Founded in 1885, American Telephone & Telegraph better known as AT&T is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. In fact, it is the largest and the second largest provider of fixed telephone and mobile telephone products and services, in the United States of America. Working internationally under the AT&T Inc –publicly traded holding company, it has retained the holding companies it has acquired over the years resulting in the a corporate structure of many companies providing product and services to its worldwide market. As of 2014, AT&T is the 20th largest mobile telephone service provider in the world with over 116.6 million reach (Dempsey, 2013). AT&T products and services include Broadband, Retail, and global Service plans, Mobile Phones, Television services, Digital Life and Wi-Fi. With a mission to –more than anyone else, integrate people with their job and life atmosphere, AT&T possess and run more than 34,000 Hot Spots at strategic locations and more than 1 million Hot Spots globally via roaming contracts. It prides itself to offer one of the world’s most advanced and powerful worldwide networks. AT& offers an exciting alternative to cable with an enhanced DVR, superior features and better TV viewing through U-verse TV. The company also offers integrated Wireless Receiver, which allows clients to move and watch their TV almost in any site at their house.
In order for a company to fulfill its undertakings, build a strong brand and uphold a good standing as a dependable and moral and honest brand so as to appeal to its target market, every organization is tasked with the duty of developing a code of ethics adhered to by its members of staff in provision of products and services (Dempsey, 2013). AT&T being one of the leading multinational corporations, its member of staff stands for, and safeguards that repute to the community. The organization has a code of conduct that outlines certain essential commitments the outfit makes with its workers, clientage, society, and investors and other important players in the accomplishment of the organization’s goals. By adhering to the set obligations and making informed ethical assessment, it keeps a solid reputation in turn creates an enabling atmosphere to meet company’s duties at the highest standard.
From AT&T code of ethics, there are some beneficial issues that are critical for their success. The three key issues are; First, Act with honesty, integrity and follow to ethical sales practices. Second, guard the privacy of customers’ communications and protect the information that the customers that they entrust to them. And third treat each other with respect and do not let threats, prejudice or aggravation and avoids and resolve amicably any clash of interest in the office (AT&T, 2014).
Act with honesty, integrity and follow to ethical sales practices: This statement pertains to everything done at the company. AT&T retaliate that its daily transactions should begin and end with sincerity and uprightness. The code says every member of the organization should hold themselves to a high standard of ethical behavior. This is to grow and build trust among the shareholders, clientage, society, dealers, and government and fellow employees in what the company does (AT&T, 2014). This enables the organization to take sole responsibility for keeping commitments and achieving its goals. In ethical sales practices the company outlines the value of its customers. This valuing comes in form of listening to their queries, rationally presenting organization’s services and products to them, exploring new innovative, efficient, sustainable and safe communication solutions for their benefit, treating them in a professional, courteous way and not give products and services that they don’t approve. The organization says in the event where their client doubles up as its competitor, it extends the same professional services like to any other customer. The major goal of any organization is to drive sales of the products and services it provides and add financial gains from the venture. AT&T being in the competitive business where its interaction with customers does not stop after selling services there being constant communication and renewal of services, what they offer, how they offer it and how they treat customers determines loyalty and the overall sales. Integrity and ethical sales practices are major sales driver in the telecommunication services industry and AT&T ethical conduct effectively covers that and the company’s success to some extent attributes to that.
Guard the privacy of customers’ communications and protect the information that the customers that they entrust to them: The organization states they safeguard the privacy of its client’s conversations not only because the law requires it but also because it’s the right thing and the customers demand proper uncompromising services. Consistent with this code, any compliance of disclosure to state agencies requests for client’s personal communications done only to the extent required by law. The code says maintaining the secrecy of communications is and remains a vital part of AT&T.
Apart from phone call conversations, AT&T keeps custody of other susceptible and comprehensive private data about its clients, which depends on AT&T to look after that information. Laws and policies guide the business how to treat such records (Pattison & Wainwright, 2010). The code says any improper use of confidential client’s information infringes their consumers’ trust and may breach the law or guidelines. Conserving their clients’ trust in the sense of safeguarding their personal data is important to their company’s stature. With the recent technological development and improved intelligence and sophistication, prevalence of fraud and malicious access to private data has soared. AT & T being in the business of telecommunication where very private and sensitive information is exchanged instantaneously, it prone to the malicious people and agencies and security is the principal selling point. AT&T emphasizes about the importance of privacy and protection in the code.
Handling each other with respect and do not let intimidation, discrimination or harassment and avoids and resolve amicably any conflict of interest in the workplace: AT&T code says everyone is respectfully treated and issues of bullying, intolerance or harassment is not entertained in the workplace. AT&T encourages courtesy and professionalism with positive work environment and speaking out when someone goes contrary to the organizational goals being insisted on. Discrimination and all unlawful harassment like sexual harassment in the workplace are not tolerated. Individual merits and abilities disregarding race, color, faith, state origin, sex, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, and other perceived barriers is the threshold to a successful environment. The company abides by all the laws that prohibit discrimination in all its ventures. Actions that offend, daunt or lowers self-esteem of others, directly affects the overall well-being of the organization’s brand negatively. Those acting on behalf of the company are to put the AT&T interest ahead of their personal interests (AT&T, 2014). That means personal, family, or other relationship emotions and interests, are not allowed and do not in way influence decisions made on behalf of the company. This eliminates conflict of interest that in most cases undermines sound business judgment and may threaten A&T’s reputation and make the company vulnerable to risks. The organization steers clear of conflicts of interest, improper workplace conduct and resolves them swiftly if they arise, and attempt to avoid the reoccurrence of such conflicts. The company doesn’t allow our business decisions swayed by offerings, special treatment, or generosity from others. Accepting these offerings can create a conflict, and in some case go against the law. In case of any suspicion, we sort guidance before accepting or presenting any material gifts, favors, or diversion. Verizon and Sprint are some of the other large telecommunication companies as is AT&T. They also have a code of ethics that they subscribe to and enabled them to flourish like AT& T in the competitive environment. There exist some similarities in the codes of conducts between the three companies. When it comes to honesty, integrity and following ethical sales practices, Verizon states integrity is central to everything they do and that they are ethical, upfront, honest because it is founded on trust with its customers, communities other stakeholders. Also Sprint, states its reputation as an ethical company is a key asset and encourages leading with integrity by being accountable, acting with honesty and having focus on customers thereby maintaining highest ethical standard to make Sprint a place where everyone is proud to engage. In terms of guarding customer’s communications and protecting their personal information entrusted to them, Sprint takes protection of its customers’ privacy critically. Client data ought to only be used for legitimate business purposes when necessary. Clients are more alert than ever of their private data (Dempsey, 2013). Additionally, there are privacy laws and regulations at the federal and state level and enforcers are keen to have them observed. Verizon, on the other hand, has in place privacy policies that inform and assists customers about the information about them that it collects and how it uses it. It also prohibits access, listen to, watch, record, and tamper, show and interfere with any customer’s conversations and information with the exception when legally required.
In terms intimidation, discrimination or harassment, Sprint discourages any form of them regardless of the occupation or position of the aggressor and insists every employee has the right to work in an environment free of the harassment. However, not much is said about discrimination. Verizon similarly discourages those practices but differs in the sense that victims can directly confront engaging in the acts without necessary having to report them.
In privacy and protection, Sprint says customer information should only be used for legitimate business purposes when necessary. By not drawing a line to what’s legitimate and not, it exposes the company to risk. By rectifying that issue, it may be able to guarantee maximum privacy boosting its reputation. The undesirable effects to Sprint’s legitimacy issue would be a different interpretation of what legitimate or not leading possible leakage of sensitive data which would tarnish brands name. If Sprint addresses the discrimination adequately, good work ethical environment will manifest and ultimately productivity. The unpleasant effects of not addressing is confusion and this may discourage speaking out which will dampen the work environment and output in general Verizon addressing and not encouraging direct confrontation when it comes to harassment and discrimination would be promotion of confidentiality of the victims especially if they are superior, however the adverse effect would be upsurge of violence when a party is aggravated by confrontation.
Techniques that AT&T could use to maintain relevance of its code of conduct would be to periodically review it and incorporate emerging trends in ethical and unethical conduct to suit its customers and current environment (Pattison & Wainwright, 2010). The next technique would regularly be training its incoming and existing employees to update them and end laxity on the part of the implementation.
AT&T addresses environmental issues by using the methods of subscribing to global standards on carbon emissions energy management and renewable energy and reducing their electronic waste and recycling their products. AT&T has been a leader in innovative technological offerings. The approach used is investing seriously in research and hiring knowledgeable and skillful human resources. This enables the organization to keep up with the technology.
Technology and mobile telephony are moving to online platforms such as mobile application and has seen some revenue from calling reduce. AT&T being a huge business, the effects may not be so much felt at the moment but the signs are that mobile applications are the prospect. One approach that could work for AT&T is diversification to lower risk and tap into the potential of a new venture as the application for mobile platforms. AT&T’s used press to push against spectrum sale restrictions by the regulators. In global corporate citizenship efforts, AT&T emerged top in 2013. This was owing to the efforts to show its good faith and true value to all stakeholders by acting transparently and partnering to conduct a study on solutions to cut adversities between inter machines technologies, beginning a cooling power with the environmental defense fund and partaking in skip the bag campaign at retail stores where consumers in California accumulated assistance for the Nature Conservancy by choosing to omit a bag at retail stores; increase consumer consciousness about waste (Shayon, 2013). By on top, the company managed to strength its brand worldwide by way of good reputation its efforts of nature conservancy will go a long way in maintaining a healthy natural ecosystem for the company to effectively do it work. Also it builds the brands name as an environmental conscious company.
AT&T. (2014). AT&T's Code of business conduct. Retrieved from http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=5711
Dempsey, A. L. (2013). Evolutions in corporate governance: Towards an ethical framework for business conduct.
Pattison, S., & Wainwright, P. (2010). Is the 2008 NMC Code ethical? Nursing Ethics. doi:10.1177/0969733009349991
Shayon, S. (2013, April 12). AT&T Takes Top Billing on Best Corporate Citizens List. Retrieved from http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/04/12/ATT-Best-Corporate-Citizens-List-041213.aspx