanner, and influences those around him to be committed to doing theright thing. Because of his position, a manager should be in aposition to act in an ethical manner so as to make those who followhim also act in an ethical manner when making decisions.

Theethical dimension of a manager in a business context entailsintegrity, professional conduct, confidentiality, as well asobjectivity. Integrity dimension requires that a manager showshonesty in undertaking his or her responsibilities. In all his/herduties, a manager is expected to show honesty by treating allemployees fairly as it deserves. Equality in this case is animportant concept, where managers should be capable of treating allemployees in an equal manner. When employees are treated equally,there would no cases of mistreatment in an organization since theemployees will try to develop the conduct of the manager, which wouldresult in forming bonds that motivate employees towards working foran organization. This would ultimately result in an enhancedorganization that has the ability to perform.

Managersshould be in a position to follow professional conducts. In everyprofession, there are professional ethics that individuals need tofollow in executing the different duties that they are assigned to.As a manager, it is critical to ensure that he/she followsprofessional ethics in executing roles that are assigned to him/her.The professional ethics are designed such that they helpprofessionals in executing their roles by ensuring following ofethical standards. Therefore, in case a manager executes his roles byfollowing the professional conducts, he/she will be capable of makingemployees also follow the same suit making an organization to bebetter positioned in the use of resources (Mullerat &amp Brennan,2011 pp.74).

Confidentialityis another critical aspect that a manager should have as it isimportant in the attainment of a business objective. As a manager, itis important to emphasize the aspect of confidentiality to theemployees, but it has to come from the manager first. Sensitiveinformation for an organization is exceedingly important because itmay be used in maintaining the competitiveness of an organization.So, when such information is revealed, an organization may beincapable of competing effectively. As such, confidentiality is vitalin an organization. In every aspect, it is important for managers toshow ethical conduct. In executing his/her roles, a manager is likelyto encounter situations of ethical dilemma but it is crucial for amanager to always follow ethical guidelines (Su and Littlefield, 2001pp.96). In dealing with different situations in an organization, amanager should therefore think himself/herself as a role model andensure that he uses ethics in delivering his/her roles. This would bebeneficial to the organization and other stakeholders.

EthicalDimensions from the Individual Perspective

Ethicaldimensions of a business usually determine how an individual respondsto a business. Businesses should be keen to treat individuals fairlyso as individuals can respond positively. A business that followsethical principles in the production and provision of products islikely to make individuals happy with its conduct this would makeindividuals purchase products from such a business happily. Forinstance, consider a company that produces its products and protectsthe environment through ensuring that it does not discharge itswastes to the environment also consider another business thatmanufactures its products and discharges the wastes from theproduction to the environment. When the two organizations come to themarket to sell their products, individuals are likely to behavedifferently to the two organizations based on the ethical practicesof the two organizations. Individuals are likely to willinglypurchase products of the business that does not discharge its wastesto the environment and refuse to purchase products of the secondbusiness, which discharges its wastes to the environment. Therefore,the conduct of businesses has an influence in the manner thatindividuals behave. Individuals have a place in the society insupporting the businesses that conduct themselves ethically.Individuals should judge businesses based on the actions thatbusinesses portray in case the actions of the businesses are notethical, individuals should challenge such a business. On the otherhand, individuals should support businesses that show ethicalpractices. This would be beneficial for individuals, the business aswell as the community.

EthicalDimensions from Society Perspectives

Anentity that is sound usually focuses on developing a generic approachtowards the operations and activities of the business. Suchbusinesses perform towards the fulfillment of the objectives of thestakeholders instead of pursuing self-interest of the business.Businesses that follow ethical principles tend to offer products andservices that are of high quality to the consumers in the society soas to ensure the satisfaction of customers. An ethical businessentity will usually undertake environmentally friendly initiativesand such initiatives are likely to have increased societalperception. In the society, there are pressure groups that are highlyactive when businesses do not engage in ethical practices. Thesepressure groups also support businesses that hold to ethicalprinciples.

Incase corporate social responsibility is not based on following formallegislation, it can be proposed that managers, individuals, andsociety can help in making corporate social responsibility stillmeaningful. Managers can make corporate social responsibility to bemeaningful through following ethical guidelines when executing theirrole in the business. This would make employees follow the steps ofmanagers, which would make the business follow CSR dimensions.Alternatively, individuals would make businesses follow ethicalpractices through reacting positively to businesses that have theinterest of the stakeholders at heart. This would make businesseshave strong desires in fulfilling the interests of stakeholders.Furthermore, through pressure groups in society, firms that do notconduct themselves ethically in serving the interests of stakeholdersface immense pressure. Differences in business ethics systems in theglobe have led to differences in business competitiveness.

PartB

McDonald’sis a global business enterprise, which provides quality products andservices to more than 32,000 restaurants globally. The CSR report forMcDonald’s is a showcase of the framework of corporate governanceof the business and the impacts on resource mobilization and use.Through the CSR report, McDonald’s shows the practical approach ofaccountability as well as transparency that constitutes governanceguidelines. The CSR report represents McDonald’s governance policyfor the organization’s corporate citizenship commitments.

EthicalEnvironment of McDonald’s

McDonald’sorganization is involved in philanthropic responsibilities since itdonates part of its profits to the Ronald McDonald children home,which commenced its operations as a non-profit entity and dependsheavily on McDonald’s for funding requirements. It is clear that itis through the funds provided by the organization that children inRonald McDonald homes are taken care of. This is ethical because itcan be categorized as a good course of action. Despite thisphilanthropic action, the organization provides food that constitutesa lot fats as well as unhealthy conditions that may result in childobesity, asthma, and heart disease. Also, statistics indicate that athird of children in the United States having 4-19 years are highlyengaged in consuming fast foods this is a threatening situationbecause it exposes them to the risk of obesity (Holguin, 2004). In anattempt to resolve the issue of obesity to children, McDonald’s hasstepped in. According to Baertlein (2013), McDonald’s has currentlyconsidered a plan of providing fresh fruits as well vegetables alongwith the burger as a measure of reducing the effect of fast food. Nevertheless, the message offered to children having burgers may harmtheir lives to a larger extent. Further, according to McDonald’s2010 CSR Report, McDonald’s has indicated that the beef it obtainsis the best and usually pay attention to quality of commodities theyprovide. However, it has been indicated that the beef that is used inMcDonald’s in the preparation of burgers are usually washed withAmmonium Hydroxide so as to remove fat in the beef the use ofAmmonium Hydroxide is considered harmful for human welfare in caseused in large quantities (Oliver, 2013).

The2010 CSR Report of the McDonald’s indicates that the organizationprides itself on the sustainable techniques they undertake inplanting and growing its potatoes. Nevertheless, according to Eng(2013), it has been discovered that the potatoes which the McDonald’suse in the preparation of French fries are usually geneticallyproduced instead of producing them naturally. The use of geneticallyproduced potatoes in the preparation of French fries is a threat tothe well being of humans since it may result to humans having healthproblems.

Anotherimportant aspect that the organization has pointed out in its 2010CSR report is that it prides itself on the treatment as well asenhanced labor practices. The 2010 CSR Report indicates thatMcDonald’s provides its employees with a chance of deciding ontheir medical plan and at the same time they are entitled to a profitsharing mechanism. However, labor issues have been problematic inMcDonald’s because of the use of child labor, especially in China.In China, McDonald’s have been indicated to use child labor inmanufacturing toys that the organization provides with the “happymeals” this child labor is usually sourced at a remarkably lowrate (Macleod &amp Macleod, 2000). Also, according to Mier (2013),McDonald’s has been associated with violating labor laws of Brazilsince they have manipulated as well as refrained from payingemployees. This is a clear indication that the organization has poorlabor practices, despite it priding itself as a good employer.

Impactof the CSR to McDonald’s Performance and Behavior

Organizationsare becoming exceedingly cautious towards their performance and as aresult, they have embraced the concept of corporate socialresponsibility. In incorporating corporate social responsibilitypolicies, organizations have to consider the interests of thestakeholders. The following paragraphs discuss how the corporatesocial responsibility would impact the performance of McDonald’s.

BrandImage

Itis clear that organizations are increasingly being focused withenhancing their brand image as well as awareness of the organizationamong the societal norms where they are operating in order to pursuethis, organizations need to focus on corporate social responsibility.The same case applies to McDonald’s. This organization is cautioustowards conducting itself ethically and in a sustainable manner,which results in the organization producing CSR report that can makethe public aware of its current and future corporate socialresponsibility initiatives. The CSR report of McDonald’s has thepotential of uplifting the recognition as well as awareness of itsbrand (Epstein, 2012).

CostReduction

Reductionof cost would emanate from the sustainable practices of theorganization, which would mean enhanced performance of theorganization. From the CSR report of McDonald’s, it is apparentthat the company has incorporated green measures such as recycling,green buildings, and decreased energy use as part of its initiativeswithin its corporate social responsibility. These initiatives willhave the impact of reducing the cost of operations in theorganization.

CompetitiveAdvantage

Thecompetitiveness of a market domain is substantial where all theorganizations in the market are increasingly going towardsdifferentiation so as to create mechanisms that they can use incompeting with their rivals. The CSR report of the McDonald’s canhelp the organization acquire competitive advantage over itscompetitors this is because ethically cautious investors would tendto invest in the organization due to the organization pursuingsustainability approaches (Militaru &amp Ionescu, 2006 pp 13).

EmployeeLoyalty

Anorganization that has enhanced attention towards the corporate socialresponsibility is likely to have ethos in regard to employeepractices. This is evident even with the CSR report of McDonald’s,which indicates that it offers employees with a medical scheme. Thisis an example of an incentive that motivates employees. Thismotivation of employees is exceedingly critical since it helps increating a strong psychological bond amid the employees and thecompany, which make employees to remain loyal and work towards therealization of the organization’s objectives (Madura, 2012 pp.73).Thus, the CSR of McDonald’s can help in enhancing employees’loyalty.

BetterCustomer Perception

Accordingto the CSR policy of McDonald’s, the organization offers a highemphasis on offering quality products to customers and increasedservice level to customers. For instance, from the CSR report of theorganization, it is apparent that McDonald’s ensures that itsources quality beef, which is used in the preparation of burgers.The organization also keeps a close relationship with its potatosuppliers to ensure quality potatoes which are used in thepreparation of French fries. Also, customers are provided with fruitswhere they are served together with the burger. This shows theconcern that McDonald’s has towards customers. Emanating from thepractices of the organization towards the customers, it is likelythat customers would be loyal to the organization, which would helpin boosting the overall performance of the organization (Hill et al.,2006 pp.22).

EnhancedInvestor Perception

Organizationssuch as WorldCom and Enron failed its investors because they seemednot to include them in their business models. As such, investors areusually cautious when it comes to choosing the organization that theywill invest in. failure of integrating ethical principles in theoperations of organizations usually lead in failing of the investors.Investors desire to invest in organizations that are sustainable,which is supported by the practices of the organization. Insupporting its sustainability approach, an organization needs to movetowards generating more profits as it focuses on enhancing thereturns for its investors (Hockerts &amp Moir, 2004 pp 64). This isan approach that McDonald’s follows. As such, this organization islikely to have increased investor perception since they are sure thatthe practices of McDonald’s support their interests.

Inown opinion, the corporate governance framework forming theMcDonald’s corporate social responsibility is worth praising. Thisis because the CSR report of the organization presents an inclusiveand transparent view of the comprehensive efforts that theorganization has undertaken in integrating the environmental andsocial dimensions into its profit model. The CSR report has anoverarching goal of focusing on continuous improvements which enhancecustomer experience. This overarching goal is communicated last afterthe mentioning of the profit-orientation value of the organization.The values model of McDonald’s can be seen in terms ofneeds-hierarchy pyramid, where the base value of constant improvementties up and supports the whole social responsibility structure in abusiness model. McDonald’s will need to continue considering theinitiatives of different stakeholders in its business model in caseit desires to remain competitive in the global market. In case theorganization does not integrate the interests of stakeholders in itsbusiness model, it is likely that pressure groups would make theorganization undesirable to serve the local and internationalmarkets. Furthermore, the organization has to ensure that it findssolutions to challenges that come along with the implementation ofits CSR policy. According to Preuss (2011), research and developmentcan aid in creating more environment friendly products andsustainable operations.

PartC: Code of Conduct

Overviewof Chevron

Chevronis one of the globe’s leading incorporated energy entities. Thecompany is involved in the exploration, production and transportationof crude oil and natural gas refining, marketing and distributingtransportation fuels and lubricants manufacturing and sellingpetrochemical products generating power and producing geothermalenergy investing in profitable renewable energy as well as energyefficiency solutions and developing the energy resources of thefuture, including the research of advanced bio-fuels. The roots ofthe company can be traced to the 1876 oil discovery at the PicoCanyon, which resulted to the creation of the Pacific Coast Oil Co(Chevron, 2015). This company later changed to standard Oil co. ofCalifornia that subsequently became Chevron. The name Chevron becameadopted after the acquisition of Gulf oil Corporation in 1984. Theacquisition of Unocal Corporation in the year 2005 made the positionof Chevron stronger as an energy industry leader, augmenting thecrude oil and gas assets in the globe. The success of the company isdriven by its people and their commitment to obtain results the rightway through operating responsibly, capturing new opportunities,applying innovative technologies, and executing with excellence. Theorganization comprises approximately 64,700 workers, including above3,200 service station employees. In 2014, the company’s average netproduction was 2.571 million oil-equivalent barrels daily. Thecompany has its headquarters in san Ramon, California (Chevron,2015).

Mission

Themission of the Chevron Company is to carry out business “theChevron way”, which implies “getting results the right way.” Indefining the right way, the company has created its vision thatdefines its mission (Chevron, 2015).

Vision

Thevision of Chevron is “to be the global energy company most admiredfor its people, partnership and performance. The vision means thatthe organization safely offers energy products important tosustainable economic progress as well as human development throughoutthe globe, has people with superior abilities and commitment, is thepartner of choice, earns the admiration of all the stakeholders, anddelivers world-class performance (Chevron, 2015).

Values

ChevronCompany is usually guided by seven values, which include integrity,trust, partnership, diversity, ingenuity, high performance, andprotecting people and the environment.

Roleof Manager of Chevron with Code of Conduct

Anorganization has to engage continuously in developing policies,rules, and regulations that guide their practices while conductingbusiness operations. The manager has to be involved in thedevelopment of different kind of policies and guidelines for theirpractices (Madura,2010 pp.51). In the formulation of these policies that the employeesof the company should follow, the manager has to ensure that ethicsare followed. A code of ethics is usually an organizational policy,which requires that a minimum standard of completing differentbusiness functions such as human resource and performance management,training and development, and career development among other things(Armstrong, 2009 pp.48). A manager is responsible for carrying outthese responsibilities. The manager has to develop policies thatwould match with the mission, vision, as well as values of theorganization. This would be a critical aspect since it would help torealize the objectives of the company and ensure sustainability. Thefollowing paragraphs will discuss the code of conduct that I woulddevelop as a manager in Chevron Company, which the organization willfollow.

EmploymentPolicy

Employmentis a critical aspect of any organization because it helps anorganization to obtain the right people, which the organization canuse in ensuring that it achieves its objectives. In modern times, thehiring process has been faced with different ethical challenges suchas employing minors in order to obtain cheap labor and discriminatoryhiring, where some individuals are discriminated against during thehiring process. However, the hiring policy of Chevron would be suchthat every individual will have equal opportunities during the hiringprocess no one shall be discriminated against because of his/hercolor, sex, religion, or race. Also, in the hiring process, thecompany will ensure that no minor is employed to provide labor anyemployee hired by the organization must have attained the minimum ageof 18 years.

EnvironmentalPolicy

Environmentis exceedingly important because it helps in supporting most of thehuman activities and well being. When the environment is notprotected, there is a likelihood of having negative encounters suchas global warming and loss of biodiversity (MaloniBrown,2006 pp.96). Organizations that do not conduct their activities in anethical manner end up hurting the environment, which results inadverse impacts to humans. As a manager, I would develop anenvironmental policy that follows ethical standards. The policy wouldrequire the organization to identify, assess and prioritizeopportunities so as to reduce impacts from the organization’soperations and enhance the environmental performance. In its capitalprojects, the organization will apply environmental, social andhealth impact assessment (ESHIA) process. This will be critical sinceit will help in identifying, assessing and managing any potentialsignificant impacts. The company will not engage in any capitalproject without first carrying out an environment impact assessment.The health, environment and safety employees of the company willshare the best practices in protecting habitats around the operationsof the organization. Also, the organization will undertake allmeasures intended to protect and manage water resources. Furthermore,the policy will focus on supporting research that will help indiscovering new ways that the company can use in reducing itsemissions.

EmployeeBenefits Policy

Employeesare a significant aspect of any organization since they help anorganization to be productive. Because of their importance in anorganization, they need to be highly respected. Employees’ benefitsare of immense importance because they help in motivating employeesit is this motivation that gives the employees the desire to work inan organization (Gennard &amp Judge, 2005 pp.64). The interests ofemployees should always be considered by an organization since itforms part of an organization’s code of conduct. In ChevronCompany, employee safety will be part of the employee benefit policy.According to the policy, all employees will be entitled to working ina safe environment. The organization will provide a medical cover toall its employees and their immediate families that is, wife,husband and children. The organization will cover all medical coststhat the employees, their spouses and children incur. Also, employeeswill be entitled to payable leaves. Furthermore, employees will beprovided with free training and development by the organization.

Economicand Social Policy

Organizationsshould be keen to promote the social and economic welfare of thecommunities around them. This is usually supported by the ethicalpractices of the organizations. As a responsible organization,Chevron is engaged in contributing to the social and economicwell-being of individuals in the countries where they haveoperations. In order to continue supporting this initiative, socialand economic policy will need to support the initiative. As amanager, the policy would consider paying taxes in the countries thatit has operations. Also, apart from the payment of taxes, theorganization will be involved in supporting social investments tolocal communities. The organization will partner with the localgovernments, nongovernmental agencies, businesses and communities inunderstanding the needs facing the local communities where theyoperate and will then develop programs that will help in removing theeconomic barriers and offer measurable and lasting results. Theorganization will also, through this policy, fight against infectiousdiseases in the communities through its commitment to using its humanand financial resources to support partnerships and programs, whichpromote healthy communities as well as improve access to health carein the communities where the organization operates. The policy willalso focus on supporting the education of the local communitiesthrough offering scholarship programs. In addition, the organizationwill engage in volunteer activities in the communities, but theactivities must have an impact of adding value to the communities.

GreenPolicy

Theorganization is committed towards the maintenance of greenenvironment since it understands that clean environment has positivebenefits such as quality air that supports healthy living. In itsgreen policy, the organization will support the recycling ofmaterials in order to ensure their sustainability. Also, the companywill embrace the use of renewable sources of energy such as solar insome of its operations. The policy will also support the idea ofgoing green through energy conservation. In conserving energy, theorganization will focus on using equipments and technologies thatensure reduced use of energy in its processes. Furthermore, the greenpolicy will support waste management practices. The organization willensure that it uses waste management practices in order to keep theenvironment clean.

InvestorsPolicy

Mostorganizations that do not follow ethical practices do not care muchabout their investors. Such organizations can give wrong informationto investors concerning their actual performance so as to makeinvestors get attracted to their organizations. However, investorsmay end up losing in such organizations. It is ethical to put theinterests of investors at the heart of the business since they alsocontribute to the growth of the business. The investors’ policy forthis organization will focus on providing investors with the correctinformation concerning the company at the right time. Also, theinvestment policy will also support providing to the investors therisks facing the company so as to help them in their investmentdecisions. Furthermore, investors will be paid the right returns whenthey are due.

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