echFite, a British company that produces high-technology goods, recently began production of its innovative recreational equipment in its first U.S. factory in Dellberg. TechFite is widely known for its culture of workplace collaboration and leadership development. Additionally, the company culture encourages employee empowerment and engagement in corporate decision making. The company also prides itself on being actively involved in the communities in which they have a presence.
As the human resources (HR) director of the new factory in Dellberg, you soon realize there are financial obstacles that must be addressed as it relates to hourly employees. The budgeting process has constrained the amount of funding available to provide full-time employee benefits, and hours have been reduced to keep many employees classified as part-time. The HR department needs to develop policies to address the legal and cultural differences between the United States and the United Kingdom pertaining to hours and benefits. As the HR director, you are grappling with the ethical obligations to your employees and the limited funds available. Upon a review of the budget, excessive bonuses are being paid out to top executives.
During one of the company’s presentations to the Dellberg city council, commitments were made to sponsor community events, to support local youth leadership development programs, and to invest in infrastructure to aid in the rebuilding of the city of Dellberg utilizing environmentally responsible techniques. Up to this point, these commitments have not been addressed or funded by TechFite. The leadership team realizes the importance of community involvement, and this commitment is central to their corporate culture. A plan needs to be developed to meet the company’s corporate social responsibility to the city.
While residents of the city were excited about the company’s investment and the opportunity for new jobs in a bankrupt city, relationships quickly began to deteriorate when employees began to complain about wages, benefits, and weekly hours that fell far below the 40 hours necessary to receive full-time benefits under company policies. In addition, the company is not fulfilling the commitments it made to city officials about community involvement.
As part of its launch into the United States, TechFite realizes that corporate actions must be consistent with company culture to gain acceptance. Two primary focuses will be making this a great place to work and developing a strong presence as a company that is good for the community.
A. Create three corporate policies that reflect the organization’s culture and ethical viewpoints.
- Explain the rationale behind the policies, including how they align with the organization’s culture.
- Distinguish between ethical and legal issues.
- Analyze the ethical issues at stake in the scenario (e.g., conflict of interest, misuse of resources, whistleblowing).
- Describe the purpose of the ethics officer.
B. Describe corporate social responsibility and how it applies to the scenario.
- Explain the ethical desirability of improving the company’s reputation in the community based on the scenario. The explanation should include three supporting examples of what the company has done or failed to do that has harmed its image in the community.
- Describe an ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible course of action to address each example from part B1 based on the company’s culture and core values.
- Explain how the course of action from part B2 is ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible.
C. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.
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