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Ethics, Reputation, and Compliance Gain as Corporate Priorities

To begin with, the area of compliance and ethics is gaining importance for various businesses. There is a growing interest in such business transparency among their clients (Hagel, 2015). According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey (2016), 56% of up-to-date consumers are likely to exclude a company from a shopping list if it does not suit their ethical criteria. For instance, those could have something to do with sustainable development, ecological production, or the use of child labor. Ethical behavior in the workplace is no exclusion. As a result, enterprises with a purpose bigger than just business have more chances to gain success in the era of millennial consumers.

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Therefore, it is vital to discuss the most burning issues of the corporate culture widely presented nowadays. Undoubtedly, one focus of such training must have something to do with corruption. While this practice has, for a long time, been a part of business culture, zero-tolerance policies on it are now regular. As the survey of 1,699 CGMA designation holders in 99 countries claims, 81 organizations provide “specific channels for reporting suspected fraud or violations of company policies on ethical behavior” (Hagel, 2015). Corruption affects the business work destructively and may contribute to other unethical choices. Hence, this dimension of business life must be replaced by rational decisions based on the code of ethics, and any violations must be reported in order to maintain such discipline.

Furthermore, another aspect to mention is sexual harassment in the workplace. The Me Too movement was initially inspired by the massive trend of sexual aggression in the professional realm of life. As for business, by 2018, 60% of women claimed to experience “unwanted sexual attention, sexual coercion, sexually crude conduct, or sexist comments in the workplace” (Zetlin, 2018). Meanwhile, about 87 – 94% of the ones experiencing harassment do not file a formal complaint (Creighton, 2018). According to contemporary morals, sexual harassment must find no place in an up-t-date business. While it seems to be an ethical choice, it also contributes to the company’s image. Thus, the management is highly interested in the employees’ ethical behavior.

As for the environmental aspect, it may be an ethically challenging issue for many companies operating in various fields like transportation, energetics, or textile. For instance, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, it requires “3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans, from the production of the cotton to the delivery of the final product to the store” (World Bank, 2019). Therefore, clients expect some compensation to the society and environment from such businesses in the form of extra taxes, for instance. However, what can also be done is a teambuilding campaign that would contribute to nature preservation, for example, planting trees together before a corporate picnic. To say nothing about the fact that any corporate activity from a holiday celebration to the meals organization must aim to be environmentally friendly.

Finally, it is also essential to address the issue of the fight against discrimination. The contemporary context does not appear evident for some individuals. However, discrimination is arguably the most significant ethical issue in the business sphere. There are multiple dimensions of this phenomenon occurring in enterprises, and the most widespread ones are based on sex and gender, race, or disability, for instance. Nevertheless, one can speak of other aspects like age or pregnancy as limitations for employment and satisfaction from a job. Hence, ethical policy towards such phenomena becomes a vital question in corporate transparency. Therefore, staff must consider this social tendency and report on violations as well.

References

Creighton, K. (2018). Stats about sexual harassment in the workplace you can’t ignore. HR Daily Advisor.

Deloitte. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey. Deloitte. Web.

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Hagel, J. (2015). Ethics, reputation, and compliance gain as corporate priorities. Journal of Accountancy.

World Bank. (2019). How much do our wardrobes cost to the environment? World Bank.

Zetlin, M. (2018). 54 percent of women report workplace harassment. How is your company responding? Inc.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Ethics, Reputation, and Compliance Gain as Corporate Priorities'. 14 April.

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