Would you help me with what a code of ethics might look like for an organization?
Code of Ethics
First let's define Code of Ethics: "An ethical code is adopted by an organization in an attempt to assist those in the organization called upon to make a decision (usually most, if not all) understand the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and to apply this understanding to their decision" (Wikipedia, 2010). It generally contains guidelines with respect to the organization's beliefs and lists procedures to be used in specific ethical situations.
In a free enterprise system, a corporate executive has the responsibility to conduct the business with accordance to the basic rules of society, both in legal terms and ethical terms as well as turn a profit. The executive bears a fiduciary duty to stakeholders. "Stakeholders are those groups who have a stake in or claim in the firm." (Donaldson, Werhane, & Cording, 2002) Each of these stakeholder groups has a right not to be treated as a means to some end, and the code of ethics is adopted to ethically deal with an organization's matters pertaining to mission, privacy or it responsibility to society and the environment.
Why does my organization need a code of ethics? (MacDonald, 2010)
?To define what is acceptable behavior and what is not
?To encourage higher standards of practice
?To provide a benchmark for self evaluation
?To establish a framework for professional behavior and responsibilities
?To identify your organization
?To show organizational maturity in the business system
Remember: No two codes are the same; your code of ethics must resemble your employees' needs and concerns within your organization and the context of the relationship that your organization has with the environment.
Here, we look at the Code of Ethics for a hypothetical Business Organization - Company Alpha
Code of Ethics for Company Alpha:
The Code of Ethics covers a wide range of business and procedures. It does not cover every issue of potential conflict, but it sets out basic principles to guide all employees of Alpha. All of our employees must conduct themselves accordingly and seek to avoid improper behavior at all cost. Agreement to abide by these Codes is an integral component of the Alpha's contract of employment with its employees. The Code should also be provided to and followed Alpha's agents and representatives. We are committed to complying with all applicable laws and standards, promoting a culture of fair and ethical behavior and encouraging the reporting of corrupt practices, breaches of the law and matters detrimental to Alpha. Alpha has instituted within the company an Employees Ethics Program (EEP) to oversee and coordinate the compliance of the Code of Ethics. In addition, the EEP is also responsible for assisting and guiding employees in matters pertaining to clarifying, complying and resolving Alpha's ethical dilemmas.
To provide a framework and direction on a range of ethical issues and to promote lawful and ethical behavior by all employees, officers and members of the Board of Directors and to ensure that the Company Alpha's business is conducted according to the values of the Company and all applicable rules, regulations and laws.
The Code of Ethics is relevant to all the employees of Alpha including subsidiaries, our representatives including but not limited to the Directors of Alpha.
Compliance with Regulations and Laws
The foundation of Alpha's integrity rests in obeying the law. All employees and officers must respect and obey the laws, rules and regulations of the cities, states in which we operate. All employees are expected to be familiar, understand, and comply with the laws and regulations that pertain to his/her job. Any ambiguity, concerns or confusion about the applications of the law should be directed to the managers and then to the law department of the company. Violating the law can critically harm Alpha's reputation, subject us to liability, ...
The solution looks at what an organizational code of ethics is and why it is necessary to have one within an organization. It then looks at a hypothetical company - Company Alpha and lists the code of ethics for the company. There a four references in this solution which have been formatted using APA styling.