Running a company Ethically...

In today's world , it has become a kind of imperative that a company must be ethical in practical and sense and so world’s most ethical companies are going beyond making statements about doing business “ethically” and translating those words into action. In the same context following is a kind of some of the key points to make an organization more ethical in practical sense. But before that every company must have decided about the basic principle that it has to follow so that everything else can be constructed on basis of this foundation:

Example Principle :
Adding Values to Customer : This means following :
- Enabling clients to become high-performance businesses
- Creating long-term relationships
- Being responsive and relevant by consistently delivering value

and to achieve the above employer must implement the following actionable statements :
1. Employee should focus on sustainable, long-term outcomes, forgoing short-term opportunities that are inconsistent with our goal of delivering long-term value.
2. Employee should bring the best of employer's each client by leveraging and integrating company's range of talents and by sharing company's deep experience globally to create predictable outcomes.
3. Employee should build long-term relationships with company's clients by listening to their needs, understanding their aspirations and diverse cultures, and delivering value to help them achieve high performance.
4. Employee should value innovation and anticipate future needs--enabling us to differentiate company's capabilities and remain relevant to clients under changing business conditions.
5. All employees should serve clients, regardless of workforce or role--acting in the best interests of clients while safeguarding company.
6. Employee should commit to what we can deliver and we deliver on company's commitments.
7. Employee should leverage proven methodologies and comprehensive capabilities to achieve delivery excellence for clients.
8. Employee should seek to understand and follow clients' codes of conduct.
9. Employee should comply with government contracting and procurement regulations.
10.Employee should purchase goods and services based on their merits.
11.Employee should start with quality in mind to ensure superior execution and deliver employer's best day, every day, to clients.
Remember, the asterisked Action Statements are part of employer's Standards of Business Conduct--the obligations that every employee must understand and follow.

Violations :
If an Employee violates the Company's Code of Business Ethics i.e violates the action statements that defines how the company should do the business then may be he/she be :
- Disciplined and/or
- Subject to criminal and civil fines and penalties

Code of Business Ethics(CBE) : CBE is based upon the positive values.CBE applies to all the stakeholders which includes Employee(part time,full time , temporary and permanent ) ,contractors,consultants,Agents. And it is the foremost responsibility of each of these stakeholders to demonstrate Zero tolerance when the law is clear and speaks up when they suspect a violation( or in positive value conflict situation) or follow the decision making model(eg. CDM) to come up to a suitable decision. In case some stakeholder comes up and raise concern then employer must make sure that
- there must not be any retaliation against you.
- proper investigation is done to investigate the alleged violations.

Complex Decision Making(CDM) : When a course of action is not clear.....Following Decision-making Model can help us structure and apply your natural instincts to clarify those ethical dilemmas. i.e it helps in streamlining the process of descion making but not forcing us to take any specific type of decision.

Dilemma : Right vs. Wrong or Right vs. Right?
Step 1: Is it legal? ( Yes or NO)
Step 2: If the issue is legal then the second steps has Four tests:
a. Does it conflict with ethical values? ( Honesty,Responsibility,Respect, Fairness, Compassion, Company Principles
b. Does it make you feel uncomfortable? ( YES,NO,I have no opinion)
c. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? ( YES,NO )
d. Would your role model do it? ( YES,NO,NA )
If the situation fails more than one of the above a,b,c,d tests then situation is
-- either Right vs. Wrong
-- or When in doubt, consult with others
-- It often takes moral courage to act
If the situation has Passed 3 or more tests then situation is
-- Right vs. Right ( presents an ethical dilemma )
-- In such cases, it's not clear what to do

Eg : If a question/situation has passed the first test i.e Passed the legal test and Did not fail any Right vs. Wrong test so ...this is probably a Right vs. Right question--an ethical dilemma

Step 3 : Right vs Right paradigm are :
- Truth vs. Loyalty
- Individual vs. Community
- Short Term vs. Long Term
- Justice vs. Mercy

Step 4 : The next step is the Resolution Principles Grid . Now we should Select each Principle to reveal some related comments and a suggested course of action:
-Ends-based Thinking ( What produces the greatest good for the greatest number? )
-Rule-based Thinking ( What "rule" would you want everyone to follow in such a situation? )
-Care-based Thinking ( How would you want to be treated if you were in Tim's or Steve's position? )

Note : There is no single right answer to ethical dilemma.

Positive Value conflicts : What do you do when positive values conflict?
For example:
- Do you sell to a developer for a large sum...
- ...or sell it to your local government for a fraction of that amount?
"Right vs. Right":
- Take care of your family vs.
- Give back to the community/society

Interesting examples of Decision making :
1. Our company is preparing to bid on several large outsourcing opportunities. The proposal team is eager for information about the competition. Stephanie, the team lead, is friendly with an executive from a competitor, and during a social gathering, the two started talking about the industry and the upcoming tenders. Stephanie's friend volunteers information about Our company 's competitor, including likely pricing and staffing decisions. This information would help Our company assess the competition and prepare its own bid. Should Stephanie use the information volunteered by her friend?
A) Yes--the information was volunteered at a social gathering. This is exactly how you learn information that is difficult to find.
B) Yes--the information is very helpful to provide Our company a competitive advantage. Besides, the information is not confidential.
C) Yes--Stephanie would have discovered the information anyway using other means--this was just the most efficient way to get it.
D) No--even though Stephanie did not ask for the information from her friend, it is not proper to accept confidential information from someone who should not be providing the information.
Answer(D) : We should never use practices that are illegal, or appear questionable to obtain confidential information regarding our competitors. We would not want them to use these practices to obtain our information and we do not want to risk our brand in questionable practices.
Additionally, the information may be confidential and therefore, it would be illegal to use the information in any proposal. Stephanie should consult with her Legal representative to get advice as to how to mitigate this situation.

2. A co-worker has been locked out from the Our company Portal. Can she borrow your password while she waits for her password to be re-set?
A) Yes--so long as she doesn't enter any of her own personal data.
B) Yes--so long as you monitor what she does online.
C) No--she must wait for her own password.
D) Yes--but only for a short time, provided that you change the password as soon as she is finished.
Answer(C) : You should not share your password. Your password is the key to your legally binding electronic signature and you are responsible for any user activity processed under your password. Yes, we "willingly offer our resources to help our colleagues meet their goals," but your co-worker's goal in this case requires patience.

3. Someone from a competitor just joined Our company . I'd like to learn about a business process and pricing that her former employer uses. Can I ask?
A) Of course--this person's knowledge is a key reason why we hired her.
B) No--check with the Our company Competitor Intelligence group since this is a delicate matter.
C) Yes--so long as you keep the conversation at a "high level."
D) No--you can never ask a new hire any questions about their previous employment when they worked for a competitor.

Answer(B) : We respect the obligations new people bring; however, obtaining competitive information inappropriately from former or current employees can put you and others at risk. When you want information about competitors contact the Our company Competitor Intelligence group--a team dedicated to obtaining this information appropriately.
We handle new employees as we expect others to handle former Our company employees.

4. Which of these gifts to a client may be prohibited?
A) An expensive lunch with champagne during which no business is discussed
B) An expensive flower arrangement sent to the client on her birthday
C) Food basket delivered to only one member of the client team for the holidays
D) An inexpensive pen with the Our company logo on it

Answer(D) :


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