Ethics in the Workplace

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Ethics in the Workplace – Sears Auto Center
Ethics in the workplace and sometimes the lack thereof can significantly influence the success of an organization. Effective leaders often approach ethical dilemmas by identifying alternative actions and their consequences on stakeholders. The aftermath of the disasters caused by Enron, WorldCom, and other businesses, once prominent companies, resulted in a significant loss of confidence in business leader’s conduct. Organizations in today’s highly competitive business environment must develop an ethical culture to withstand the ever increasing scrutiny by customers, governmental regulatory agencies, and their competition. In order for companies effectively to navigate through the ethical minefields, a strong code of ethics must be developed, implemented and enforced. This Ethics in the Workplace paper is going to evaluate a case study regarding the Sears, Roebuck and Company’s ethical dilemmas regarding the questionable business practices of their Auto Service Centers.
Symptoms of the problems were evident for Sears. There were actions that were needed to be taken that would have prevented the company from obtaining a negative reputation. The CEO and Chairman Edward A. Brennan held a news conference to defend the company, from being perceived as being involved in fraudulent activities. He pointed to possible solutions for any mistakes that had occurred. These solutions included, eliminating the incentive compensation program for service advisors, substituting commissions based on customer satisfaction, eliminating sales quotas for specific parts and repairs, and substituting sales volume quotas.
Sears has two main root problems that created issues for in this case. First, the company began facing stiff competition from the retail giant Wal-Mart. “Discount retailers such as Wal-Mart were pulling ahead in market share, leaving Sears lagging. Sears responded by adding non-Sears name brands and an "everyday low price"



References: Jennings, M. M. (2008, March 3). Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings (6th ed.). South-Western Publications. p.505 Nelson, K., & Trevino, L. (2004). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley

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