The development of a code of conduct in an organization is defined by the need for a self-regulatory mechanism. Ethical responsibilities in an organization require a business to observe regulations, laws, values and norms of the society. Unethical practice is deemed as an intentional act to violate the requirements of the society. Nevertheless, ethical responsibilities extend to customers, suppliers, employees and the government. Bidding and tendering procedures in procurement are sensitive business ventures that test code of conduct. Raytheon is a company with a strong code of ethics that can be used as a benchmark for any industry. However, ethical items can be modified to meet the obligations and functions of an organization.
Regulatory slippage is a concern in management where the enforcing body lacks the ability to ensure that moral standards are followed by associated organizations. In other instances, the monitory bodies would require massive resources to ensure each organization or business entity follows the laid down guidelines. Precisely, this needs a ratio of 1:1 for success, which is very expensive for governments and inspectorate bodies. However, the formulation of ethical responsibilities shifts the liability of enforcing the values, norms and laws from the monitoring body to the objects. As such, businesses have a responsibility to ensure they meet the legal provisions of the law including societal norms and values. Businesses are seen as a social being and are representatives of peaceful co-existence in the countries of operations. Nonetheless, the guiding factors fall within the business environment that varies from place to place even though ethical considerations are universal in nature. The paper uses a hypothetical company Envi Inc. to describe the precincts of ethical consideration based on Raymond Code of Ethics.
Envi Inc. is an environmental consultancy firm that uses a multi-disciplinary approach to solve environmental management issues. The company's services and products include waste management, policy analysis, corporate social responsibility formulation and geographical information services. The main service line of the company that is often mot sought and subject to procurement procedures is waste management. The sub-services are building the capacities of municipalities to manage waste, waste incinerations, waste recycling and clean production. The target market for waste management is the federal government, municipalities, schools, markets and hospitals. As a result, the company has built its capacity in managing waste from biodegradable, recyclable and bio-hazardous sources. Envi Inc. obtains most of its work through bidding after the institutions advertising for expression of interest or specific tender provision (Raytheon, 2014).
According to Raytheon (2014), code of ethics considers various critical aspects for maintaining ethical practice in an organization. The code of ethics can be evaluated under three sections: consumers, employees and governments. The code of conduct places responsibility on employees developing a strong ethical culture by maintaining high standards of behavior as contained in the code of conduct, laws and other guidelines. Further, the employees should seek advice on ethical consideration and report incidences of unethical practice including any action committed by the supervisors. Apart from maintaining a strong ethical culture in the organization, leaders should serve with integrity, promote, report, coach and inspire employees on the code of conduct of the company. The code also protects any person who reports an unethical behavior from victimization. As it notes, 'an employee will not be discharged, demoted, suspended or harassed.'
When relating to the government, Raytheon expects the company heads, employees and the business stakeholders to observe all laws and regulations applicable to the business process. The company policy advocates for investigation and consultation since laws governing its operations are quite complex based on regulation and reporting standards. At the same time, employees of the company are mandated to report any violation of the code, law or regulation. Reporting procedures are open to the internal ethics officer and inspector general enforcing a particular contract (Raytheon, 2014).
Raytheon is a consultancy firm and treats its customers with respect and dignity. Both employment and customer service respect race, religion, sex, gender, age and disability. The company promotes an open work environment. As such, the company finds solace in respecting human rights. This extends to the creation of a safe work environment by maintaining obligations to environmental laws and occupational safety concern for the employees. In the management of finances, the company stipulates proper cost accounting and related financial integrity that trickles to accurate compensation of labor, material and other costs related to service provision in the company. The company policy requires truthful reporting of labor, material, travel and other expenses from employees. The employees shall report instances of mischarging, shifting of costs and use of improper accounts. Further, employees using company smart cards limit the use to business related transactions (Raytheon, 2014).
The code of conduct gives clarification on cases where a conflict of interests may arise. It allows for the disclosure of any conflict of interest between their company related obligations and their personal interests, as well as with other economic relationships and interests. This extends to employment of former government officials or competitor employees. As a result, Raytheon's guide on negotiations for contracts is based on the information in the public domain. The company has a strong policy on insider trading where its associates engage in business with limited or secretive information. Furthermore, there is strong consideration on corruption based on Raytheon's corporate ethics and government regulations. Bribes are not accepted in the company. In addition, the employees should not accept worth more than $ 20 from suppliers. Moreover, all expensive goods must be evaluated by the Ethics office of the company. Therefore, there is a culture of marketing, bidding, negotiating and performing business for and on behalf of the company in good faith (Raytheon, 2014).
The above mentioned ethical considerations are critical for the operations of Envi Inc. For Envi to receive government contracts, it must respect legal provisions that guide procurement laws. Government contract is the basis of business at Envi. It means that an unethical practice might affect income flow. Raytheon's code on negotiation, pricing, financial policy and reception of gifts are some of the relevant clauses to this course. Additionally, Envi shares concerns on compensation of employees and proper workplace environment that may comprise their integrity. The acts prevent examples of procurement fraud such as collusion by employees and outsiders to influence a bid through extension of some benefits such bribe or gift. The ethics guide reception of any item to an employee hence scare off collusion and non genuine competition. Subsequently, Envi mandates its employees to maintain strong financial reporting and proper costing of projects with appropriate labor and travel compensation (Raytheon, 2014 & Bartolini, 2014). According to Idowu (2011), when an organization meets its obligation towards stakeholders fairly, a strong ethical policy is built.
The three critical clauses in Raytheon code of conduct are compliance with laws and regulations, maintenance of strong financial integrity and establishment of a suitable workplace environment. As mentioned above, these three guides can help Envi Inc. avoid unethical practices. Additionally, the establishment of a strong reporting culture is crucial for the maintenance of an ethical environmental. It is appropriate when people are not victimized. Equally, propagation of respect, dignity and human rights is handy for an ethical atmosphere. In this way, employees feel a sense of ownership since they are integrated into the system. As a result, they are able and willing to align their individual goals to the company's objectives. On the other hand, communication works by removing the responsibility from the monitoring body or person to the object. As a result, employees are obligated to report any unethical practice realized by omission or commission. Therefore, employees understand that failure to report wrongdoing by itself is an unethical practice in the company which is punishable (Raytheon, 2014; Bartolini, 2014; Idowu, 2011).
In a contextual framework such as the bidding process, an employee is mandated to report any acts emanating from contractors and subcontractors, which leads to inflation of prices, giving of invoices for work not done, fixation of prices and rigging of a bid process (Bartolini, 2014). Envi Inc. can be a victim of any vice as it seeks a contract or when outsourcing a service. When a culture of belonging is created within the company, employees find purpose in maintaining the integrity by resisting attempts to defraud the company. Further, the directors, departmental heads and junior employees take a step further to report an act that might compromise the bidding process.
In conclusion, procurement is very controversial due to the competition businesses that are subjected. Companies are often lured into unethical and unprofessional activities to close the deal. However, a strong organizational policy running down from the directors to the lowest employee is important in maintaining a strong ethical organization. The establishment of a strong ethical environment wades of monitory organizations and build the business image of an organization.