Ethics Reflection Paper

Ethics Reflection Paper

Before WorldCom and Enron, many organizations unconditionally placed social and ethical responsibility with administrative legal and compliance obligations, regulations and rules. Today, a company’s ethical behavior is vital to the success of the company. Consumers not only expect but demand that a company is visible in their practices and are held accountable for their actions; be it through internal regulations and rules through the involvement of the government.

In this paper, there will be discussions of the social responsibility and role of ethics as it relates to the development of a strategic plan and how the ethical perspective of the author’s perspective has evolved through the studies of the Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program. In business strategic plans, the management team of the company should integrate ethics and by also asking three basic questions, “What values do we have”, “What is our purpose” and “What do we stand for” according to Robert Finocchio, Dean’s Executive Professor of Santa Clara University.

Ethical behavior cannot simply be written /noted in a mission and/or vision statement and should not just be something that a company should declare on the front steps of their offices. Customers and shareholders demand much more from organizations as ethical behavior is very vital. Ethical behavior should be considered the cornerstone of organization cultures and is crucial that all levels of management appropriately communicate the business policies and procedures and the ethical stance the organization takes to the employees.

According to the Ethics Awareness Inventory, ethics is identified as moral principles and rules that promote the behavior of individuals that live in society (Fisher, 2008). Business ethics is referred to as the principles that organize the behavior of employers and employees (Hartman, 2004). Without imposing on the ethical boundaries of business or society, a company is expected to organize their practices. In regards to Social responsibility, this can be identified by the current oil spill brought on by BP. The issue with the oil spill surrounding BP Oil Company has been all over the news over the last couple weeks.

There has not been one television, newspaper, news program station that has not centered their focus on the amount of damage caused throughout the waters of North America. The oil spill has been addressed by the current president Obama and the steps the government will take to ensure the organization BP appropriately handles the spill accordingly. The public relations department along with the CEO has made media appearances and implemented commercials to advise the world that funds have been set aside to aid in the areas directly affected by the spill.

By BP recognizing and responding to the legal and social responsibilities and obligations, the organization can carry out the actions as currently outlined above. This shows that the organization took ownership for their actions and demonstrated a collaborative effort to include the employees of BP’s their communities and suppliers in which they operate as well as the extent the company many attempts to clean up the spill and protect the environment. During this course, it appears that the author’s ethical perspectives have evolved over the past year.

When completing the DQ’s due for this week, Enron was one of the companies that was first to come to mind when ethics was the topic of discussion. One might even say that Enron is the “most discussed company” for all things done unethical. During this program, the author’s perspective evolved as a result of the author being discovered that the end-result of Enron failure was motivated ethically, the company itself was unsound ethically in the mere beginning. Some may question how could this be; however, from the readings on the organization, Enron was unethical from the start. Enron was in the business to sell natural gases and electricity.

The purchasing and selling natural gas and electricity is not something that would necessarily be considered an ethical business. How this organization was handled was very strange on unprofessional. Strategic planning taught valuable lessons such as ethics, honesty and trust in which should be incorporated into the core foundation of the organization which to includes conducting business in an ethical way. Being transparent is another concept learned in the chapters of ethical behavior. From the information gathered on Enron, the organization was anything but transparent to the shareholders and its customers or stakeholders.

Communicating the ethical stance of the company to all level employees is one of the most important concepts learned about ethics. Obviously, the ethical behaviors would not be on Enron’s list of ethical behavior list. While the Enron scandal unambiguously is the most popular figure of obstinate corporate corruption and fraud, there were some good tips that came of this for all organizations. As a result of the misuse of the organization mission/vision/value statement for Enron, this caused the organization to go under; hundreds of employees losing their jobs, jail time, criminal records and fines to be paid.

When the organization started to report large numbers, the employees were encouraged to buy shares of Enron. The executives of Enron were considered bullies to the investment companies as they would pay someone to get rid of a firm that would question their stock. From this big corporate disaster, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 was formed. The SOX act made it an obligatory practice for all companies, small and large to comply with accounting practices to restrain accounting and corporate scandals. This act does not apply to privately held companies.

Social responsibility and Ethics in businesses are very vital in the world today. There are many factors that encourage businesses to function in a socially and ethical manner. These reasons are currently included in the belief system within an organization, government regulations and everyday frequent sense of intelligence. Consumers of an organizations product and shareholders are demanding ethics and social responsibilities. Currently, in today’s organizations, the expectation now is to interact, react and act in a manner that is positive with their customers and go over and beyond the call of duties to sustain simplicity.