Business ethics

Current Trends and Implications: Achieving Organizational Goals Using A Systems Approach ( Information Technology as a part of Your Competitive Strategy)
Introduction to Seminar
Welcome 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.


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
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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, 2004
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0CMN/1_41/112448830/p1/article.jhtml
2 The State of RFID: Heading Toward a Wireless Internet of Artifacts
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95179,00.html
3Privacy in public
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m3190/33_37/108268107/p1/article.jhtml
4Businesses Worry About Long-Term Data Losses Will we access our saved data in 20 years? Sept, 1999
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/1999/0,4814,37036,00.html
5The Coming Robot Revolution
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,94386,00.html
6 Riding Radio Waves eWEEK, May, 2004 by Larry Dignan
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_zdewk/is_200405/ai_ziff126287/print
7RFID Adventure
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96012,00.html
8 The Coming Battle of the Titans
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96318,00.html
9 Apparel Maker Gets Instant Feedback With Online Survey To
http://computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95814,00.html
10 Documentum Saves Big With Web Conference Software for Training
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95820,00.html
11Personalize Your Job
http://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 Future
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93940,00.html
15Never, ever agree to ‘evergreen’ clauses
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2000/0,4814,41674,00.html
Acts 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 customers
http://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 data
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,95954,00.html
19 Web Harvesting JUNE 21, 2004
http://computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93919,00.html
20 Text mining tools take on unstructured data JUNE 21, 2004
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93968,00.html
Sidebar: Users Seeking Ways to Analyze Unstructured Data
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,96374,00.html
The following articles are not required but available if you need additional information
AAnatomy of a Business Model What is one of those things, anyway?
http://www.venturecoach.com/resources/bizmodel.htm
BHow Smart Labels Will Work
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/smart-label.htm/printable
CHow Stocks And The Stock Market Work
You hear about Stocks on the news every day — now you can understand what they are talking about!
http://money.howstuffworks.com/stock.htm
DWal-Mart, DoD clarify RFID plans: suppliers begin race to present plans for RFID implementation. (RFID/ADC) Frontline Solutions, Jan, 2004, by Brian Albright
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0DIS/1_5/112563026/p1/article.jhtml
Military Orders Suppliers to Use RFID Technology
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2003/0,4814,85978,00.html
ESidebar: Glossary
http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2004/0,4814,93615,00.html

Systems Approach / Systems model
Hardware / Software / Communications
Applying information systems for competitive advantage
Information as a strategic resource that supports or shapes an organization’s competitive strategy.

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Socio-technical
Change strategies
Technology
CompetitionLegal
Hardware/Software
Productivity
Ethics / Privacy
Resource/Asset allocation
Information systems development strategies
(Outsourcing, prototyping, off-the-shelf, etc)
Security / Ethics / Privacy
Value Chain

Business ethics

The statement has been made that “ethics has no place
in business” and the implications of this statement and its
inferring characteristics provide a complex issue in the
operation of national and multinational corporations.

Because ethical decision making is often not as profitable
as choices that do not embrace ethical elements, the
perspective has emerged that the nature of an effective
business mindset inherently brings about unethical behavior.

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In order to consider this statement and its
implications, it is necessary to recognize the ethical
decision-making processes of a number of companies, and
reflect upon the fiscal, organizational and operational
implications of ethical choices and then relate this process
to the perceived outcomes if the opposite choices were made.

As an element of this evaluation, it is also necessary to
consider the nature of morality and the progression of moral
underpinnings for business operations and the implications
as companies expand into multinational arenas.

Ethics can be described as: “the activity of examining
one’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 perceived
as the evaluation of individual and collective moral
standards, a reflection of societal morality, and then the
determination of business decisions that are not only based
on the efficacy of business operations, but also on these
moral standards. The problem that many corporations
perceive when pursuing the application of ethics in business
is that ethical choices are not always the most sound
business decisions. For example, when the pharmaceutical
corporation Merck discovered that they could research and
develop a drug that would end river blindness in millions of
people worldwide, but that there would be no financial
benefit and high costs involved with this process
(especially because those who need the treatment are members
of the poorest communities in the world), the ethical choice
to pursue this drug had clear implications in terms of
business efficacy (3). But unlike many corporations, Merck
recognized a moral obligation reduce the suffering of
millions of people, and as a result, made a costly but
ethically sound decision to pursue research, development,
production and distribution of the drug.

Many business theorists would argue that Merck’s choice
may have been ethically sound, but that it did not reflect
appropriate business acumen. The choice was costly,
impacted competitiveness for the company at a time when
risking declining sales was not in their best interest, and
put the company in risk of liability (4). But the company
also had an obligation to their shareholders to make
business decisions that represented their best interests,
and the conflict between the interests of those outside of
the corporate structure and the shareholders, employees and
administrators of the company demonstrate the reason that
ethical choices are not applied more freely in the business
arena. It can also be argued that by making ethical
decisions in favor of drug development, that Merck was also
inherently making unethical decisions in terms of their
obligation to the shareholders and the standards of behavior
based in their agreed contractual relationship. Because
corporations are primarily economic institutions, the
question of whether they can be expected to apply moral
standards that risk their economic viability underscores
what some have argued is the oxymoronic element of “business
This perspective has come into greater focus as
companies turn to multinational expansion, and enter into
communities with different standards for business operation
and differing moral standards that determine ethical
behavior in general. For example, the standards that are
embraced in the United States in terms of child labor laws
may not have the same implication in other countries, and
the question of child labor and its use has reflected
conflicting perspectives in terms of business ethics in the
multinational firm. Is it more unethical to use child
laborers in countries where this is expected and accepted
practice, and where children can assist in feeding their
families, or is it more unethical to deny them employment
from the application of American visions of morality and
standards for ethics. As more and more companies pursue
multinational expansion as a means of reducing their overall
costs, utilizing cheap labor forces and less stringent legal
requirements, the question of the decline of business ethics
and the application of an American notion of morality is
clearly problematic to the argument at hand.

Multinational corporations often make the determination
for expansion into other countries because they can take
advantage of lower taxes, fewer legal and social
constraints, and favorable environments, companies often
enter international development without a concern for
ethical determinations in their business operations. It has
been argued that the moral difference between countries
inherently maintains the ethical process for companies as
they relate to the ethics of each society they enter (for
example, child labor, cheap labor, subjugation of workers,
are all elements that might be accepted in the workforce of
Arab nations, for example, and might direct expansion into
this area). But it has also been argued that business
ethics are not driven by relativism to the community in
which the business expands, and that multinational
corporations cannot look to the individual characteristics
of the communities they expand into to drive their ethical
Business theorists often argue that there is not place
for ethics in business decisions, based on the perspective
that ethical choices often reflect little consideration for
what is in the best economic interest of a company. But to
say that there is no means of bringing together ethical
choice and business efficacy is a limited perspective on the
issue as a whole. Individuals have a moral responsibility
to take ethical action, and there is no way of denying that
corporations are made up of individuals attempting to make
both business and ethical determinations.

Business ethics, then, must focus not only on the
issues related to preventing harm to others, but also taking
action that negates the passive process of allowing harm to
happen. In the example of Merck, the company pursued their
ethical choice not because they would be causing harm if
they did not make this determination, but because if they
did not take this action, they would be allowing harm to
occur (48). Though it cannot be expected that every company
will take this kind of action, at the very least,
corporations, both national and multinational, have to
determine operational ethics that prevent them from causing
Bibliography:

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