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Becton Dickinson Company - Assignment Example

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The following essay concerns the peculiarities of the Becton Dickinson Company's policy. According to the text, BD should adopt a global policy on corruption that is compliant with appropriate international and domestic legal requirements. …
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Becton Dickinson Company
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1. To what extent should BD have a uniform global policy on gifts, gratuities, payments, entertainment, conflicts of interest, and related matters? At what level of the organization should these issues be handled: corporate, regional, country, local, or individual?
BD should adopt a global policy on corruption that is compliant with appropriate international and domestic legal requirements. However, aside from setting overall guidelines, the policy should not be created and enforced simply at a corporate level in a top-down fashion. Corruption tends to happen when power is centralized in the hands of a few, but with Castellini’s plan to institute cultural change that empowers all employees, power will be decentralized – thus, making it more difficult for individuals to engage in corrupt behaviours. Consistent with BD’s newly developed core value “We do what is right”, the company needs to build a culture of compliance at a local level where enforcement of ethics policies are more effective. By taking responsibility for the local office’s ethical behaviour in a bottom-up fashion, the company will prevent violations by effectively detecting and responding to them before they cause damages.
2. If the company had a global policy, what should it be? Was it possible to articulate a clear line between legitimate marketing or lobbying activities, on the one hand, and corruption, on the other? What stance should BD take on “facilitating payments”? How about the process of dealing with distributors, consultants, and other third parties?
If the company were to have a global policy, it should state that company policy prohibits BD employees from soliciting or accepting gifts or gratuities from suppliers or any interest that the company works with. Connected to that, gifts and gratuities should not be sent to BD employees. Gifts and gratuities are either cash or non-cash awards that do not appear on supplier contracts. BD and its employees can only accept payments that are spelled out in such contracts; any other gifts, gratuities, or payments will be rejected. What is not clear from this policy, though, are business meals – which are a necessary part of doing business, but they should not be lavish or frequent. On the subject of “facilitating payments”, BD should not prohibit them unless the laws of the specific country do. If BD does need to make a facilitating payment, it must state that it will do so in its contract with the recipient of that payment. The process of dealing with distributors, consultants, and other third parties should be transparent to leadership in each country such that individuals in charge of those relationships are held accountable for their dealings with these other parties. If wrongdoing is discovered, BD should act consistently with its policy to not tolerate corruption.
3. Who should be responsible for communicating, monitoring, and enforcing the policy?
Consistent with the approach of outlining a general, compliant global policy at a corporate level and then leaving much latitude to local entities in carrying it out, responsibility for communicating, monitoring, and enforcing the policy is shared between the corporate and local groups. First, the corporate group must roll out the general guidelines to local entities, who must then interpret it and apply it to their country. Part of that roll out is figuring out how to adequately communicate and monitor employees’ compliance with the policy, which can be accomplished with more transparency. In a move toward more transparency, the corporate group must also be allowed to monitor progress towards compliance goals, which involves cooperation between the two groups. When violations are found, action must be taken at the local level to ensure that the group as a whole is acting ethically in that country. Read More
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