Business Ethics = Social Responsibility???
Carla S. Lallatin, C.P.M., CPPO, President
Lallatin & Associates
Annual International Supply Management Conference, April 2004 Abstract. Is there a difference between business ethics and social responsibility? Are the two compatible or mutually exclusive? This paper raises questions about the overlap and reciprocally supportive interface between business ethics and social responsibility, as well as about their mutual exclusivity. It isolates several specific ethical and social responsibility topics for further exploration. Finally, this paper considers some of the implications of this debate for supply management professionals.
Objective: The objective of this paper is to encourage debate and exploration regarding the interface between ethics and social responsibility and to further the definition of the role that supply managers play in promoting excellence in both areas. The next two sections introduce both the ethics principles and standards and the social responsibility principles to provide a base for comparison and discussion throughout the rest of this proceedings. Information on ethical standards is presented first.
Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has established ethical standards and guidelines recommended to all those who influence the supply management process, including supply management professionals, engineers, quality control personnel, sales representatives and senior management. The Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct with Accompanying Guidelines is available in printed form from ISM or on its website at www.ism.ws.
The preamble to the Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct with Accompany Guidelines identifies the following reasons for their development: · Encourage adherence to an uncompromising level of integrity · Heighten awareness and acceptance of appropriate conduct
· Convey the principles and standards which the supply management profession considers just, fitting and correct
· Cover major domestic and international supply management issues · Provide insight for handling difficult day-to-day issues
The twelve ISM standards of supply management conduct are derived from three principles: 1. Loyalty to your organization
2. Justice to those with whom you deal
3. Faith in your profession
Specifically, the twelve standards of conduct are:1. Perceived impropriety 7. Reciprocity 2. Responsibilities to the employer 8. Applicable laws
3. Conflict of interest 9. Small, disadvantaged and minorityowned businesses 4. Issues of influence 10. Professional competence
5. Confidential and proprietary
11. National and international supply
6. Supplier relationships 12. Responsibilities to the profession The next section introduces the principles and standards of social responsibility.
Principles of Social Responsibility. In August, 2003, the ISM Board of Directors approved the ISM Principles of Social Responsibility which begins with the statement: “It is the mission of ISM to promote excellence in social responsibility through the development of principles and the sharing of tools, information and best practices that will assist in the implementation and continuous improvement of supply management organizations and professionals.” The ISM Principles of Social Responsibility is available in printed form from ISM or on its website at www.ism.ws.
The preamble to the ISM Principles of Social Responsibility states that ISM believes supply management is a key contributor in the development and implementation of social responsibility standards for an organization and can impact the supply chain both “upstream” and “downstream.” It identifies the following reasons for the development of the principles: · Increase supply management’s...
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