Code of ethics is an important part of every organization. Its primary purpose is to lay out acceptable behaviors and rules that all professionals should follow in their career paths. It also acts as a principle that helps specialists run business activities with honesty and integrity. There are various associations that control the values and ethics of organizations and can be applied in different forms depending on the industry. In the business administration profession, a code of ethics is essential in avoiding compromises when making a firm’s decisions.
Professional Code of Ethics
American Marketing Association (AMA) code of ethics is applied to the business administration profession. It is the largest association of professional marketing in the world. Its main purpose is to ensure that its members uphold the utmost standard of proficient values and ethical norms in business practices (Chonko & Hunt, 2018). It focuses on six ethical values and expects all its members to embrace them. The first value is honesty, which involves truthfulness in dealing with shareholders as well as the customers. The needs of the buyer ought to be balanced justly with the interests of the business, thus the value of fairness. Responsibility is another essential value that requires professionals to accept the consequences that are a result of their marketing approaches and choices. While transparency stirs up the spirit of openness in the business, respect involves the acknowledgment of human dignity amongst all participants (Chonko & Hunt, 2018). The last value is citizenship which entails the fulfillment of legal, philanthropic, societal, and economic responsibilities in service to the interested party. All the six values function as a standard for evaluating the personal actions of its members and other people.
On the other hand, the code consists of three ethical norms that are usually described as the standards of how its members ought to behave ethically. As such, the norms require members to do no harm, encourage trust in the marketing system, and embrace ethical values (Holden, 2018). According to the AMA code of ethics, no damage means exemplifying high ethical principles and adherence to all applicable laws when making decisions (Chonko & Hunt, 2018). Striving for fair dealings and good faith is crucial in fostering trust in the marketing system, which in turn promotes efficacy in business practices. Embracing the six core values enhances the confidence of consumers in the business, thus building a successful customer relationship with them.
Application of Code of Ethics
As a student pursuing Business Administration, the program focuses on many aspects of managing a business and has a variety of potential career paths, including marketing. Different ethical issues and decisions arise when carrying out business dealings (Chonko & Hunt, 2018). As a result, ethical issues based on values like honesty, integrity, and trust are inevitable. An example of an issue involving ethics is when a company makes and sells drugs to profit. These pills help reduce painful migraines but then again have severe side effects on the users. The problem comes in when the company decides to advertise the drugs, but the top management asks the head of the marketing department not to reveal the harmful effects to the public. This action presents an ethical issue to the department head on whether or not it is bad to omit the information regarding the limitation of such drugs to the public to increase the company sales.
The ethical issue at hand involves very important values in business which include honesty, trust, and integrity. To solve this issue, the moral norms of the AMA Code of Ethics can be applied. The first one is not to harm, which means that a professional should ensure that their actions and decisions do not cause damage to other people (Holden, 2018). For this reason, omitting any important information regarding a product is wrong. A consumer with an underlying problem can be severely harmed after using a product without knowing its effects. The second norm involves encouraging trust in the marketing system. In this case, withholding information from the public is also immoral because the company is expected to uphold a positive image at all times in its publicizing and sales. This unethical action will lead to distrust lest the community finds out and cause them to be skeptical about trusting the company’s products in the future.
Benefits of Codes of Ethics
It is essential to understand that ethical decisions and issues will always be there in every business. However, there is a need to avoid compromising moral standards when making business choices. Codes of ethics voice the values that organizations aim at fostering in their leaders and employees. They also guide the values and choices that professionals make in their day-to-day business activities. One benefit of the code of ethics is that it promotes mutual respect that is grounded on integrity. When specialists know and understand a code of ethics that applies to them, they become more aware of their actions and decisions. Codes of ethics also encourage responsibility among experts (Holden, 2018). They are likely to be accountable for their actions thus, creating a prolific and cohesive workforce. Lastly, it builds trust and honesty amongst all the stakeholders affected by a business’s actions and decisions. Such include customers, employees, suppliers, and the public as a whole.
Chonko, L. B., & Hunt, S. D. (2018). Reflections on ethical issues in marketing management: An empirical examination. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 28(1), 86-95. Web.
Holden, A. (2018). Environmental ethics for tourism-the state of the art. Tourism Review, 74(3), 694-703. Web.