Personal and Organizational Ethics
A value is a belief, philosophy or a mission that is meaningful to one’s life. Whether one is consciously aware or not, people have a core set of personal values that define who they are. Life in this world depends on the personal values and beliefs that people hold true to them regarding their perception on life. They range from commonplace values like belief in hard work and punctuality to psychological values like self-esteem, self-reliance, concern for other people and harmony of purpose. It defines one largely with regard to personal values when it comes to working for an organization because it entirely depends on the suitability of one’s values and the organizations values. An organization presents a wider view of different values, ethics, mission and vision. This is the duty of the employee or manager to integrate the organizations values and their values. People look at their role models or lives of noble and famous people and often realize how personal values and beliefs shaped and guided their lives, propelling them to where they are (Ankerstar & Dalke, 2005, p 34).
A good example in the organizational setting is when one an employee is the manager. It tells a lot about the person they are when one looks at the personal values and beliefs that define who they are. The organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) acts as a role model to other employees of the organization and personal the position they hold is determined by the ability to make personal and, organizational values and beliefs agree. The intellectual capacity and behavior responsible for personal values and beliefs is noble to everybody, and it is upon them to maximize it to their advantage. A quote from one of the greatest philosophers of all time says “Whatever one’s values are, when we take them to heart and implement them in the smallest perception of our lives, considerable success and accomplishment are sure to follow”. Just as individuals, subscribe to personal values and beliefs, so do organizations and institutions of the world. A critical examination of a company will reveal that one or more business values and beliefs were responsible for their success.
I work in John Laing Homes Construction Company. The company is a new homebuilder in California and just as much as I have personal values that define who I am, the company has business values and beliefs responsible for their success.
Personal values and code of ethics
As said earlier, personal values are things that one believes in and are beneficial to them. There are an endless number of beliefs, depending on the way one takes life and how they belief in themselves. For those who are extremely family oriented, their personal values may include the family. For those who believe in friendship and loyalty then they are their personal values. However, from a wider perspective, some personal values are common to everyone. They include persistency, generosity, dignity, flexibility, influence, collaboration, compassion, friendliness, security, stewardship, challenge, empathy, discipline or order, accomplishment, optimism, courage, dependability, wisdom and independence. Others that are quite common are competency, ambition, equality, integrity, responsibility, service, accuracy, dedication, loyalty, respect, innovativeness, accountability and empowerment. There are many more others, but those listed above tend to be common among most people (Ankerstar & Dalke, 2005, p 98).
Working for John Laing Homes Construction Company requires application of certain values listed to achieve success. I work for a construction company that has values and beliefs too. Some may be similar to my personal beliefs and values while some may differ, but to a lesser extent. To become a successful employee of John Laing Homes Construction Company, I must aim at focusing my values to complement those of the organization. Values like integrity, responsibility, excellence, accountability, competency and dedication are common between the company and me. It makes it better because the complementarity of the subject matter makes success and achievement easier. Being a construction company, some of its values are unique as will be explained later but the aim of the business is success and ones aim in life is to succeed, therefore, both the company and the people in it have the same objective.
There is more than meets the eye when one narrows down to the mission/vision statement and one’s personal code of ethics that guide the as a manger or future manger. My vision is to become a successful engineer in terms of construction, applying my professional skills and experience in the construction of homes. To become a successful person in life requires personal commitments and determinations in achieving ones vision. Such circumstances aided by personal values and beliefs profoundly influence the zeal behind ones success and that of the company. People have different visions in life depending on the area of interest. While mine is on construction of houses, I got the right job in a company that we share an almost same vision. Their mission and mine as an employee of the company are more or less the same, and it makes it easier for me and the other employees to steer the company to desired heights (Ankerstar & Dalke, 2005, p 128).
As a manager, or manager in waiting, my personal values, beliefs and code of ethics must be reputable and distinct. Aware of the fact that one manages an exceptionally large home building company, it is necessary that they take into consideration the idea that they are not only managers but also role models to the rest of the employees of the company. It is prudent that values and beliefs of managers be exceptionally of high integrity and accountability. Everything in the company is under the responsibility of the manager and it liable for whatever that happens. Once again, necessity arises on the need for complementarity between the company’s values, vision, ethics, and those of the manager.
Personal code of ethics includes the need to be honest. John Laing Homes Construction Company requires a high degree of honesty from the employees because the more honest one is, the more trustworthy they become. Having integrity is another code of ethics because the better of a person one is the better image they present of themselves. Responsibility means that others can rely on you as a manager or one to be. I need to be responsible in the company so that others can count on me to propel the company to achieve its objective and vision. When telling the truth is one of a person’s codes of ethics, they are better off living an honest and justified life. Learning to tell the truth is immeasurable because, without it, the world would be full of lies. As a manger of John Laing Homes Construction Company, learning to give credit where it is due is essential in motivating employees. Without giving credit to employees for their ideas or work, it considered stealing, and it influences negatively on their work. Other ethical issues that are necessary include being courteous, possessing respect, trust, being harmonious and pretence (Ankerstar & Dalke, 2005, p 174).
Organizations values, vision/mission and code of ethics
John Laing Homes Construction Company is an exceptional company I work for. Its success in building strong, decent and long lasting homes depends on the values that define the company. Organizational values are those traits, or qualities considered worthwhile. They represent the company’s highest priorities and deeply held qualities that act as driving forces. Value statements grounded in the values of the organization define how employees behave with each other within the organization. They also represent how the organization values customers, suppliers of building materials and the internal community. Some of the most profound values that define John Laing Homes Construction Company are accountability, which requires employees to take responsibility for their actions that influence the lives of customers and fellow employees of the company.
Collaboration is another value demands that all employees collaborate within and without that organization to achieve the best. The company also has a commitment as one of the top most values of the organization. This requires commitment to build magnificent houses, offer excellent services and other initiatives that influence lives inside and outside the organization. Efficiency requires that employees to be efficient and effective at all times in their approaches to yield the best solution for problems. Integrity is another core value of the organization that demands employees to act with integrity and honesty without influencing the truth or matters. John Laing Homes Construction Company requires employees to confront reality and be truthful in many of their dealings. Other values of the company include leadership, empowerment, ownership, efficiency, diversity, consistency, quality, and respect and service excellence.
John Laing Homes Construction Company vision is to become part of the global construction companies that build quality and long-lasting homes. A vision should depict the organizations abilities and image of itself, and as seen above, John Laing Homes Construction Company’s vision depicts its capability of building quality houses and becoming part of the global construction companies that offer such services. This vision to become a successful organization shared by all employees including me and acts as a foundation for the success of the company. The vision is resonate with all of us and makes us feel excited, proud and part of the organization. It is notable that employees acquaint themselves with the organization's vision statement because in all the activities undertaken on behalf of the company, the ambition of its vision must reflect on the product. The quality of the homes built by the company should be quality and long lasting as depicted in its vision statement (Ankerstar & Dalke, 2005, p 207).
Another statement comes in handy that describe what the company does. The mission statement is a precise description of what the company does and tells the business the company transacts. John Laing Homes Construction Company has a mission statement that identifies what business the company does and why the organization currently exists. All employees of the company must express the mission statement verbally and keep it in mind always.
A code of ethics of an organization is quite different from personal code of ethics. Also referred to as the code of conduct or ethical code, it stipulates the company’s values, ethics, responsibilities and objectives. It also offers guidance to employees on how to deal with certain ethical confrontations. It reflects on the company’s ethos and business style. Employees must let values, personal and organizational alike to guide their actions at all circumstances. The speak-up policy is one of the codes of ethics for John Laing Homes Construction Company. This ethical code requires employees to speak out amidst any violation of ethics by their colleagues and themselves. Others in this category include treating people fairly and equally, ensuring fair competition, respect for others and the market, free and fair business competition, respect for the environment and being honest in all dealings including records book-keeping. Codes of conduct also affect how employees relate with each other.
This category of conduct goes hand in hand with professional and ethical codes and manages the relationship among employees. They range from how employees dress to work, how they relate to one another and how they conduct themselves within and the organization. To some extent, some organizations have a code of conduct that regulates employees outside the organization. John Laing Homes Construction Company requires employees to dress professionally and avoid clothing that reveal extreme body parts. Employees should also not engage in workplace relationships because they negatively influence affect service delivery and create a fake image of the company. Lastly, they should treat each other with respect and carry themselves around with dignity. This ensures that they respect and promptly adhere to the company’s values and objectives.
Operational practices within the organization depend entirely on the objectives of the company and aided by the core values and best business practices. Other than the organizational climate, which in most cases determines culture and moods of the employees therein, it is significant to consider the impact of organizational cultures as stipulated in the company’s objectives. Moody employees perform poorly and it is essential that they observe the ethical codes responsible for respect, and joviality in the work place. This ensures the organizational climate is conducive for all employees in the organization to discharge their duties effectively.
John Laing Homes Construction Company’s social responsibility entirely relies on its existence as a company that offers construction services. Social responsibility argues that each organization has an obligation to benefit the society as a whole. The determination to benefit the society comes from within the organization and the fact that the society plays a prominent role in its existence. The company offers construction services and the homes they built are for the community members. Therefore, the company has an obligation to fulfill by aiding the society in different ways. Giving back to the society is fundamental in ensuring that propagation of the business and its going concern.
Examples of ways the company can give back to the society are by building homes for the orphans, sponsoring construction of schools lecture rooms and sponsoring several other activities within the vicinity. In my assessment, John Laing Homes Construction Company has met these responsibilities though not full because it is still new in California. It has sponsored numerous water projects and construction of tanks for water storage and sewerage systems around California. Other projects named after the company include an orphanage and some blocks in schools built by the company.
Ethical analysis and training programs
As earlier outlined, ethical issues relating to John Laing Homes Construction Company as outlined in the vision statements and objectives define critical values of the company. This part reviews training programs undertaken by John Laing Homes Construction Company to its staff regarding construction of homes. Building requirements need more assessments and evaluation of designs and the type of materials to use, therefore, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure that employees trained and equipped with sufficient information if they are to achieve quality as stipulated in their vision statement.
Strengths of the organization
John Laing Homes Construction Company has a vigorous and effective management system that offers leadership to the company. The management of the company is quality and reform focused, which puts the company in an ideal position to offer quality services.
Innovativeness is also another strength that is enshrined in its core values. This strength ensures that new ideas constantly come up either from employees, management or feedbacks from customers and the public. Other strengths are its logo that is fast being famous in California, the high number of qualified and experienced employees.
High-risk factor because it is new in the market and risks doing business in a well established market
Small markets share because it just began in California therefore, less profits and high investments.
High operational costs due to the nature of construction work demanded by customers
The company is new in California and there are things I can do to change the culture and environment of the company. First, changes in the management structure where communication must flow in an orderly way. In other words, establishment of communication channels throughout the company where information flows in a systematic way from top to bottom and vice versa. I would also create an environment where humor is one of the core values because being a construction company, people are subjected to lots of work tire frequently. Humor will work to curb boredom in the workplace and make the environment joyful.
Inform the employees about the plan to change
Develop a strategy that will oversee the change in the organizations culture. This strategy will contain time lines and the best way to go about it.
Initiate the changes by involving all the employees and managers in the organization.
Develop a feedback and follow up plan that will receive responses from the employees and propose any changes to that effect.
Ankerstar, S. and Dalke, D. (2005). Balancing Personal and Professional Ethics. London, UK: Human Resource Development