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Code of Ethics - Research Paper Example

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Code of Ethics

The current J&J head is the CEO and Chairman of the company, William C. Weldon” (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Unlike other companies, J&J does not have a mission or vision statement but it has a Credo that has been guiding all the actions and decisions of the company for more than the past 60 years. Furthermore, unlike other companies, this Credo or code of ethics is a simple one-pager document that hangs on the walls of company office in 57 countries and in 36 different languages (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Discussion “It was in the year 1943, when the Chairman and a member of the company’s founding family, write this credo for the company, just before it was going public” (Leonard-Barton, 1998). The term corporate social responsibility did not even exist at that time. The period of James E. Burke who served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (1976-1989) was the defining moment in the history of the company ad its credo. During his period, the company faced several allegations and litigations and he asked his fellow executives to either follow the Credo or tear it down the wall. However, during the mid 1970s, Burke found that the classical Credo of the company has lost its legacy and influence in the company. He took up the task to revitalizing the energy of the Credo and sat down with other executives to make minor adjustments to it (Wit & Meyer, 2010). Burke believed that there was another more important for the company than its Credo because for the past one hundred, it has been the values and ethical standards of the company defined in the Credo, which have helped the company to perform well and outclass its competition (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Since then, the company has been putting a lot of its emphasis on the Credo regardless of the situations or the geographical regions. All the employees in the company, whether at managerial or non-managerial, regardless of their geographical location, know about the Credo since from their day one. At every office and floor of the company, the Credo is framed and hung on the wall. Employees receive extensive trainings to ensure that they know about the ethical values of the company and its history of compliance to ethical values (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2008). There are four essential elements of the Credo, which are customers, employees, community, and stockholders. The company has the responsibility of providing good and quality products to the customers. Employees must receive the due respect and development through their career. For the community, the company must act as good and responsible citizens of the community. Lastly, the stockholders of the company must receive a fair return (Lagan & Moran, 2005). The credo of J&J does not have the greatest words or the unique ones in the history of businesses. What males J&J credo so influential and important is the order of those words. J&J believed that customers come first, then employees, then the community and lastly, the stockholders (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). It does not mean that the stockholders could be avoided but it means that the company believes that if customers are receiving quality products, employees are being respected, we become good citizens of the community, and then profits would flow for the stockholders as well. Furthermore, important here to note is that ...Show more


Running Head: Code of Ethics Code of Ethics Code of Ethics Introduction With operations in 57 countries and existence, through product, in more than 175 countries of the world, “Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s largest and most reputed global American pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturer” (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011)…
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