Ethics in Management
March 4, 2007
Ethical System of Inquiry
"The Code of Business reaffirms what each Motorola employee stands for: Doing the right thing. Every day. No excuses” (Ethics and Code of Business Conduct, 2007).
In developing a system of inquiry, I chose to use the ethics code for Motorola Corporation. Motorola's Key Beliefs have been in existence for decades, and Motorola continues to have a strong culture of corporate ethics and citizenship. Since its original establishment in the 1970s, the Code of Business Conduct has provided Motorola employees guidance for their business activities, placing a priority on establishing trust with our stakeholders. However, Motorola realizes it is not enough to declare good values. Motorola is committed to acting on them--through the potential of technology and the way they conduct business (Ethics and Code of Business Conduct, 2007). The code of ethics for Motorola is very extensive; however, there are nine main areas of focus: code of business conduct, responsibilities to Motorolans, responsibilities to customers and consumers, responsibilities to business partners, responsibilities to shareholders, responsibilities to shareholders, responsibilities to communities, responsibilities to governments, and conflict of interests. Through these nine ethical areas, I have developed a system of inquiry to be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior in a business setting.
The role of employees in the organization and their ethical responsibilities must be identified and the objectives should be clarified before decision making. Employees, middle managers and executives have designated roles in the process. For example most of the middle managers can be considered as specialists for the workplace in their departments. Objectives can be derived from many sources. The manager should develop a measurable criterion from the code of ethics to understand how well these objectives are being met. These measures can be time periods for the improvement of the awareness of ethical responsibilities. Then the manager should seek alternatives that fulfill as many of the objectives as possible and determine if these alternatives fit to the objectives in ethical conduct. While doing this, he/she must be able to explain the reasons of the relations of alternatives and objectives to other employees. The manager should choose the alternative that satisfies the majority of the organization. After the implementation the manager should listen to the complaints and feedbacks and monitor the impacts in the workplace to develop this alternative. Employees should always be encouraged to communicate the matters of mutual interest to the management.
The managers should first figure out what kind of ethical problems does the organization face with and what prevents them to solve these issues. Sometimes they may have lack of information to define the problem precisely. They must state the reasons why these issues are considered as ethical problems. While doing these they should refer to the company policy and match the issue that contradicts to the code of ethics. After preparing the problem statement they must review it and discuss it with the employees whose job descriptions and specializations create responsibility and who have special expertise and experience about the issue. During the discussion the committee should figure out whether the issue is the real problem or a symptom of a larger one. It is always more feasible and less time consuming to go directly to the main source of issues. If there were similar events happened in the past and solved, they should refer to these solutions. They have to determine different ethical dimensions and the conditions that solutions should satisfy. During this stage they should try to forecast the possible effects of the solution method. For example, if...