Reflection on Values and Ethics in organizations
In today’s organization, code of ethics, mission, vision, organizational culture, values as well as social responsibility have become very important aspects that guide an organization to success. For the success of an organization the management is most responsible for the formulation of these critical aspects of the organization. As such the personal code ethics, mission, vision, values and culture of the manager are more often than not intertwined with those of the organizations. As for a company or any institution to be successful, then the manager should have good personal values that will enable him steer the company to greater heights. The manager should be able to inculcate the same good values in the organization and demand the same of the staff. As such there is a close linkage between personal and professional ethics. In the light of this, I believe that as a future manager in the Marine Corps I will steer it to greater heights because of the great personal values that I hold very dear to me. I believe in hard work, discipline, challenge, adaptability, courage, honor, commitment and patriotism; as values that would guide my management practice. This paper is therefore a reflection of my personal values; code of ethics, mission, and vision vis-à-vis those of the Marine Corps (the organization that I work for).
2.0 Personal values, code of ethics, mission and vision
First and foremost, I think for one to be a successful manager one needs to believe in hard work and actually be a hard worker by themselves. As a principle I believe that the level of success in any field or anything is directly proportional to how hardworking one is. As such a manager who possesses such a virtue can soar to any height and only the sky can be the limit. In addition such a manager will demand the same of the staff and inculcate the same value of hard work, hence the entire institution/ organization will work hard to ensure that the organization’s goals, vision and mission are achieved.
In my opinion discipline is of paramount importance for both personal and organizational success. Discipline is defined as behaving according to a predetermined set of rules and regulations. According Jackson Brown, Jr. “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards or sideways”. As such discipline provides a sense of direction to an individual and an organization and it helps in achievement of goals in a timely and proper manner. Discipline also entails knowing the right time and the right way of doing something. Discipline ought to be cultivated such that it comes out naturally. Discipline is the master that makes one to be faithful to the laid down goals. A good manager should be disciplined; this entails time keeping, respect for all staff members irrespective of their ranks and so on. An organization can set very good goals, have very good values and a good mission/vision statement but without discipline the organization cannot achieve much. Being in military has been of great asset to me because discipline is highly esteemed in military hence the military is commonly referred to the disciplined forces.
No one can graduate or go to another level without beating the challenges of current level. Challenges act as stepping stone to a higher ground. Challenge is critical to one’s success. Personally I like challenges because they bring the best out of me. I believe for one to be a good manager they need to value challenges. How one responds and reacts when faced with challenge dictates how far one goes. In this case it determines how successful a manager can be. Being in military carrier, challenges are the order of the day they have helped us bring out what is the best in us and as such it has made me believe that the greater the challenges the greater the victory and success.
Challenges are not the only important in determining how greater one becomes but also how one responds to challenges they face is very critical. Being in military has enabled me to not only handle hard and tough situations but also in making quick, prudent, worthwhile decisions. In the same note, adaptability is an essential value. This value enables one to actually accept and live within the current situation. In management position one is usually confronted with varying situation which includes bad and good ones. As such one should be able to quickly adapt and thrive in either situation. It is vital for a leader to be able to adjust appropriately as circumstances demand.
Any managerial position requires a person who is courageous. Courage is one of those virtues that enable one to tread in places others have never put their feet onto. Courage is the ability to face difficulties without fear or fretting. An organization lead by fearful manager is automatically destined for definite failure. On the other hand, I believe with courage no monster in the name of economic, administrator or even ethical dilemma cannot be conquered.
Lastly the importance of commitment and patriotism cannot be underestimated. Basically one cannot accomplish anything in absence of commitment. Commitment refers to the state of being obligated and a sense of duty. On the other hand patriotism is the sense of being committed to one’s country. Commitment level is directly proportional to how successful one becomes. As a manager one should be committed to not only achieving and realizing the company’s goal and vision but also personal goals and vision. The manager should not only be concerned with the company’s wellbeing but also the community’s and country’s wellbeing. Thus a manager should be patriotic and this is where social responsibility comes in. It would be wrong to advance personal and company interests at the peril of the country but a manager should be patriotic and responsible enough to put the interest of the country before personal and company gain. For instance a company deals with arms should be enticed by money to sell firearms to terrorists. This should be exhibited in both good and bad times; for better or for worse. All the values that I have mentioned are paramount for a successful manager and would guide an organization to greater heights. Some of these values I have acquired them through my being in the military corps for instance change, adaptability. I strongly that in addition to these values it is important to have a mission and a vision.
A vision is a mental picture of where one would want to get or to take an organization while a mission is what one would want to accomplish or the organization to achieve. It is vital to note at this point that the personal mission and vision of a manager is to a great extent intertwined with that of the organizations. In other words a manager cannot steer an organization to great heights without having a personal mission and vision which he/she must then translate into the organizational mission and vision and inevitably communicate it to the staff for stepwise implementation. I am a person who is fascinated with enhancing my ability in all spheres of my life. As such my vision is geared towards development of one’s strong point and also betterment of weak point. This is achievable through learning. As someone said “Knowledge is power”, I believe in professionalism. As such my vision, as a trainer at the Marine Corps, is to provide the best training and professional development for the marines. It is for this very reason that my mission even at my place of work is to develop other Marines and myself mentally, morally and physical by instilling higher ideals of courage, honor and commitment. In the Marine Corps I train and support marines ensuring that they are doing the right things and in the right way as stipulated in the Marines code of ethics and regulations. My driving force is my belief that training and education is the best way to empower people to give excellent services. Training sharpens people’s skills and talents enabling them to be more efficient and enjoy what they do; with efficient training, therefore, as a manager one can expect and even demand excellence from the well-equipped staff.
3.0 The organization code of ethics, values, culture, mission and vision
I have severally mentioned of the Marine Corps as the organization I work for. As such this part of the reflection shall focus on the values, code of ethics, mission and vision statements of the Marine Corps. Suffice to say that the US Marine Corps is founded on strong traditions and values that indeed define the institution as part of the disciplined forces.
A code of ethic generally refers to as set of rules and standards that can be reflected upon to define acceptable and unacceptable behaviors with regards to human conduct. The Marine Corps as well as other branches of the armed have clearly documented the code of ethics in various documents such as the code of conduct, the united states marine corps manuals, regulations and orders (Powers, nd). Suffice to say that it is impossible to comprehensively discus all the aspects of the Marine Corps code of ethics but the code can be summarized in the core values of courage, commitment and honor which are the embodiment of all the branches of the military.
The Marine Corps code of ethics recognizes leadership in promoting an ethical climate. The Marine Corps training on ethical leadership emphasizes leadership by example so as to set pace for new marines. As such leaders in the military are to be acknowledged and obeyed at all times. According to the armed force Code of conduct (which stipulates the conduct of service members in war and when captured as prisoners of war) members of the armed forces guard their countries at all cost even if it means giving their lives in the defense of the country. In addition service members should never surrender voluntarily to the enemy instead they must resist being captured by all means possible. Should they be captured they must try to escape and help others to escape, evade interrogation (by stating their name, rank, service number and date of birth) never accept favors from their captors, never give statements that are disloyal or injurious to their country or their allies and their course. The service men and women captured in war must keep faith with fellow prisoners.
Other documents that stipulate the military’s code of ethics stipulates that service members must perform their duty excellently without complaining, should work as a team and exhibit exemplary behavior. They must put the America law, constitution and ethical standards ahead of personal benefits. They must also be impartial, honest and diligent in the performance of their duties. Marines should report cases of fraud and corruption to the relevant authorities as well as protect and conserve public property. In addition to this service men are expected to fulfill all civil obligations such as payment of taxes and obeying the civil laws. The Marine Corps code of ethics also serves warning for Marine Corps personal against engaging in unauthorized responsibility or holding interests that conflict with military responsibility. It warns the marines against soliciting and taking gifts from persons transacting business with the armed forces, engaging in seemingly unethical and illegal behaviors, making unauthorized promises that are legally binding to the state and using state property inappropriately. The marines must not steal, have negative attitude, and behave cowardly or dishonorably. Finally marines must always remember they are American citizens, fighting for freedom, committed to the ideals that resulted in the freedom of the country and must always trust in God and in the US (Power, nd). In addition to the code of ethics the Marines are endeared to certain core values that guide their actions and behavior.
Core values are the pillars of strength that define the character and behavior of the marines. They form bedrock of their operations and enable the Marine Corps to face and overcome all the challenges associated with the profession. Although the marines core values are captured in honor, commitment and courage they are further broken into honesty, integrity, accountability, loyalty, fairness, caring, respect, promise keeping, pursuit of excellence and responsible citizenship.
With regard to honor Marines are required to uphold human dignity, integrity, trust and to always act responsibly with accountability for their action. Service men are to be accountable for their actions and be honest in all their dealings acting truthfully and fairly regardless of the situation or ranking. The marines are expected to surpass all expectations and act in compliance with all the laws, regulations and principles. All service members are to be committed to what is right at all times and in all situations, upholding the military reputation. They must also respect the opinions and convictions of others as well as act impartially and have independent judgment. Service members are to be loyal to the army, to one another and to the government at all times; even in the face of danger. The marines are to show compassion and care to others and treat all people with respect and fairness. Finally they must always keep their word and act responsibly and in pursuit of excellence.
Courage is the strength cultivated into a Marine to physically, mentally and morally help them overcome fear, adhere to the standard of personal conduct and make tough decision under pressure. Courage is not just an inborn attribute but is instilled into the marines through training and is a value especially in the battle field. Service men and women must also exhibit commitment which entails the sense of dedication, duty and determination. Marines are committed to serving and protecting their country at all cost and to do so with the highest level of excellence.
In addition to the code of ethics and the core values, the Marine Corps adhere to the culture and customs that have been handed down from generation to another. Marine corps, beliefs and tradition runs beyond simple customs to being a contribution to morale. They are written directives which have to be adhered to like any other Marine Corps duty; they include
officers stand last in the mess hall to ensure all the enlisted men have been fed first; marine hymn; nautical terms such as “head” for “bathroom”; celebrations such as Marine Corps birthday celebrated on Nov 10 with reading from Marine Corps annual, message from the commander and a birthday cake; competitive games; loyalty Motto “simper fidelis” (Latin for always faithful). Marines are also distinguished by the mark of the eagle, globe and Anchor which have remained since establishment of the Marine Corps. The culture and function of the Marine Corps is also captured in the marine vision and mission statements.
The mission of the US Marine Corps has expanded significantly since its inception in 1775. As such the Marine Corps have a unique mission statement among the military branches which state that “the corps shall at any time, be liable to do duty in the forts and garrisons of the United states, on the seacoast, or any other duty on shore, as the president, at his discretion, shall direct”. Thus the Marine Corps work under the express direction from the president and are endowed with the capacity and training to respond quickly to emergency situations and for all purposes. With regard to the vision, the Marine Corps vision statement is “as the premier expeditionary, total force in readiness, the Marine Corps will be tailored to answer the Nation’s call, at home or abroad”. The Marine Corps also believe in a certain set of principles.
The principles of the Marine Corps have five sets of principles that I will briefly outline from the one that affirm most to the one that I affirm least. The marines take care of their own being faithful to the fallen and caring for wounded marines and their families. Marine Corps are agile and due to their expeditionary and flexible mindset and structure they are able to adapt quickly in extraordinary military operations. As such marines are trained to transit seamlessly between operations. Marines are a “force in readiness” and as such can be deployed and redeployed anywhere and at any time. As a “force in readiness” they are trained to respond rapidly and readily to any emerging crisis. Thirdly every marine is a rifleman and in spite of the military occupational specialty all marines are first and foremost disciplined soldiers. As such, a marine serving as a medical officer, pilot, chef etc. can be called upon to participate in warfare. Marine Corps are a flexible, versatile an integral part of the naval forces trained, ready and equipped to participate in all kinds of naval campaigns. Finally the Marine Corps have an integrated wing that (Marine air-ground task force-MAGTF) with ground, logistics and air elements and capabilities to operate as an air-ground combined force.
4.0 Social responsibility, training programs of Marine Corps the recommended changes
The US Marine Corps engages in various activities aimed at giving back to the society and generally making the lives of the society around them better. There is a reserve for toys and Tots program which is an annual gift drives towards which we are all encouraged to make a donation to. My personal evaluation of the social responsibility of the Marine Corps is that the organization is fairly effective in meeting the social responsibility but has a major limitation due to the general military rules that limits the interaction of the service members with the general public. The Marine Corps have elaborate training programs aimed at improving the skills and empower the service members.
Training programs take place in depots where recruits report after enlisting. In a boot camp, recruits are engaged in both physical and mental exercise for more than 12 weeks. Physical exercise includes running, sit-ups, pull-ups and many more exercises those unable to perform basic exercise remain under PCP (physical conditioning platoon), a 21 day program until they can exercise normally. Recruits are required to memorize the US Marine corps requirements and regulations and spend a few hours studying basic drill and ceremony.
The next step in the training is the transition from enlisted Marine to an officer, the Marine corp. Enlisted commissioning Eeln program is used; which offers qualified Marines a chance to go to a 4-years college fulltime while maintain active duty status and pay. There is also lateral retraining that provides a solution for those who do not go for occupational specialties. Students can also be taken through Marine Combats Instructors Water Survival (MCIWS)
In the Officer Candidate School, candidates are continually evaluated and records of mistakes committed kept. Marine are also being trained how to deal with rocket propelled grenade attacks, improvised explosives devices suicide bombers among other threats through a modified version of the interactive computer game operation flash point. In the Marine Corp Drill instructor school, the focus is on the leadership; traits and principle. This is where professionalism begins. It is a 12 weeks program with a variety of subjects such as extensive first aid, swimming qualification, physical fitness and generally military subjects. Here Marine are prepared to train others in the corps in the future. The Marine Corps elaborate training programs have several strengths as well as weaknesses.
The boot camp which is the beginning of the journey of being a Marine prepares entails for the challenging tasks they will encounter head in the service. The presence of a PCP program ensures the military that no Marine progresses to further military training with any physical difficulties. Throughout the various training programmers, vigorous exercise is maintained to ensure fitness of the officer even those in the ranks. Maintenance of Marine records in a book that shows even the mistakes they did in training is of great help in evaluating the marine especially for transition to officers. However, use of computer programs to train marines against grenade attacks and other kinds of technologically advanced threats posed by insurgents could fail to prepare the Marine for the actual challenge. However as a manager in the military I would recommend some changes in several areas.
I would want to increase the intensity of the training program as well as the level of interaction with the general public. The first thing would be to try to obtain as much information as possible about the insurgent’s, security system, weapon technology, and attack strategy by sending camouflaged spies together with ability to hack the insurgent’s information systems. The information obtained would then be appropriately incorporated in the training program. In addition to this I would initiate a process of collecting information and opinions from the service members on the areas they would want changed in the training programs and try as much as is within possible limits to incorporate these information and opinions into the training programs. I would also seek expert opinions and social engineers that can provide information fairly enough to know what kind of training to give the marines and the exact picture of the challenge they are likely to encounter at the front. This together with the modified computer programs would make the marine troops more safe and successful while in operation. With regard to interaction with the public I would want to have a marine corps that interacts with the public. Planning for implementation of these changes would involve information gathering, consultations with various departments and experts, communication of the intended changes to the marines and finally implementing the changes gradually and stepwise.
In conclusion there is a direct association between personal and professional (organizational) values, ethics, mission, vision, culture and principles. For a manager to be successful and to be able to steer the organization to greater heights he/she must be able appreciate and forester this association. In addition the manager must be able to communicate and instill these aspects to all members of the organization regardless of their rank. The Marine Corps values, ethics, culture and principles can be summed up in three words: commitment, honor and courage. This paper is therefore a reflection of my personal values; code of ethics, mission, and vision vis-à-vis those of the Marine Corps (the organization that I work for).
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