Introduction

Microsoft Corporation is an American based company offering software solutions worldwide. Microsoft Corporation is one of the largest American based corporations when it comes to product sales. It faces competition from Apple and other software production companies in the United States and around the world. The company has roots in over one hundred countries in the world, with its owner rated as the richest man in the United States. Microsoft upholds high ethical standards when it comes to conducting business and internal company values.

These values have improved the company’s position around the globe when it comes to ethical ratings. Apart from ensuring that employees have a good time while working, Microsoft has established good relations with suppliers and consumers. Their ethical principles guide their behavior and must be displayed during internal and external interactions. The company also ensures that all employed persons are of good conduct. This paper is going to analyze various concepts which have made Microsoft stand out as an ethical role model in the technology industry.

Microsoft Values and Standards of Business Conduct

Integrity and Honesty

Microsoft has set standards which have to be adhered to by all employees and other stakeholders. These standards are to be observed in the course of both internal and external interaction. These values are observed at all times and all personnel are put under thorough scrutiny before employment. This ensures that all employees recruited have the potential to operate under the set standards (Microsoft, 2011). The first value that the company emphasizes in integrity and honesty, all employees are required to observe high levels of integrity and honesty while dealing with each other and stakeholders. Integrity entails avoiding vices such as lies and corruption in order to gain advantage or improve one’s position (Fraedrich, 2010).

A person who observes high level of integrity and honesty can be termed as ethical. This is attributable to the fact that such a person will always use the right channels when it comes to acquiring something he desires. Integrity plays an important role in ensuring that all employees account for their activities in the organization (Fraedrich, 2010). Therefore, it helps uphold other virtues in the organization such as accountability and quality results. It is also vital to understand that, the concept of integrity and honesty is not only applied by ‘front desk’ employees but also executives apply these principles in regard to decision making (Miller, 2009).

Customers’ Passion, Partners, and Technology

This is Microsoft’s second ethical standard, it ensures that customers are satisfied after any transaction with the company. The standard also emphasizes on making sure that the main goal of the company is achieved by focusing on technology as the main agenda for the organization. This is a very important standard since it guarantees there is a positive relationship between the company and consumers (Fraedrich, 2010). At the same time, the standard ensures that the company stays in close contact with partners and other major stakeholders. Passion for customers greatly contributes towards ensuring that there is respect between consumers and the company. Respect is a very positive virtue when it comes to ensuring one’s lifelong success (Microsoft, 2011).

This is because it gives one the opportunity to interact positively with people who can take him to another level. Positive interaction between Microsoft and consumers ensures a lifelong relationship which keeps them ahead of their competitors. Having technology as a subject of focus also ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page about the main goal of Microsoft, this plays a major role in ensuring that employees do not divert their time to other aspects apart from achieving the set goal. Ethical standards demands on ensuring that each one is on the same page about what is being done so as to avoid other activities such as fraud and mismanagement of resources (Fraedrich, 2010).

Open as well as Respectful with others, and devoted to Making Them Better

This is an important business value. It focuses on making certain that all workers work hand in hand with one another for the success of Microsoft. This plays a key role in making sure that recently recruited workers hit the ground quickly and adapt to working conditions quickly (Miller, 2009). At the same time, it is important since it establishes good relationship between employees and company executives. When employees have a good relationship between one another, it makes it easy to work together and avoid vices such as biasness and corruption. At the same time respect for one another calls for undiscriminating ways of doing things and upholding equality (Microsoft, 2011).

When it comes to ethical standards, it is important to treat everyone equally despite of their political affiliation and economic standards. This is imperative in view of the fact that it helps people from the lower societal class up their self esteem and competes with others. At the same time, respect for one another helps eliminate vices such as racial discrimination and hatred. This is important to the organization since it gives them an opportunity to acquire talent from every part of the globe. It is also essential to know that the positive respect between employees translates to customers and other stakeholders outside the company hence building company image (Fraedrich, 2010).

Enthusiasm to Taking on Big Challenges and See Them Through

This involves enduring hard times especially during a time of company crisis and temptations. This is one important virtue both to employees and company owners. It is imperative to appreciate that an organization will always face hard times and it calls for one to be firm in order to see such challenges through. At the same time, such challenges may come in form of temptations to go against company codes of behavior (Miller, 2009). With such a standard in place, the company will mould their employees to persons with the ability to overcome temptations such as bribery and fraud. This standard plays a key role in ensuring that employees are capable of standing their ground in times of hardships (Fraedrich, 2010).

According to global ethical standards, it is key for one to ensure that he/she follows the right path no matter what comes along. It is unethical for one to look for an ‘easy way out’ of a situation. It is ethical to stand up and fight until the hard time is over (Microsoft, 2011). The standard above puts Microsoft in a strong position when it comes to making certain that workers are at all times at their best regardless of the situation. At the same time, the standard is very important since it presents employees with the capacity to always stand temptation. This is vital in order for an organization to be referred to as ethical since an organization is build by the virtues of stakeholders.

Self-Critical, Questioning, As Well As Committed To Personal Excellence and Improvement

This is an important aspect of the company’s ethical standards, it focuses on ensuring that all employees have the ability to evaluate themselves and rectify whenever there is a problem. This virtue gives employees a change to pursue their personal goals alongside those of the organization. Self evaluation also ensures that employees can look at situations where they went wrong so as to rectify their mistakes (Fraedrich, 2010). This gives them an opportunity of reclaiming their position in the organization without necessarily having a managerial intervention. Employees will also have a chance to carry out a peer to peer review; this is vital since it enables employees correct one another’s mistakes in time (Miller, 2009).  When it comes to self improvement, employees will not only struggle to ensure that they improve their productivity but also improve their ethical standards as a way of building an all round person (Microsoft, 2011).

It is vital to make certain that one acts as a personal ethical rectifier. This means that one will have the ability to correct any mistakes he has done in the past with regard to personal ethics. At the same time, one feels more comfortable when his/her mistakes are rectified by a fellow employee other than management. Self and peer review helps the organization uphold high ethical standards between personnel (Fraedrich, 2010). Employees have the opportunity o gauge their performance and rectify what they have done wrong. This is central since it is not as time consuming as solving the matter by following bureaucratic measures. It is important to give one a chance to rectify his/her ethical missteps other than set up measures which will ruin these chances (Microsoft, 2011).

Accountable For Commitments, Results, and Quality to Customers, Shareholders, Partners, and Employees

This has a very vital business value; accountability simply means being answerable to ones actions. Every employee should be dedicated to their work so as to provide results which they will be able to ultimately account for. This is key since it ensures that employees do not depart from the main goals of the organization (Miller, 2009). At the same time, it gives them an opportunity to try new things which will help them attain higher organizational standards. It is important to note that all employees are given the same chance to excel in the organization. However, they all of them are answerable to management and executives at the end of the day. Employees will work hard to attain positive results keeping in mind they will be asked to account for what they did (Microsoft, 2011).

Accountability plays an important role in ensuring that one sticks to what he can answer of. Therefore, employees find it hard to misuse organization’s resources to other unwanted activities. It is equally as imperative to note that accountability plays a chief part in respect to molding one’s ethical standards (Microsoft, 2011). Apart from accountability, the standard focuses on ensuring that employees produce high quality results, all employees are expected to deliver quality to customers (Miller, 2009). This aspect is vital since it ensure that consumers get value for their money. Other than just giving consumers above average service, the company ensures that consumers are completely satisfied. Shareholders play a very important role in ensuring that the organization succeeds. It is therefore vital to ensure that they receive quality results. It is also ethical to ensure that one is satisfied by the fruits of his labor (Fraedrich, 2010).

It will be unfair for a customer to pay for a given service or product only to receive something that is below the expected standards or something of less value than the amount paid. Justice is one of the strongholds of good ethical behavior. The company can therefore be termed as ethical since it tunes all employees in the same positive direction which is aimed at ensuring that consumers get what they have paid for. At the same time, it helps the company acquire consumer trust and loyalty which are very important aspects when it comes to building organizational success (Miller, 2009).

Why Microsoft Has Standards of Business Conduct

Microsoft Corporation controls a substantive amount of the global software market. It is safe t say that they are the business leaders as regards the sale of software and operating systems. As a business leader, it is important to see to it that they set a good example which can be followed by upcoming and existing companies (Fraedrich, 2010). At the same time, they should not attempt to do things in the right way but they should make sure that they do things as they are supposed to. It is therefore important to come up with mechanisms which make certain that they look as market leaders not only when it comes to market share but also ethical standards and corporate leadership. Apart from giving high quality services and pleasing consumers, the company should also ensure that it is faced with minimum corporate scandals and disasters, if any. This is done by ensuring that all employees adhere to company values and standards of business conduct (Microsoft, 2011).

Apart from ensuring that employees are guided with these standards, the company should ensure that all their decisions and activities are based on these standards. While making decisions, the standard act as reference and guidelines that should be followed at all times. Ethical and well guided decision making plays an important role in ensuring that the organization complies with all the legal requirements surrounding it. This not only helps them attain high internal standards but also set an example to other companies and individuals that look up to them. When it comes to making decisions, it is imperative for one to be rational; this does help in ensuring the decision reached has positive long term implications (Fraedrich, 2010). However, uninformed decision making which does not involve all factors will not only have unexpected outcomes but such outcomes will live to have long term effects. It is therefore important to ensure that all relevant steps and factors are followed before making such decisions. Microsoft does this by referring to their statement of business conduct and company values (Miller, 2009).

It is also vital to take note that positive decision making will come as a result of good leadership and motivation. A poorly reached decision is normally as a result of poor leadership and lack of relevant motivation. A good leader will always have a guideline which ensures that he makes positive decisions. Such a guideline should be uniformed and in order for the final decision to hold up, it is important to guarantee that all parties know of the guidelines used in reaching such a decision (Fraedrich, 2010). This will make it easy for stakeholders to adopt such decisions and incorporate them in the system. Microsoft Corporation makes it s corporate decision with reference to its statement of company values and standards of business conduct. This statement is available to all stakeholders including customers. Ultimately, the decision reached will be justifiable and it will be easy to be applied by the relevant stakeholders since they have information on how the decision was reached (Microsoft, 2011).

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is quite evident that Microsoft Corporation takes seriously its ethical issues. They not only apply high ethical standards when it comes to employee conduct but also managerial decision making. This is an important aspect since it forms an organization with a strong ethical foundation. The company ensures that all employees align their goals with the goals of the company, this is vital since it helps in eliminating vices such as corruption and misuse of organization resources. Apart from employee conduct and ethical decision making, Microsoft ensures that consumers receive high quality services which represent the true vale of the amount they pay for. This is not only in line with acceptable ethical standards but also play a key role in ensuring consumer loyalty and trust. Good services and treatment of consumers helps in building the organization’s image externally since such consumers are likely to spread a positive word of mouth about the organization.

It is also vital to appreciate the fact that the company applies ethical standards when it comes to making decisions. This is in line with the fact that Microsoft is a market leader and it is their responsibility to ensure that they set a positive example for other organizations to follow. Apart from building company reputation, it plays a major role in ensuring that the company evades certain legal liabilities which come as a result of poor decision making. Ethical and well planned decision making will also have a lasting positive impact on the o0rganization. Looking at the standards of business conduct explained above while comparing them global acceptable ethical standards, it is safe to say that Microsoft is an ethical organization. Apart from just having a company values and standards of business conduct statement, the company goes a long way in applying these standards in day to day company operations including decision making.

References

 

Microsoft Corporation (2011). Microsoft standards of business conduct, retrieved 26th June 2011

            From www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/Compliance/…/Default.aspx

 

Fraedrich, F. (2010). Business Ethics, 8th Edition: South-Western. Print

 

Miller, C. (2009). The Conditions of Moral Realism. Journal of Philosophical Research, (34),    p.123-155.