Ethical problems are inevitable at all levels of business and this means that it’s simply makes good sense for companies to take seriously the task of institutionalizing ethics in their company. Accordingly, an important segment of corporate America has begun relying on such tools as, statements of corporate values, codes of conduct, ethic workshops, and hotlines for whistleblowers. In this paper I am outlining an ethics program for a new company. Starting a company with an ethics program already in place will deter unethical behavior by mangers and staff members.
Why Have an Ethics Code?
Large corporate scandals have rocked this and other nations’ business world over the last several years. In today’s skeptical marketplace, even small and mid-sized businesses must guard against ethical and financial snares that destroyed such giants as Enron, Tyco, Boeing and Arthur Andersen. Small businesses often argue that they do not have the funding to develop, implement and enforce ethics and compliance policies, as true as that maybe following a few simple steps can help even the smallest company effectively create and communicate policies ensuring the integrity of the business and its employees (Boswell, 2003).
The Code of Conduct is not exhaustive; it simply provides guidance to employees and directors in how they are expected to carry out their duties. There is no possible way for the code to address every possible situation, employees and directors are expected to use good judgment and to ask questions when in doubt (Boudreaux & Steiner, 2005, para. 5). Codes of conduct specify actions in the workplace and codes are merely guidelines to make decisions about actions. Once the company increases in size, each department can develop its own codes of conduct.
According to Wallace, “a credo generally describes the highest values to which the company aspires to operate (McNamara, PhD, 2003). The code specifies the ethical rules of operation....