When it comes to ethical principles concerning corporations, the expectation is they have to be responsible toward society in everything they are doing. There are situations that need avoiding, which could be refraining from acting, while at the same time there are situations that require acting. It is up to each entity which action to choose and follow through and the case of each entity could be unique since most companies are doing different things. Nevertheless, there are common areas where everyone involved in a society should feel responsible about and when it comes to corporations the theme is “corporate social responsibility”.
It stipulates that the interest of customers, employees, stakeholders, the involved communities, and the ecology will require their utmost consideration. This leads to what is known as sustainable development a process that should look beyond profit and dividend maximization and the immediate wellbeing of the people that will come into contact with such entities, as well as what the effect of their activity will be on the immediate and long term of social and environmental wellbeing.
VeriFone has a code of business conduct and ethics guidelines in its investor relation section at verifone. com and the main theme is to conduct business with honesty and integrity and to avoid conflicts of interest. When anyone is in doubt there is an office to approach for advice and the company encourages such an approach. When it comes to disclosure the focus is the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) that has a strict requirements in place that will have to be adhered to and any failure could be costly and the company communicates that to its staff very clearly.
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The compliance section urges the staff to comply with the law and government regulations and since it involves everyone the idea is it does not want anything to go wrong because of oversight, because it had been proven to be costly as it had been witnessed by others who had failed to adhere to the rules. A company that had resuscitated its business by clamping down on its expenses cannot afford to break the rules. The reporting and accounting section has an authority to ask anyone to comply with the company rules and regulations.
Anyone who has a question or is aware of any wrongdoing in the company could also approach the code of ethics contact person. The corporate opportunities section stipulates that priority has to be given to the company’s interest when it comes to any kind of dealings, especially with anything that would originate from within the company in any form, and such a rule will not be waived unless the company had stated so. The message being any company finding or business secret should not benefit anyone else other than the company and its stakeholders.
What comes next is confidentiality that seals everything the company is doing with anyone or any information that had been entrusted to the staff will also have to be kept confidential. The fair dealing section stipulates that the company should not be engage in beating competition or raise its revenue by doing anything unethical that could affect the company inadvertently in the long run, as well as it believes it is not fair for others that will be involved with the company at any capacity.
Moreover, it states clearly that everyone involved with the company should have a responsibility of looking after the company’s assets. Overall, even if corporations come into existence to avail profit to the stakeholders, the way they have to do it will have to adhere to the rules, regulations, and norms that are different from the law, because most of the time the law has a means of addressing any breaches, but if ethics is breached there is a different form of retaliation or correction measures that does not have anything to do with taking an entity to court.
Companies could cause a lot of damage both to humans starting from their workers, to their customers, suppliers, creditors etc. , without per se breaking the law and such lack of ethics is usually dealt through peer pressure, where it is possible to expose a wrongdoing of a company so that no one will want to do business with it unless it starts adhering to an ethical way of doing things.
VeriFone has no problem so far and it has a very good reputation and record of accomplishment with its staff and almost all its suppliers and partners had a good opinion about it. It is so because the company had stipulated clearly what is ethical and what is not, which enables it to always adhere to them, and such effort always adds to the goodwill companies already have, which has a lot of value when it is time for the company to be sold since no one would pay good money for a company with bad repute.
One good proof for that is HP had paid more than $1 billion to acquire VeriFone although how much the Gore Group paid was not public, since that price could reflect how useful the company was for HP at the time of getting rid of it. Other than that, even if VeriFone manufactures its own electronic equipment the damage it causes to the environment is minimal and is not different from the other businesses that are engaged in a similar endeavor that are not know for harming the environment.
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