Martin Marietta: Managing Corporate Ethics (A)
In an industry overwhelmed with fraud and corruption, Martin Marietta was ready to revamp their reputation to become an ethical company. This concept catapulted a decade of creating, developing, and tweaking an ethics program. Martin Marietta's goal was to maintain a work place with "descent people doing quality work" (page 1). But with this idea came a series of difficult challenges the company needed to overcome. Martin Marietta arose to the challenge and executed an elaborate ethics program. The programs successes were hard to measure at best. A SWOT analysis was designed to reflect upon all aspects of the ethics program. A case study was used to discuss Martin Marietta's successes, failures, and future endeavors regarding their ethics program. Martin Marietta was founded upon selling cutting edge aerospace and defense technology. Overwhelmed with dirty business transactions, Martin Marietta's General Counsel, Jacques Croom desired a "do-it-right" (Sharp, page 2) environment. He despised the media’s opinion of the defense industry as "a penchant for taking more than is rightfully theirs, and for delivering less than perfect products, overcharging, falsifying tests and on occasion bribing government officials" (Sharp, page 4). With the goal of an ethical company in mind, Croom began his quest. By 1985, Martin Marietta released their "Code of Ethics and Standard Conduct," as well as creating an "audits and ethics committee." With the use of a SWOT analysis, it became possible to map out the Ethic Programs strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. (The SWOT analysis in its entirety may be viewed in Appendix A.) Martin Marietta’s Ethics Program produced quality work which held their employees accountable for their actions, however; it also imposed a fear of retaliation within the employees. The program’s effectiveness was nearly impossible to measure. Martin Marietta set out to conquer...
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