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Allow me to compliment and complement what you shared with a few additional perspectives. To sum up what you have said and ADD to it, I concur that “a company should do no harm”. This is where a company Code of Ethics should help to communicate this critical message. Stephen, I am wondering if Volkswagen has one of these????
Your instructor would submit that the ultimate responsibility for ensuring an ethical environment and understanding begins at the very top of the company organization. Too many companies, however, give ethics “lip service”.
There’s that matter of a written Code of Ethics that is made available to all. Some companies have that “Code of Ethics”… others don’t have one… and others have one, but it is all fluff and words. Again, I call it “lip service.”
What happens at the company may also be interesting. To wit, take a look at what happens at YOUR company. Which of the following best describes what happens at YOUR place of employment to new employees when it comes to YOUR company’s practices that trumpet the importance of ethical business practices? What was your experience when you arrived were you to select one of the three below?
a) Those who join the company receive a thorough indoctrination on ethics and how it applies to the company. You receive a “Code of Ethics” booklet. You are actually TESTED on your application of the “Code of Ethics” to that which you do professionally. The company reinforces the message, as does your manager. Each year, you undergo “refresher” training and testing. Senior management makes it very clear that being “above board” is the only acceptable way to go.
b) You are handed a “Code of Ethics” (or you are not handed it, as one does not exist). If the former, you are asked to sign that you have “read” it and “understand” it.
c) A mixture of each.
What has been your experience at YOUR place of employment? How effectively do you feel that YOUR company makes a STRONG, CONCERTED effort to reinforce ethics into the company culture and, especially, relative to the company’s MARKETING efforts?
I’d like to see everyone post to this.