Ethics and the Role of Individual's Code of Conduct

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As stated in the blue paper, after graduation, I want to get involved in the international sale career. Nowadays, as the world is becoming flatter and smaller thanks to the development of information technology, the people’s expectation for ethics will also become higher and higher. Thus, the roles that ethics plays in one’s career should relatively become more and more important.

Nowadays, in the field of international sale, one of the hottest issues is probably the difference in quality standard among countries worldwide and how companies handle that. Some countries, especially the developing ones, there still exist thousands of loopholes in the law in safeguarding the customer benefit. Particularly in the enforcement part, the resource is too inadequate to ensure companies comply with technical and legal standard. In those markets, as a manager, should you make decision on reducing the quality to cut cost? It’s definitely a tough question because for if your answer is ‘no’, it’s hard to remain competitive in the market. And if you follow your opponents, even though it’s not against the law, it’s unethical. An example is the recent exposure of Lipton tea; they sell their product in China with lower standard than when they sell in Europe (Anderlini, 2011). In other words, in those markets, it’s all up to the manager’s ethical standard to answer the question of what is more important between customer’s benefit and company’s profit. Also, in sale career where you have the unique position to influence the decisions of the customer, sometimes, that persuasive ability can become manipulative. And that’s unethical. In my country, there are a lot of cases when salesperson even big companies trying to take advantage of people’s naivety to ‘legally steal’ their money. And strange as it seems, while doctors have the Hippocratic Oath, Lawyers have the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, sales professionals do not have any of those code of sales ethics....
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