Texas Instruments

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Applied ethics Pages: 10 (3366 words) Published: November 5, 2008
The Texas Instruments we know today represents a significant transformation from the seismic exploration company formed in 1930. Originally named Geophysical Service Inc., the company was purchased in 1941 by four of the managers and began manufacturing and supplying defense systems to the US Navy. In 1951, the organization changed its name to Texas Instruments as it ventured into the Semiconductor business. According to an article on www.inventors.com, Jack Kilby, an employee at Texas Instruments, forever changed the world when he invented the integrated circuit. In doing so, he ultimately created a global market with a value of about $1 trillion per year. After accepting the Nobel Prize in 2000, Kilby said, “It reminds me of what the beaver told the rabbit as they stood at the base of Hoover Dam. ‘No, I didn’t build it myself, but it’s based on an idea of mine.’”

Today, Texas Instruments is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operates in more than 25 countries. Kilby’s invention is still used to power everything from cell phones and the internet to energy-efficient products with low-power consumption. Texas Instruments is not only a leader in technological innovation, but is fast becoming a leader in the corporate social responsibility initiatives as well. According to Texas Instrument’s 2007 Corporate Citizenship Report, TI's commitment to corporate citizenship encompasses six key areas. These include Product Stewardship, Environmental Responsibility, Employee well-being, Community Involvement, Responsible Advocacy, and Corporate Governance.

Although Texas Instruments excels in each and every one of these categories, the case study in the text is centered primarily on TI’s Corporate Governance, Ethics, and Employee Well-Being. The organization understands the implications of misconduct and accordingly, endeavors to develop effective and valuable compliance and ethics programs. An article in “Organizational Dynamics” recommends that companies work methodically through the most obscure ethical dilemmas and have a plan in place should the need arise. By having explicit codes of conduct, statements of values and ethics, and a rapid response system in place, TI can identify and resolve potential risks and behaviors before they become problematic. Proactive management of ethics is not only mandatory for retaining customers, employees and investors, but for avoiding legal ramifications for violations as well.

There is no ambiguity at TI as far as ethics are concerned. The employees’ first resource should be the ethical business practices which are shared with all employees on a regular basis. Secondly, there is a quick ethics test that employees can ask themselves if they ever have any doubt in a situation or behavior. And finally, the TI Ethics Office provides feedback, insight and guidance into any situation.

The remainder of the article focuses on employees as key stakeholders. By fostering a diverse, flexible, and satisfying work environment, Texas Instruments empowers its employees to act ethically, responsibly, and in accordance with the organization’s goals and visions.

Codes of Conduct – Formalized rules and standards that describe what the company expects of its employees. Texas Instruments strives to develop an effective ethics and compliance program and takes its code of conduct very seriously. Not only does it outline the behavior of individual employees, but that of the organization as a whole.

Marketing Ethics – Principles and standards that define acceptable marketing conduct as determined by various stakeholders. By having ethical expectations for its suppliers, Texas Instruments mitigates the appearance of impropriety and may improve the marketing ethics of the suppliers’ organizations by letting suppliers know up front that their business will not be “bought”.

Ethical Issues – Identifiable problems, situations, or opportunities requiring a choice among several actions that must...
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