It is universally acknowledged that organizational ethics is primarily based on three pillars: strong management, leadership, and subordination. All of these points are crucial for handling the business successfully and keeping pace with the changes outside the organization. However, the principles and approaches used in managing business are often reduced to effective decision-making based on the moral and ethical philosophy of the organization. Hence, ethics and morals are the heart of the decision-making process at different organizational levels, since all business actions and practices taking place within the organization influence its culture and climate and contribute to business results and success. While managing organizational ethics a manager should value the organization’s ethical environment and relations within departments since it is an inherent part of corporate culture (Carroll and Buchholtz, 2008, p. 310). It is not of minor importance for managing staff to take the needs of their employees into the deepest consideration, since they are important details of this large-scaled mechanism. Therefore, organizational leaders should keep their workers informed of their decision to avoid any misconceptions within the company.
Apart from organizational ethics, each member of the company should have personal needs and values coinciding with those of the organization they work at. Therefore, when employers recruit the personnel, they should, first of all, analyze employees’ goals and perspectives to define whether they meet the philosophy and objectives of the company. What is more important is that the managers should sense some alternative insights provided by the employees that can contribute to the company’s improvement. Any, all these points should be heavily considered in order not to miss a chance to employ a precious worker.
Personal Values and Ethics Analysis
Mission and vision in life: My success in the company is to a great extent ascribable to my experience with my role model, my father working as an HR manager who is aware of all customers and employees’ needs. He always sees the way to find a golden medium between employees’ needs and companies’ objectives. As I grew up, I endeavored to be successful in life just like my father. With increasing maturity, I realized that this could not be achieved unless I had a vision and a mission in life. The following few days were spent trying to formulate these two important concepts. I envisioned myself using my God-given talents and knowledge to satisfy the needs of society in my field of profession. It is through this endeavor that my values and ethics started building up. I am an employee of International Business Machines Company (IBM). My career vision is narrowed to constant promotion and self-improvement. However, I understand that the accomplishment of my mission can be achieved only through my contributions to the welfare of the company.
Personal Code of Ethics: Considering the relations between the employers and their subordinates, I believe that task fulfillment can be successful in case both a manager and an employee strive to identical goals. To achieve this, such relations should be based on mutual understanding and compromise. I also think that my personal and professionals interest of the worker should be taken into consideration by the managing staff in case they want to achieve the balance.
Being a self-driven person by nature, I easily fit into the system at the company. Researching on new technology to ensure the companies continual growth is very important. Due to the vast amount of work that needs to be accomplished daily, close supervision is not possible. This was one of my strongest points, which facilitated my recruitment with IBM. In fact, the company has knowledge acquisition and opportunities for trend development. According to the company’s president, all the employees are expected to assist the company in setting the standards for business ethics and business intelligence that is worth emulating by society.
Company Ethics and Values expected in employees
Company’s vision: As Robert Orth, the Human Resources Director, states, “Diversity at IBM that difference is expected, respected and encouraged so that every employee and achieve can be productive, innovative and achieve to their fullest potential” (Cultural awareness and acceptance, n. d.). Therefore, the company’s ethical mission lies in creating and maintaining the organization’s culture and environment where all people are welcomed and valued; in maximizing the usage of diverse talents. Here comes that IBM is the company of choice both for the clients and for the employees.
Company’s Climate: For businesses to thrive there is a great need for competition (Hanekamp, 2007, p.79). This puts all corporations on their feet, in a bid to acquire the largest share of the market. However, as much as competition is mandatory in the business field, IBM advocates that this has to be conducted with the orientation on the transformation course. Losing the already obtained trust that our customers have in us through involving in dirty competition gimmicks will be violating the very values that we stand for. The desire to be the winner is not an end in itself but fair competition is. Allowing other corporations to thrive upholds the very concept of a free marketplace. As such employees, agents, and consultants conducting business on behalf of IBM are expected to follow some well-formulated guidelines. Some practices such as intimidating competitors or fixing prices in a bid to throw others out of business may result in losing one’s job (About IBM, n. d.). In an effort to uphold business ethics, the organization has stabilized all the concepts that are known to throw a company into disarray. For example, issuing bribes or kickbacks in order to secure sales is condemned in the company. All sorts of blackmail whether with suppliers or customers has led to the collapse of many other companies due to the lack of trust and mutual respect.
Confidentiality and security are very significant pertaining to business trade secrets, and customer information. Dealing with IT systems and services requires utmost confidentiality and data security, which are the visit card of our organization. This is especially so in this age of massive terrorism. The prerogative to guard sensitive information goes beyond our employment with IBM. Pertaining to IBM security issues, the company offers full-fledged opportunities enabling the outsourced organization to take a holistic technique to security and risk control in correlation with the IT management framework.
Company’s Values and Ethical Code: The success of any company depends on the level of trust that its major stakeholders have in them. Owing to the broad specialization of the company and its wide communicational networks, a number of specific values are of great importance. Since all the production and services are aimed at successful communication and information exchange, the leadership should be person-oriented. As our company is primarily directed at ongoing business changes, it needs fresh insights and creative working staff fostering the penetration to the innovational design.
Regarding all peculiarities of business activities, the company’s ethics is narrowed to certain main issues, which are pivotal for successful management. First of all, the company pays attention to conflict resolution thus singling out the procedures tackling the evident conflicts between professional and personal relationships. It should be stressed that the company does not prohibit conflicts, as, according to the company’s ethics, avoidance is the worst solution to the problem. Once the conflict appears based on interest misconceptions, the company considers it as an ethical concern. Second, IBM Company believes that their employees should be provided with full disclosure of all the documents and reports of the organization. Third, the company’s code of ethics is regulated by governmental rules and regulations. They should be confused with moral obligations and legal responsibility. Still, behaving morally demands the observance of some social and legal issues. This is why the company is obliged to provide its employees with diligent guidance and training.
As advocated by Kant, the great philosopher who introduced the theory of Kantianism, a business practice that equates people with money can only be considered immoral. This theory of deontology also known as Kantianism advocates that business treats all people, especially their employees with the utmost respect (Bowie, 1999, p.3). As one of our core values at IBM, respect for others is very important. However, the company’s orientation on change and challenge and high-performance and productivity may fail to meets the employees’ needs. Still, this serves as a persuasive incentive for the working staff to work more efficiently. It means, that only ambitious and self-motivated persons ready for a challenge can fit the company’s bills.
Ethical Expectations from the Employees: IBC’s policy seems to auger well with the recent business tendencies. With the core business based on technology, embracing innovation is significant. At the company, Invention and creativity are two concepts that are highly appreciated. The due care theory is very important in this area. The company conducts research to determine the needs of the customers. At the end of the day, the organization knows what the consumers want that the consumers themselves know. The organization, therefore, invents products and offers services that are acceptable to customers that give a return on investment. As stated by (Agalgatti, 2007, p.4), ethical standards apply only to the most rational and responsible people that are able to accommodate constant transformations. That is why they should be flexible and be able to make revolutionary decisions. As part of the compliance training, employment recruits are trained on the magnitude the company places on the agenda.
Most people are known to operate optimally when under minimal supervision the category wherein I fall. Nonetheless, this value requires self-drive and self-motivation. IBM leaves the ethical obligation of doing what is right to the discretion of the employees. As part of our values, performing with excellence is required. The realization that personal freedom at work triggers invention and innovation has earned the company continual respect and support from the employees.
Our respect for others as part of our company values creates a favorable environment for personal and career development. With this perspective, not only does IBM uphold career development but also achieves its business objectives. At our organization, violence, discrimination, and harassment are frowned upon. The company’s strong orientation and reliability create an atmosphere of support and collaboration, which means that each subordinate strives to effectively carry out his/her part of work.
Improving Personal Ethics
Compliance and Ethical Training Programs: The heart of any organization is the satisfaction of its employees. As stated by a renowned communication specialist Harrison (2000, p. 165), employees are the reliable public relations officers of the company. Aggravated employees will always walk around demonizing the company they work for; however, those that feel happy will always try to market their company. To ensure total employee fulfillment and data, IBM Company has incorporated compliance and ethics awareness training programs. This ensures employees’ career growth and development. What is more important is that the training program involves the study of hackers’ ethics where programs and website developers should be able to provide secure and easy access to the company’s data for their constant customers only. Due to the fact that most of production and services are associated with education and training, IBM also involves specific psychological courses for the employee to cognate the specifics of work with the customers.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Training Programs: Such programs do not only help employees grow but always encourage them to be in tandem with the most current business processes and ethics. Writing down the ethical guidelines does not necessarily mean that all employees uphold them. The mandate of this office is to oversee and promote an inclusive, positive, and ethical work environment for all employees. As such, the company has employed the services of ethical officers who secretly track down the ethical conduct of all the stakeholders and advise the company accordingly. This is achieved by operating confidential ethics lines, which operate more or less like the company customer helpline in which any ethical concerns are addressed. The nature of human beings is one that prompts them to conduct themselves in an ethical or any required manner if under supervision.
However, most of the compliance topics covered during training are inclined towards benefitting the company as opposed to the individual. While increasing sales through the public trust are of paramount importance, a bit of career development training should be provided by the company. Secondly, all businesses should be customer-oriented; nonetheless, there are no provisions within the compliance training that provides relevant skills training on how to handle customers’ needs successfully. Talking about excellent customer treatment without executing the same through employee training is futile. Nevertheless, in terms of guarding the company’s credibility, the compliance-training program is one of the best amongst multinational companies.
Though the ethics training program is important, its mode of conduction is of most significance. One weakness displayed by the IBM ethics training program is the fact that it is conducted online. As much as this system is efficient in terms of saving resources for the company, much would be achieved if the training were conducted one on one. Further being a multinational company, the online training combines’ people from different countries. This can be taken positively to act as some sort of a team-building experience, whereby employees from different continents get the opportunity to share their experiences. However, different countries have different government requirements in relation to the ethical conduct of businesses. As such, employees may end up being trained on ethical standards that are not applicable in their country. As the company devises specific training programs for other companies and institutions, it should also provide its employees with similar programs enhancing their professionalism and efficiency.
Social Responsibility and its Compliance with Ethical Code
Corporate social responsibility is the key to the success and survival of a company. Giving back to the community a share of what they have used by doing business with the company portrays an organization in a positive light. As a company, we have endeavored to give back to the community through conducting food drives, fund-raising activities for medical and environmental research as well as volunteerism. The main logo of the company pertains to the leadership improvement towards the employees’ wellbeing, health, and workplace safety. The global orientation of IBM Company incorporates and controls the environments in which their employees work. In this respect, all the strategies and moral principles are encages in all spheres of the companies activities, such as construction, equipment production, procurement, product development, and public relations. As IBM is gradually penetrating the global market, it has also transferred from a product-oriented approach to a more customer-centric force. In addition, the company also seeks all possible ways to keep pace with recent health care trends and pose challenges to the company’s abilities to guarantee health, well-being, and safety. One of the main challenges lies in the necessity to involve a global health management project that not only implies some conventional trends to the welfare programs but also acknowledges the significance of introducing physical and psychological health.
Analysis of Company’s Moral Philosophy
Personal Appraisal and Examples: The organizational code of ethics identifies those behaviors that employees are supposed to observe. The employees are striving to pursue the company’s objectives and to correlate with their personal needs. This gives our organization an opportunity to attract more customers. As the utilitarian theory puts it, the moral actions have positive consequences for the organization. This is to mean that both our customers and our community benefits from our integrity. On the other hand, no company is entirely error free; there is always room for improvement. Having worked with IBM, there are a few organizational cultures that should be incorporated, if the company continues enjoying the massive support it receives from its employees. Apart from giving back to the community, it is also of paramount importance to appreciate employees for their exemplary work (Griffin et al., 2009, p.83). This would be my first project in the event I attain some leadership position in the company. I would begin by informing the employees that am planning to implement a motivation program to award best performers. I would them devise a performance appraisal system that would be used to identify those employees whose performance is highest. The program would award the best performers in each department in every branch.
Suggestions for Improvement: It goes without saying that the company provide rather favorable conditions for their employees and tries to meet all their needs and requirements. However, it would be a great advantage if IBM ethical code included some rewarding programs for multicultural employees. More importantly, the company should be more concerned with the quality of the bonuses it provided to divergent workforce. Therefore, it should be more sensitive to their culturally predetermined needs like and avoid the rules that contradict their tradition of religion. Besides, as the main vision of company is reduced to flexibility and change, it will not be difficult to introduce these reforms.
Drawing a conclusion, IBM company’s strategies and organizational structure is a complex mechanism striving to meet the customers’ needs and to keep pace with the recent high-tech trends. In particular, its organizational ethics is encapsulating in the idea of ongoing transformations requiring extreme employees’ flexibility and readiness to constant challenges. Therefore, the main requirement for recruitment will be creativity, self-motivation, ambitiousness, and ability to adjust to new conditions. The IBM ethics also considers the customers’ expectations and employees’ needs in equal extent thus creating the image of respectable company where each member is highly appreciated. Pertaining to theory, the organizational culture, and ethics of the company addresses the ethical behavior as the basis for promotion and rewarding program. It is worth saying that all IBM’s policy is a complex and well-structured integrity bases on closely related ideas.
My experience of working in this company shows that impregnation of ethical and moral philosophy from the outside is welcomed in this company. My ideas about motivation and incentive programs have been taken in the deepest consideration by the company since it always approves fresh insights. Analyzing the company’s ethical philosophy and moral principles, I have realized that my contribution will be of significant importance for the welfare of the organization and its members. In addition to this, as my contribution presupposes some changes and transformations, it can perfectly fit the company’s main course.
About IBM. (n.d.). IBM. 2010. Web.
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Carroll, A. B., and Buchholtz, A. K. (2008). Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. US: Cengage Learning.
Cultural awareness and acceptance. (n. d.). 2010. Web.
Griffin, R., & Moorhead, G. (2009). Organizational behavior: managing people and organizations. New York. Cengage Learning. Print.
Hanekamp, G. (2007). Business Ethics of Innovation. Massachusetts: Springer Publishers.
Harrison, S. (2000). Public relations: an introduction. New York: Cengage learning.
Velasquez, M. (2002). Business ethics: concepts and cases. California: Prentice Hall.