Term Paper: Ethics Policies on 3 Companies

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Ethics Policies on 3 companies.

Ethics Policies

Memo of transmittal

Ethics policies within companies

Microsoft Corporation

Nokia

Intel Corporation

Memo of transmittal

The current ethics policies are the outcome of years of debates as to what should define morality and fair and appropriate behavior. Nowadays, most institutions in the fields of economy, politics, medicine and law guide their activities by a set of morals rules concentrated in their internal code of ethics. To better understand the concept of ethic policies, one needs to analyze the code of ethics of at least three major organizations, preferably all three belonging to the same industrial sector, for instance electronic engineering.

Executive summary

The term ethics generally refers to the conduct and behavior of individuals and groups within our current society and it is based and norms and regulations of behavior that insure fair treatment to all members of certain groups. As a discipline, ethics, "a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person and group and covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil and responsibility."

However in the beginnings of civilization ethics was considered much of a personal moral code, much like unwritten rules of behavior, as time passed, humanity felt the need to point out and strengthen these rules. The written code of ethics rapidly penetrated most domains of activity, regulating the actions and behavior of politicians, economists, environmentalists, medical doctors and representatives of the law.

The ethics policies applied within the economic sector regarded external norms of behavior, such as the company's conduct towards clients, suppliers, the environment, the legality of their actions as well as their sustaining of fair competition. Also, the code of ethics was applied to internal activities of companies and was meant to insure fair treatment towards all employees. For instance, ethics was applied to racial discrimination, "family structure, sexuality and how society views the roles of individuals, leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics, including feminism."

Nowadays, companies all posses a personalized set of ethics policies, gathered up in the form of written documents presenting moral and behavioral rules that must be followed and the sanctions to be applied if employees or the management fails to follow the policies. Most current ethics policies refer to creating and sustaining a proper work environment, promoting the moral values of integrity, honesty and professional excellence, legality, responsibility, avoiding conflicts of interest and the reporting of all violations noticed of the ethics code.

4. Ethics policies in the companies

More and more individuals and organizations tend to place more emphasis on the code of ethics, moreover when clearly and correctly developed and applied ethics policies offer business transparency and can prove their innocence regarding fraud or other scandals. However this is generally true, there are large number of companies in the field of electrical engineering that refuse to develop and implement a clear code of ethics, or if they have it, their refuse to make it public. Corporations such as Microsoft, HP or IBM can easily be included in this category.

4.1 Microsoft

When a user introduces ethics or any derivation of ethics such as code of ethics or ethic policies into the Microsoft.com internal search engine, the results returned send the user towards a series of articles on how to develop and implement a code of ethics and to the software code of ethics, however, no clear code is revealed to the public. When questioned about this, Microsoft representatives responded that they did have a set of ethic policies to guide their activity, but they saw no reason to make it public online.

However a clear set of ethic rules is not available for the general public, Microsoft's website offers some elements belonging to their moral code. First of all, Microsoft's policy regards correctness towards the customers and emphasizes the importance of giving truthful declarations to the press and the public.

The corporation states their actions are being guided by their values, which they also consider their ethical rules. These values are presented online in the Mission and Values section and refer to: "integrity and honesty, passion for customers, partners and for technology, openness and respectfulness, taking on big challenges and seeing them through, constructive self-criticism, self-improvement and personal excellence, accountability to customers, shareholders, partners and employees for commitments, results and quality."

Regarding integrity, the same source mentions: "Our managers and employees must always act with the utmost integrity and be guided by what is ethical and right for our customers." In other words, Microsoft's code of ethics states the company's fairness of actions based on honesty and integrity in their relationships with all interacting parties, from employees and public to legal authorities and shareholders.

Relevant to Microsoft's code of ethics is their software and anti-piracy policy. In this order of ideas, in March 2006, the corporation stated its ethic code regarding further usage and selling of their software products. They said: "Making, supplying and distributing unauthorized duplicates of copyrighted software violates copyright law and is contrary to the standards by which the Sales Representative conducts business." They also pointed out the main principles of legally using their software as their strict policy of fighting and punishing piracy.

The most severe criticism received by Microsoft regarding their ethic policies was that of creating a monopoly market to distribute their products, action disputed in courts of law as well. All in all, however Microsoft does not make available for the public a clearly written code of ethics; their actions have generally been in accordance with the moral rules. For instance, the corporation has always shown correctness towards its employees, promoting and rewording the good quality of work.

4.2 Nokia

Nokia is an irrefutable leader on the market of mobile telephone producers and how else would they have achieved this title but by implementing clear ethics rules that insure employees with a pleasant and fair workplace, and customers with the best products and services?

In introducing the Nokia code of ethics, the company states their corporate values as being: consumer satisfaction, respect, achievement and renewal. In insuring consumers' satisfaction, Nokia concentrates a significant part of their annual budget to marketing research in order to find out what are the clients' needs and provide means of satisfying those needs. Respect is being applied at all times in the relationships between employees, management and employees as well as the company and customers. Furthermore, the mobile phone producer prides with goals such as continuous efforts to "built universal access, provide transparency of their actions, drive internal efficiency, expand towards new markets, efficiently manage risks and enrich their brand and reputation."

Nokia incorporates their ethics policies into the company's Code of Conduct and summarizes it into the following: "ethics and the law; human rights; conflicts of interest, gifts and bribes; workplace practices; environment; suppliers and implementation."

The code of conduct mentions that all Nokia's activities are being performed in accordance with all laws, be them economic or politic, national or international laws. The mobile phone producer points out that they respect the rights of all employees, suppliers, business partners and shareholders. Furthermore, aside from applying the human rights in their actions, feature considered default by the Nokia management, the multinational company also promotes human rights and considers as fundament rights never to be broken the following: "freedom from any discrimination based on race, creed, color, nationality, ethnic origin, age, religion, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, connections with a national minority, disability, or other status; freedom from arbitrary detention, execution or torture; freedom of peaceful assembly and association; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and freedom of opinion and expression." In addition, Nokia obliges itself to insure its employees with the most suitable and appropriate working conditions and to never use children as workforce.

The ethic policies at Nokia clearly state that employees are to avoid situations that might be viewed as conflicts of interest and keep their integrity by denying gifts or bribes from customers. Regarding the work place, Nokia promotes teamwork, responsibility while providing safe environments and fair compensations.

In regard to the surrounding environment, Nokia acknowledges the negative effects industrial activities have upon the safety of our planet and makes continuous and sustained efforts to reduce the level of toxins in the air by engaging in activities that promote life-cycling. In report to Nokia suppliers, the company's management emphasizes that they will only collaborate with those provides that fully apply all human, civil and political laws.

Towards the end of the written document which points out the ethical policies of Nokia, the company states: "The compliance commitment in this Code extends to all matters, including decisions relating to trade, investment, subcontracting, supplying, business development, and in all other business and employment relationships."

4.3 Intel

The Intel Corporation is the world's leading producer of processors and microprocessors, their products being present in mostly all personal computers. The company's internal policies promote the following: good quality… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethics Policies on 3 Companies.  (2007, March 6).  Retrieved May 26, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethics-policies-3-companies/68320

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"Ethics Policies on 3 Companies."  Essaytown.com.  March 6, 2007.  Accessed May 26, 2019.
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