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Personal and Business Ethics sample essay

Individuals and organizations both have their own specific values and codes of conduct which guides their behavior. The individual values should be aligned with the organizational values which make up its culture or else it would result in work place conflict. Organizations need to change their culture at times for the purpose of increased success and profitability or it will not be able to standout and beat the competition. This requires understanding, awareness, communication of objectives, strong sense of commitment and most importantly effective leadership guidance. This paper discusses first the personal and business analysis based on their respective values, mission, vision and code of ethics. Then it goes into the depth of the business ethics by highlighting its social responsibilities and various moral philosophies and ethical principles. Finally, a plan for changing organizational culture is put forward which will ensure success and profitability for the organization in the changing environment.

Personal Analysis

Every individual has certain values and beliefs on which depends his entire code of ethics. Personal ethics are as much important as the business ethics. A manager needs to have his own personal own values first so that he can relate to the organization’s values. Personal values and code of ethics are important for interacting with people within and outside the organization. A manager needs to have this for dealing with people and adhering to the standards. (Hartman and DesJardins, 2007)


The personal values that a manager needs to cultivate and that I personally feel important are:


The first and foremost ethical priority which I developed from my childhood is ‘respect’. I believe every work should have an element of respect for dealing with people. Communication will not result in fruitful results without respect. If there is respect then people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds can have a dialogue with each other for making important decisions. Therefore, respect is important in all businesses for making decisions that turn out to meet the strategic objectives of the organization.


Another important value which I developed from my mistakes, observations and experiences was trust. It is an obvious fact that decisions and deals are based on trust. A manager needs to trust his employees for accomplishing the assigned task. This doesn’t means that one should become completely dependent on others rather he should develop trust to an extent of efficient running of the business. If I can only trust my employees then I’ll be putting them on important assignments or discussing problems with them and thus, the decision making process will become faster.


An individual should always try to be truthful in his deals or else no one even his employees will be able to trust him. Thus, truthfulness in business deals establishes the integrity of a person and people trust him


Dignity becomes important when an organization comprises of people from different cultural backgrounds. Every person has his own self-esteem and pride which should be maintained. Dignity develops through lifetime experiences of an individual.


For maintaining your workforce and expanding your business, fairness plays an important role. A manager should be fair in his dealings not only with the internal and external partners to the company but also to the customers. Customers will only prefer the products and services of a certain company if they find it fair and honest.

Personal Code of Ethics

Personally I feel that a manager should treat people with dignity and respect which appear to me the most important personal values so my code of ethics also surrounds them. For me showing respect and dignity for others becomes beneficial in the long run because in the business environment there are people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Therefore, treating people with dignity and respect is my personal code of ethics.

Personal Mission/Vision Statement

To cultivate and practice the values of respect, trust and integrity to achieve a recognized position in my profession and will take every possible measure to spread these values in my coworkers.

Business Analysis

Like every individual, organizations also have a culture and a code of ethics which centers on their core values. General Mills Foundation is counted amongst the world’s largest food company marketing over 100 food products. It deals in cereals, meals, Pillsbury, snacks, yogurt, organic foods, bakeries and food services. The company also operates internationally and has joint ventures to make its service available globally. The company focuses on community services for which General Mills Foundation has been established. They provide financial support to nonprofit organizations which work for the fitness and proper diet of the youth and also provide them education (General Mills).

Vision/Mission Statement

To become the no.1 food marketing company in every food category through speedy and efficient supply of products in the markets beating out the competition.

Workplace Values

The values practiced at General Mills become a source of their strength and actually guide them to take an active part in community work and help the society. These values fulfill their promise to the consumers, customers, investors and to the company itself. The first and foremost value practiced at General Mills is superior customer service and satisfaction which gives them a competitive edge over other food marketing companies. They make this possible through their brands, people, innovation and performance. They build leading brands so that consumers establish a trust with them making their lives healthier. Another important value which is seen in their workforce is diversity which they consider as an opportunity with employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. The company spends on research and development and strives for innovation to further increase their sales and improve their business. Finally, the company believes in giving outstanding performance to its customers, suppliers and investors to establish strong and healthy relationships with them.

The three most important values the company has endured on over the time are honesty, integrity and trust. These values remain at the heart of the organization and strengthen the ethical conduct and personal integrity of the employees (General Mills).

Code of Ethics

The company has set very high standards of ethical conduct and does not compromise on any deficiency. It expects from its employees to demonstrate ethical conduct and integrity not only in dealing with customers but at every step of their lives. The company is highly regarded as the ethical company because it centers around the ethical values of honesty, trust and integrity which makes up the code of ethics for the company.

Culture at General Mills

The culture of any organization is built on its ethical and moral values which the organization believes are important. The culture should be strong enough to maintain and retain strong relationships with the customers, suppliers and investors. The culture is highly characterized by community involvement, diversity and corporate social responsibility. Their activities focus on the betterment of the environment. They make sure that the effect of their products and the packaging is minimum on the environment. The company donates huge amount of money for communities and also volunteers for them.

There is a strong sense of commitment amongst the employees and the customers towards the company. Due to this they have build customer loyalty with feelings of trust and respect prevailing among the customers for the company. The culture at General Mills is highly service driven. We see a combination of clan and market culture dominant in the work environment where employees work in a friendly and social environment supporting the clan perspective and the organization is results and sales oriented supporting the market perspective. The leadership and management style are democratic taking into account the ideas and suggestions from their employees and allowing for easy interaction between the top management and the coworkers. Thus the culture at General Mills is highly supportive of the community action implemented by the company and strives to enhance relationships with both the customers and the investors (General Mills).

Social Responsibilities

An important part of General Mills culture is corporate social responsibility. The company is recognized as a responsible corporate citizen who not only strives for its economic performance but also maintaining the environment and serving the customers. The social responsibility which the company highlights at its website is to sustain the environment from any hazardous production operations. For this purpose General Mills Foundation has been established which ensures that the environment is protected from any such operations. The foundation also works for the community through donations and other volunteering programs. The company is very effective in its social responsibility programs which can be seen it from its activities in reducing water and energy usage, controlling air emissions from production operations, using recyclable materials, minimizing and managing waste materials and protecting the environment from any hazardous waste materials or other production processes. Thus it can be said that General Mills has effectively met its responsibilities which it promises and continues to do so (General Mills).

Ethical Analysis and Training Programs

It is rightly said that General Mills is an ethical company because of all the ethical and social responsible activities that it practices. Employees are first trained in the job so that work in an environment friendly way. They are taught the production processes that result in minimum wastage of resources of release of any harmful materials or gases. The company also initiates programs on topics of youth nutrition and fitness so that the youth can live a healthy and fun loving life. From the research and observation on the company, no weakness seemed to appear in the ethical conduct seen at the organization. This makes the company a leading food marketer and adds to its strength.

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