PHL 323 Week 4 Individual Assignment - System of Inquiry Paper.doc
PHL 323 Week 4 Individual Assignment - System of Inquiry Paper.doc PRG211
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Date Created: 11/13/15
Ethics 1 Critique of Southwire Ethics Policy University of Phoenix Ethics 2 Introduction The Southwire Company is North America’s leading manufacturer of wire and cable. Southwire maintains and publishes manuscripts detailing the organizations commitment to ethics. The manuscript can be accessed via the company website and through printed documentation within the company. Southwire entitles the company’s code of ethics as “Do the Right Thing”; the policy ensures that business at Southwire is conducted in a manner that meats ethical expectations (Southwire, 2010). Southwire’s commitment to “Doing the Right Thing” extends beyond legal expectations. The company website states “our goal is to expand our employee ethics training so that every employee gets an ethics refresher course every two years” (Southwire, p. 1, 2010). Southwire’s commitment to ethical practices is above standard and easily identifiable throughout business operations. Southwire The Southwire Company was established in 1950 in rural Western Georgia; the company currently employs around 4000 people worldwide (Southwire, 2010). The company’s main revenue is generated from the sale of wire and cable used to transmit electricity. Southwire’s commitment to excellence and leadership of the electrical industry is unparalleled by their competitors. Few ethical problems have plagued Southwire during the company’s 60 year history. The organizations commitment to ethics is rooted in privately owned family business that understands the importance of Ethics 3 sustainability. Countless documents within the Southwire organization continually remind employees of the company’s commitment to ethical practices. Southwire pledges “as a family business, we will treat each other with dignity and respect – always striving to improve the quality of life for our suppliers, customers, communities and each other” (Southwire, p. 1, 2010). Southwire believes in giving back to the community to improve the quality of life within the ecosystems the company operates. The development of ethical procedures and guidelines ensures that Southwire’s lasting effect on the environment and people are positive. Programs Designed to Promote Ethics Southwire has developed several programs to promote ethical practices within the organzition. The programs are designed to discourage unethical behavior and provide a means of communication for all levels of employees. Each program offers a unique way of generating better qualified business ethics within the Southwire Company. Whistleblower Policy Southwire provides employees with immunity from retaliation when reporting problems or violations. The policy clearly encourages employees to communicate unethical behavior through the chain of command. Southwire is committed to promoting legal and ethical business practices. Reporting unethical practices to the company provides Southwire an opportunity to take corrective action before other parties are Ethics 4 involved. The policy states that employees are not protect under the Whistleblower policy if the Whistleblower commits any of the following acts: (a) First reported the Suspected Violation to a third party, including the media and regulatory authorities, rather than giving the Company the opportunity to investigate the Suspected Violation; (b) Knowingly or recklessly makes a false allegation(s) (c) Did not act in good faith; (d) Was involved in the alleged wrongdoing; or (e) Otherwise failed to report the Suspected Violation as required under this Policy (Southwire, p. 70, 2010). Just Ask Policy A unique opportunity for communication is Southwire’s “Just Ask” program. The “Just Ask” program is line of communication that permits employees to ask questions about business functions. Just Ask can be used to generate new ideas, find answers to questions, promote efficiency, and improve job functions. Southwire believes employees are at the forefront of successful business practices. Through Just Ask, employee input provides Southwire with valuable information that strengthens company performance. Employees can communicate via phone, email, or Just Ask forms. “Twice a month, Southwire Communications will compile submitted comments and forward them to the Ethics 5 appropriate areas; communications team will answer general questions” and provide responses to employees who provide contact information (Southwire, p. 22, 2010). Employees who are uncomfortable communicating through managers are encouraged to use Just Ask. Printed Material Southwire code of business ethics provides the following list of ethical procedures that outlines the company’s commitment to “Doing the Right Thing”: Maintain accurate and honest books and records No inappropriate or undisclosed conflicts of interest No inappropriate gifts or favors to gain business No use of inside information for personal gain Communicate honestly with customers Price our products and services accurately and fairly Purchase competitively from qualified suppliers, while ensuring the best value Sell only products that meet appropriate quality and test criteria Comply with all federal, state, local and international laws, rules and regulations No discussion of fixing prices or limiting competition with competitors Ethics 6 No use of bribes, kickbacks or illegal payments Obey all political contribution laws and regulations Do not cooperate in any illegal boycott or restrictive trade practice Do not discriminate Exercise good judgment with regard to the environmental impact of our actions Keep our work environmentally safe and healthy Obey all laws in every country where we do business Comply with import and export laws and regulations Guard our technology from unauthorized disclosure Protect company information Keep government information secure NOTE: All information in bullet list was retrieved from Southwire’s standard of business ethics booklet. Why use Ethical Codes Southwire’s business ethics defines the way business activities are conducted. All employees and divisions of the Southwire organization are expected to adhere to the standard code of ethics. Ethics codes are periodically updated to eliminate areas of Ethics 7 confusion and meet legal obligations. Southwire believes promoting ethics begins at the top. Southwire is a privately owned company and therefore not obligated to publish their financial activities. A 10 member board of directors oversees Southwire’s operations and financial activities. The organization governance polices stipulates that only three of the board members can be company shareholders (Southwire. 2010). The board members carefully scrutinize Southwire’s financial activities to ensure accuracy and to promote ethical practices. Southwire has been operation for 60 years and has enjoyed much business success. Success of the business depends on making decisions that promote ethical practices. Southwire understands that all business choices can have positive and negative outcomes on the company stakeholders. Failure to comply with many ethical practices can result in lawsuits, death, endangerment of ecosystems, and loss of business. Implementation of Ethical Practices Southwire developed an initiative known as Operational Perfections at Southwire, referred to OPS. The OPS initiative has been implemented into every aspect of Southwire business activities. Many of the OPS operating philosophies are geared toward lean manufacturing, safety, flexibility, orderliness, and waste reduction. Enforcing and maintaining ethical polices begins with qualified management teams. Managers play a crucial role in the development, training, and implementation of ethical codes. Developing tangible regulations and polices is the backbone of good code of Ethics 8 ethics. Tangible documents ensure that all employees have access to a company’s ethical expectations. Who uses Ethical Practices? Southwire requires employees to read and watch videos that cover the organizations commitment to ethics. The orientation process introduces Southwire’s policies, procedures, expectations, and standards. Each new employee is provided with a company handbook that details Southwire’s code of ethics, company rules, and values. The implementation of a qualified mission statement, company values, training programs, and documented material permits all employees to understand their personal responsibility within the Southwire organization. Southwire encourages employee who are unsure about “his or her responsibilities can seek additional counsel from his or her supervisor or any ethics program official” (Southwire, p. 5, 2010). The Southwire organization relies on clearly defined training programs and booklets to educate all employees about business ethics. All new employees are required to sign documents indicating they understand and are committed to Southwire’s business ethics. Disciplinary actions can occur if employees fail to adhere to Southwire’s policies and procedures. Conclusion Following ethical standards allows organizations to conduct business in manner that advances all parties and environments involved. Acknowledgement of stakeholder Ethics 9 concerns and well being is vital to business sustainability. Southwire believes that “striving for optimum efficiency in all that we do allows us to maximize our output using minimum resources, thus making OPS a sustainable culture; through that culture we are able to provide safe, enjoyable and engaging work environments for our employees” (Southwire, para 2, 21010). All employees of Southwire must participate in the company’s ethical standards. Failure to comply with Southwire expectations can result in job loss. Southwire believes that all employees are business partners working in unity to maintain health and prosperity. Reference Southwire. (2010). Human Resources Policy and Procedure. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from http://www.southwire.com/employee_documents/PoliciesProcedures09Searchabl e.pdf Southwire (2010). Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from http://www.southwire.com/employee_documents/standardsOfBusinessEthicsAnd Conduct.pdf Ethics 10 Southwire (2010). The OPS Culture at Southwire. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from http://www.southwire.com/commercial/OPSCultureAtSouthwire.htm
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