GE and the Pros and Cons of Ethical Code

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Applied ethics Pages: 5 (1901 words) Published: February 24, 2014
GE and the Pros and Cons of Ethical Code

What do we mean when we say business ethics? In this paper we discuss the business ethics and the pros and cons of implementation and compliance. Looking at one of the most successful companies in the world, we have found that a “Code of Ethics” has multiple roles when considering the ramifications of following or not following those codes. General Electric is looked upon as one of the largest corporate governing companies in the world and that by implementing a good code of ethics, and following them, can play a vital role in the success of GE. Whether in the US or conducting business abroad we look at the way a corporate code of ethics can affect each sector in its own ways. Considering the implication of corporate ethics, it is important to see the pros and cons of one company and learn from, not only the good, bad the unethical practices and avoid making the same mistakes.

GE and the Pros and Cons of Ethical Code
Beliefs, morals, virtue, and ethics; what is it that drives us in the way we run our personnel and professional lives? Where do this measure in the way we run a business? In this paper we will discuss the ways these traits influence our direction in which one company has looked at different ethical issues and some examples of how to implement such a code. We are going to dive into some of General Electric’s ethical decision making and the pros and cons of those decisions, but also in business in general as well. When I asked a group of colleagues from different levels of my company, I saw that there were many different opinions on how to handle certain situations and you will see this throughout the selected cases of GE. Using a written code of ethics in business can help companies develop a positive perception with consumers. The ability to educate consumers on how the company chooses to operate can go a long way in creating customer goodwill. Companies, like GE, can often improve their employee's performance through a written code of ethics. This allows the company to set a specific set of ethical standards for employees to follow when working in the company. I want to make sure that we understand a few of these definitions so we will talk about a general code of ethics in business today. It is also important that it is understood that perception of ethics comes in many different opinions. It’s up to you, the individual, and their personal convictions in the decision making process when concerning their imparticular company’s ethical code. First, I would like to define what Ethics is. Ethics can be defined as the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc. Simply put, they are a system of moral principles. Secondly, Business Ethics should be defined as a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. Research has, however, shown that for an ethics code to be effective, it must be used as part of a comprehensive corporate ethics program that includes infrastructure such as the ethics office, ethics reward and sanctioning, and periodical business ethics training for staff. Implementing the code as part of a comprehensive ethics program ensures that the code becomes real in the eyes of employees. It also ensures that it is not a once-off event that remains a written expression destined for staff office drawers without it ever shaping their behavior. Implementing the code as part of the comprehensive ethics program will also ensure that it is not accompanied by a belief that once the code has been crafted and distributed to staff, staff will simply join hands to practice ethical business behavior. The crafting process...
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