Morality and ethics guide people to the correct or best acceptable course of action. This is true of one’s personal dealings as well as self conduct in business. It is therefore important to understand what these concepts mean. Morality is the culturally based rules for right and wrong behavior, which has evolved over time. According to Joseph Migga Kizza (2011), “Morality is a set of rules of right conduct, a system used to modify and regulate behavior. It is a quality system by which we judge human acts right or wrong, good or bad” (p.12). Ethics deals with the reasoning behind morals, or the underlying logic which leads to morality. Joseph Migga Kizza (2011) describes ethics as, “…a theoretical examination of morality or ‘theory of morals’” (p.18). Ethics, morality, and law are the typical foundation for the code of ethics or the code of conduct for an organization. The following will analyze the code of conduct for Microsoft and Google.
Microsoft’s Standards of Business Conduct
Microsoft’s Standards of Business document uses morality, and ethics, as well as law to formulate their code. The document begins with a statement of values in which there are the moral concepts of honesty, integrity, respect and accountability. Also in the opening section is the ethical concept, willingness to take on big challenges, which empowers the employee to make decisions based on what will be best for the company, which is in line with utilitarian philosophy. Utilitarian philosophy states that the best action is the one that creates the most good for everyone. In the last section of the document, there are a number of legal obligations outlined for employees, such as seeking guidance for business practice compliance, reporting of violations of law, cooperation in investigations, and compliance with regulatory and applicable laws (Microsoft, 2010).
Microsoft takes a no nonsense practical approach to their Standards of Business Conduct. There is a large amount of specifics as to what the company expects form its employees. In areas where there is room for interpretation, Microsoft has encouraged its employees to seek guidance form management. Some of the sections of their standards encourage the ethical practice of being a good neighbor such as, “We encourage the support of charitable, civic, educational, and cultural causes. Our contributions include cash, volunteer time, software, and technical assistance”, and “Microsoft respects the environment and protects our natural resources” (Microsoft, 2010).
Google’s Code of Conduct Analysis
Google’s Code of Conduct also implements morality, ethics and law, but the foundation of their code is the quasi-religious term, don’t be evil, which has gained their Code of Conduct much notoriety due to Google’s questionable handling of customer information. According to Natasha Hakimi, “The Internet giant has had its hand in quite a few immoralities as of late, including letting the NSA in on your private information, and...