Being consulted by various individuals regarding situations that represent or could potentially have ethical implications has given rise to questions as to how to best act on potential threats to our organizational culture, and how to respond to any potential threats to our business now, and in the future. The Ethics Review Committee will convene to discuss two matters that have been reported. Some type of recognition or reward may be appropriate for those who comply with policies.
If situations of noncompliance are suspected, they should be investigated to the company’s guidelines; if violations are uncovered, they should result in appropriate punitive measures. Investigations and any actions should be equally applied to all relevant individuals. Any deviations in the treatment of transgressions could send the wrong signal to employees that policies may not apply to everyone, and in turn may encourage others to test the limits of the code of conduct. (M.U.S.E., 2012, para. 1)
As we venture into a new paradigm, we transcend bureaucracy on a greater reflection of contemporary moral analysis. By proactively constructing the framework to guide us in making appropriate decisions, we learn to blend business reasoning with ethical standards, ultimately embodied, and projected by ethical theory of choice. It’s with a higher reasoning ability that we further develop our management change model that provides for the continuous implementation of the code of conduct. In the process, we will find in our culture both desirable behavior, and undesirable behavior. We will need to identify with each.
If we are acting on the premise of the utilitarian whose mode of operandi is for the good of all what questions should we be asking of those who we feel are not living up to our code of conduct? Do we overlook one wrong if it’s for the good of all, or do we determine the consequence of the act to determine whether it’s right or wrong? Are we more concerned about the consequences, the results of an act rather than the act itself? Or, is the consequence of an act secondary?
Do we ask why an act was committed, and determine the rightness or wrongness of the act without consideration of what the actual consequences of the act are? In other words, do we guide our culture here at ECG by rational evaluation of the consequences of our acts, or according to duty and principle-that, which ought to be? If, in fact, we measure the “prescriptive force as being independent of its consequence, then we determine that all of us have the autonomous, self-legislating wills that permit us to formulate and act on our own systems of rules” (McAdams, 2008, p. 69). That is, according to Kant’s categorical imperative, what is right for one is right for all, and each of us can discover that right by exercising our rational faculties. Thus, are we to judge the act of a senior executive at ECG and her spouse who have a previously undisclosed financial interest in Government Allies, and who will notably profit from the acquisition to have advocated moving forward with the acquisition because of their own potential to profit, or should we realize that the effort to move forward with the acquisition as having an unrelated self-less motive with the possibility of the only interest being that of ECG.