Business law has a major influence in the success of business operations and society. These laws standardize social conduct to ultimately create a society that functions professionally and efficiently. The laws that surround business support ethical standards and expectations that deliver codes of conduct, methods to enforce the codes of conduct, and a system for settling disputes. It is essential to emphasize that without laws to oversee the actions of individuals and businesses, a functional of society would not be attainable.
Contrary to society’s belief that the United States overall functions of business law seem to be easy enough for individuals to interpret, the functions of this legal system are very complex. Business law is classified into numerous diverse systems, which include criminal, civil, substantive, procedural, public, and private laws (Mallor, 2005).
The functions of these laws assist in preserving social and business order. The functions of these laws include peacekeeping, checking government power, promoting personal freedom, facilitating planning, the realization of reasonable expectations, promoting economic growth through free competition, promoting social justice, and protecting the environment (Melvin, 2011). The roles of the laws and the functions of the laws are vital to the success of a business and society.These business laws and functions are applied in business settings traditionally. One of the most common procedures used in business settings is the code of conduct. A businesses code of conduct is a, “Set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group” (The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2012).
A businesses code of conduct needs to include the company’s ethical principles, values, accountability, standard of conduct, standard of practice, and disciplinary actions. A code of conduct is an essential management tool that is used to positively define the culture of a business (NSW, 1997). Employees in any business need to act in a way that encourages community assurance and trust in the business. It sets the standards of behavior that is expected of employees in a business, assists them in solving ethical dilemmas they encounter at work, and provides a structure that employees agree to work within (NSW, 1997). A code of conduct needs to encompass more than elusive principles to actually be effective. The essential function of a code of conduct is to assist employees in the behavior of their daily actions.
Therefore, it must contain direct specific principles and examples that are applicable to the actual functions of the business. It should also refer employees to reference material that is not explained in detail in the code of conduct. The references include strategies, policies and procedures, and chain of command. A business may also want to consider including information on employment responsibilities of the employer, employee security considerations and needs, dress code and customer service standards, and supplies specific to occupational health and safety necessities (NSW, 1997). An example of how the code of conduct assists in the daily work environment is, the code of conduct could include direction on handling a breach in confidentiality, how to respond to a hostile work environment, and what to do if you think that illegal activity has taken place.
Although the prominence should be on promoting moral and ethical conduct, employees also need clear information on what will happen if a violation in the code of conduct occurs. If the code of conduct does not explain in detail the steps to resolving these examples completely, it needs to list a reference for the employee to refer to for more information (NSW, 1997). Another example of how the code of conduct assists in the daily work environment is there could be a section that has specific information on handling conflict if it occurs.
This section would direct the employee to referring the problem to an independent party, so the employee’s identity can remain confidential if the employee and manager are unable to resolve the problem. In conclusion, the business laws and functions have been strategically put in place to ensure there is a presents of order in the workplace and society. These business laws create guidelines for business and society to assist them in making favorable ethical decisions. The functions of the laws are to assist in promoting standardization and reduce the chances of disorder within the workplace and society. A code of conduct is an essential tool that assists in abiding and setting the business’s ethical values and expectations for employees and employers.
Mallor, J. B. (2005). Business Law: The ethical, global and e-commerceenvironment (12 ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Melvin, S. P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice (1 ed.). New York, NY: McGraw/Irwin. NSW. (1997). Model Code of Conduct for NSW. Guidelines for developing and implementing, 1. Retrieved from http://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/116578/Guidelines_for_Developing_and_Implementing_a_Code_of_Conduct.pdf The Free Dictionary by Farlex. (2012). Dictionary/thesaurus: The Free Dictionary by Farlex. Retrieved from thefreedictionary.com: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/code+of+conduct