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Introduction to Business

2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct

Introduction to Business2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Understanding Economic Systems and Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Business
    3. 1.2 Understanding the Business Environment
    4. 1.3 How Business and Economics Work
    5. 1.4 Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
    6. 1.5 Achieving Macroeconomic Goals
    7. 1.6 Microeconomics: Zeroing in on Businesses and Consumers
    8. 1.7 Competing in a Free Market
    9. 1.8 Trends in the Business Environment and Competition
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  3. 2 Making Ethical Decisions and Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Understanding Business Ethics
    3. 2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct
    4. 2.3 Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    5. 2.4 Responsibilities to Stakeholders
    6. 2.5 Trends in Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    10. Ethics Activity
    11. Working the Net
    12. Critical Thinking Case
    13. Hot Links Address Book
  4. 3 Competing in the Global Marketplace
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Global Trade in the United States
    3. 3.2 Why Nations Trade
    4. 3.3 Barriers to Trade
    5. 3.4 Fostering Global Trade
    6. 3.5 International Economic Communities
    7. 3.6 Participating in the Global Marketplace
    8. 3.7 Threats and Opportunities in the Global Marketplace
    9. 3.8 The Impact of Multinational Corporations
    10. 3.9 Trends in Global Competition
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    14. Ethics Activity
    15. Working the Net
    16. Critical Thinking Case
    17. Hot Links Address Book
  5. 4 Forms of Business Ownership
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships
    3. 4.2 Partnerships: Sharing the Load
    4. 4.3 Corporations: Limiting Your Liability
    5. 4.4 Specialized Forms of Business Organization
    6. 4.5 Franchising: A Popular Trend
    7. 4.6 Mergers and Acquisitions
    8. 4.7 Trends in Business Ownership
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    12. Ethics Activity
    13. Working the Net
    14. Critical Thinking Case
    15. Hot Links Address Book
  6. 5 Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing Your Own Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Entrepreneurship Today
    3. 5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
    5. 5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business
    6. 5.5 Managing a Small Business
    7. 5.6 Small Business, Large Impact
    8. 5.7 The Small Business Administration
    9. 5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  7. 6 Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Role of Management
    3. 6.2 Planning
    4. 6.3 Organizing
    5. 6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others
    6. 6.5 Controlling
    7. 6.6 Managerial Roles
    8. 6.7 Managerial Skills
    9. 6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  8. 7 Designing Organizational Structures
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Building Organizational Structures
    3. 7.2 Contemporary Structures
    4. 7.3 Using Teams to Enhance Motivation and Performance
    5. 7.4 Authority—Establishing Organizational Relationships
    6. 7.5 Degree of Centralization
    7. 7.6 Organizational Design Considerations
    8. 7.7 The Informal Organization
    9. 7.8 Trends in Organizational Structure
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  9. 8 Managing Human Resources and Labor Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Achieving High Performance through Human Resources Management
    3. 8.2 Employee Recruitment
    4. 8.3 Employee Selection
    5. 8.4 Employee Training and Development
    6. 8.5 Performance Planning and Evaluation
    7. 8.6 Employee Compensation and Benefits
    8. 8.7 The Labor Relations Process
    9. 8.8 Managing Grievances and Conflicts
    10. 8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations
    11. 8.10 Trends in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  10. 9 Motivating Employees
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Early Theories of Motivation
    3. 9.2 The Hawthorne Studies
    4. 9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    5. 9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y
    6. 9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory
    7. 9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation
    8. 9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application
    9. 9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  11. 10 Achieving World-Class Operations Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Production and Operations Management—An Overview
    3. 10.2 The Production Process: How Do We Make It?
    4. 10.3 Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Make It?
    5. 10.4 Pulling It Together: Resource Planning
    6. 10.5 Production and Operations Control
    7. 10.6 Looking for a Better Way: Improving Production and Operations
    8. 10.7 Transforming the Factory Floor with Technology
    9. 10.8 Trends in Production and Operations Management
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  12. 11 Creating Products and Pricing Strategies to Meet Customers' Needs
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Marketing Concept
    3. 11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy
    4. 11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix
    5. 11.4 Buyer Behavior
    6. 11.5 Market Segmentation
    7. 11.6 What Is a Product?
    8. 11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value
    9. 11.8 The Product Life Cycle
    10. 11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends
    11. 11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  13. 12 Distributing and Promoting Products and Services
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature and Functions of Distribution (Place)
    3. 12.2 Wholesaling
    4. 12.3 The Competitive World of Retailing
    5. 12.4 Using Supply Chain Management to Increase Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    6. 12.5 Promotion Strategy
    7. 12.6 The Huge Impact of Advertising
    8. 12.7 The Importance of Personal Selling
    9. 12.8 Sales Promotion
    10. 12.9 Public Relations Helps Build Goodwill
    11. 12.10 Trends in Social Media
    12. 12.11 Trends in E-Commerce
    13. Key Terms
    14. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    15. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    16. Ethics Activity
    17. Working the Net
    18. Critical Thinking Case
    19. Hot Links Address Book
  14. 13 Using Technology to Manage Information
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Transforming Businesses through Information
    3. 13.2 Linking Up: Computer Networks
    4. 13.3 Management Information Systems
    5. 13.4 Technology Management and Planning
    6. 13.5 Protecting Computers and Information
    7. 13.6 Trends in Information Technology
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  15. 14 Using Financial Information and Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Accounting: More than Numbers
    3. 14.2 The Accounting Profession
    4. 14.3 Basic Accounting Procedures
    5. 14.4 The Balance Sheet
    6. 14.5 The Income Statement
    7. 14.6 The Statement of Cash Flows
    8. 14.7 Analyzing Financial Statements
    9. 14.8 Trends in Accounting
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  16. 15 Understanding Money and Financial Institutions
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Show Me the Money
    3. 15.2 The Federal Reserve System
    4. 15.3 U.S. Financial Institutions
    5. 15.4 Insuring Bank Deposits
    6. 15.5 International Banking
    7. 15.6 Trends in Financial Institutions
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  17. 16 Understanding Financial Management and Securities Markets
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 The Role of Finance and the Financial Manager
    3. 16.2 How Organizations Use Funds
    4. 16.3 Obtaining Short-Term Financing
    5. 16.4 Raising Long-Term Financing
    6. 16.5 Equity Financing
    7. 16.6 Securities Markets
    8. 16.7 Buying and Selling at Securities Exchanges
    9. 16.8 Trends in Financial Management and Securities Markets
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  18. 17 Your Career in Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Learn the Basics of Business
    3. 17.2 Developing Interpersonal Skills Is Key to Your Success
    4. 17.3 Make Your Future Happen: Learn to Plan
    5. 17.4 Going to College Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime—Never Drop Out
    6. 17.5 Get Your Career Off on the Right Track
    7. 17.6 Self-Test Scoring Guidelines
  19. A | Understanding the Legal and Tax Environment
  20. Index
  21. References
  1. How can organizations encourage ethical business behavior?

People choose between right and wrong based on their personal code of ethics. They are also influenced by the ethical environment created by their employers. Consider the following headlines:

  • Investment advisor Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison for swindling clients out of more than $65 billion.
  • Former United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek leaves the company after a federal investigation into whether United tried to influence officials at the Port Authority of New York.
  • Renaud Laplanche, the founder of Lending Club, loses his job because of faulty practices and conflicts of interest at the online peer-to-peer lender.
  • Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf fired after company employees opened more than 2 million fake accounts to meet aggressive sales targets.3

As these actual stories illustrate, poor business ethics can create a very negative image for a company, can be expensive for the firm and/or the executives involved, and can result in bankruptcy and jail time for the offenders. Organizations can reduce the potential for these types of liability claims by educating their employees about ethical standards, by leading through example, and through various informal and formal programs.

Leading by Example

Employees often follow the examples set by their managers. That is, leaders and managers establish patterns of behavior that determine what’s acceptable and what’s not within the organization. While Ben Cohen was president of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, he followed a policy that no one could earn a salary more than seven times that of the lowest-paid worker. He wanted all employees to feel that they were equal. At the time he resigned, company sales were $140 million, and the lowest-paid worker earned $19,000 per year. Ben Cohen’s salary was $133,000, based on the “seven times” rule. A typical top executive of a $140 million company might have earned 10 times Cohen’s salary. Ben Cohen’s actions helped shape the ethical values of Ben & Jerry’s.

Offering Ethics Training Programs

In addition to providing a system to resolve ethical dilemmas, organizations also provide formal training to develop an awareness of questionable business activities and practice appropriate responses. Many companies have some type of ethics training program. The ones that are most effective, like those created by Levi Strauss, American Express, and Campbell Soup Company, begin with techniques for solving ethical dilemmas such as those discussed earlier. Next, employees are presented with a series of situations and asked to come up with the “best” ethical solution. One of these ethical dilemmas is shown in Table 2.1. According to a recent survey by the Ethics Resource Center, more than 80 percent of U.S. companies provide some sort of ethics training for employees, which may include online activities, videos, and even games.4

An Ethical Dilemma Used for Employee Training
Bill Gannon was a middle manager of a large manufacturer of lighting fixtures in Newark, New Jersey. Bill had moved up the company ladder rather quickly and seemed destined for upper management in a few years. Bill’s boss, Dana Johnson, had been pressuring him about the semiannual reviews concerning Robert Talbot, one of Bill’s employees. Dana, it seemed, would not accept any negative comments on Robert’s evaluation forms. Bill had found out that a previous manager who had given Robert a bad evaluation was no longer with the company. As Bill reviewed Robert’s performance for the forthcoming evaluation period, he found many areas of subpar performance. Moreover, a major client had called recently complaining that Robert had filled a large order improperly and then had been rude to the client when she called to complain.
Discussion Questions
  1. What ethical issues does the situation raise?
  2. What courses of action could Bill take? Describe the ethics of each course.
  3. Should Bill confront Dana? Dana's boss?
  4. What would you do in this situation? What are the ethical implications?
Table 2.1

Establishing a Formal Code of Ethics

Most large companies and thousands of smaller ones have created, printed, and distributed codes of ethics. In general, a code of ethics provides employees with the knowledge of what their firm expects in terms of their responsibilities and behavior toward fellow employees, customers, and suppliers. Some ethical codes offer a lengthy and detailed set of guidelines for employees. Others are not really codes at all but rather summary statements of goals, policies, and priorities. Some companies have their codes framed and hung on office walls, included as a key component of employee handbooks, and/or posted on their corporate websites.

Examples of company codes of ethics:
  • Costco http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-govhighlights
  • Starbucks https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/business-ethics-and-compliance
  • AT&T https://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=5595

Do codes of ethics make employees behave in a more ethical manner? Some people believe that they do. Others think that they are little more than public relations gimmicks. If senior management abides by the code of ethics and regularly emphasizes the code to employees, then it will likely have a positive influence on behavior.

The “100 Best Corporate Citizens” as ranked by Corporate Responsibility magazine are selected based on seven categories, including employee relations, human rights, corporate governance (including code of ethics), philanthropy and community support, financial performance, environment, and climate change.5 The top corporate citizens in 2017 were:

  1. Hasbro, Inc.
  2. Intel Corp.
  3. Microsoft Corp.
  4. Altria Group, Inc.
  5. Campbell Soup Company
  6. Cisco Systems, Inc.
  7. Accenture
  8. Hormel Foods Corp.
  9. Lockheed Martin Corp.
  10. Ecolab, Inc.

Customer Satisfaction and Quality

Campbell’s Adds CSR to Its Recipe

The Campbell Soup Company is no longer just about traditional cans of processed soup. Under the guidance of its management team, particularly its former CEO Denise Morrison (Morrison retired from Campbell’s in July of 2018), Campbell’s has undergone a transformation that includes a strong emphasis on organics and fresh food—and a large serving of corporate citizenship.

Named one of the Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility magazine in 2017, Campbell’s is working to make sustainability and transparency part of its business DNA, and this culture shift has had an important influence on the company’s business strategies.

Morrison, who took over as CEO in 2011, is a firm believer in the company’s central vision: real food that matters for life’s moments. “We can make a profit and make a difference, and we are doing both through our business . . . in a way that’s authentic, that’s transparent, and that truly matters,” she explains.

Under Morrison’s watch, the company recently acquired several fresh food and organic companies, including Bolthouse Farms, one of the largest suppliers of fresh carrots in the United States, and Garden Fresh Gourmet, which produces a top line of fresh salsa and hummus. Tracking the strong change in consumer preference for healthier food, Campbell’s also recently acquired Plum Organics, a line of organic baby food products, which should help solidify the company’s reputation for fresh ingredients with millennials and their families.

The company’s transformation from a processed food giant to a major competitor in the fresh food business has also had a positive influence on the company’s bottom line. Campbell’s shareholders have to be pleased with the 20 percent increase in the company’s stock price over the past two years, as the markets, competitors, and consumers take notice of the company’s strong commitment to sustainability.

Inherent in the company’s reinvention is the strong emphasis on corporate citizenship—doing good and giving back seem to be top priorities for Campbell’s. In addition to acquiring sustainable and fresh food companies, Campbell’s has also made a conscious decision to support the communities where their employees live and work. For example, the company launched a healthy communities initiative in Camden, New Jersey, where Campbell’s is headquartered—an urban city that has seen its share of economic and social challenges in the past. In partnership with several local organizations, this initiative has helped fund community gardens, food pantries, nutrition education, and cooking classes that help build healthy communities. The Camden experience has been so successful that the company has expanded the program to other cities where it operates, including Detroit, Michigan, and Norwalk, Connecticut.

The company’s ongoing commitment to fresh food, community involvement, and corporate social responsibility has helped change the narrative when it comes to being a sustainable and ethical organization.

Questions for Discussion
  1. How does Campbell Soup Company’s recent business acquisitions help support its CSR strategies?
  2. Provide examples of how the company’s transformation from a processed food giant to a purveyor of fresh ingredients can help attract a new group of customers.

Sources: “Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Are Good for Business,” https://www.campbellsoupcompany.com, accessed June 27, 2017; “Campbell Soup Wants to Make You a Personal Eating Plan (video),” Fortune, http://fortune.com, May 2, 2017; Don Seiffert, “Campbell Soup CEO Makes 3 Predictions about the Future of Food,” Boston Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, April 13, 2017; Aaron Hurst, “How Denise Morrison Took Processed Food Icon Campbell’s on a Fresh Food Buying Spree,” Fast Company, https://www.fastcompany.com, March 2, 2017; Abigail Stevenson, “Campbell Soup CEO: Stunning Disruption in the Ecosystem of Food,” CNBC, http://www.cnbc.com, July 21, 2016.

Making the Right Decision

In many situations, there may be no simple right or wrong answers. Yet there are several questions you can ask yourself, and a couple of self-tests you can do, to help you make the right ethical decision. First, ask yourself, “Are there any legal restrictions or violations that will result from the action?” If so, take a different course of action. If not, ask yourself, “Does it violate my company’s code of ethics?” If so, again find a different path to follow. Third, ask, “Does this meet the guidelines of my own ethical philosophy?” If the answer is “yes,” then your decision must still pass two important tests.

The Feelings Test

You must now ask, “How does it make me feel?” This enables you to examine your comfort level with a particular decision. Many people find that, after reaching a decision on an issue, they still experience discomfort that may manifest itself in a loss of sleep or appetite. Those feelings of conscience can serve as a future guide in resolving ethical dilemmas.

The Newspaper or Social Media Test

The final test involves the front page of the newspaper or social media posts. The question to be asked is how an objective reporter would describe your decision in a front-page newspaper story, an online media site, or a social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook. Some managers rephrase the test for their employees: How will the headline read if I make this decision, or what will be the reaction of my social media followers? This test is helpful in spotting and resolving potential conflicts of interest.

A photograph shows a cell phone screen, with many apps, including Facebook, Skype, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Exhibit 2.3 Making an ethical decision might come down to how you feel about the decision or to the newspaper or social media post test. The question to ask yourself is how the decision would make you feel if an objective reporter described the decision on the front page of a newspaper or via a social media post on Twitter or Facebook—all of which would be viewed by many, many people. Speaking of social media, it plays a pivotal role in ethical decision-making today, when people use the medium to share critical comments about friends as well as employers, business colleagues, and competitors. Should companies view employees’ social media pages on a regular basis, or is that information off-limits to employers? (Credit: Mike MacKenzie/ Flickr/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Concept Check

  1. What is the role of top management in organizational ethics?
  2. What is a code of ethics?
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