Can ethical behavior really exist in business?
"I challenge anybody to show me an example of bias in Fox News Channel."--Rupert Murdoch (Salon, 3/1/01) Abstract
The decision making and behavior of an organization is guided by set principles known as a code of ethics. A code of ethics is used as a guideline for members of an organization to insure ethical choices within an organization. Most credible employees insist on professional integrity and rely on a code of ethics for the organization’s principles and standards of practice. This paper will outline what a code of ethics of an American corporation is, the business practices of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and what happens when corporations control multimedia news broadcasting as well as provide examples of questionable ethical decisions within the journalism profession. Corporate Ethical Behavior and Code of Ethics
Ethical behavior is more than simply following the law of the land. In business ethics, a code of ethics formally defines what those ethics are. “Business ethics and the codes that formally define it always include elements that go beyond strict legality; they demand adherence to a higher standard” (USLegal.com). For instance, it is unethical to lie, but only illegal in some circumstances of the law. Corporate social responsibility originated in the 1960’s because of increased public interest and criticism in consumerism and the effects on the environment. There was a rise in speculation and mistrust after the Enron and World.com corporate scandals. Legislation passed in 2002; The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which requires corporations to publish their code of ethics to ensure those who trade in stock, must publish their code of ethics along with changes to those codes when updated. Small businesses are not required to publish their code of ethics because they do not have a public trade option. Corporate code of ethics was designed to win investor confidence as well.
A corporate ethic code applies to all members of an organization. Actions will be judged by the professionalism of those who engage in activities to the best of their knowledge. According to Murdoch’s News Corporation code of ethics, “Who must follow these Standards? All directors, officers and employees of News Corporation companies must act according to the principles set forth in these Standards. We also expect everyone working on our behalf, including consultants, agents, suppliers and business partners, to adhere to our ethical standards. We may never ask a third party to perform any act that would violate these Standards” (Newscorp.com).
The other issues that are covered in the News Corporation Code of Ethics: Trust in the workplace- Equal Opportunity, non-discrimination, harassing, health and safety, accommodations for those with disabilities, drug free work-place, data privacy, crisis management, and on site security. Trust in employees and a commitment to stockholders- Integrity and transparency of conduct. Areas covered are brides and kickbacks, self dealing, Truthful statements to the Company, misleading others, avoiding conflict of interest, gifts entertainment and hospitality, associations with other companies, improper benefit, safe guarding reputation and property, and safe guarding company information. Trust in the Free Market and commitment to the public- Truthful and complete financial information, maintaining credibility, responsibility of senior executives, inside trading, and fair competition and Anti-trust. The Integrity of the Law and commitment to the Global Community- Good citizenship, corporate social responsibilities, avoiding corruption and bribery, and engaging in political activities and lobbying.
News Corporation expects that every employee, at every level, to conduct him or herself with integrity. These Standards are in place to identify prospective integrity issues, and gives regulation on dealing with potential problems. The News Corporation has...
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