A Code of Conduct is published and disseminated to its employees, and to existing and potential stakeholders such as members of the board of directors, customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, potential employees and the general public. Frequently posted on the organization’s website and in their annual report to shareholders, the Code of Conduct is both an internal commitment to a standard of behavior and beliefs and a public declaration of the organization’s position on a set of standards, values, principles, and beliefs. The Code of Conduct is the heart and soul of a company.
Think of a Code of Conduct as an in depth view of what an organization believes and how the employees of an organization see themselves and their relationship with each other and the rest of the world. The Code of Conduct paints a picture of how employees, customers, partners, and suppliers can expect to be treated as a result. After going through major corporation code of business I decided to write a paper based off of one companies code of business ethics outline. That company is Amazon. The reason I chose Amazon was how simple there code of conduct in ethics was for how large of a corporation they are. The following are the things I felt could used revision.
The company I found online for code of conduct was Amazon. They had a short and simple code of ethics page. Although short and to the point I feel they left a few things out. Amazon is a company that relies on distribution through vendors and returning customers. I felt that nowhere on this page was there a place that states they hold management or vendors accountable. Owner and upper level management accountability is very import for a company’s code of conduct. These individuals are requires to show honesty, transparency and integrity in their daily rolls. This sets the ethical base for a company, along with it also keeps individual owners and managers accountable for their actions. A unethical manager that is allowed to rein free in a business can create a difficult business situations and over extend a company’s resources.
The next point I would like to make is, even though they mention compliance with the laws I think they fail to mention anything about inappropriate behavior. Many companies use a code of ethics to prevent inappropriate employee behavior. Inappropriate behavior can include lying to clients, engaging in froud, failing to meet specific operational standards or similar conduct. A code of ethics about this subject can help employees understand why these actions are inappropriate and the reasons companies expect better behavioral performance. Companies may also limit their legal liability from poor employee performance by usiing this code of ethics.
Another great point I would like to bring up about Amazons ethics code is their ability to institute the code. For a code of conduct to be useful, it is importance to introduce and endorse it at the highest level of business. Once the code is written, The CEO and governing body should sign off on it. Then, the company can incorporate it into training programs. Many companies require staff members to sign a document that they read and understand the code, and others require all employees to abide by the code as conditions of their employment. Many companies also use an internal review to measure the effectiveness of their code. This may be all done internally, but nowhere on the code of conduct was it instructed or announced that they do this.
A code of conduct is developed either by a powerful executive, or often the owner. In amazons case is feel this was a cross section of employees that have executive influence, so it would be easier to incorprate and integrate. It is more likely to affect the actual beleifs and operation of the organization. The code of conduct will most likely acheive full implementation with in the organization when more are involved in the creation. Due to this I feel amazon has missed a few valuable areas in which they can improve on with their revisions for the future with code of conduct and ethics.
Retrieved June 1, 2014, from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-govConduct