Business ethics

Current Trends and Implications: Achieving Organizational Goals Using A Systems Approach ( Information Technology as a part of Your Competitive Strategy)Introduction to SeminarWelcome ladies and gentlemen, there are many of you here today from great distances and backgrounds of all sorts. I would like to start off first by thanking you for your time. New technologies everyday are radically changing existing industrys and creating new ones. This seminar focuses on these changes and understanding how they can help you achieve success or failure in the marketplace. Soon you will learn that your time here will give you great insight into current emerging and leading edge information and trends in using IS and IT as your competive strategy and advantage in growing your business.

Beyond that your employees and other attendees will be addressed with the challenges and issuses of the many different aspects of how these systems can help you implement strategys to make your existing systems more efficient. There are pros and cons with these technologys and systems, as is expected and everything here is not for everyone. What you can expect is that you will find something there for you and your firm to further explore and possibly implement into operations. The seminar is set up for everyone, there is insight and much more to gain from the knowledge that we have amassed for you. Following will be how our seminar will run, summarizing and giving you a preview with how we implement the information to you and your clients. The Seminar will take place Friday and Saturday. It will be structured with breaks, your clients can choose which sections to attend, although we encourage the whole seminar, we know you and your clients may be issue specific. We highly recommend the seminar section on VoIP and RFID technology.

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Friday: 10:00 a.m. – Meet and greet brunch, seminar attendees will be treated to a five star brunch to start the day off on a good foot.

Here your clients can meet and mingle with business minds from all over the world. The experience and networking alone is wonderful. 11:00 – Seminar will begin, attendees will receive seminar materials, phamplets and packets, to go along with the seminar.

Also will be included is workbooks that provide material for the seminar and for practice and referecnce later. Go over schedule for the next two days. For the next three hours we will introduce the concept of the competitive advantage that is sought out by these IT and IS technologies. We will talk about VoIP, voice over Internet Protocol, how it can help streamline your business, make your intranets and networks more efficient and less costly. Show you how it can help with expansion and how it can be tailored to fit your specific needs. We will discuss the costs and implementation of different systems, showing you the competitive advantages. These are all accompanied with real world examples as you will soon see. Following that discussion we’ll delve into the emerging world of RFID technology and the mandates that ensue them.

With WalMart and the DoD have mandates for implementing use, RFID technology is emerging all over. There are two sides to the story, either way its coming and we are going to give you insight into this technology and tell you how it works, what it can do for you, and how. We will discuss the costs, trends, and opinions. Question #2 REFERENCE ARTICLES 1VoIP links global company: call center operations at seven locations are streamlined, while costs are lowered. (Voice Networks)(Alpha Thought) Communications News, Jan, 2004http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0CMN/1_41/112448830/p1/article.

jhtml 2 The State of RFID: Heading Toward a Wireless Internet of Artifactshttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95179,00.

html3Privacy in publichttp://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m3190/33_37/108268107/p1/article.jhtml4Businesses Worry About Long-Term Data Losses Will we access our saved data in 20 years? Sept, 1999http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/1999/0,4814,37036,00.

html5The Coming Robot Revolution http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,94386,00.html 6 Riding Radio Waves eWEEK, May, 2004 by Larry Dignanhttp://www.

findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_zdewk/is_200405/ai_ziff126287/print 7RFID Adventurehttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96012,00.html8 The Coming Battle of the Titanshttp://www.computerworld.

com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96318,00.html9 Apparel Maker Gets Instant Feedback With Online Survey Tohttp://computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95814,00.html10 Documentum Saves Big With Web Conference Software for Traininghttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95820,00.

html 11Personalize Your Jobhttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95943,00.html 12Phishy e-mails and Web sites: What’s your responsibility?http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95461,00.

html Companies Fight Back Against Phishing Scams http://computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96549,00.html 13Blades, Camera, Action! http://www.computerworld.

com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96284,00.html 14Predictions For BI’s Futurehttp://www.computerworld.

com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93940,00.html15Never, ever agree to ‘evergreen’ clauses http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2000/0,4814,41674,00.htmlActs of God and vendors http://www.computerworld.

com/governmenttopics/government/legalissues/story/0,10801,74007,00.html 16A Fair Audit Clause http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/software/story/0,10801,67695,00.html Two Essential Parts for Service Contracts http://www.

computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/legalissues/story/0,10801,58917,00.html 17Unifying Customer Views Financial services CRM helps create a complete picture of customershttp://www.computerworld.

com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95949,00.html 18 Retail: Turning Data Into Dollars Retail CRM finds the payoff in reams of consumer datahttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95954,00.html19 Web Harvesting JUNE 21, 2004http://computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93919,00.

html20 Text mining tools take on unstructured data JUNE 21, 2004http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93968,00.html Sidebar: Users Seeking Ways to Analyze Unstructured Datahttp://www.

computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96374,00.htmlThe following articles are not required but available if you need additional informationAAnatomy of a Business Model What is one of those things, anyway? http://www.venturecoach.com/resources/bizmodel.

htmBHow Smart Labels Will Workhttp://electronics.howstuffworks.com/smart-label.htm/printableCHow Stocks And The Stock Market WorkYou hear about Stocks on the news every day — now you can understand what they are talking about!http://money.howstuffworks.com/stock.

htmDWal-Mart, DoD clarify RFID plans: suppliers begin race to present plans for RFID implementation. (RFID/ADC) Frontline Solutions, Jan, 2004, by Brian Albrighthttp://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0DIS/1_5/112563026/p1/article.jhtml Military Orders Suppliers to Use RFID Technologyhttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2003/0,4814,85978,00.htmlESidebar: Glossaryhttp://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93615,00.html-Systems Approach / Systems modelHardware / Software / CommunicationsApplying information systems for competitive advantageInformation as a strategic resource that supports or shapes an organization’s competitive strategy.Socio-technicalChange strategiesTechnologyCompetitionLegalHardware/SoftwareProductivityEthics / PrivacyResource/Asset allocationInformation systems development strategies(Outsourcing, prototyping, off-the-shelf, etc)Security / Ethics / PrivacyValue Chain

Business ethics

The statement has been made that “ethics has no placein business” and the implications of this statement and itsinferring characteristics provide a complex issue in theoperation of national and multinational corporations.

Because ethical decision making is often not as profitableas choices that do not embrace ethical elements, theperspective has emerged that the nature of an effectivebusiness mindset inherently brings about unethical behavior.In order to consider this statement and itsimplications, it is necessary to recognize the ethicaldecision-making processes of a number of companies, andreflect upon the fiscal, organizational and operationalimplications of ethical choices and then relate this processto the perceived outcomes if the opposite choices were made.As an element of this evaluation, it is also necessary toconsider the nature of morality and the progression of moralunderpinnings for business operations and the implicationsas companies expand into multinational arenas.Ethics can be described as: “the activity of examiningone’s moral standards or the moral standards of a society,and asking how these standards apply to our lives” (11).The application of ethics in business is generally perceivedas the evaluation of individual and collective moralstandards, a reflection of societal morality, and then thedetermination of business decisions that are not only basedon the efficacy of business operations, but also on thesemoral standards.

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The problem that many corporationsperceive when pursuing the application of ethics in businessis that ethical choices are not always the most soundbusiness decisions. For example, when the pharmaceuticalcorporation Merck discovered that they could research anddevelop a drug that would end river blindness in millions ofpeople worldwide, but that there would be no financialbenefit and high costs involved with this process(especially because those who need the treatment are membersof the poorest communities in the world), the ethical choiceto pursue this drug had clear implications in terms ofbusiness efficacy (3). But unlike many corporations, Merckrecognized a moral obligation reduce the suffering ofmillions of people, and as a result, made a costly butethically sound decision to pursue research, development,production and distribution of the drug.Many business theorists would argue that Merck’s choicemay have been ethically sound, but that it did not reflectappropriate business acumen. The choice was costly,impacted competitiveness for the company at a time whenrisking declining sales was not in their best interest, andput the company in risk of liability (4). But the companyalso had an obligation to their shareholders to makebusiness decisions that represented their best interests,and the conflict between the interests of those outside ofthe corporate structure and the shareholders, employees andadministrators of the company demonstrate the reason thatethical choices are not applied more freely in the businessarena.

It can also be argued that by making ethicaldecisions in favor of drug development, that Merck was alsoinherently making unethical decisions in terms of theirobligation to the shareholders and the standards of behaviorbased in their agreed contractual relationship. Becausecorporations are primarily economic institutions, thequestion of whether they can be expected to apply moralstandards that risk their economic viability underscoreswhat some have argued is the oxymoronic element of “businessThis perspective has come into greater focus ascompanies turn to multinational expansion, and enter intocommunities with different standards for business operationand differing moral standards that determine ethicalbehavior in general. For example, the standards that areembraced in the United States in terms of child labor lawsmay not have the same implication in other countries, andthe question of child labor and its use has reflectedconflicting perspectives in terms of business ethics in themultinational firm. Is it more unethical to use childlaborers in countries where this is expected and acceptedpractice, and where children can assist in feeding theirfamilies, or is it more unethical to deny them employmentfrom the application of American visions of morality andstandards for ethics.

As more and more companies pursuemultinational expansion as a means of reducing their overallcosts, utilizing cheap labor forces and less stringent legalrequirements, the question of the decline of business ethicsand the application of an American notion of morality isclearly problematic to the argument at hand.Multinational corporations often make the determinationfor expansion into other countries because they can takeadvantage of lower taxes, fewer legal and socialconstraints, and favorable environments, companies oftenenter international development without a concern forethical determinations in their business operations. It hasbeen argued that the moral difference between countriesinherently maintains the ethical process for companies asthey relate to the ethics of each society they enter (forexample, child labor, cheap labor, subjugation of workers,are all elements that might be accepted in the workforce ofArab nations, for example, and might direct expansion intothis area). But it has also been argued that businessethics are not driven by relativism to the community inwhich the business expands, and that multinationalcorporations cannot look to the individual characteristicsof the communities they expand into to drive their ethicalBusiness theorists often argue that there is not placefor ethics in business decisions, based on the perspectivethat ethical choices often reflect little consideration forwhat is in the best economic interest of a company.

But tosay that there is no means of bringing together ethicalchoice and business efficacy is a limited perspective on theissue as a whole. Individuals have a moral responsibilityto take ethical action, and there is no way of denying thatcorporations are made up of individuals attempting to makeboth business and ethical determinations.Business ethics, then, must focus not only on theissues related to preventing harm to others, but also takingaction that negates the passive process of allowing harm tohappen. In the example of Merck, the company pursued theirethical choice not because they would be causing harm ifthey did not make this determination, but because if theydid not take this action, they would be allowing harm tooccur (48).

Though it cannot be expected that every companywill take this kind of action, at the very least,corporations, both national and multinational, have todetermine operational ethics that prevent them from causingBibliography:

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