Evaluation of a Business Code of Ethics
October 13, 2014
Evaluation of a Business Code of Ethics
AutoZone, founded by J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III in Forrest City, Arkansas on July 4, 1979 was originally called Auto Shack. The first Auto Shack store manager was a man named Doc Crain. Sales totaled $300 on the first day of business. In 1986, Auto Shack became a freestanding company with Pitt serving as its first Chairman and CEO. AutoZone’s mission statement revolves around their customer service pledge called “What it Takes to Do the Job Right” (WTTDTJR), which states; “AutoZoners always put customers first! We know our parts and products. Our stores look great! We've got the best merchandise at the right price” ("Autozone", 2014). History and Mission Statement
The type of an ethical system used by AutoZone is ends-driven. An "end-driven" ethical theory is one in which the right action is the one that aims at a certain goal. In AutoZone’s case, the goal or outcome is to make a profit while serving the customer to the best of their ability. Some examples of this are within the Code of Conduct’s section on fair dealing. This section states that employees, according to "Autozone Code Of Conduct 2014" (2014), "must deal with customers honestly and truthfully, be well-informed about the performance, pricing, features and benefits of the products and services AutoZone sells, show a genuine concern for customers’ needs, give accurate information when describing products and services or comparing products to those offered by competition, and sell responsibly by explaining how AutoZone’s products and services meet customer needs and support product performance claims accurately and by fact” (Fair Dealing).
How the Code of Ethics is Used
AutoZone’s code of conduct is used to clarify the organization's mission, values and principles, holding all employees to high standards of professional conduct. It is a well-written code that also serves as its commitment to employees and its relationship with the community. When dealing with employees, the code encourages discussions on improving how workers deal with ethical dilemmas, prejudices and any gray areas that pop up during work ("Ethics Resource Center", 2009). According to "Ethics Resource Center" (2009), "A code is meant to complement relevant standards, policies and rules, not to substitute for them” (para. 3).
Managers use the code of ethics as a guide to help them lead by example. As employees, we look to our managers for guidance in determining what direction the company wants to take. When employees act in an unethical manner, we look to see how they respond. It is just as important to see how the manager acts. When employees break the rules, they should face consequences. If a manager looks the other way when one of their employees behaves unethically, employees will lose respect for that person’s ability to lead. It sends a signal to the rest of us that this type of behavior is acceptable (Kraft, 2014).
I could not find any information specifically pertaining to AutoZone’s board of directors and how the code of ethics relates to them. Instead, as an example, I will use the American Society of Association Executives’ Model Board of Directors Code of Ethics. Members of the board will be held to the company’s code of conduct. Each member will abide by the Code of Ethics and all other rules and regulations of the company and will ensure that their position in the organization remains in good standing. The board will conduct the business affairs of the company with honesty, integrity and due diligence. Except as required by law or with permission from the board, members shall not disclose any confidential information related to the affairs of the company. In addition, each member of the board will uphold all meetings in the strictest confidentiality. The board of directors will exercise good judgment in...
References: AutoZone. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.autozoneinc.com/about_us/our_story.html
AutoZone Code of Conduct 2014. (2014). Retrieved from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item...t=1
Ethics Resource Center. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.ethics.org/resource/why-have-code-conduct
Kraft, D. (2014). the nest. Retrieved from http://woman.thenest.com/company-code-ethics-used-managers-12002.html
ASAE . (2014). Retrieved from http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/EURelated.cfm?ItemNumber=11611
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