In the analysis of personal organizational ethics, it is important to consider the identification of the key problems that relates to the business ethics of the organization. With these two organizations, the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc and Jollibee Foods Corporation, both have its key problems. The key problems are the core targets to evaluate the stands of the organizations, how they responded to the problems legally, socially, and politically. Consequently, from the individual responses of the organizations on legal, social, and political perspectives, ethnographic researchers can provide reflections and criticisms of their actions based on the philosophical theories associated on the business ethics practiced by the organizations.
Company Profile (Not-for-Profit)
Key ethical problems of the company
These are Fraud and Organizational Issues. There are numbers of issues that arise when it comes to fraud issues. In a non-profit organization, this trend is no longer a surprise in the non-profit world. Non-profit organizations are highly susceptible to fraud issues. Generally, non-profit organizations are established for beneficial purposes in accordance to the mission and vision of the company.
Particularly, Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. or VF faced fraud charges in 2012. The problem rooted when the United States Agency for International Development filed a case against VF. The money in question amounted to 210 million Philippine Peso or 5 million US dollars. The charges stemmed from a complaint from the office of USAID Inspector General. VF is accused by the donor agency of faking receipts that is related to million-dollar donation to the port project of the organization covered from 2005 to 2011 period. The National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines presented some evidences of the charges; tampering and alterations in the receipts based on the analysis conducted. An auditor that is hired by the USAID declared that the funds are disbursed without real beneficiaries.
The second problem is the Organizational Issues. The non-profit or non-governmental sectors are growing phenomenon worldwide. It has impressive figures in revenue, employment, and services provider. However, non-profit organizations are concerned with the development of the management of its diverse and complex issues. They face internal management issues such as strategic planning, staffing, budgeting, and governing structure of the organization. The common problems experienced in the internal management are decision-making process, governance, relations between board members and staff, fund raising, structural growth problem, evaluation problem, economies of scale problem, mission, effectiveness, and accountability, and main future needs.
Analysis of the Response: Legal, Social, or Political Outcomes
The denial of the founder and executive director of VF, Maria Cecilia Flore-Oebanda of the charges filed against her by the USAID for the alleged falsification of documents hiding the misuse of the funding donated to VF proves two sides; either the organization is innocent or the allegation is true. The state of shocked showed by Maria Cecilia of the malicious attack on the organization built for 20 years with sweat, tears, and blood is a normal reaction of a person who never expected things would happened. Despite the allegations, her dedication to continue to provide services for victims of human trafficking and exploitation is a sign of concern and integrity. Her expression of her true emotions that she is betrayed by the USAID motivates her to defend the organization and to clear the name of the foundation in court. By declaring that that the money funded by the donor agency are all accounted for and spent to the beneficiaries, that the whistle-blower accusation is not true about the faked receipts, and that they are ready and they are no hiding anything are signs of transparency to the society. Apparently, the charges started to worry some of the VF beneficiaries; the effect of the problem that affects the recipients of the foundation.
The tensions between the senior managers and the staff are normal in ways on how decision-makings are done within the organization. In view to the governance and the relations between board members and staff of the organization, it shows the inability and unwillingness to do the responsibility. The institutionalized structure has its problem in the replacement of one-person management. There is difficulty in respect of authority that perceives problem in the whole organization. The failure to respond on the resolutions is a sign of no unity, there are conflicts of interests in the organization. Lack of cooperation and involvement are present that result to low performances. The organization shows desire and eagerness when it comes to their missions that are valuable in the society, members, and the founder. All it needs is information and management advices.
Company Profile (For-profit)
These are Customer Service issues and Internal Management Issues. Commonly, the problems of most fast food chains, local and international.Customer Service issues are one of the major challenges or problems encountered by fast food chain, Jollibee in particular. Slow services of the crews to the customers to some branches happened anytime. The unhappy aura of the crew results to negative impression of the customers and complaints are about the service environment of some Jollibee branches. Some customers are facing many difficulties in ordering and some customers are receiving wrong orders. Factors that caused the problem to happen are high traffic customers, few number of on duty crews, and lack of time for trainings and workshops. The effects of the problem are low quality of services, low quality of products, low evaluations, unable to reach the target, and miss out of orders.
In the management issues, it focuses into the conflicting areas or the necessity to establish a greater cooperation and coordination among the managers, crews, and staff of the company. In connection with the first discussed problem in Jollibee, the effects of the problem are the lack of trainings and workshops in all aspects to address internal management issues. There are instances that some stores lack marketing skills, in-depth planning, and research expansion and poor coordination. Concerning treatment between managers and crews, commitment to this value is also lacking.
Analysis of the Response: Legal, Social, or Political Outcomes
The main response of the company to its problem in the customer service, which is the Standardization, is the best remedy. Through this way, there is innovation. This innovation represents gradual breakthrough in the business. The effect of the standardization reflects the standard process, goals, platforms, values, and interfaces within the corporation. The transformation is good for the crews and managers sharing the ideas and standards. The eagerness of the company to change is showing its concern to the customers and success of the business locally and internationally. Through this innovation, the entire corporation would benefit with the efforts and transformations, its standards, features, and experiences.
Management issue is the company’s burden particularly in marketing, finance, HR, and operations. The response of the company that every department should perform well is a good act of cooperation. They cooperate for their common goal, success on local and global network. Their flexibility moves are excellent in using the maximum range of human resources, expertise of the top management, and the skills of the operation departments. The strategic tools of the company are the best way to enhance their management networks and expansions. They have a good emphasis in their management development building unified corporate culture with the socialization of new managers and partners in the norms and value system of the company as a whole. Effective communications is excellent; it is needed particularly in the knowledge management, they iron out differences and inflict comradeships. Definitely, the use of external corporate trainers in this regard would be a plus. The company ensures immediate solutions in small differences in management style and culture between the cooperating companies to avoid misunderstanding. They believe that small misunderstanding leads to poor performances. They have the convenience to use specific procedures to foresee positive outcomes, given the difficulty of identifying the organizational compatibilities.
Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc
I would say that the organization responded morally responsible. I noticed the effort and concern of the founder and executive director Maria Cecilia to clear the name of the foundation. Her transparency demonstrates a moral responsibility. She did not run away for all the allegations filed against her and the foundation under her leadership. The issues that happened were not created by the organization since the founder with the help of her staff presented all the pertinent documents to prove that all the allegations are definitely not true. In fact, the presented amount as allegedly tampered and altered receipts declared by the auditor hired by the USAID are not the exact figure. In the contrary, the accounting department of the foundation countered the documents showing the real figure and all the donors are accounted for and spent to the beneficiaries. The founder with the other officials of the organization presented all the pertinent documents as an evidence to prove that their conscience is clean. By showing transparency to the public, it would disprove that no allegations are true. The foundation is ready to face all the allegations in court and the reputation of the organization for more than 20 years of service can speak its authenticity in the services to the people in need. All the works done by the founder is an instrument of social transformation; protecting the domestic workers, providing empowerment through the recognition of the worth in the society in the economic contributions, teaching the rights of the victims, and to fight for today to achieve betterment in the future. Many beneficiaries testified that the foundation have helped them along the way, from being victims to their transformation as survivors. The organization never blames anyone, the event that happened serves as a wakeup call to every member to be more vigilant to prevent the issue to occur in the future.
In the organizational issue, the organization responded morally responsible. I believe that it offers proper solutions to the tensions between headquarters and offices to its certain level. Though the issue revealed gaps, it has a balance in the different stakeholders with equal right in the decision-making process. I would say that the strategic choices made by the organization have benefited the entire foundation. It provides increase positive results to the internal tensions that concerns the expenditures priorities and conflicting demand of donors and clients. They have full participation of all sector of the community in decision-making. Offering services with emphasis on the facilitation access to information, training, and capacity would help develop the organization, contributions on the decision-making, and learn more ideas. All the participants understand clearly their responsibility to embody their stakeholders and sustain the implementation of the activities.
Jollibee Foods Corporation
The company responded morally responsible. I agree that the standardization is the best solution of the issue in the poor customer service in some branches of the company, local and international. Yes, standardization can lead to innovation. Innovation comes from freewheeling chaos, and it is an extreme order that begets breakthroughs in business. The effect of the standardization that includes standard process, common goals, common platforms, shared values, and standard interfaces is focus to the customers. I would say that the responsible of the poor customer service is the manager assigned in the area. A manager should orient the service screw and staff about the standard of customer service and the priorities of the company. Reminders are done regularly when it comes to good service of the service crews. It the responsibility of the manager and own strategy on how to keep his crews being dynamic and courteous in their assigned tasks. As a customer, I would say that by sharing new and different learning could bring better transformations. These transformations are directly identified by customers like me because the changes are visible when I personally experienced the transformation applied in the company. In changing the world in different aspects, innovations need to be tested and it will be successful through standardization. In standardization, the company benefits everything.
In the internal management issue, the company responded morally responsible. Every department from Marketing, HR, Finance, and Operations performed their part effectively. They are not blaming each other; they cooperate for the success of its plans and expansions, local and international. I would say that their flexibility approaches on staffing and partnerships are on e of the best ways used in human resource. Added to the expertise of the top management, the operation of the company is very effective. The strategic tools of the company bring efficiency in their networks and its expansions. These development tools are necessary for the staff, managers, crews, and the company to understand more on local cultures. The thorough understanding of the local cultures will surely assist them in the pursuance of the expansions globally. I agree that to achieve the management development, a company should provide the detailed concepts appropriately. With that perspective, the company can create a unified corporate culture with its value systems. In addition, the necessity of proper communication is present in the internal management through training workshops to settle misunderstanding and build up good relationship in the group.
Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc
The moral theories the organization abide in relation to the issue are utilitarianism and virtue ethics. In view to the practices of the organization, the actions are morally right; the results of their hard work are more favorable to the people than unfavorable results. The devoted hard work of the organization is focus mainly to the recipients, beneficiaries, victims, and survivors. Every goal of their program contributes positive results to the public, local or international, to stop or end the human trafficking and the modern day slavery. They offers specialized services to the victims and their families, advocates for lasting changes, and builds social movements to fight human trafficking, exploitation, and domestic servitude. VF is the frontline in the fight against human trafficking; built Anti-trafficking Task Forces that is composed of social workers, law enforcers, port and airport authorities, and transport groups to guard the key transit areas. While the response of the organization to the issues, the founder, and executive director Maria Cecilia’s transparency demonstrates the opposite of vices; her willingness to show the pertinent documents to the open public is a good habit of character resulting in morally proper behavior without hiding anything and ready to face the charges filed against her. I believe that the decision she made is based on the virtue theory. Virtue theory is the view that morality is grounded in the virtuous character traits that people acquire. The founder took the virtue of courage that driven by her natural fear of danger, the danger that may cause the beneficiaries and the victims transformed to survivors who depend on the assistance of the organization. VF transforms the victims to survivors; it provides comprehensive services in psychosocial to victims of forced labor, trafficking, and involuntary domestic servitudes. The organization suffered from many criticisms from different people in the society; however, it never rash to a decision that possibly remove the credibility of the organization built for years, instead the possessed the courage. The organization with the leadership of Maria Cecilia, it rises above any circumstances on what they think is the right thing to do not for the organization alone but for the benefit of the many. Servitude with integrity contributes goodness and happiness to everyone.
Jollibee Foods Corporation
The moral theories the company abide in relation to the issue are deontology or duty theory and utilitarianism. Jollibee Foods Corporation is a fast food chain that values family. The company is well-loved brand of its great tasting products and quality systems. The company is a triumph for and of the Filipino and a source of Filipino pride, local or international. The company embarked on international expansions in other countries aggressively. The company is grounded to instinctive obligations, and a single instinctive principle of duty that they follow. The company has the set of values they strictly follow such as excellence, customer focus, teamwork, respect for the individual, humility to listen and learn, spirit of family and fun, frugality, and honesty and integrity. The natural principle of duty that the company has is their FSC standard. The F or Food is served to the customer that meets the standards of the company, the (S) or Service is fast and courteous, and C or Cleanliness from the kitchen to all utensils are always maintained. Jollibee is confident to say that the company and its employees carry out their respective jobs well. In addition, the company has the set of values they strictly follow such as excellence, customer focus, teamwork, respect for the individual, humility to listen and learn, spirit of family and fun, frugality, and honesty and integrity. These standards and values can be compared to the classic example of the Ten Commandments; basic moral principles that cultures around the world have endorsed from the earliest period. In view to the issues experienced by the company and the decision-making that made the company resolve the issues, attributes to utilitarianism. When the Jollibee responded to the poor customer service and internal management issues, I would say that the three components of utilitarianism are the best ethical position on the issue. The three components of utilitarianism are consequences, focuses on the consequences of happiness and unhappiness, and assess the beneficial consequences of actions.
Businesspeople are familiar with financial cost-benefit analysis while utilitarianism is a natural way to make moral assessments with business decisions. The ideal relationship of suffering and profit is simply demonstrated with the ideas of the ethicists. An ethicist does not always agree on the purpose of business in the society. Some sees the main purpose of the business is to maximize the profits for its stakeholders and owners. In this manner, only the activity that increases the profits is being encouraged as the only way a company can survive. Others considered that a business has a moral responsibility to the stakeholders, employees, clients, and the public. It adapts the social contract theory to business and employees or stakeholders have the voice to perform or operate the business; business is property and not means of social justice distribution. Ethical business possessed the business ethics; it considers the ethical relationship between businesses and consumers, and between businesses and the employees. It has the impact of globalization on the environment, and on society.
For the company to maintain its competitive edge and contribute to overall good or happiness in relation to its workers and customers it should always dedicates its continuous success to the Filipinos who have been there from the very start. The company’s quality of foods and services are well loved every time a new store opens, local or overseas. Customers always form long lines to the store, especially Filipinos in other countries and it is more than home for them. it shows that Jollibee is a stronghold of heritage of Filipino pride. According to Mr. Tony Tan, “Food development is key, in terms of making sure that the hamburger here and there tastes the same regardless of whether ingredients might be different quality; beef might vary in taste or tomatoes in sweetness” . The strategy is to know the community in order to understand the traffic flow, understand the local customers and their tastes, and adjust the other recipes since it is a location-based business. As a Filipino market, the company made sure that they provide good service and excellent quality of food. In addition, the company makes a product survey, balances the organization, and does market research.
Utilitarianism considers the mainstream affected by a certain action and the general welfare is significant, and this is seen as good business policy. Business is part of the community. Virtue ethics focuses on the motivation and character of a person or businessperson. Virtue is being learned through observation of others' behavior; it is concerned to an individual but always part of the ethical community. This applies to the employers and employees to show the virtues of character. Thus, the non-for-profit and for-profit organizations key problems are the core targets in the evaluation of their responses. The legal, social, and political responses highly influenced the public. Every response attributes to the ethical theories such as utilitarianism, duty theory, and virtue ethics. The practices and its results are associated with the respective business ethics demonstrated by both organizations, Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc and Jollibee Foods Corporation. The founder of the Visayan Forum Foundation took the virtue of courage that driven by her natural fear of danger, the danger that may cause the beneficiaries and the victims transformed to survivors who depend on the assistance of the organization. Jollibee is grounded to instinctive obligations, and a single instinctive principle of duty that they follow. Both organizations have attributed to its standards and values associated with its respective ethical theories that hold their organization; balance practices and progress globally.
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