Implementation of the code of conduct at ECG has been a success. Employees are engaged in the training sessions and have been carefully reviewing the detailed code of conduct available on the ECG intranet. Furthermore, you are regularly being consulted by various individuals regarding situations that represent or could potentially have ethical implications. Now the Ethics Review Committee has convened another meeting to discuss two matters that have been reported, as defined in the following:
The intended acquisition of Government Allies, Inc. after the IPO represents a tremendous growth opportunity for ECG. As the company completes due diligence on the acquisition candidate, it is discovered that a senior executive at ECG and her spouse have a previously undisclosed financial interest in Government Allies. This executive will notably profit from the acquisition because all investors in Government Allies will receive shares of ECG stock proportionate to their investment upon successful completion of the IPO and of the acquisition. The ECG executive had been a member of a task force charged with determining acquisition candidates, and she was a strong advocate for moving forward with the effort.
ECG is participating in a competitive bid on a lucrative IT consulting contract for X TelCo, a key player in the communications industry. A team of industry and practice leaders is formed to develop the proposal and give the presentation to X TelCo. Securing the contract would boost sales and positively influence the IPO. One team member previously worked in the industry with two current executives at X TelCo who are among those to review bids. Initially unknown to the ECG team, this employee maintains occasional contact with the former coworkers. He recently contacted the executives, securing additional information about the bid process and promoting the firm's capabilities.
What ethical standards might be violated in these two situations and why? How should each one be addressed by leadership and the Ethics Review Committee? Support your points with ethical and business reasoning.
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Code of Conduct
According to Schuurbiers, Osseweijer and Kinderlerer (2009), Codes of conduct provide an establishment which provides an indication that organizations or institutions upholds good employees or members codes as well as norms and values. There is always a variation existing between different codes of conduct for organizations such as in their types and functions. Codes are put in place to fulfill some functions such as enhancing public trust, deterring unethical behavior, or enhancing public trust among others.
Employee trust, kindness and good behavior are examples of the good principles which ethical standards are designed to promote within an organization. There however no consistent standard followed by all companies. Every company ensures a peaceful organization through the formation of meaning ethical standards that will govern their employees in their companies. Enforcing ethical standards is not considered as an easy task to undertake since in most cases they are usually defined in vague terms and also interpreted openly for example when it comes to the equality of treating both men and women in the workplace. Some ethical standards are however more specific for example no individual is allowed to distribute or share company information to an individual outside an organization at all cost as evidently stated in the IEC code of ethics (2010).
Several strategies may be used in justifying unethical behavior especially in cases of ethical fallacies. During certain times, individuals are tempted to avoid adhering to the ethical responsibilities especially when tired, under pressure or in conflict. During these circumstances, the temptation becomes even stronger. There are several ethical fallacies which may be relied upon such as Juggled language, twisted judgment or appealing fallacies stated within the complete guide to ethics management (n.d). This can spin unethical behavior into an ethical ideal. Some of the ethical maneuvers are the use of terms such as; 'it is not considered unethical as long as the managed care administrator or the insurance case viewer suggested it'.
Different sectors define the code of ethics as a mixture of codes of ethics, codes of practice and codes of conduct. Terms such as standards, responsibilities and principles are used to describe a commonly agreed upon belief. Codes of ethics provide a description of the values that a group believes in. codes of conduct provides a description of the agreed behavior which a group should follow. Codes of practice provide a description of the procedures which should be followed by members of a group under certain situations or scenarios while standards refer to the specific measurements of either behavior, activity or performance measurements. Finally, responsibilities refer to the ...
The solution discusses if situations violate ethical standards.