Ethics represents an extremely wide field of inquiry, which addresses variety of issues, concerning the way a person should behave in a particular situation or, in more general terms, what kind of person one should strive to be, importance of different values, choosing life-governing standards and principles etc. Business ethics is the study, which focuses on determining the rights in wrongs of persons’ behaviour in business context. Due to the change in social meaning of business from being related exclusively to money-making to establishing its links to global decision-making and business corporate social responsibility, developing enterprise’s reputation and creating prerequisites for brand loyalty requires creating comprehensive ethical values system and ethical compliance program. These activities are especially important for the companies, whose clients function at federal and state levels of governance due to the fact that they have specific corporate social responsibility.
Logistic health incorporated (LHI) is one of the U.S. leading corporations in the sphere of health care. Logistic health inc. was founded to coordinate complex health care services for clients, operating within both public and private sectors. LHI was founded by Donald J.Webster in 1999, so that critical concerns related to military medical readiness can be met in an effective manner. First experience of running the program showed the possibility of future cooperation between the company and the government in the sphere of exploring facilitation of other healthcare services. One of landmark events in the development of LHI was its being awarded the FEDS-HEAL program, aimed at ensuring acceptable health and dental readiness levels for military reserve components. Nowadays LHI enjoys fruitful cooperation with the network, comprised of 25,000 national healthcare service providers, and support of a wide range of federal agencies.
LHI services, provided to a variety of federal and state government customers, are mostly related to logistical coordination, and include elaborating on customized programs and conducting necessary training; receiving and processing services provision requests; supporting functioning of the private healthcare provider network; setting up appointments; reporting and reviewing reports etc. Quality service provision is facilitated with the help of such service delivery models as on-location group events, in-clinic and call center services. Services, which are delivered to customers by the network of national providers with the help of LHI encompass such spheres as physical examination, dentistry, behavioral health, immunization, vision and audiology and laboratory examinations. Moreover, LHI facilitates potential employees’ undergoing pre-employment occupational health& compliance examination. Regulatory examinations and corporate immunization programs are also available.
The company states that the difference it makes is ensured through meaningful combination of proven performance, commitment to quality and expert talent. Peculiarities of LHI culture include considering people as priority and being committed to health.
One of most important requirements, which is set with respect to activities of business entities, is related to the strong need to obey existing rules and regulations, which govern the sphere of business conduct. The policy of LHI is to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, which govern LHI performance and commercial operations, and subscribing to highest legal, ethical and moral standards.
While it is quite easy to define the set of rules and regulations, which govern business conduct in general and within specific area, the thing becomes more complicated, when viewing companies as moral agents, which are created to perform specific actions in society and, therefore, bear responsibility for such actions.
Adhering to ethical principles and applying the requirement of such an adherence to customers, suppliers, employees, investors and communities is critical for maintaining brand loyalty and creating a brand image, which will appeal to both existing and potential clients. Ethics compliance program, developed by LHI specialists, is based both on universal ethical rules and values, and the ones, which LHI chose to emphasize as its core values. Core values of the company include commitment, which means fulfilling promises given to employees, customers and communities; excellence, associated with exceeding expectations through providing service of top quality; integrity or always doing the right thing; compassion, encompassing such values as concern, kindness and respect, and, the last, but not the least, ensuring uniqueness and effectiveness of solutions to challenging requirements or innovation. Employees of LHI are trained to exemplify all the core values of the company as through special training programs the people of LHI get education on variety of standards of business conduct, regulation and ethics.
Despite the fact that values of LHI are formulated in quite a specific manner, personnel may experience difficulties, while trying to apply them in practice due to the fact that business entity under study lacks ethics and compliance program, which should not only contain detailed definitions of all the values, set by the company, but also standards and procedures, aimed at detecting and preventing misconduct; organization of the system of monitoring, auditing and reporting misconduct; the rules, which will help to ensure consistent enforcement of related standards and codes , providing for a system of punishments for misconduct etc. Furthermore, effective communication of the program to employees with the help of specifically tailored training programs are necessary to ensure effective implementation of these programs, and employees’ adherence to company’s values.
Despite the fact that at the first glance lack of clearly formulated ethics and compliance program makes audit of company’s business ethics-related image impossible, the alternative solution lies in the fact that analysis of company’s values is conducted. First of all, the company aims at ensuring commitment to its promises. In other words, one of central values of the company is to fulfill its tasks in such a manner, which is expected by its customers.
Including such a value as excellence helps us understand that quality is top emphasis of LHI. Moreover, the company always tries not only to fulfill expectations (as it is provided for in terms of commitment value), but also exceed them. The value of ‘integrity’ is formulated as ‘always doing a right thing’. However, no kind of logical analysis can help us get an understanding of which things are considered right and which ones can be named wrong. Providing a more detailed description of what ‘right thing’ means will undoubtedly contribute into development of employees’ understanding of company’s integrity value and, therefore, adhering to it. Innovation value is defined quite clearly and means looking for creative and unique solutions, so that excellence-related requirement is met.
Conclusion and recommendations
LHI is the company, which emphasizes not only the fact that it complies with laws and regulations, which govern the sphere of business conduct, but stresses its adherence to a range of corporate ethical values, which include commitment, excellence, integrity and innovation. Despite the fact that the values of the company are formulated in quite a clear manner, ensuring effective compliance to such values requires company’s elaborating on ethics and compliance program. Ensuring of effective compliance will be facilitated with the help of introducing more detailed rules of conduct to supplement existing ethical values of the company, providing for creation of special systems, aimed at identifying and preventing misconduct and the ones, which will monitor, audit and report cases of misconduct. Moreover, the system of punishments for misconduct should be worked out to ensure general and special prevention of non-adherence to ethical rules. Introduction of novelties should be accompanied by comprehensive on-site training for personnel.
The changes, mentioned above, should help the company become more functional with respect to implementing its ethical values in practice.