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Trust and integrity as a key variant in building a healthy relationship with customers

Choose a recent news/media article that has been published within the last 3 months that concerns a business ethics issue/s and discuss about it.

In Australia, business ethics are not merely limited to generating high yields of profit, but it aims at ensuring guest satisfaction through fair means. The Australian business ethics are all about keeping themselves on the upfront while assuring protection of individuality (Crane and Matten, 2016). The corporate structure of the country focuses on egalitarianism. The country has always kept the belief of maintaining equality in terms of business ethics. The aim of the present study is to assess fundamental ethical issues in business includes encouraging conduct based on integrity hat engenders trust. Further, issues include accommodating diversity, empathetic decision-making, and compliance and governance consistent with a company's core values have been discussed in detail to assess the ethical issues in an appropriate manner.

The prime emphasis remains on providing the best quality of service with genuinely honest business practices. But being in the 21st century, even the biggest and leading companies fail to meet the ethics which are generalized as the norms to be followed. A numerous code of conduct are often prepared in the country for all to abide in the business industry, but despite lots of efforts, the business organizations fail to put these ethics into action. The article was written by Umberger (2017), clearly outlines instances of business ethical issues in Australia.


One of the most severe issues in business ethics is related to trust and integrity, as per the article drafted by Mary Umberger. The basic meaning of integrity refers to the idea of conducting all the business transactions by providing true facts and treating each customer in a fair manner through following the norms regarding the transaction as an appropriate code of conduct. The same can be referred in the case discussed by Umberger, who was a real estate agent and presented property to a customer interested in developing the same into a mixed use of commercial/ residential space and further intended to purchase the same without communicating the same with the client. Due to same reason he has been ordered to take action in accordance with the code of ethics by the dispute-resolution group. The client came to know about the fact only before an hour before the deadline when he was required to submit a bid on the property and had to manage another agent to represent him. The ethics later found her guilty of unsatisfactory conduct. Any unwavering commitment which is presented to the guest may lead to loss of trust in near future (Scholtens and Dam, 2017). Trust and integrity are believed as a key variant in building a healthy relationship with the customer. Thus the same should exist in every business transaction.

Ethical decision-making and problem-solving in organizations

Since the country Australia is home to many leading industries, there could be a high possibility of occurrence of dilemmas. Any problem that arises requires an ethical course of action which could be possible with a definite decision making power. Svensson and Wood (2015), specified that ethical courses of action include collecting the facts, evaluating any alternative actions, making a decision, testing the decision for fairness and reflecting on the outcome. In an article by Williams (2017), on “Australian Business Ethics”, an ideal ethical environment in an organization is where all the rights of the employees are protected. Ellie has mentioned that the problems arise when the decisions are taken in a biased manner. Any inability to solve an issue pertaining to the loss of company is treated as an unethical means of problem-solving. Even in present case of Umberger, the ethical decision has not been made as he attempted to sell the property without mentioning the same to the client.

In Australia, there are multiple laws which are stated for all the companies to comply with. But there have been several instances wherein the business organizations fail to meet the laws in real time. In such circumstances, the company is referred as going against the laws and breaking them. This kind of examples, also decline the reputation of the company and deteriorate the image in the competitive market (Chen and Bouvain, 2014.). The laws are stated to let the companies follow them in order to attain a reputable image in the market sector and develop business ethics in the internal organization. In an instance quoted by Umberger, an agent in Auckland, sent a pack of faeces "without reason" to a rival, the same was assessed by New Zealand Herald. Further, it was also reported in the newspaper that it also consisted of broken glass along with a note written on the accused letterhead. This was indeed against the compliance by the government.

Australia provides a niche to a number of people to work.  A big number of humans working at a centralized place tend to give birth to diversify attitude and thought processes. Trevino and Nelson, (2016) asserted that the employees working in an organization are a varied personality group of employees who required that their differences should be respected irrespective of business organization chosen by them to work. Ellie has mentioned in the article that, every employee in an industry must be able to enjoy a respectful position no matter what different and varied opinions are presented by them.

Failure to comply with government regulations and laws

There had been continuous revelations in the market that evidently explain that several companies in Australia have not been able to meet business ethics. It has been mentioned that business ethics in many multinational companies are unlikely as snow in Sahara. However; the regulatory authority has been making an effort in a continuous manner in order to better the existing situation of the business environment. The fact is the deployment of ethics in business is possible, but the thing which matters is the manner of doing the same (Crane and Matten, 2016). There is no really reliable data on this subject. But here are some common strategies. In an article published in “The Conversation”, issues related with Volkswagen were cited. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was scraped upon the coals for establishing software in its cars which assured the same to clear emission test falsely. The case comprised evolvement of eleven million cars over a period of seven years and due to same CEO od, VW has to face  possible criminal charges (Smith  2017). After this incident, the government came up with decisions to minimize these scandals.

Ethical Codes

In an article by Jana Thompson on “Despite the recent scandals, 'business ethics' isn't a contradiction in terms”, many companies in Australia, issue ethical codes. These are presented in order to generalize a common code of conduct. Ferrell and Fraedrich (2015), asserted that these kinds of practices help in setting a criterion, the same is to be followed by all the employees working in an organization. It draws the attention towards a particular behaviour that is said to be optimal and must be followed by all. These ethical codes help in building a reputed and productive business industry.

Ethical Training

Since when Volkswagen has broken the corporate laws, the Australian government has made it mandatory for all the business organizations to carry out ethical training for all the employees. Since the time of financial crisis, it has become a necessity to train ethics to all the employees. It has been proven as best policy to make attempt to motivate employees to ascertain and discuss ethical dilemmas which are faced by them in their working environments.

Government Regulations

The companies are unable to carry out any kind of unethical means of conduct once they are bound by the government regulations (Pearson, 2017). According to the article drafted by Thompson (2017), asserted that the convenience chain 7-Eleven has been exploiting and not providing appropriate payment to the workers and it is also claimed that slavery has been the base of position where the company stood today. from slavery. If the company had been abiding by laws, it wouldn’t have been able to follow unkind means.

Importance of ethical codes in business organizations

In my view and analysis, the country’s government has been able to prepare reforms to draw in shape the ethics of an organization. As per the article by Thompson, Volkswagen bore a billion dollar cost and penalties along with the loss of reputation which had a negative impact on diminished sales. Even in another specified case of  7-Eleven, have to face the similar circumstances as it required to appoint new CEO. With such instances of humongous losses, the government in Australia has managed to force the employers and businessmen to follow these reforms (Hoffman and et al. 2014). I believe that business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions. The interdisciplinary approach integrates that cognitive neuroscience and business ethics provides both opportunities and challenges. The psychological attributes of humans allow them to think differently in different situations. The business ethics tend to vary for the same reasons. What is right for one, might be completely wrong for the other person. This is why, while forming the regulations, the government keeps all the cognitive processes.

Conclusion

Business ethics, being one of the most difficult processes to manage in a republic, is utmost important as well. They are beneficial for public relations as well trust of the customer. Moreover, it also enhances the morale of individual operating business operations too. The above discussion depicts that it is not necessary that company which are having a good image for treating their first world employees should not have the same image in other parts of the world too. Scandal case of VW and labour organization had provided a good lesson to government and other corporates to develop an ethical environment where ethical behaviour becomes the norm. The above discussion concludes that business ethics remain the most important tier for the proper functioning of an organization in order to let it maintain its dignity, reputation and productivity in the market. Thus, in case we require to deploy ethics in business that corporations are required must be motivated in order to continue the same as ethics has democratic nature rather than corporate.

References

Chen, S. and Bouvain, P., 2014. Is corporate responsibility converging? A comparison of corporate responsibility reporting in the USA, UK, Australia, and Germany. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(1), Pp.299-317.

Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2016. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2016. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J. 2015. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson Education.

Hoffman, W.M., Frederick, R.E. and Schwartz, M.S. eds., 2014. Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. John Wiley & Sons.

Pearson, R., 2017. Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (Pp. 111-131). Routledge.

Scholtens, B. and Dam, L., 2017. Cultural values and international differences in business ethics. Journal of Business ethics, 75(3), Pp.273-284.

Smith J. 2017. 7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’.  (Online). Available through <https://theconversation.com/7-eleven-volkswagen-cases-show-why-we-should-push-back-on-corporate-ethics-48739>. [Accessed on 20th May 2018]

Svensson, G. and Wood, G., 2015. A model of business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 77(3), Pp.303-322.

Thompson J. 2017. (Online). Available through <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-05/thompson-business-ethics-isnt-a-contradiction-in-terms/6827488>. [Accessed on 20th May 2018]

Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A., 2016. Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.

Umberger M. The strange world of real estate markets. 2015. (Online). Available through <https://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-06/classified/sc-cons-0605-umberger-20140606_1_real-estate-markets-client-small-office>. [Accessed on 20th May 2018]

Williams E. Australian Business Ethics. 2017. (Online). Available through <https://bizfluent.com/info-7829297-australian-business-ethics.html>. [Accessed on 20th May 2018

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