You have recently been hired in the newly created position of Vice President for Ethics and Regulatory Compliance at a rapidly expanding technology company that is headquartered in the United States. It employs about 15,000 people worldwide. The company has been in business for about 20 years, and its growth has largely been fueled by the global expansion of the Internet and, in more recent years, smart phone market penetration into second- and third-world countries. Your products include hardware, software, and telecommunications infrastructure (satellite and terrestrial); however, in addition to manufacturing, a significant portion of your workforce is dedicated to the service sector in the form of customer sales, warranty registration and service, and intraorganization mid-level management.
Your position has been created because the organization has grown far faster than anyone anticipated, and faster than any one person or department could competently manage. There have been allegations of both inappropriate organizational and individual behaviors, ranging from stolen intellectual property to environmental damage in other countries. None of these has yet been proven, though the legal department is currently involved in litigation in state courts, federal courts, and several international jurisdictions.
Although the company tried several years ago to develop an Ethics Guidelines section as part of the employee handbook, business opportunities and global expansion were changing so rapidly that drafts of the guidelines were either quickly out of date or no longer applicable to the organization.
The board of directors has hired you to address their ethics problems. They would like you to address the task of developing a set of guidelines (applicable to both individual employees and the organization as a whole) that reflect the technology and telecommunications industry, legal and regulatory guidelines in the domestic and international community, and consumer sentiment about perceived appropriate organizational behaviors.
In a thoughtful, detailed essay, describe the following elements:
- The things you would need to consider
- The steps you would need to take to develop a set of ethics guidelines that will meet the current needs of the organization, as well as anticipate the ethics issues that will likely emerge over the coming decade
Keep in mind that this is a planning document, not a final set of ethics guidelines. Thus, the focus of your paper should be on the sections noted above, not a set of defined ethical behaviors (e.g., All employees will be required to sign an intellectual property agreement.).
Your paper should be well-organized, use section headings and subheadings, include citations and references where appropriate, and conform to APA (6th edition) formatting guidelines.
In evaluating your Key Assignment, your instructor will be looking for evidence that you grasp the seminal concepts that have emerged from this class, that you are able to apply that knowledge in a thoughtful and meaningful way, and that your arguments are coherent and defensible