Challenges in the Global Business Environment

Introduction to AT &T

AT &T is a telecommunication company based in the United States of America. It is a major telecommunication service provider not only in the country but all over the world. The company specializes in all forms of telecommunication services, including wireless communication and long-distance communication and advertising services. The landline data and voice services are also provided by its subsidiaries. The company was established in 1885 under the name American Telephones and Telegraphs. This name was changed in 2005 to AT&T. The leadership of the company is in the form of corporate governance with a board of directors and various chartered committees. These committees are mandated to handle specific issues such as auditing, human resource, and public policy.

 

The company’s code of ethics is a document that is periodically circulated to all the employees of the company worldwide. Like any other code of ethics, it contains information that is aimed at giving the employees an insight into what is expected of them. Following these ethical guidelines helps the company to maintain its competitiveness and uphold its reputation in the market. This reputation enables the company to deliver honesty and integrity that the consumers expect.

The code of ethics of AT&T outlines the value of honesty, integrity, commitment to shareholders, customers, and the community, as well as the commitment to the code itself. The observance of this code is regarded by the company as the desired conduct. Everyone in the company is expected to observe this code from the top management down to the least of the employee. The commitment to the customers and shareholders is ensured in the company through their involvement in the business of the company. The shareholders are the investors who keep the company going and also help to market the company to the larger population. The customers’ commitment ensures that customer satisfaction is given a priority. Issues related to customer care are taken seriously to ensure that the company maintains a reputation in the market.

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Honesty, Confidentiality, and Compliance

These are the three main codes of ethics identified in AT&T Inc. The value of these to the success of the company and in terms of fulfilling objectives cannot be ignored. Honesty, as explained in this code, entails fairness in all dealings and ensures that conflicts are handled ethically. It is the duty of each employee or director to act with honesty and integrity. Conflicts of interests, whether interpersonal or professional, should be handled professionally and with integrity. Subordination is unethical and a breach of the code.

Acting with integrity while still maintaining the required level of confidentiality is necessary at all levels of business. This ensures customers’ trust and confidence and helps to uplift the reputation and image of the company. Integrity is also ensured in resolving issues related to the conflict of interest and in human resources functions such as recruitment and selection of employees. It helps in marketing the company as an equal opportunity employer.

The confidential information concerning the company, its customers or business partners, which is being learned in the course of duty, must not be unduly shared unless legally mandated. This is a crucial code in that it ensures that the information does not leak to cause harm to the individuals or companies such as benefiting the company’s competitors. The benefits of confidentiality are thus many, and any company as big as AT&T will have to control the flow of information to avoid exposing themselves or their customers to the uninvited criticism and competition.

Compliance refers to abiding by the set of rules and regulations. The company recognizes the value of policy compliance. The code states that compliance with rules and regulations is a personal commitment of all the employees and directors. Standards and restrictions that have been put in place by the authorities should be observed. When this code is followed, there is less business interference by the authority and the company does not lose money on sanctions and lawsuits. It, therefore, operates in confidence and even the customers’ trust is enhanced. Thus, the company has to ensure that every activity is involved in is in accordance with the set rules and regulations. This is highly significant in ensuring that there are no collisions with the law and that the company does not lose money on fines and litigations.

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Comparing the Code of Ethics in General Cable and Comsat Corporations

Using integrity, compliance, and confidentiality as the basic benchmark elements of ethics in business, a comparison can be achieved of these two companies. In terms of honesty and integrity, Comsat expresses a statement of integrity in detail (Morrison, 2011). In this statement, the company upholds and promises to reward trust and respect among the employees and the corporate partners. It also includes a description of penalties that can follow a breach of this code. General cables, on the other hand, stress the value of honesty and teamwork. According to the company’s code, honesty should be expressed in the way the employees relate and respond to situations and conflicts. Regarding integrity, General Cable prohibits the members from seeking or accepting gifts and presents that greater than the token value for any service.

The second code of compliance, both General Cable and Comsat are keen on ensuring that the policies and rules governing the industry are followed. Worth noting is the emphasis, which both companies put on the safety measures. They are aware of the regulations regarding environmental, health and safety standards and put them as a requirement for any worker to adhere. However, Comsat also recognizes the privacy rights in this category. These safety rules are set by the authorities to ensure the environmental sustainability even with the industrialization, while health safety regulations are concerned with the health of the workers and surrounding communities and how the company’s operation affects these aspects.

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On matters of confidentiality, General Cable does not really specify this as a required code of conduct on its own. They integrate it as a requirement in other areas of the ethical code. Comsat, on the other hand, separately talks about sharing of the information concerning a worker or a customer only on a ‘need to know’ basis and only with those concerned. Otherwise, the company has put up policies that govern the sharing of customers’ information (Roger, Stanford-Smith & Kidd, 1998). These policies are attached to penalties and adverse effects on the side of the offender if the policies are not followed. The two companies regard it as a personal responsibility of the employee or any other person in the company to ensure confidentiality.

Therefore, the two companies also uphold the three values identified as essential in business. Although the ways, in which they are expressed and implemented, are different, the significance attached to each one of them is crucial. It affects the way business is conducted and how the stakeholders relate to one another, as well as the community and authority.

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If these issues are adequately addressed, the companies will have a broad base of confident clients. This will be a result of the confidentiality of customers’ information and the honesty attached to it. The customers’ confidence is a crucial consideration in any market because everything that the production department does should be client-focused. In addition, the company will continue to enjoy the competitiveness in the market. This will be because of the retained customers and the lack of information leakage to the competitors.

If, however, the companies do not follow these codes of ethics, they will lose their customers due to the lack of trust. The customers will regard them as unworthy because they leak confidential information. The loss of the client base is one of the factors that lead to failure in business. Furthermore, by following non-compliance, the companies risk lawsuits and prosecution. The laws of the land are clear on the conduct and regulations related to the company’s activities. When these rules and regulations are not followed, the company risks losses due to litigations and persecution.

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AT&T Code of Conduct and Technology

The changes in technology are posing a danger to some of the ethical considerations of a company like AT &T. This is mainly evident in the aspect of customers and corporate partners' information. This has become integrated into the technology in such a way that anybody can view most of the information posted and saved in the company’s database. This can be prevented by ensuring that as technology improves, so does the company. The company should ensure that their websites and databases are secure and only the general information is shared. Another concern in the changes in technology is the issue of technological wastes and environmental safety. The company should ensure that the new kind of wastes that comes with the technology is adequately disposed of. This can be done through contracting ethical, technological suppliers and disposing of wastes (Mahoney, 1992).

The company is currently committed to contributing to environmental safety by producing responsive products and ensuring that all the wastes are adequately disposed of as per the regulations of the government authorities. Furthermore, the company ensures compliance with the periodic inspection of premises and the environment. The company is also committed to corporate social responsibility, which encompasses the issues of environmental sustainability and protection.

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Technological Advancement for Innovation at AT&T Company

The company endeavors to remain competitively relevant in the market. For this to be possible, the company uses the workers’ motivation programs to encourage innovation. This ensures that the products produced are one of a kind and can compete with other companies. The employees are encouraged to use the technology in the workplace to help in obtaining ideas that can be used to improve the products and services of the company. The company also uses the technology to connect with the community of clients and partners and, thus, is able to realize the market needs and innovatively make products that satisfy these demands.

The technological changes, however, pose challenges to the company. Firstly, the advent of a new manufacturing technology makes the company keep updating the system in order to remain competitive. Secondly, the technology comes with new threats to the safety of information and secret data. Thirdly, many other companies are coming up to produce solutions that are technologically updated. The company can handle these challenges by investing in employees' training and technology. By so doing, the company ensures that its workers are in a position to lift the company’s products to the level that technology requires.

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Lobbying Strategy for AT &T

The company has worked closely with government entities and always seeks to provide the best service when dealing with these partners, especially on the compliance with regulations. The internal experts also try to seek advice and counsel of the governmental bodies before making decisions. The company also states that it supports political involvement by voting and contributing to their preferred candidates. These activities help the company to have support from the government of the day. Hence, they can influence policies to be made in their favor. This move is completely justified as long as the company conducts the politics within its premises and in accordance with the elections and campaign rules. This lobbying effort is, thus, appropriate for the company in a business entity and no rules restrict it from forming a corporate partnership with political parties or individual candidates.

Global Corporate Citizenship Efforts of AT&T

The company has recognized the need to work with diverse suppliers. It connects with many organizations globally, through which it is able to distribute its products and services around the world. Through these partners, the company is also able to reach out to a larger population through corporate social responsibility (Lee & Kotler, 2013). The company has been able to develop and mentor suppliers, especially those arising from the minority communities or special groups. An example of such a project is the “Operation Hand Salute” launched in 2010 to mentor a group of disabled people to become successful in business.

Over the years, the company has spent a substantial amount of money on projects that reach out to the marginalized in the community. Everywhere the company ensures participation in projects that improve the lives of the community and make them grow. Besides giving good jobs, dedicating time and talents as well as supporting the minority groups, the company also promotes education and, thus, helps to create employment opportunities. Therefore, the company is fully engaged in many corporate citizenship activities, especially involving the disabled and women in business.

Business Research Paper Conclusion Sample

The challenges affecting the global economy and the business environment are diverse. Most of these, however, are a result of the technological change and the related changes in consumer demands and expectations. The focus on corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability also pose a challenge to the global economy. In the current business environment, it is necessary for companies to diversify their production and reorganize the codes of ethics in order to remain relevant.

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