Cultivating an Ethical Corporate Climate

Published July 31, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The corruption and scandalous behavior of organizational leaders has prompted corporations to set up more effective policies to reduce ethical misconduct. In fact, as a result, many organizations have taken a proactive approach when it comes to cultivating an ethical climate. Recent studies suggest that 90% of fortune 500 companies now employ codes of conduct and new laws require CEOs to sign off on documents that state they have no conflict of interest financially or personally that may cause unethical operations. These are some of the measures corporate leaders take to maintain the trust of their stakeholders. Boatright (2009) posits that there are three kinds of codes of ethics. The most common specify rules for various situations and are identified as codes of conduct or statements of business standards and practices. Another kind of statement addresses core values or the vision of an organization. This is referred to as a mission statement or company credo. These include affirmations of the commitments an organization makes to key stakeholders. The third form is the corporate philosophy which describes the beliefs that guide the company. Philosophy statements are usually written by the founders of new industries, like when innovative technology is developed that introduces new ways of doing business. In addition, there are some companies that develop an aspiration statement which describes the kind of company they aspire to evolve into (Boatright, 2009). These various codes of ethics provide the stakeholders an explanation of the organization’s values and ethical principles that guide their actions.

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The institution examined for this blog post is The Chopra Center for Well-being. Deepak Chopra and David Simon, two highly esteemed medical doctors, created the Center for Well-being to offer a medical facility that integrates both eastern and western medicine to help people experience physical and emotional healing (Chopra & Simon, 2013). Organizations that manage public health and welfare have a responsibility to their clients and a higher need to establish codes of conduct because errors and ethical misconduct in this industry can result in the loss of life. Because of this, stakeholders require assurances of an effective ethics program to detect and prevent criminal conduct. The Chopra Center’s homepage clearly states their goal which is to guide guests and provide tools and healing principles that nurture health and restore balance to help them live a more joyful life. These statements clearly communicate their organizational goals and  the methods they employ as ethical medical practitioners.

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It is important that stakeholders trust the leaders that run a corporation. Ferrell et al. (2013) postulate that the development of an effective business ethics program outlines an organization’s objectives and devise systems to manage, evaluate, and monitor their operations (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). Stakeholders want to feel confident that leaders are engaged in actions that do not include abuse of power or misuse of organizational resources. For example, in addition to stating their goals on the homepage, The Chopra Center website also has a link to their mission statement which professes they exist to serve as a global source for healing and transformation. By clearly publishing their mission statement, their goals, their history, media information, a FAQs page to address questions and other information to address concerns, the Chopra Center website helps minimize risk and manages stakeholder fears by providing a wealth of information with openness and transparency. The information provided on their website displays a formal control of input that indicates is supported by a strong support staff whose shared values help establish a sturdy structural system. In conclusion, the Chopra Center team clearly seems to comprehend the importance of establishing an effective ethical culture because as an organization in the health care industry, it helps them avoid legal issues that could end up with disastrous consequences.

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References:

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chopra, D., & Simon, D. (2013). The Chopra Center for Well-Being. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from The Chopra Center for Well-Being: http://www.chopra.com/welcome-chopra-center

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

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