As a part of my Business Ethics lesson I have a task to criticize and improve my company's code of ethics, before doing that I want to briefly explain about my company; MLS Holding and what we do? The most effective statements in regard to business ethics are rooted in the strategic vision of an organization and the business philosophy and its stakeholders (Kinni, 2013). The moral value of authentic ethical leadership is clear and has many business benefits (Dobelli, 2013). This report will outline the business ethical position of MLS Holdings and offer improvements that could be used to strengthened the company's code of conduct in the future.
MLS Holding is a Family Holding company established in 1992 and the Company is currently working out of two main branches. One branch is the Manufacturing & Petrochemical Services and the other is the Port Services division. The company is an umbrella company that has the total of 10 specialized companies. MLS Holding has exclusive experience in representing Port equipment, service and spare parts, has and has been the leading distributor of Shell Lubricants in the local market, and has had its own manufacturer of ground engaging tools and automotive products. It currently exports to more than 100 countries
Ethics and Code of Conduct
Some value statements, which reflect broad, unchanging principles, are same for all of the holding such as our ideology and basic principles but we as MLS Holding have a different code of conduct for all the specialized companies since they are all performing in a different work field and need, different administrative affairs. This presents somewhat of an obstacle for MLS Holding because their code of conduct must be generalized to fit all the various subsidiaries in the different industries that they operate in. If the code was too specific to a particular industry or operating procedure then it might not be relevant to all the subsidiaries. However, it is important for the parent company to set the guidelines and the high level vision for their expectations of conduct at all levels of the organization.
MLS Holding's Community Efforts
MLS Holding works with the community on a number of different projects to build social and human capital within these communities. MLS creates well-equipped schools to provide children with equal opportunity in terms of education and to increase the efficiency of education, and gives hope for tomorrow to the students who struggle to complete their education and under difficult financial conditions.
The basic rule for the donations made by MLS is to deliver them to schools by hand, instead of just sending them there. Another basic rule for the social commitment projects, developed by MLS, is to act as a role model for students instead of just giving them advice. Showing the children the benefits of education without making them accustomed to receiving donations is a much more efficient method when emphasizing the importance of education.
Equipping schools from A to Z. And donating modern educational materials to students, MLS contributes in making youngsters grow as self-assured, driven, ambitious, common sense, peaceful and sharing individuals. When they receive donations from adults with affection, children feel they are true individuals, enjoy the respect given to them, experience many noble things.
Teams formed by approximately 15 employees each, from various departments of this holding company, visit schools on voluntary basis every year to deliver such donations. MLS supported a number of students living in the city of Trabzon in 2007, renovated the primary school of Donat-m village, where 100 students are enrolled, near the city of Mu? The last year, and delivered special gift packages to each student by hand in the second week of November. The social commitment projects realized by MLS for children to date supported 32 schools and over 1,000 students.
MLS supported 125 students living in the city of Zonguldak in 2010 and delivered special gift packages filled with clothes and stationery goods to each student by hand in the last week of October.
Preparing a Code of Conduct
For being able to write and speak about code of conduct first we should know,
What should a good code of conduct include?
Why do companies need a code of ethics, conduct and ideology?
In order to answer those questions I've read the assignment first and than the articles, the articles gave me a general idea of 'Why' then I searched for further information and concluded that a good code of conduct is more than a written code. It's basically a way of saying 'this is how we do things around here'. It's about the behaviors in daily basis. It's about the stories of the company. What did the company been through? Mistakes and Success stories. In other words it includes the question 'What did we do so far?' So I came up with some ideas of what should a good code of conduct include;
1. It shouldn't be a just boring set of rules, which people never read but hang on the wall or put It under folder and never applies or cares but it should rather be a help book, a first aid kid which helps employees behave in a way that the company's core values direct them to, It should show them the right kind of actions in the company of course in accordance with the national and international laws.
2. It should be teamwork. It should be a collaborate work. If in a company only one person, a manager or an employee alone write this code than it will be a failure because as I said this is the first aid kid of the company and it should include everyone's voice, in order to heal the necessary wounds when needed.
3. It shouldn't be a fancy show off document that is just made to put on your companies website. You can put it on your website for sure, if is legitimate and good, but the aim shouldn't be that. It should be an honest document, which includes the team and their own work in real process.
4. In this document there is no guessing about whom the code applies to. No guessing about when the code applies or doesn't. No gray zone. No exceptions. The code is for EVERYONE. And EVERYONE with no exceptions should obey and follow the companies' code of ethics.
5. The aim is to make employees understand everything very clearly so that they can follow them without a doubt. That's why it should be written in a direct tone and easy language. No fancy words or management language necessary.
6. The number of behaviors should be reasonable. Companies should not write aimless goal that are never going to turn into a regular behavior. As in every step of business management this code should target just the right amount in order to achieve success.
7. It should be supported by a process, which ensures employees are introduced to the code of conduct on day one as part of their orientation. Following that process, there should be an actions with their immediate supervisor and to ask questions, provide feedback. As we discussed in class, there are ways to report suspected violations without fear. The HR department has to make sure that the new employee who is joining the team is OK with all the aspects of our code of conduct
As I found out my own 'needs' for the code of ethics, I also searched for the topics that need to be covered for the assignment. So I will cover the pertinent elements and I will compare it with MLS Holding's code of ethics.
Conducting our business in a way contributing to Turkey's cause to hold a respectable position in the world.
Establishing prestigious and everlasting companies in a global and multi-cultural world.
Our Core Values that shape us;
Conducting business in compliance with the laws and the commercial code of ethics.
Openness to improvement
Many of the subsidery companies have much more detailed codes of conducts. For example, Portunus, a subsidiary of MLS Holding, also has more detailed Code of Conduct for that company that is more comprehensive (Portunus, N.d.):
All personnel are expected to respect and comply with laws and regulations. We want to be a good corporate citizen in each jurisdiction we operate in. We value transparency and business integrity and recognize that economic, environmental and social performance together form the basis for endorsing sustainability in our business operations. Portunus supports the protection of human rights, freedom of association, elimination of forced labor, abolition of child labor, elimination of discrimination in the field of labor and sustainable development.
Although the statements are good, they are weak and stand room for improvement. The parent company should set the vision for all of the subsidiary operations. As previously…