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112 a code of business ethics is a document that

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112.A code of business ethics is a document that provides behavioral guidelines that cover daily activities anddecisions within an organization. Merely having a code of ethics, however, is not sufficient to ensureethical business behavior. A code of ethics can be viewed as a public relations gimmick. To ensure that acode is read, understood, believed, and remembered periodic ethics workshops are needed to sensitizepeople to workplace circumstances in which ethics issues may arise. If employees see examples ofpunishment for violating the code as well as rewards for upholding the code, this reinforces theimportance of a firm's code of ethics.113.Some firms warn managers and employees that failing to report an ethical violation by others could bringdischarge. The SEC recently strengthened its whistle-blowing policies, virtually mandating that anyoneseeing unethical activity report such behavior. Whistle-blowing refers to policies that require employeesto report any unethical violations they discover or see in the firm.114.Primary responsibility for ensuring ethical behavior rests with a firm's strategists. However, an integralpart of the responsibility of all managers is to provide ethics leadership by constant example anddemonstration. Managers hold positions that enable them to influence and educate many people. Thismakes managers responsible for developing and implementing ethical decision making.115.To create an ethics culture, many organizations have developed a code-of-conduct manual outliningethical expectations and giving examples of situations that commonly arise in their business. Citicorpeven developed a business ethics board game, played by thousands of employees worldwide, that givesplayers the opportunity to react to hypothetical ethical situations. Ethics workshops and training are alsokey. Ethics training programs should include messages from the CEO or business owners emphasizingethical business practices, the development and discussion of codes of ethics, and procedures for
discussing and reporting unethical behavior. Firms can align ethical and strategic decision making byincorporating ethical considerations into longer-term planning, by integrating ethical decision making inthe performance appraisal process, by encouraging whistle-blowing, and by monitoring departmental andcorporate performance regarding ethical issues.116.Ralph Nader proclaims that organizations have tremendous social obligations. Nader points out thatExxonMobil has more assets than most countries, and because of this such firms have an obligation tohelp society cure its many ills. The economist Milton Friedman asserts that organizations have noobligation to do any more for society than is legally required. Friedman may contend that it isirresponsible for a firm to give monies to charity. Students' responses will vary regarding their personalview on social responsibility.

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Term
Spring
Professor
Michelle Randall

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