Business Ethics Research for Division of Expert Labor

Discuss about the Business Ethics Research for Division of Expert Labor.

Introduction

The two words profession and job are used by the people interchangeably.  In real scenario profession is little more than a job (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015); it is an occupation for someone who wants to be part of society. Moreover, a professional is a person who becomes expert in their chosen sector through training; maintains their skills through continuous development of their skills. Moreover, it can be stated that at its core the professionalism acts as an indicator of expertise and trust in a specific field (Armstrong et al., 2013).  In addition to this profession can be thought as a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards. According to, O’Leary,Choi & Gerard (2012),These group of people possess special knowledge from a highly recognized body of learning. The knowledge is acquired from education, research and training at a high level.

 In this report, two selected professions are marketing and human resource management.  The two selected professional bodies are Australian Marketing Institute for the marketing profession and Australian Human Resource Institute for human resource profession. The following report contributes to the codes of conduct, the meaning of code of ethics to an employee, ethical, unethical behaviour in the two selected professional bodies, comparison and contrast between the two selected professions.

Codes of Ethics/ Conduct / Professional Behaviour

Code of Ethics

 The code of ethics in any profession can be defined as a set of guidelines or rules expressed by a organization or authority to help the professionals and employees to act according to the authorities ethical standards and primary values (Clegg,Kornberger & Pitsis, 2015). The recent corporate scandals in Australia have affected financial performance of the organizations. These incidents revealed the importance of the effective of code of ethics in the organization as well as for the professionals. The top management of different Australian companies has ignored the importance of the effective code of ethics in the organization to achieve the short term goals (Clearwater & Hughes, 2013). The pressure of achieving short-term financial goals has led top management of the organizations to ignore the strategies that can be helpful in maximizing the firm’s longer-term performance.  

 The corporate scandals of different organization around the world has shown that, the unethical decisions made to boost the short term goals have huge impact on the stake holders value creation and financial success of the organization (Kolkowska & Dhillon, 2013). As an example the ethically treated employees are more committed to the organization, customers will be more loyal to the organization. Moreover, the suppliers treated ethically will consider the interest of the client organization while making key business decisions (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015).  These code of ethics in the business and organization helps to achieve societal benefit and enhanced competitiveness in the market. 

A sound and effective code of ethics helps to strengthen moral culture inside the organization. In addition to that it also helps in preventing ethical lapses in the organization (O’Leary,Choi & Gerard, 2012).  In addition to this, application of code of ethics helps to provide professional service with integrity. i.e. the service should be provided with sincerity and honesty without  the interference of personal advantage and gains.    

Code of conduct

The code of conduct is a set of rules and instructions that helps in establishing acceptable standards of behaviour of the employees in the workplace (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, 2015). At workplace the code of conduct covers a variety of subjects such as attendance policies, dress codes, safety and health standards and appropriate behaviour at the workplace.

The code of conduct is important at the workplace as these rules are helpful in meeting the interest of both employee as well as employer.  For the employees in the sales, the code of conduct helps in defining the relationship with the customers, giving and accepting gifts from the customers, maintaining confidentiality of the information, conflicts of interest (Clearwater & Hughes, 2013). In addition to that these rules are also important to guide the employees to avoid uncertainty and indecision in the complex situations. 

Professional behaviour

The professional behaviour can be defined as a series of actions that are dictated by different concepts like civility, courtesy, and good taste. Professionalism changes with the specifics of the different business habits (Armstrong et al., 2013). Professional behavior also can be defined as business etiquettes that apply to business people and others who are included in the setting. Members not working or maintaining the highest standards in their work provided to the employees, clients or employers, or not committing in enhancing the skills, competence and professional knowledge for personal development shows a lack of competence. The professional behaviour forces an individual to remain open, honest, devoted to a corporate mission. Moreover, the employees should be aware of the feelings, thoughts, and needs of others in the setting (Kolkowska & Dhillon, 2013).

Importance at Workplace

The professional behaviour is also important at the workplace as the professional status is given by the society therefore the obligations and rules at workplace as well as in society must be maintained to carry on the status (Clearwater & Hughes, 2013). In addition to that, professional behaviour ensures that client’s interest and societal welfare will be guarded by the professionals before their own interest.  

Meaning of Ethics and Professional Conduct to me in workplace

As the ethics at the workplace is about application of the moral principles or set of values in the organization therefore it guides the proper conduct or behaviour of the employees at the workplace both as individuals and groups. This ethics and professional conduct helps me in determining what is right and what is wrong. The ethics also has impact on the relationship between the management and supervisor, with customers etc. Moreover, ethics at workplace helps me in productive, encourages me to take initiatives for different plans, to blow the whistle against any wrongdoing inside at workplace. In addition to this these professional conduct also helps me in stay positive in every situation, set an example inside the organization and to solve any problem by thinking critically about its solution.

Ethical/ Professional Behaviour

For marketing profession, Australian marketing institute is the regulatory authority in Australia. According to this authority members should conduct their professional activities keeping the public interest in mind (Armstrong et al., 2013).  While dealing with the employees or clients its members should act with integrity. Being professional, they have the responsibility of maintaining the accuracy and truth in any kind of sales promotion of a product or advertisement of any product (Clegg,Kornberger & Pitsis, 2015). Professionals should not show or represent conflicting   interest. Moreover, professionals should not accept any kind of fees, commissions or valuable considerations from the client.

It is responsibility of a professional to blow the whistle when he/she have evidences about any other professional’s involvement in unethical practices (Kolkowska & Dhillon, 2013).  No professional should intentionally damage professional reputation. At last the professionals should cooperate with each other to uphold and enforce the code.

Example of ethical behaviour

Another example of this kind of fraud is about Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola claimed that they use water which undergoes “Highly sophisticated purification process” based on NASA’s spacecraft technology. A lawsuit is filed against it by a former employee of it. As a result of it scrutiny of its production line was done (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015). After a detailed scrutiny it is revealed that Coca-Cola uses reverse osmosis process for water purification which is a modest purification technology used in most of the modern day purifiers.

Few years ago America based consultancy firm Accenture appointed a support team that would revise and update their code of ethics in its organization (Armstrong et al., 2013). Moreover, leadership of the organization decided to revise the code of ethics so that new one can reflect not only the regulatory and legal standards but also the language of ethics and values of different region (Kolkowska & Dhillon, 2013). In addition to that it is also revised to address and reflect specific ethical situations.    

Unethical / Unprofessional Behaviour

Unethical behaviours of at work place include different actions that are not confirmed by organizations established standard (Clearwater & Hughes, 2013).  This includes inappropriate use of organizations resources, misuse of time, bullying, sexual harassment and other illegal acts in the work place.

Employees of an organization can use computers at workplace and use it for their personal works like operating personal mail, doing online shopping etc. (Abbott, 2014). Misuse of time is about extending break times beyond allotted time, falsifying time sheet etc.

Some unethical acts are also considered as illegal also. Such as the employees who have access to the personal files can commit identity theft inside the organization.  The Enron scandal   

Example of unethical behaviour

 The economic and account related frauds due to unethical behaviour of professionals is spotted later, previously unethical behaviors are related to the fraudulent marketing activities (Clegg,Kornberger & Pitsis, 2015).  One example of this is fraudulent marketing campaign of Blockbuster “The end of late fees”.

According to this promotion thee were scopes which can be used to deceptive pricing of the cassettes or DVDs (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015).  According to their conditions of this campaign, consumers have to pay the cost of DVD or Cassettes if they are not returned to BlockBuster in stipulated time.  

Another example is of Wal-Mart that has workforce of 1.6 Million employees all around the world (O’Leary,Choi & Gerard, 2012). It was under due to its involvement in numerous conflicts in its workforce. This conflict includes gender discrimination, pay and wages disputes and resignation of a top level employee over the issue of financial improprieties in the organization (Armstrong et al., 2013).  Due to the different unethical decisions made by top level leaders harmed its reputation in market.

Comparison and Contrast between the human resource and Marketing Professions

Comparison

The ethical behaviour or code of conduct of both the professions helps in achieving some common goals. Like in both the professions the employees or leadership is expected to be truthful and honest according to the roles of the organization (Abbott, 2014). Moreover the rules and regulations of both the selected bodies are used to guide the employees so that they can be always ethically correct and disclose or expose organizational information whenever there is a hint of unethical works inside the organization (Clegg,Kornberger & Pitsis, 2015).

According to the Australian marketing institute members of the institute are expected to collaborate with professionals, educators from other industries. The members of the institute are encouraged to include diverse workforce in its organizations (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015).

 The prerequisite elements in human resource like mind sets, influence and credibility are also find the marketing industry.

Contrast

Contrast between ethical behaviour in human resource and marketing profession

In case of marketing the decisions are made faster but not consistent with the previous decisions (Armstrong et al., 2013).

 The decisions and ethical rules are made with cautions in mind. Therefore it may feel like extra burden.

The ethical behavior in marketing is less restricted as the scope of creativity should be provided in this profession.

On the contrary the ethical rules in human resource profession are much more restrictive than marketing (Clearwater & Hughes, 2013).

The marketing ethical rules are created and updated by AMI to meet the demand of the customers (Abbott, 2014).

On the other hand ethical rules in human resource profession are developed to meet the need of employees of an organization (Kolkowska & Dhillon, 2013).

In marketing profession the ethical rules gives the liberty to the employees to demonstrate skills related to management finance and sales.

On the contrary the human resource profession has to show responsibility (Dussuyer, Armstrong & Smith, 2015). Moreover, they have to deal with legal issues therefore the professionals has the liberty to expose organizational data to protect the interest of the organization.  

Conclusion

This study draws the conclusion that professionalism is indeed necessary for an organizational workplace for enforcing ethical practices and code of conduct and is essential to the organization and that of the person. Professionalism means following some principles like transparency, responsibility and privacy. In a workplace, professionalism is equal to improving the skills and upgrading himself, being responsible for the work done, collaborating with other members, and producing works in highest standards possible. Marketing and Human Resource are the two professions selected for comparison and contrast. It has been found that a Marketer cannot take gifts or rewards as commission which can influence their work, needs to inform authorities if another member is convicted of illegal practices and collaborate with other educators and professionals as ethical practices. Unethical mode of behavior of marketers includes practicing illegal methods of business practice, refraining from sharing knowledge and engaging in relationships which extend beyond the scope of the organization. In Human Resources, ethical modes of behavior include those who possess a status of Certified Practitioner working in the AHRI, expected to follow codes of conduct to continue with the certification and include people from diverse countries irrespective of gender, age and orientation in the Australian workforce. Unethical modes of practice include advising or acting unlawfully with clients, employees or employers and promoting self-interest.

References

Abbott, A. (2014). The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor. University of Chicago Press.

Armstrong, R. W., Stening, B. W., Ryans, J. K., Marks, L., & Mayo, M. (2013). International marketing ethics: problems encountered by Australian firms. Asia Pacific International Journal of Marketing.

Australian Human Resources Institute. (2016). Ahri.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2016, from https://www.ahri.com.au/

Beach, L. R. (2015). The human element: Understanding and managing employee behavior. Routledge.

Boud, D. (2013). Enhancing learning through self-assessment. Routledge.

Clearwater, A., & Hughes, J. T. (2013). In the Beginning-An Early History of the Privacy Profession. Ohio St. LJ, 74, 897.

Clegg, S. R., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T. (2015). Managing and organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Sage.

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Dussuyer, I., Armstrong, A., & Smith, R. (2015). Research into Whistleblowing: Protection Against Victimisation. Journal of Business Systems, Governance & Ethics, 10(3).

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