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Company Q’s attitude towards social responsibility is strongly determined by the management’s perceived economic gains that the company accrues from the surrounding community, which represents their clientele. In as much as the management of company Q accepted to resume their operations, they appear to be still skeptical of the community. According to Goyal and Goyal (2010), “the general attitude, expectations and attitudes of the society regarding social responsibility of business also influence the social orientation of a company” (p.454). Consequently, the management of company Q has adopted a very reserved attitude towards the embracing corporate social responsibility.
First, company Q’s attitude appears to be arising from previous incidents associated with the affected neighborhoods. Somehow the management feels that they have done a big favor by reopening the stores in the affected neighbors. As a result, the decision to provide limited organic foods, which are in high demand in its food line, can be interpreted as a retaliatory action. This could also be the reason why the management does not see the benefit of donating day-old foods to the local food bank.
Secondly, the response that the company’s management gave to rising cases of insecurity by closing down the shops was not an appropriate one. Indeed, the action of residents requesting the company to open its stores once again could have been driven by good will from community members. Nevertheless, the company did very little to address the problem. This reveals how the company is less concerned about the welfare of the community it serves.
Thirdly, the company’s internal trust framework is weak because the management does not trust its employees. The lack of a functional internal trust framework seriously undermines the capability of attaining good results in the corporate social responsibility. In the case of company Q, the company refuses to donate day-old foods on the grounds that its employees are going to sell exploit the system by selling it illegally to unknowing consumers. In as much as this may appear as a positive concern regarding selling day-old foods to consumers, it still undermines the employee’s ethical standards.
First, the company needs to put the society’s needs into the fore front by addressing the health concerns its consumers. For instance, the decision to supply limited quantities of organic foods is a major setback towards achieving fruitful corporate social responsibility initiatives. The management needs to acknowledge that the needs of one society differ from another (Goyal & Goyal, 2010).
Secondly, the management needs to incorporate a functional welfare system for its employees. This welfare system should offer job security and job promotion schemes for its employees (Goyal & Goyal, 2010). The management should take advantage of the of welfare program to establish a better relationship with its employees. This will also encourage employees to portray ethically appropriate behavior.
Thirdly, the company needs to revise its current strategy of putting more value on the profitability of their products. This can be seen from the company’s action of deciding to throw away day-old foods instead of giving them for free. This implies that they view their actions more from an economic perspective than a social perspective. Thus, the company’s management needs to devise a program that will improve their association with the local community. The goals of the program should be structured such that they should focus on enhancing better cooperation between the management, employees, and the community.
- Ethics Program
Standards and Procedures
Authority and Responsibility
- The director will be the overall leader of the training facility. He will be in charge of approving all training operations, renewal of training programs, acquisition of new training sites, and other relevant activities in the company.
- The chief executive officer will second the director in all the roles that have been stipulated above; hence, he will naturally step in whenever the director is absent. However, when the chief executive officer is unavailable, one of the supervisors from the team can step in to provide the needed assistance.
- The accountant will be in charge of confirming payments from governmental agencies to implement the training programs, forwarding payment requests to the director for approval, performing auditing operations, and accounting for company’s expenditures. He/she will be required to submit daily accounting reports to the director.
- The director is required to call for weekly meetings to provide board members with views regarding the progress of the organization and changes that need to be made.
- The chief executive officer will be responsible for assigning specific work packages to all employees. He will be the one addressing employees’ issues and problems that arise in the course of duty.
- The accountant will ensure that all funds allocated to companies from government appointed agencies are utilized judiciously. Any payments that have not been approved by the director, the accountant will have to justify the expenditures using relevant documentation.
- All employees are required to maintain fruitful and beneficial work relationships that are purely based on professional initiatives.
- Employees should strive to uphold the confidence of their fellow employees at all times by avoiding negative sentiments regarding their work performance. Employees should use the opportunity provided during performance appraisal.
- Employees should always provide objective opinions regarding other employees and customers; hence, they should try as much as possible to avoid subjective opinions.
- In the event employees have any disputes, these should be addressed to the director. In absence of the director, the supervisor will address the disputes.
- In the event customers have formal disputes regarding transactions that have been marked as completed, no employee should address the problem without informing higher authorities even if the matter falls within their docket.
- The company will not condone any form of financial malpractices from any staff member or customer regardless of their status. Financial malpractices in this case refers to issues such as improper allocation of funds for activities, submission of unapproved payments, and any other transaction that falls out of the financial ethics boundary. Additionally, a member of staff refers to director, chief executive officer, accountant, supervisors, and any other employee.
- Depending on the seriousness of corruption cases, a special team consisting of two management team members, 1 supervisor, and 2 employees will be appointed to investigate the matter and provide a report. Additionally, an audit firm will be appointed within 3 months to conduct deeper investigations to affirm or challenge findings of the special committee.
- In order to maintain the ethical standards of the company, all new employees will be required to undergo an ethical training program for a period of one month. After this period, employees will be required to exhibit appropriate ethical practices by upholding the standards of the program.
Association with other Stakeholders
- The company acknowledges that the majority of the training sessions will be funded through state sponsored programs; hence, the local state government will be a leading partner in determining the appropriate utilization of funds.
- The company will periodically need to subcontract other partners to provide certain specialized services. The agencies subcontracted will need to sign an agreement.
Ethics Training Program
The company will have an effective ethics training program in place to reinforce the ethics profile, standards, and procedures of the company. The training program will take two weeks to be successfully accomplished. The program will focus on three main components of ethical training: opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. Additionally, the program will incorporate lecturers, review of case studies, presentations, and role plays. The program will be accomplished as follows:
- Introduction to the topic on ethics.
- Lecturer on how opportunities arise, which may prompt employees to be corrupt.
- Brainstorming session among the learners on opportunities that non ethical practices.
- Lecture on how employees are motivated to participate in corrupt practices.
- Brainstorming session among learners on issues regarding motivation.
- Lecturer on how specific opportunities motivate learners to become motivated such that they participate in non ethical practices.
- Brainstorming session among learners.
- Lecture on how rationalization plays a critical role in the determination of the processes through which employees come to commit unethical practices.
- Brainstorming session among the learners focusing on items learnt during the lecture.
- Brief assessment to check learner’s knowledge on the content that has been covered earlier in the week.
- Review of assessment results.
- Review of previous case studies on ethical practices in existing companies.
- Demonstration to the employees on how to do role plays by creating specific situations demonstrating ethical problems in a company setting.
- Assignment to create unique situations that can be used to carry out role playing to demonstrate ethical problems. These will be used to carry out role playing in the following sessions. To achieve this, the employees will be split into two groups.
- Role play sessions focusing on how opportunities develop in the work place setting, consequently creating a chance for employees to become unethical. The role plays should also depict how employees take advantage of these opportunities.
- Review of lessons learnt from the role play sessions.
- Role play sessions on how employees are motivated to participate in potentially unethical practices.
- Review of lessons learnt from the role play sessions.
- Role play sessions on how employees use rationalizations to justify their involvement in unethical practices. The main rationalizations normally used by employees include the tendency to shift blame, plead ignorance, moral justification, letting the affected victim to fall, carrying out advantageous comparison, and euphemistic labeling (DuPont Sustainable Solutions Training Solutions, 2012). Thus, these elements should be clearly demonstrated in the paper.
- Review of important lessons learnt from the role play sessions on rationalization.
- Winding up the sessions focusing on opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. A recap of all the
- The participants will also undergo a final assessment just to recap the knowledge that they have gained over time.
- At the end of the training session, the participants will be required to sign a declaration form in which they promise not to involve themselves in potentially unethical practices.
System to Monitor, Audit, and Report Misconduct
In order to develop an adequate system that would be used monitor, audit, and report misconduct among employees. First, the workplace will be subjected to a stringent workplace monitoring mechanism that will entail employees monitoring each other’s actions. In the event any employee notices any major incident of non compliance to the company code of ethics, they should notify the party immediately. Secondly, the company will prepare a performance appraisal system, which will incorporate ethical elements. The performance appraisal mechanism used will require all employees to participate effectively in the program. This will be conducted on a quarterly basis. Employees will be required to provide meaningful and sincere views about their fellows. The ethical appraisal will entail employees belonging to a specific department assessing employees from another department. Thirdly, there will be collaborative participation among employees in ensuring that employees adhere to the stipulated rules. To make this operational, there needs to be a system of continuous surveillance, which will ensure that employees are making ethical decisions. Fourthly, employees will be free to submit confidential reports that specifically identify unethical practices
Review and Improvement of Ethics Program
Periodically, there will be need to institute improvements into the ethics program. Before this is done, an assessment will be conducted to establish specific performance indicators based on the ethical program. This mainly focus on key aspects such as the functionality of the ethical program and other entities associated with it, the effectiveness of the program as revealed through performance appraisal results, the establishment of clear communication guidelines, the degree of individual commitment among employees towards attainment of positive values, how the program impacts interpersonal communication, and other attributes that may affect the dynamism of the program. Reviews will be conducted twice per year so that important improvements can be made before commencement of the next training program. Furthermore, in order to add value to the program, a collaborative framework will be used in which other workshops will be organized in collaboration with other companies offering similar services. The aim will be to discover new trends in the industry with regard to ethics training.