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The company should have faced stringent operating procedures and forced to pay heavy penalties that would have discouraged prospective perpetrators. A small amount of slightly over $ 2 billion was a slap in the face of economic crime regulators since the company’s annual sale at the time was at a figure of over 70 billion Euros. This only encouraged the company to bribe more parties. Any company that fundamentally violates the acceptable code of business conduct ought to face stiffer penalties than just mere monetary fines that the company could have deemed as ‘budget fines’ (Twomey et al., 2011). If you were the new Chief Ethics Officer, how would you have handled the situation? Although I would have handled the situation in a more or less similar manner to the then Chief Ethics Officer, I would however, taken a slightly different approach as far as the management of rogue employees is concerned. My first approach would have been to arrange for seminars where different personalities would train and encourage the employees on the benefits of upholding acceptable ethical standards. Instead of just dismissing incompetent employees, I would have engaged them in educational seminars before demoting them to lower positions so that they could rework their way up the corporate ladder through ethical and just means. This approach would have instilled confidence in them and all other employees to work as a team towards the attainment of Siemens short-term and long-term goals (Fernando, 2010). Was the corruption justified since bribery was legal in Germany until 1999? Despite the fact that bribery was legal in Germany, there was no justification for the corruption witnessed in Siemens whatsoever. The fact that Siemens is a German company did not negate the need to operate in accordance to the internationally accepted business ethics since Siemens is an international company with subsidiaries spread across the globe. Although, the senior executives in Siemens’ case tried to justify their acts as a strategy to gain competitive advantage in the market, this still violated the internationally accepted business conducts. This is because most of Siemens’ corrupt deals were international and any company that operates on a global platform ought not to use local policies but internationally recognized ones in business operations. With all these evidences of breach of international law, it is wise to conclude that Siemens was not justified to embrace bribery and corruption as ‘company policy.’ (Twomey et al., 2011). How does an organization make the shift to refine their ethical practices when there is such a radical change in policy? More often than not, organizations that take the bold step to ethical recovery undergo agonizing experiences though the results obtained are much pleasant. Various ways by which organizations can make the shift to refine their ethical practices exist and there is no single most approach to this course. Some organizations opt for the restructuring of the management system in an attempt to reverse the undesirable trends witnessed over a period. While this can be an appropriate approach for a dynamic and self-motivated team, the organization can seek to transform the culture of employees directly by either imposing new company policies or engaging the employees in dialogue. Ordinarily, most organizations choose the latter as it has the effect of improving employees’ trust and confidence in the company. Overall, whichever approach an organization decides to take should incorporate participation by all stakeholders (Fernando, 2010). By researching online, what have been more recent developments with Siemens Global
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Case study Mason and Shepherd are facing some delicate legal and ethical issues related to their intention of starting their own business and leaving their current employers. Both of them have signed agreements that somehow limited their possibilities of starting a new business in the future.
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This paper gives an insight to Siemens AG business and its active active business lines. Recently it has been engulfed in scandals related to creating slush funds, bribery, illegal union intervention and cartel formation. These charges questioning the ethics and corporate governance have left the German icon’s image shattered.