Successful business prospects are measured on the basis of profitability and compliance with a high degree of ethical practices. However, innumerable corporations that have failed to maintain ethical conducts have faced lawsuits prompting most to incur losses or to some extent risk of closure. Hence, the wrath of noncompliance to ethical conduct cannot be underestimated. In chapter three of Terris’ book, Peeling Back the Onions, Lockheed Martin’s Corporation holds an annual corporate retreat on ethics and conduct (Terris, 2005). Perspectives on ethics of the corporation as well as the conduct of employees are brought forth at this yearly meeting. Deliberations on codes of ethics are integral to the company as it ensures that the management adheres to a high degree of conduct to the employees and clients at large. Besides, codes of ethics lay benchmarks to the employees on principles and standards of operation required at the company (Floyd et al., 2013). Most importantly, the company deliberates on codes of ethics in a bid to promote accountability while at the same time ensure that every individual becomes responsible for their activities in the prospect.
As conceded by Terris, ethical training and employee involvement are integral to the success of corporations. This is grounded in the premise that training on ethics provides information on the list of rules as well as regulations and is intended to guide employees on what is expected of them in the company. Notwithstanding, rigorous ethics on training guarantees sustainability of standard codes of practice by preventing and detecting misconduct, while at the same time reinforcing compliance to ensure that they conform to legal requirements (Terris, 2005). However, it is important to involve employees in ethical training to yield success of acceptance, as well as, make codes interesting and worthwhile for adoption. Moreover, staff involvement promotes an organizational culture in which employees are empowered to do what’s right and speak up on matters perceived as unethical. In the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the importance of employee involvement in ethics training is realized by embracing the value of teamwork, diversity, sets team goal, collective responsibility for actions and ensures a shared leadership. Robust communication on compliance training by the Lockheed Martin Corporation ensures that employees voluntarily adhere to the ethical framework of the prospect. The codes of practice have been availed on a pocket-size booklet with the intention of disseminating the six principles of sets of standards required at the company (Terris, 2005). On the flip-side, the book also avails lists of don’ts and quiz that invokes critical thinking that defines behavior.
We can do it today.
At the Lockheed Martin’s Corporation, the intentions of ethics training is embedded on inculcating the right-minded thinking as well as behavior by ensuring deep commitment to codes of practice. In essence, the success of ethics in the workplace does not look at how knowledgeable or exposed the employees have attained regarding the same (Floyd et al., 2013). Rather, at Lockheed Martin, the success of ethics in the workplace is measured on the basis of a positive response from the employees in addition to effective access to information on codes of practice. The attitude of the employees concerning the standard codes of ethics will influence their action hence ensures that organization succeeds in its mandate.
Despite the formulation of ethical standards, their effectiveness becomes evident in their implementation. This implies that standards of operation do not just remain theorized on paper and that they must be implemented to steer the organization to greatest heights of success. Lockheed Martin’s Corporation ensures that codes of ethical practice are operational by encouraging reporting of ethical misconducts. The subjects reporting the unethical behaviors are guaranteed anonymity by the human resource department and the management (Terris, 2005). Essentially, Brian Sears as the chief executive of the company ensures that one-hour company meeting is scheduled annually to discuss the corporate’s standard and ethical codes of practice for the management and employees (Floyd et al., 2013). This has improved ethical behavior and even changed unethical conduct among management, leadership as well as line employees. In order to ensure that ethics programs work, the Lockheed Martin Company embraces diversity in job recruitment and responsibility allocations. This creates an inclusive team at the operational level, hence, leveraging on values for each individual within the company.
- Floyd, L. A., Xu, F., Atkins, R., & Caldwell, C. (2013). Ethical outcomes and business ethics: Toward improving business ethics education. Journal of business ethics, 117(4), 753-776.
- Terris, D. (2005). Ethics at work: Creating virtue in an American corporation. UPNE.