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COMBottom of FormExecutive Summary As business ethics and corporate social responsibility move from mere concepts on paper to actual business action items, it is imperative that corporate top leadership understand the impact that each of these issues has on profits, stakeholders and reputation.

With the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and revisions made to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations, top leadership has become responsible for corporate behavior and culture.

Understanding and implementing programs that can develop a positive ethical culture within the organization are more critical than ever. Contemporary business leaders face the challenge of not only being role models for every employee within their organization, but they must also ensure that all stakeholders needs are considered and addressed.

The power to shape corporate culture and values lies with top leaders. Their every decision and action is a signal to what is ethically acceptable and what is not. Corporate managers must walk the walk, make tough calls and above all else make ethics a priority in everyday business decisions.

A successful ethics program ensures that employees will have the knowhow to act accordingly, incorporating company values into their every day decision making processes. Recognizing the significance that stakeholders play in developing corporate ethics programs can provide a much needed competitive advantage in todays business environment.

Assessing stakeholder needs and implementing business strategies to address these needs, provides an environment of trust, increases loyalty and instills investor confidence and satisfaction with the corporation.

Creating a two way interaction between the corporation and its stakeholders can provide the opportunity for increased growth, increased profits and solidify the companys good reputation.

Top leaders today are facing more and more pressure to make socially responsible decisions, adhere to legal requirements and generate ever increasing profits.

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Corporate social responsibility is now being viewed as a strategic business opportunity. Implemented correctly, social responsibility programs can provide opportunities for new markets, increased profits, and access to new innovations and cutting edge technology.

Todays business have the ability to maximize positive impacts on society while at the same time minimizing the negative impacts. It is critical for top leadership to select the appropriate social issue or issues that the corporation has both the resources and ability to make a positive impact on.

Taking action is the key to success for both positive ethics programs and successful corporate social responsibility action items.

Words alone will fall far short of achieving desired corporate goals. Leading by example, making decisions with integrity, top leadership will determine the direction the corporation will take. Developing and implementing performance objectives are key components to ensure that business directives remain on track.

IntroductionCorporate ethics and social responsibility are changing the way corporations are competing in todays business world.

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Business ethics is rapidly becoming institutionalized due to the recent number of corporate scandals involving organizational misconduct. The purpose of this report is to present the importance of top leader role modeling, the importance of developing a strong ethical culture and the importance in developing a business strategy that incorporates social responsibility.

As acting human resource manager, this information is being presented to CEO of C. Corporation, per request, and will provide recommendations for action.

Much has been learned from watching the trials of executives from Enron and other high profile companies. With implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the amendments of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations, it is clear in todays business world that top business leaders will be held responsible for the culture they create within their organizations as well as the conduct that occurs within the organization.

Todays leaders must lead by example. Their every day actions and decisions send the message to their employees on what is considered ethical and what is not. Developing strong ethical business practices is critical in maintaining stakeholder satisfaction and loyalty.

Stakeholders can be defined as anyone who has an interest or stake in the company. Their interest or stake in the organization can be tangible or intangible.

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Understanding stakeholder needs and demands requires the corporation to develop a stakeholder perspective or orientation. From this stakeholder perspective, top leaders can assess the needs of the business and include the needs of its stakeholders, utilizing this information to build a strong ethics program built on mutual integrity and trust.

Corporate social responsibility requires top leadership to understand not only the responsibilities that are demanded of them by the corporation, but also the need to begin recognizing the opportunities that these demands are introducing.

Corporate social responsibility, while still a voluntary effort, often has a large determining factor on corporate profits, reputation and stakeholder satisfaction and loyalty.

Successful top leaders are beginning to look at corporate responsibility from a strategic viewpoint.

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There is no single right way to incorporate social responsibility; however, with proper assessments of the corporate environment, companies can engage in sophisticated ways to influence its stakeholders. Business ethics and corporate social responsibility make good business sense.

A corporations reputation may be its greatest asset. Practicing good business ethics and increasing social responsibility sends a clear message that acting with integrity is of utmost importance. In todays turbulent world of business, integrity may become synonymous with reputation.

Research FindingsAfter researching a variety of relevant and credible sources on business ethics and corporate social responsibility, three main issues should be considered: Establishing a positive ethical business culture begins with top leadership Creating a positive business culture involves a long term approach which incorporates a set of ethics into an organizations core values.

Developing shared values and supporting ethical decision making promotes a working environment that relies less on enforced compliance of the rules into one that relies more on respect and responsibility.Post on Apr 87 views.

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