Ethical standards and practices form an integral part of today's efforts to realize the positive impact and value creation for the business and society. The commitments to achieve positive results in the value chain compels establishing strong ethical leadership and supportive channels of integrity. Such channels arise from visible practices guided by the invisible code of business conduct and ethics consistently applied throughout the organization. The absence of an inclusive ethics code leaves the business vulnerable to inherent corruption, conflicting interest and corporate fraud alongside violation of stakeholder's rights (Ouma, 2017). Such awareness explains the need to sustain regular review and update on the code of ethics to eliminate the slippery slope that gradually becomes the recipe for unethical business conduct and corporate disasters. This report analyzes the sufficiency of the PVH code of Ethics on corporate social responsibility, compliance with legal mandates, and safeguards against unethical conduct.
Corporate Social Responsibility Analysis
Corporate responsibility influences how organizations conduct their businesses in recognition of their leading role to create and drive value beyond wealth maximization. Its inclusion in the ethics codes indicates a commitment towards responsible business by extending positive impacts to people, communities, and environment (Salvioni, Gennari, & Astori, 2015). PVH retaliates such determination with the addition of corporate responsibility pillar in its code of business conduct. The code is founded on the general principle of having a proper balance in the pursuit of all groups' interests including the general public, employees, and stockholders (PVH, 2007). The code of business conduct emphasizes corporate responsibility as a channel for achieving sustainable growth while guaranteeing positive impacts on the value chain.
Corporate social responsibility forms an integral part of running a sustainable business model. PVH code of business conduct reflects such priority to demand its associates, agents, representatives, and consultants to embrace responsible business practices. It reveals a source-to-store commitment to empower people, preserve the environment and support communities. Although brief, the code of business conduct retaliates the integrated corporate responsibility approach adopted by PVH (PVH, 2007). It stipulates PVH commitments that traverse human rights, workplace safety, inclusion and diversity, responsible chemical management, communities, and sustainable sourcing and packaging.
Compliance with Legal Mandates Analysis
Regulatory compliance involves adhering to guidelines, specifications and laws applied explicitly to guide business conduct. The revelation of massive corporate scandals that took down global giants makes regulatory compliance a more prominent requirement (Trevino & Nelson, 2017). Similar attention is evident with regulatory compliance being the foundation of PVH's ethical standards. The code obligates all PVH associates to comply with the laws applied in the cities, states, and countries where it operates. Besides, it requires the employees to know enough about the regulations and laws to ascertain when to consult with their supervisors and managers (PVH, 2007). The inclusion of legal compliance mandate in the code manifests the commitment by PVH to the highest moral and legal standards.
Implications of being Noncompliant with Legal Mandates
The law mandates all businesses to adhere to the statutory provisions. Its compliance compels organizations to undertake legal health checks regularly to avoid implications that would befall them for noncompliance (Lamont, 2016). PVH code of business conduct expresses a zero-tolerance tone for noncompliance with legal provisions. Although it fails to capture the implications for noncompliance, PVH is vulnerable to consequences for violating the legal mandate. Instead, PVH anchors its code of business conduct to the law and regulations (PVH, 2007). It does so to avoid the apparent consequences such as penalties, fines, and suspended, operating license. Furthermore, noncompliance evokes audit by government agencies, denial of license renewals, endless lawsuits, noncompliance claims, or even dissolution (Suckow & Yates, 2015). Consequently, PVH deems individuals violating the standards stipulated in the code noncompliant with the law. Violators of the standards are subjected to disciplinary action that may involve termination of employment.
Compliance with the statutory provisions and regulations compels organizations to embrace legal and ethical safeguards. PVH aligns its commitment to align its business with the highest legal and ethical standards. Firstly, it operates a legal compliance program facilitated by a team of dedicated counsels. The team oversees up-to-date compliance with social, environmental and anti-corruption legislation changes (PVH, 2018). Secondly, all associates and board members undertake the compliance training program on anti-bribery, insider trading and anti-corruption legislation. The legal team offers in-person training using local languages on legislation issues applicable to specific regions. Lastly, PVH implemented Tell PVH being a reporting channel to capture legal limitations, policy violations, and unethical practices (PVH, 2018).
Analysis of Whether the Code of Ethics Facilitates the Development of the Ethical Culture
Ethical culture is integral to sustaining corporate compliance through adherence to laws, standards, and regulations designed to protect the organization and its stakeholders. The rising cost of non-compliance makes ethical culture a priority for PVH to accomplish. Its code of business conduct assumes the mandate to facilitate the development of ethical culture by establishing clear lines of accountability. The code directs holding of information sessions on insider trading, conflicts of interest, corporate opportunities, fair dealing, and workplace discrimination (PVH, 2007). A zero-tolerance approach dominates the training and information sessions on workplace harassment, record-keeping, confidentiality, proper usage of company assets and payments to government personnel.
Guided by the PVH legal team, all associates and board members participate in the compliance training program. The initiative orients them to up-to-date training on anti-bribery, insider training, anti-corruption policies and conflicts of interest. The company utilizes engaging and informative training channels not only directed at observing compliance violations but also predicting breaches in the future (PVH, 2018). The challenging nature to anticipate the outcome of every situation compels PVH to adopt stewardship approach to ensure all associates are fully informed as possible. It mandates them to have all the facts necessary to make the right solutions.
PVH requires all associates to perform self-evaluation to nurture the ethical culture in their normal tasks. The process involves using their common sense and judgment to discern unethical and improper conduct. Furthermore, the code of ethics creates shared responsibility channels allowing internal consultation amongst colleagues. Still, the code of ethics sets discussion with supervisors as the basic guidance for decision making on the situations. It requires the associates to consult with their supervisors given that they are more knowledgeable than the subjects (PVH, 2007). The code of ethics recognizes the rare cases where associates face the complexity of discussing specific issues with their immediate supervisors. Such situations require seeking assistance from the local office managers or the human resources manager (PVH, 2007). It aligns with the ask-first act-later policy compelling associates to seek guidance before committing to the action.
How an Employee Would Raise an Ethical Concern in the Company
Handling ethical concern presents value-based dilemmas to employees riddled with the difficulty of making the right move. The situation compels companies to nurture a forward-thinking culture characterized by channels that encourage employees to raise ethical concerns (Trevino & Nelson, 2017). PVH recognizes the existence of ethical dilemmas by presenting channels that encourage employees to consolidate their loyalty to the organization over colleagues. Besides training on workplace ethics, PVH runs an ombudsman climate to handle concerns on workplace ethics.
Resources Available to Employees
The company encourages its associates to embrace shared responsibility to foster ethical conduct in the workplace. PVH encourages associates to discuss ethical concerns with their supervisors. Additionally, it requires employees to convey such issues with the local office manager or appropriate personnel in the compliance department (PVH, 2007). PVH policy illegalizes retaliation to employees reporting misconduct made in good faith. The complaint procedures permit employees to convey the matters to the non-management directors. Since 2017, the company adopted an ethics hotline to handle confidential services to employees when encountering dilemmas (PVH, 2018). The confidential hotline accommodates anonymous reporting via the online platform or telephone conversation.
Resource Most Likely to Use
The anonymity assured by online and telephone hotline makes it ideal to report inappropriate workplace behavior. The channel assures protected identity hence encourages reporting unethical experiences at any time and place. The accessibility and assurance of confidential disclosure make the hotline channel a reliable resource (Trevino & Nelson, 2017). Its use minimizes the opportunity to retaliate and victimize following the exposure of unethical practices perpetrated by senior officers in the organization.
Policy Development on How Employees Should Address Unethical Conduct Observed at Work
Reporting unethical conduct observed at the workplace is the right thing to do given the serious consequences it carries if unaddressed. Furthermore, it creates the toxic work environment where the business and employees eventually suffer. However, the fear of retaliation and victimization instills fear amongst employees considering speaking up will put them in an awkward position (Trevino & Nelson, 2017). The situation mandates developing a sound policy on how employees should address unethical conduct arising at work.
Factors an Employee Consider Before Blowing the Whistle about Unethical Conduct
The serious disciplinary actions and consequences of whistle-blowing require the employee to consider several factors before speaking out. Firstly, the employee should check the validity of the case by ensuring one has evidence that affirms regulatory breaches and criminal offenses. It requires the whistleblower to have specific, credible and timely evidence on the case. Secondly, the employee should test the case to avoid airing grievances and making false reports (Kohn, 2017). The employee should channel complaints about workload and colleagues through the grievance procedures. Furthermore, the employee should use the correct procedures and approved channels.
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