International Business Ethics Institute
What is business ethics? According to International Business Ethics Institute, understanding business ethics can be problematic in the sense that, this field is vast, often encompassing many concerns such as corporate governance, social responsibility, reputation management, accurate accounting and audits, fair labor practices and environmental stewardship to name a few. Moreover, it generally addresses the entire scope of responsibilities and obligations that a company has to each of its stakeholders like clients, employees, shareholders, suppliers and the community. To simply define business ethics, it is a form of applied ethics where it inculcates a sense within a company’s employees on how to conduct business responsibly. Business ethics seems easy to understand but when you get to the real one, you could find yourself in a confusing situation. Since the term ethics can pose many definitions in a broad context and it can be difficult to find a common understanding of the term, hence, most companies refer the concept of the term ethics as integrity, business practices or responsible business conduct.
After you have known the basic definition of business ethics, you would now begin to know the business ethics of a chosen company. This paper aims to give some views on how Hewlett-Packard, an international company which provides mostly computer technologies worldwide, imposes their generally-established business ethics which means to say that it is enforced to their branches all over the world. Hewlett-Packard has business ethics which is driven and guided by enduring values that reflect fundamental ideas about who they really are and those values leave a unique mark which make them stand out to other competitors. Perhaps, their business ethics could be the reason why they were able to establish a reputable name in the market and eventually succeed especially in the field of technology. The ideas which probably helped them to build a good name in the business are the following: (1) there is no substitute for personal and professional integrity; (2) doing well and doing good can go hand in hand; and (3) trust and respect have always been the cornerstones of their success. Let me have my viewpoint on their ideas that reflect who they are.
The first idea shows that nothing can ever replace their integrity and even money cannot rule against their integrity and they are firm in saying that because their company’s integrity has been tested by time. The second idea then represents their unsurpassed service rendered to their customers; it also tells us that doing well in terms of service and doing good in terms of ethics can be executed simultaneously without any impediments in providing excellent service. And lastly, the third idea shows to us that they work as one big group and also, trust and respect to their stakeholders could be the reason why they successfully earned people’s loyalty. In fact, based on the magazine, Business Ethics, Hewlett-Packard was awarded as 6th among the top 100 companies in the world (2003) because they have focused more on environmental sustainability and they have served a variety of stakeholders very well. This only proves that Hewlett-Packard is consistently imposing and doing as well their established business ethics. According to my research, the open doors to their offices reflect the ethical, transparent business practices at every level of the company.
It is also stated that they help in fostering the open communication which fuels their creativity and camaraderie among all workers. The officers routinely walk around and talk to their employees directly so that the workers get a feel for what they are doing. They say that they strive to become a company that is managed by inspiration, not by fear; by sharing the information, not by guarding it; by empowering people to make individual decisions; and by unleashing people’s talents for the common good. By the aforementioned statements and objectively speaking, I believe that those are true to them because in the very first place, I do not think that they would get the 6th spot in the Annual Best Corporate Citizen Awards if their business ethics is not enforced well. “We are committed to uncompromising integrity.” (This statement can be found in their website) With this statement, we can therefore say that the core of their business ethics is integrity because they keep on giving emphasis to this term. They say that as a business entity, they must remain profitable to remain viable. However, profitable operations are not only their concern because time and again, at Hewlett-Packard, they seek uncompromising integrity to their customers, co-workers, company, and the communities around them.
Their business success is dependent on trusting relationships which I attest because logically speaking, if the people do not trust them, people would not buy their products and demand for their service anymore. According to them, they have dedication to their principles of: honesty, excellence, responsibility, compassion, citizenship, fairness, and respect. So to elaborate the first principle which is honesty, this principle makes them able to communicate with conviction to their business partners, suppliers, and customers and also, honesty makes them trustworthy. Second is excellence; because of their drive for excellence not only in their products but as well as in providing unparalleled service, customers always patronize whatever product they release probably because they always produce high-quality products and for added information, they used to be the pioneer in computer technologies.
Next is responsibility; they held themselves responsible for their words and actions which means to say that they are true to their words and actions. Next is compassion, here we talk of relationship whether internal or external for as long as it is affected by the business. Followed by citizenship, they do their business in accordance to the law where their business operates and they do respect the environmental concerns of the community and to help the society, they help by improving and enriching the community life. Fairness really counts, according to their principles because they treat their fellow stakeholders and business partners without bias and through loyalty to all applicable laws, regulations, and policies made to attain high standard of behavior.
And lastly, the company respects everybody whether in or out of their business and they are open to all suggestions and value their feedback. With all the things I mentioned with regards to the business ethics of the company, I would like to recommend to them to just continue what they are consistently doing with regards to their business ethics because they can serve as a role model to other companies and eventually influence others. And I would also like to commend their beyond compare service with dignity to our society. I would want to praise Hewlett-Packard for having been consistent in doing their business not only for profit but also for the benefit of the society and humanity.