Business code of conduct is intended to be a central guide and reference for users in support of decision making, it clarifies an organization's mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. Ethical codes do not always prevent unethical behavior but do provide the employees and management team with legal and ethical standards to help influence their commitment and job performance. ‘A code is meant to complement relevant standards, policies and rules, not to substitute for them’ Pang and Guindon (2004, p. 215). People, goods and services continue to freely move across the borders thus creating challenge to global health as the quality to some of such goods are not ascertained by the world health organization bodies. In my view, the blame might be to the international managers of such companies accredited to transport goods; hence they are required to take positive stance on economic development, environmental conservation and ethical behavior (DeGeorge 2005).
Despite the environmental and health campaigns across the globe about illegal transportation and manufacturing of unconventional products, moreover with the enforcement of laws and regulation, textile and clothing companies still carry out unethical behaviors and practices without considering there effects. The essay shall therefore discuss the ethical principles code of conduct stated by the Global Business Standards Codex evident as a result of globalization and examine the consequences of unethical perception of behaviors and norms in our culture and laws from the clothing, textile and footwear (TCF) industries (Yu, 2007).
The citizenship codex ethical principle business code of conduct.
As a result of increased number of unemployment and with the rising costs of living in the underdeveloped countries, products manufacturing industries like TCF do employee children to help cut on their production costs. Perry (1999, p. 115) in his submission, child labor is an international issue and it is ‘estimated that 65% of child laborers work in the agricultural sector’ industries. In 1990 at a congressional meeting, a U.S. senator proposed a legislation to ban all the imported goods that were made by child labor but this would implications to U.S. government as countries that were to be affected by the ban would impose fines (Perry et al., 1999).
It is with the support from the government and non governmental organizations such International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) and UNICEF that the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association signed to discontinue employment of children and instead participate in provision and support for their educational programmes. Thereby being a citizenship company by cooperating with authorities, civic contribution to the society and law abidance (Sajhau, 2000).
In 1995, Levi Strauss Associates; a clothing manufacturing company specialized in producing and marketing of children, women and men clothes survived collapsing by exercising ethical code of conduct. It offered his business partners opportunity to exercise direct control on legal requirement and labor standards. Moreover, since there products were of low prices, this made it affordable even to the low income group individuals (Murphy, 2010).
The Transparency codex ethical principle business code of conduct.
The transparency principle business ethical code of conduct in my opinion can be considered to be the most important as being deceitful can ruin a company’s reputation. Without customers, no business can prosper as they are the roots that firmly hold the business and when their trust and confidence is broken, they are unlikely to use such company’s product. The managers should therefore ensure that confidentiality, safety, effectiveness and whatever they advertise are truthful to gain and hold their customers’ trust (Trevino 2006).
Unethical business behaviors by multinational companies attributed by minor mistakes that the employees might ignore like code of conducts, can only benefit them for a short term but they can experience a greater loss for a long period of time that can have a great impact not only to the company’s reputation but also to the stakeholders. With the current technological development embracing our society, managers meet challenges that would test their ethical and standards beliefs, the rules are not subjected to public criticism and therefore violation of law is noncompliance (Sajha 2000).
The Responsiveness codex ethical Principle business code of conduct
According to Murphy (2010, p. 215) ‘Ethical behavior is judged and based largely on the cultural value system and the generally accepted ways of doing business in each country or society’ therefore businesses have condone and present themselves diligently before the society as the will judged them by how they perceive their ethical standards. Companies participating on public events involving members of public improve their social, trust and above all market themselves to their customers. Being responsive to community development activities by making donates, sponsoring needy children, addressing the society concerns and organizing for curriculum activities that would see people of different races brought together, thereby rewarding them; improves, markets and increases the public trust on the company and their products (Miller, 2004).
Clothing, textile and footwear industries should put their consumer’s best interest first, as managers should come to a decision to combine there ethical standard difference to their host country or community. It is the ethical duty responsibility of TCF industries such as Nike, Reebok, Puma and Polo to employee, supply and promote there product through sensitization campaigns. “Unethical marketing of infant formula in developing countries are example of doing harm knowingly and willingly and of benefiting from the lack of legal restraints to the detriment of the eventual consumer’s” (National Multimedia, n.d).
In conclusion therefore, making ethical decisions can be hard task to any business manager, because it depends on the distinction between right and wrong. Sooner or later companies like clothing, textile and footwear manufacturing industries that have unethical practices will get caught and it will depends on their efforts to fix their mistakes whether they can bounce back or not. It took the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association many years to regain the public trust, but after many changes and their efforts to fix the errors, they stayed at float. Being ethical helps to keep organizations good reputation and avoid criminal liability therefore employees should believe it is the right thing to do to be part of a fair and just environment. A frame work is therefore an essential asset that business should have for ethical decision making. “To upgrade company’s ethics, TCF must impose codes of conduct that treating other person with respect and should provide leadership’s ethical training as leaderships are key person to make a strategic-decision” Pang and Guindon (2004, p. 225)
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Pang, T., Guindon, G.E., 2004. Globalization and risks to health. EMBO Rep. 5, S11–S16.
Perry, M., Sohal, A.S., Rumpf, P., 1999. Quick Response supply chain alliances in the Australian textiles, clothing and footwear industry. Int. J. Prod. Econ. 62, 119–132.
Sajhau, J., 2000. Business Ethics in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Industries. International labour organization Available at: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=codes [Accessed September 26, 2013].
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2006). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Yu, X., 2007. Impacts of Corporate Code of Conduct on Labor Standards: A Case Study of Reebok’s Athletic Footwear Supplier Factory in China. J. Bus. Ethics 81, 513–529.