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Code of Ethics and a System of Inquiry

I need some assistance understanding what a large corporations code of ethics is and how it works. Can you help me understand by randomly choosing any large company that has a published code of ethics as I need to develop a system of inquiry to be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior in a business setting.

I need to fully comprehend how the model includes a basic framework as well as a discussion of why, how, when, and by whom it is used, how it would implement the code, possible reactions to the code from employees, and the effect the code has on the organization.

Thank you!

Solution Preview

Please see response attached. I tried to attach the Code of Ethics for the corporation example; however, the document (65 page Code of Ethics) must have exceeded the BrainMass capacity, so instead I provided the link in my response, as I made comments in reference to the Code. I attached another information document of statements made by employees' opinions of a Code of Ethics. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

1. I need some assistance understanding what a large corporation's code of ethics are and how it works. Can you help me understand by randomly choosing any large company that has a published code of ethics as I need to develop a system of inquiry to be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior in a business setting? I need to fully comprehend how the model includes a basic framework as well as a discussion of why, how, when, and by whom it is used, how it would implement the code, possible reactions to the code from employees, and the effect the code has on the organization.
Thank you!

Response:

Let's move from the general application, to the specific (i.e., Enron example).

General Discussion and examples:

Ethical Codes and Principles are intended to be guiding principles for good corporate governance or "best practice" principles, which are intended to be the best way to meet the mission, goals and objectives of the corporation. Saying that though, they are not absolutes (as opposed to laws) and, often, employees will admit to not even having read the Ethical Codes and Principles of the organization in which they work. However, Enron's Code of Ethic (65 pages long), which is attached, has some very specifics of do's and don'ts for Enron employees (i.e., either do not inside trade or be fired, etc.). However, applying the values are often ambiguous, as not everyone respects everyone all of the time (we look at the values below), for example. So often, values are ideals to judge one's behavior against, and guidelines to recognize when you have crossed the line from being respectful to being rude, for example. Clearly, begin rude to customers will not meet the Enron's vision, which is to become the world's leading energy company, etc. (p. 5).

Saying that though, some corporations, i.e. American Psychological Association; Saskatchewan Psychological Society, Legal firms, etc. are more demanding in the application and adherence to these codes or the members can be disbarred or psychologist and counselors can have their registration and license revoked (i.e., sexual conduct with patients, etc.). This has to do with working with a vulnerable group of people and the potential for malpractice suits is indeed high.
However, in corporations where the goal is not one of human services, it is not as up-front. For example, one does not have to look far to see that not all Corporations follow the ethical codes and principles in their decision-making and actions (i.e., Enron, etc.). However, a good many of them do though, even when they are not totally conscious of it. For example, every time a CEO treats his or her customer and fellow employee with respect (i.e., respect for the dignity of every individual), they are indeed adhering to one of the ethical Principles found in most Ethical Codes (or some variation of wording). Conversely, every time the CEO refuses to listen to the employee, one could reasonably argue that s/he is in violation of the Ethical Codes and Principles. Psychologists, for example, usually are encouraged, and many do, engage in the decision-making steps listed in their Codebook (5 or 6 step process written out clearly) to guide every clinical decision. If they are accused of a misdemeanor, for example, and come before the disciplinary panel, as long as they can explain the ethical decision making process that they engaged in prior to the clinical decision that they executed, they are usually in an okay position (i.e., patient accuses practitioner of early termination without cause, etc.). In other words, it is not the decision that they need to defend, but rather the ethical process that they did prior to the decision (unless it is criminal action, like slander, etc.). In this case, the employees gladly adhere to these principles because they guide practice (i.e., and most people in the field want to treat people in a fair and just way, in other words, in "doing the right thing" which Ethical Codes and Principles are about - principles designed to guide professional ...

Solution Summary

By example, this solution illustrates the connection between the company's code of ethics and system of inquiry to be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior in a business setting. It also illustrates by example the why, how, when, and by whom it is used, how it would implement the code, possible reactions to the code from employees, and the effect the code has on the organization.

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