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Module 3 Notes.docx

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PHIL 215
Brian Orend

Module 3 NotesCodes of ConductCode of ConductEthicsFocus of concern surrounding business and professional ethics centres around these codes of ethics o What are codes of ethics o What is their functionExamplesDisciplinary mechanismsJohn LaddProfessionalism and conflict of interests o Our Business Ethics BookWeakness of the chapter is that it just deals with the business sidedoesnt consider the professions Rights about codes of ethics as they appear in business not the professionsThe appearance and importance of codes of ethics in the profession is importantly differento A lot of the lecture is focused on what the book doesnt talk aboutthe notion of professionalism Are ethic conceived the same or differently in the professionsBusiness vs Professional CodesIts important to distinguish between the codes of ethics found in business and in the professions o Professiontheres looseness to its usage in English People can use this word however they wanto What is a professional To count as a professional you must have 1 Mastered a system of theoryExtensive educational experience o For example a doctor lawyer nurse accountant all have a long educational process to become professionals at what they do 2 Process of education culminates in a series of licensing examsProcess includes an ethics examCompetency exams o DoctorBoard certified o Lawyerthe Bar examLicensing exams must be passed before one gains entry into the profession 3 Each of the professions has a distinctive cultureEx Lawyers are argumentative all have gray hair etc Doctors have crazy working hours etc 4 Professionals are recognized by the community as having authority in a certain field of expertise that everyone else lacks o Business Ethicsethics as it applies to everyone elseo Codes of Ethics are taken much more seriously and have a lot more weight and import in the professions than they do in businessCodes of Ethics in Business o Two Kinds of Business Conduct 1 IntraBusiness CodeA code that applies to one company o For exampleCanadian Tire Code just applies to the employees of Canadian Tire2 InterBusiness CodeApplies to everyone in a given industry o For exampleNatural resource extraction so in the oil industry the forestry industry the pulp and paper industry o How common are these codes of ethicsExtremely prevalent amongst public corporations1999 survey by KPMG o Out of all the 300 companies listed on the TSX KPMG suggest that between 75 and 80 of those companies had codes of ethics o Approximately 75 of the executives that responded claimed that they adopted a code of ethics to improve their corporate imageAre codes of ethics simply another marketing strategy for companiesThe Difference Between Public and Private Companies o The Three sectors of Economy Public sectorGovernmentCivil serviceMUSH sectorMixture of for profit and not for profit motivationMunicipality University School Hospitals and all the other nonforprofit do goodersPrivate sectorBusiness for profit motivationWhen we talk about corporate codes of conduct we are just talking about the for profit sector o The fundamental distinction for the profit sector is between public and privateThere is a distinction between who can own shares in those companiesPublic corporation means that the shares of that company can be bought by members of the publicPrivate company means share cannot be sold to the public o Often these companies are family run affairs o The majority of private companies are small businesses fewer than 150 employeesKPMG survey is referring to public corporationspublically listed companies whose shares are publically traded Not necessarily the most profitable but do receive the most attention
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