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These benefit the local company as well as the entire region.
Leverage financial and other investments in the community. Because nonprofit organizations mobilize vast reserves of goodwill, corporate investment in the community can have tremendous reach in building a better corporate profile and in strengthening public support of the private sector. (Kanaga, 1998)
The work of Nae and Grigore (nd) entitled: "An Overview of European Multinational Corporations" the social and political changes brought about by globalization have raised new questions as well as expectations about governance and social responsibilities. More and more companies of all sizes and sectors are recognizing the importance of their role in society and the real benefits of adopting a proactive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)." (Nae and Grigore, nd)
V. FIDUCIARY DUTIES as a GUIDE to ETHICS
The work of Young (2007) entitled: "Fiduciary Duties as a Helpful Guide to Ethical Decision-Making in Business" states that the challenge for business ethics "is not so much enunciating the unyielding call of moral perfection but rather providing practical wisdom relevant to the needs of business decision-makers." (Young, 2007) Young states that while the applicable law "most closely associated with business ethics is fiduciary theory and practice...it is increasingly overlooked and slighted in legal studies and in business schools. In most contemporary law school curricula, agency is a marginal subject, passed over like cold toast on the breakfast tray in courses on corporate law and finance." (2007) Young states that tax planning "...in trust and estate courses...is given more emphasis than the fiduciary responsibilities of trustees." (2007) There is however, in every fiduciary relationship "a risk of abuse of power on the part of the fiduciary - from simple negligence or misunderstanding to intentional fraud theft. This risk is frequently noted as the cost associated with agency relationships." (Young, 2004) Agency relationships are those in which principals hire 'agents' for accomplishing tasks and this brings with it a risk. As well when partners engage other partners the business while enhanced by this joint enterprise creates a new level of ethical risk. The fiduciary is under requirements of the law to "act with self-restraint, with a view towards the advantage and interests of others."
The law refers to a duty of loyalty and a duty of care which demand selflessness, and the use of good sound judgment in making decisions, respectively. Young states that these duties as set out for the fiduciary are a good guide for measuring the level of ethical behavior of the individual or corporation.
Gormus states that there are four different stands a typical firm would take in incorporating ethics into the organization. The first is the decision in choosing or alternatively choosing not to incorporate ethics and then a time horizon is set for this incorporation of ethics. The following illustration shows the conception of Gormus of the four types of stands taken by typical firms in relation to organizational incorporation of ethics.
The Four Types of Stands Taken by Typical Firms in Relation
To Organizational Incorporation of Ethics
Source: Gormus (2004)
According to Gormus When any of the a, B, C, D options are chosen, the firm will face different profit curves. When option a is chosen, the firm will start at a higher profit level in the shortrun but profits will decline in the long-run as it has been suggested earlier in the paper. If option B. is chosen, the firm will start at a lower level of profits because of the opportunity costs of choosing to be ethical and socially responsible. Coming closer to long-run the profits will gradually increase but decline again in the long-run being parallel but at a lower marginal profit than a.
The reason for this is the fact that people will respond harshly to be let down and get the feeling of being fooled." (2004)
Ethical concerns are also global concerns and according to Phukan and Dhillon (2001) in the work entitled: "Ethical and Intellectual Property Concerns in a Multicultural Global Economy" When any of the a, B, C, D options are chosen, the firm will face different profit curves. When option a is chosen, the firm will start at a higher profit level in the shortrun but profits will decline in the long-run as it has been suggested earlier in the paper. If option B. is chosen, the firm will start at a lower level of profits because of the opportunity costs of choosing to be ethical and socially responsible. Coming closer to long-run the profits will gradually increase but decline again in the long-run being parallel but at a lower marginal profit than a. The reason for this is the fact that people will respond harshly to be let down and get the feeling of being fooled." (Phukan and Dhillon, 2001)
The work of Charoenpong states that technology has "increased the potential fro unethical practices and behavior and in fact the example is stated that "54% of people believe that using the office PC for personal online shopping is unethical, which means the other 46% think it is ethical." (nd) Ethics training programs are being developed by companies in order to define and appropriately communicate the difference between what is ethical and what is not ethical. These programs "help diminish the potential for serious ethical problems and advise people and what to do when they see fellow employees engaged in unethical practices." (Charoenpong, nd) Guidelines or principles that can be used in the institution in relation to incorporation of ethical use of information technology include the following: (1) Human value - to make technology, information, and technological tools of service to human process and growth including creative, spiritual, emotional and thinking processes. (2) Human Responsibility - to negotiate intelligently with technology by taking responsibility for our choices and consequences and by knowing what technology can do, cannot do and can undo; (3) Internal Human Ecological and Community Concerns - to integrate technology into the organization in such a way as to support positive growth of human educational processes and instruction and to provide built-in evaluative means that protect internal human ecological aspects of the organization that all technology necessarily affects; (4) Confidentiality and Privacy - the respect of human rights of privacy and to avoid intrusion and abuse of these rights; and (5) Technological Admission Acquisition and Use - to make the admission, acquisition and use of technology intelligent by understanding what the designed function of the technology is, its content and its context of use and to make that use subject to the binding jurisdiction of the organizational intents and authority. (Charoenpong, nd)
SUMMARY and CONCLUSION
There are many aspects to ethical behavior of and in the organization and these many different aspects are best addressed through a written ethical code which allows all members of the organization to refer to the written instructions for ethical behavior and as well makes it clear that ethical behavior is an important aspect of the organization. Public perception can either make or break a company and while a well- and long-trusted organization can recover from a mistake or error, the unethical and little trusted organization will likely never become a household trusted name or given a second chance by the public.
Charoenpong, Kittiyaporn (nd0 Technology Effect on Ethics in the Workplace. Dusit Thani College Academic Resource Center. Web Opac. Online available at http://lib.dtc.ac.th/article/dtc/0007.pdf
Okpara, J.L. (2003) Can Corporate Ethical Codes of Conduct Influence Behavior? (an Exploratory Study of Financial Managers in a Developing Economy. XI International Conference Brussels, Belgium July 11-13, 2003)
Kanga, W.S. (2004) Corporations Must Act Ethically CIPE's Board of Directors, delivered in Bucharest in 1998 at a conference on the "Role of the Corporation in Today's Society. Economic Reform Today. No. 1 19999. Economic Reform Today. http://www.cipe.org/publications/ert/e31/e31_1.pdf
Fiduciary Duties as a Helpful Guide to Ethical Decision-Making in Business (2007) Journal of Business Ethics 74:1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10. Springer 2007.
Nae, Georgeta, and Grigore, Corina (nd) an Overview of CSR Practices of European Multinational Corporations an overview of CSR in the EU. Online available at http://www.idec.gr/iier/new/3rd%20Panhellenic%20Conference/NAE-%20AN%20OVERVIEW%20OF%20CSR%20PRACTICES%20OF%20EUROPEAN%20MULTINATIONAL%20CORPORATIONS.pdf
Gormus, N.A. (2004) Economic Analysis of Ethics and Social Responsibility in Today's Business Environment. December 2004. Online available at http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/available/etd-09/unrestricted/31295019800613.pdf
Phukan, Sanjeef, and Gurpreet, Dhillon (2001) Ethical and Intellectual Property Concerns…[continue]
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