Gary Dessler wrote that planning is, “the process of establishing objectives and courses of action prior to taking action” (Dessler, 2001). Business plans at (My company) are built by completing thorough business assessments, making operational plans and making the financial decisions to provide the monetary resources to put the plan in action. Planning is important at all levels of management and its importance is often overlooked causing failures in many aspects of the daily operation of a business and the overall business plan of a corporation. The ongoing evaluation and analysis of the planning process is necessary to improve the overall process to keep the company in line with the latest changes in the industry. Therefore, this paper will discuss how legal issues, ethics and corporate social responsibility impact management planning at (My company).
Business plans optimize growth and development according to the plans and priorities set forth by management; therefore; guidelines for securing corporate monetary and legal security are applied during the planning process that determine an organization’s success. Legal issues which every business must be aware of are its business’s proprietary information, business strategies, customer lists, copyright information, patents and any intellectual property provided by its employees during their normal course of work. (My company) ensures that its legal rights are protected whenever a new employee is hired through documents each person signs at the beginning of their employment.
These documents include rights to intellectual property, non-disclosure agreements, which dictate that an employee cannot disclose or profit from confidential information (http:/ /jobsearchtech.about.com/library/weekly/aa-nondisclosure.htm), trade secrets, customer lists, customer proprietary network information policies and a non-compete agreement stating that an employee will not compete with their employer by engaging in any business of a similar nature (http://jobsearchtech.about.com/library/weekly/aa-nondisclosure.htm). Documentation signed by each (My company) employee also deals with ethics, which is another area of the business planning function.
Business ethics is defined by the staff of Business for Social Responsibility as, “How a company integrates core values – such as honesty, trust, respect, and fairness – into its policies, practices, and decision making. Business ethics also involves a company’s compliance with legal standards and adherence to internal rules and regulations” (http:/ /www.bsr.org/BSRResources/WhitePaperDetail.cfm?DocumentID=48815). The legal issues dealing with corporate financial reporting and unethical organizational behavior from companies such as Enron, Tyco and Adelphia Cable, caused (My company) to reevaluate and change its business planning strategy in a way to ensure the company maintains the trust it has with its employees, customers and investors.
To ensure accurate financial responsibility, (My company) developed a code of ethics strictly for its Senior Financial Officers that is to be strictly enforced with all complaints being investigated through a third party organization that reports any financial issues directly to an independent audit firm. The ethical behaviors of the company’s employee’s daily activities are also closely monitored to maintain integrity in the workplace.
Planning how the company will deal with question of ethics brought about requirement of (My company) managers to take leadership courses provided by Development Dimensions International. These courses often stress and teach the importance of ethical behavior in the workplace and how management should handle situations which arise. The company’s managers monitor their employee’s behaviors and both are encouraged to anonymously report unethical behavior through use of the company’s Speak Up Program. The planning for this program began as an answer to Wall Streets calls for improved corporate ethical standards but ended up as a necessary step for promoting the company’s quality standards to its customers, employees and investors. (My company) also understands that to promote itself to its customers as a local company, it must prove its corporate social responsibilities.
Corporate Social Responsibility
There are two views of the corporate social responsibility of organizations, the classical and socioeconomic. The classical view states, “business is an economic institution directed towards profit whose only responsibility to society is to provide goods and services and to return maximum benefits to shareholders” (Robbins et al, 2003: 136). The Socioeconomic view states, “business is a part of the larger society and, therefore, it has responsibilities other than simply maximizing profits” (Robbins et al., 2003: 137). (My company) business plan is to market itself to its customers as a local business that has direct ties to the City and State where it resides and uses the slogan, “Local, like nobody else” to gain local market share. Therefore, (My company) ultimately views itself as a socioeconomic entity and plans its business practices, such as broadcasting local high school athletics, to entice the local communities to become loyal customers.
Rarely, do organizations in today’s world, except for non-profit organizations, take care of the surrounding community and society’s well being like (My company). Corporations have decisions to make and many do not fully take into consideration the impact those decisions have on their customers, employees and investors as well as the communities in which they reside. The legalities, ethics and corporate social responsibility upon an organization’s business planning will always have valid and invalid arguments from both internal and external points of view. The argument that (My company) is a corporation that takes all of theses aspects into consideration before, during and after it begins its business planning and strategies, is certainly valid.
BSR Staff. (n.d.) Overview of Business Ethics, Retrieved on March 13th 2003, from http:/
Dessler, G. (2001). Management Leading People and Organizations in the 21st Century. (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Niznick, J. (2004). Non Disclosure Agreement. Retrieved on March 13th 2003, from http://jobsearchtech.about.com/library/weekly/aa-nondisclosure.htm
Robbins, S.P., Bergman, R., Stagg, I. and Coutler, M. (2003), Management, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall: Australia, pp.136-149.