Business Research for Decision Making
As a company that has been operating for a while not in the market, Excelsior Enterprises has an operational code of ethics. The code of ethics of the company is a set of established standards that describe the kind of behavior that is expected from all the employees in the company. It is one of the frameworks that are referenced during the decision making process. This is because all decisions in the company, irrespective of the hierarchal level where such decisions have been made ought to exhibit compliance with the established principles of the code of ethics (Sekaran & Bougie 2010).
It is important to emphasize that at Excelsior Enterprises, the evaluation for compliance with the code of ethics does not just focus on the product, but also the process. This means that the decision making process is as crucial as the decision itself. It is also important to underscore the fact that the code of ethics does not operate in a vacuum. The company’s operations are already governed by federal laws pertaining to our kind of business, internal policies and regulations. However, the code of ethics is a guarantee of what the company stands for, without ambiguity of fear for contradiction.
Characterize your organization’s code of ethics
As highlighted above, our code of ethics does not work in isolation. It links with other business regulations, policies and laws. Our organizations code of ethics is not only written, as it should be, but also contains other distinguishing characteristics. For instance, the development of the code of ethics was not only done from the organization’s perspective but also incorporated that of the employees. However, stern reference was made to the authentic values of the organization. Additionally, the code of ethics is virtually universal in its application.
This implies that there are no gray zones or exceptions in terms of its applications. All employees, their positions in the company notwithstanding are subject to this code. The code of ethics also features relevant mini cases and scenarios that bring the behavior of employees and the values of the company into perspective. The code of ethics also has feedback mechanisms in order to ensure the evaluation of feedback from relevant sources (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2010).
List some reasons why a code of ethics exists
The code of ethics in our organizations, and many other organizations exists for certain reasons. Some of the reasons are listed below:
- In our organization, the code of ethics exists in order to offer a common framework upon which all managerial decisions at all levels of the organizations are based, founded and evaluated (Bazerman & Moore, 2013).
- The code of ethics helps bring to speed all the employees with regards to the expected behavior and the values in an organization.
Bazerman, M. H., & Moore, D. A. (2013). Judgment in managerial decision making. New York: Wiley.
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2010). Research methods for business: A skill-building approach. Chichester: Wiley.
Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2010). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases : 2009 update. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Share an ethical dilemma and explain how the code of ethics proved valuable
Many a time, people find themselves impeded by emotions in the decision making process. Emotions prey on our conscious and inhibit rational thinking. Without rational thinking, many of the decisions made are skewed and might reflect the principle of maximizing utility.
As a signatory for many operations in the organizations, I am required to review many documents before approving them for other lie managers above me. What this means is that certain operations cannot take place unless I append my signature in approval. Usually, any documents that need my review and signatures are placed on my desk. Any urgent documents are brought in by my secretary with a tag of urgency on them so that can give them immediate attention. The unusual thing about this particular scenario was that a line manager above me in the company hierarchy, and also doubled as a good friend brought in the documents for my signature.
Usually, I get time to go over the documents before I make approvals. This is the practice in our organizations, and as such, documents are brought in with a good deadline. However, the line manager decided to sit and wait for the signature. There were some glaring errors in terms of financial estimates and the payments that he was requesting. When I pointed them out, the line manager implored me to approve the documents irrespective of the errors. It was not evident that the line manager wanted to canvas and defraud the company. Additionally, he tabled a kick back offer where he was to give me a portion of the money for my services.
Initially I was offended that as my friend, he would put me in such a position. In a quick rejoinder, he pointed out the favors I owed him because he had come through for me in difficult situations previously. I was torn between loyalty for my friend and my personal convictions in the matter. Zerbe, Härtel & Ashkanasy, (2008) argue that emotions should not be part of decision making; that one should employ rational thought in maximizing utility, and thus base any decisions on well thought out principles. In as much as this is true, it is not easy to rid emotions from the thought process (Vohs, Baumeister & Loewenstein, 2007).
I asked the line manager to allow me to get back to him with my decision. Although he was persistent, I stood my ground so that I could get time to think clearly on the next course of action. During my thought process, it occurred to me that I was the head of the compliance committee appointed to oversee the compliance programs regarding the company’s code of ethics. After referring to the code of ethics, it was very apparent that I was required to act with integrity as this was one of the values of the company (Rolls, 2014). The code of ethics offered me counsel and reinforced my convictions over the unethical requests of my friend.
I also debated about giving him a warning as opposed to reporting the impropriety as I was mandated to do by the code of ethics. My intuition was to ward off any advances from him and warn him because the repercussions of reporting the matter would be dire for him. However, I thought that he did not make such considerations for my welfare when he was making such unethical requests, especially because he knew my stand on graft. I decided not to bend the rules for him on the account of our friendship. I reported the improprieties and let the due process take course.
Prior to this case, the code of ethics might have been another plaque on the wall. Even as the head of the compliance committee for the code of ethics in the organization, I did not understand the value of the code of ethics as I do now. After this occurrence, I have a new found respect for the code of ethics. It is because of its principles that I navigated the murky waters of unethical behavior.
Zerbe, W. J., Härtel, C. E. J., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2008). Emotions, ethics and decision-making. Bradford: Emerald Group Pub.
Rolls, E. T. (2014). Emotion and decision making explained. New York, NY : Oxford University Press
Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., & Loewenstein, G. (2007). Do emotions help or hurt decision making?: A hedgefoxian perspective. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.