Introduction Ethical problems are inevitable at all levels of business and this means that it’s simply makes good sense for companies to take seriously the task of institutionalizing ethics in their company. Accordingly, an important segment of corporate America has begun relying on such tools as, statements of corporate values, codes of conduct, ethic workshops, and hotlines for whistleblowers. In this paper I am outlining an ethics program for a new company. Starting a company with an ethics program already in place will deter unethical behavior by mangers and staff members. Why Have an Ethics Code?
Large corporate scandals have rocked this and other nations’ business world over the last several years. In today’s skeptical marketplace, even small and mid-sized businesses must guard against ethical and financial snares that destroyed such giants as Enron, Tyco, Boeing and Arthur Andersen. Small businesses often argue that they do not have the funding to develop, implement and enforce ethics and compliance policies, as true as that maybe following a few simple steps can help even the smallest company effectively create and communicate policies ensuring the integrity of the business and its employees (Boswell, 2003).
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The Code of Conduct is not exhaustive; it simply provides guidance to employees and directors in how they are expected to carry out their duties. There is no possible way for the code to address every possible situation, employees and directors are expected to use good judgment and to ask questions when in doubt (Boudreaux & Steiner, 2005, para. 5). Codes of conduct specify actions in the workplace and codes are merely guidelines to make decisions about actions. Once the company increases in size, each department can develop its own codes of conduct.
According to Wallace, “a credo generally describes the highest values to which the company aspires to operate (McNamara, PhD, 2003). The code specifies the ethical rules of operation. To develop my code I must first review any values that my firm needs to adhere to that are relevant to laws and regulations, this will ensure that my company is not on the verge of breaking them. Since I have an accounting firm I will also need to review the values which produce the top three traits of a highly ethical service for my area, such as objectivity, confidentiality and accuracy.
From this information this I have determined the ethical values I will include: ???Trustworthiness ???Respect ???Justice and fairness ???Responsibility ???Caring, compassion, consideration, giving, sharing, kindness ???Civic virtue and citizenship I will compose my code of ethics by associating each value to example behaviors that reflects the value. I will include wording that clearly states what is expected of employees as far as conforming to the code of ethics. Once I have developed the code of ethics, I will review it with key members of my management staff (Boswell, 2003).
To summarize my Code of Ethics will include a Code of Conduct which will clearly outlines the expectations I have for my staff. You may wonder why my company should have a Code of Ethics, the answer is simple with the dramatic increase in unethical behavior by companies such as Enron, Tyco and Arthur Anderson the public’s ethical expectations have increased and customers, clients and employees are seeking out those who define the ground rules of their daily operations. A company that has a strong code of ethics is more likely to receive the trust and confidence of business partners, clients and stakeholders.
Employees will likely be more engaged in their work, it is essential that all employees follow the company’s code. My management will lead by example. References Boswell, A. (2003). How to Develop an Ethics & Compliance Program. Retrieved from http://www. score. org/article_ethics_compliance. html Boudreaux, G. , & Steiner, T. (2005). Developing a Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www. entrepreneur. com/tradejournals/article/132085592_2. html McNamara, C. , Phd (2003). Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers. Retrieved from http://managementhelp. org/ethics/ethxgde