Evaluation of a business Code of Ethics

IntroductionIn this paper the code of ethics of Exxon Mobil Corporation will be evaluated. The company code of ethic will be evaluated. The evaluation will be conducted with a case study analysis. Exxon Mobil

At the time of the completion of this paper Exxon Mobil claimed to be the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. The claim that they are providing energy that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world. However it is well remembered the great catastrophe that was created by the Exxon Valdez in the Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989. At that time the company tanker spilled 11 million gallons of crude after a human error. The captain of the ship was under the influence of alcohol.

After the spill the company didn’t respond to the crisis properly (University of Florida, Interactive Media Lab, 2002). The company ethics code was revised in January of 2006 and it is still used today. It is fair to comment that after the 1989 disaster the company has a policy named spill prevention. This clearly shows that they learn from the 89 mistakes. Company Mission

According to Exxon Mobil ( 2011), the Exxon Mobil company mission is “to be a company at the leading edge of competition in every aspect of our business. That requires the Corporation’s resources – financial, operational, technological, and human – to be employed wisely and evaluated regularly. While we maintain flexibility to adapt to changing conditions, the nature of our business requires a focused, long-term approach. We will consistently strive to improve efficiency and productivity through learning, sharing, and implementing best practices.

We will be disciplined and selective in evaluating the range of capital investment opportunities available to us. We will seek to develop proprietary technologies that provide a competitive edge. We aspire to achieve our goals by flawlessly executing our business plans and by adhering to these guiding principles and the foundation policies that follow”. Types Of Ethics

Exxon Mobil uses the duty driven ethic system (Trevino, 2007). This is shown in the first paragraph of their Ethics Policy. It clearly states that the company policy is to comply with all laws, rules and regulations that are applicable to their business. This company specifically states that they do care how results are obtained. Meaning that is if desired results are obtained in an unethical way they will not be accepted and someone will be held accountable for such action. In addition it is clearly stated that no one in the company has the authorization to deviate, grant waivers or make exceptions from the company policies. Use of Ethics

Exxon Mobil has a policy were the ethics policy is applied equally to all employees. Directors, officers and employees will be held accountable for violating policy. The company policy is lengthy but well redacted explaining in details several keys points. An example of these points is the conflict of interest. The company clearly specifies that no one in the company will be allowed to have any conflict between their personal interest and those of the company. Another example is in the corporate assets.

Again all employees are warned in the same manner. No employee is to disclose information from the company even after their employment has terminated. Some examples of these assets are even posted in their code of ethics. A few named are financial forecasts, discoveries and technologies among many other listed. This gives the employee a clear view of the strict policy that the company has in place. Personally I like the policy and the way that is written. It is in plain English, no hard legal terms, were every single employee can understand it.

Policy Influence This type of policy tends to be accepted by most employees. We all know that there is always one employee who is against something or just don’t want to agree. That is part of human nature and that is what makes us different. However if the employee doesn’t like the policy he has the duty to follow it or be fired. Must people remember the disaster aforementioned in this paper.

This was one of the worst I the history of the oil industry. Looking at this policy one can understand that in order for an employee to grow professionally in the company it has to follow the Code of Ethic. This is an important asset because that way you have employees taking higher positions without the need to re train them on what is permitted or not. By having this type of code the company has shown the commitment to be more careful in dealing with things like the Valdez disaster.

This is shown in a part of the code were specifically talks about bookkeeping. This explains that no one will deviate from this procedure. One of the reasons for the Valdez disaster is that the Captain was under the influence at the time of the accident. At one point or another one of the ship First Officers or other crewmembers had to have notice the erratic behavior of the captain. They might wanted to say something but like in many cases fear of retaliation often stops an employee from doing the correct thing, in this cased the ethical thing. The company now has included in their ethic code a whistle-blowing program. Phone numbers are in the policy in order to keep the informant safe.

ConclusionThis paper has demonstrated how having a good and strong ethical policy in place can help a company stay in top even after adversity. Ethics has to be taken into consideration more and more in these days. It can be the difference between a successful company and one going out of business.

ReferencesExxon Mobil. (2011). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/about.aspx

Treviño, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

University of Florida, Interactive Media Lab. (2002). Effective Crisis Management. Retrieved from http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall02/Susi/exxon.htm