Horizon Trading Company
There are two main issues of concern in the case of John Smith and the Horizon Trading Company that involves ethics, both personal and corporate ethics. The first one that was mentioned was bribery and the other was tax evasion. The decision making was primarily the management’s concern and as well as the employees. The stakeholders were also the management and employees however, the government and the citizens of the community were also included for they are all affected by the situation. The two issues mentioned above were ethical decisions because it involved personal and business ethics as well as legal responsibility.
The management was the one that will really feel the effect of the decision. Their main interest was to gain greater profit for the company in terms of more opportunities true bribing and lesser payment through tax evasion. In accordance with the management’s interest, the employees desire the betterment of the company in order to maintain their jobs. On the contrary, the government requires large amount of tax that was a lost for the Horizon Trading Company.
When it comes to responsibilities, the most responsible stakeholder was the management itself for they were the ones who must directly make actions regarding the matter; they were the ones who must make a decision on whether or not to violate ethics in their actions. They are responsible to the community that they serve as well as to the government. These matters, bribery and tax evasion, were not just ethical issues but legal issues as well for they were required by the laws in that particular community. It was also the company’s responsibility, the Horizon Trading Company, to ensure that their employees do their jobs in the legal manner. However, the company approved such deeds. Thus, not only to the community, but the company is also responsible to its employees. These are the company’s corporate responsibility.
On the other hand, the employees have the responsibility to the community, to abide by the laws and they also have the right to refuse whatever work the company instructed that violates their own personal ethics. Bribery and tax evasion may seem like a normal thing in the community for most people and organizations were doing it but not everyone approved it. In such cases, the employees are also responsible to tell what they know to the government. It is also the employees who were the ones that were responsible for the growth of bribery and tax evasion in the community since they were physically involve in the act.
The government also had a big responsibility to the community that they serve. They are the ones who were to implement the laws that were passed. Thus, it is their duty to ensure that companies were paying the right taxes to the government. However, it is also the government responsibility to protect the interest of everyone in the community that also involves the companies that are investing in the area and supporting livelihood for the citizens. Thus, it is not proper for the government to impose a very high tax on revenues.
There are only two options that Horizon Trading Company can do; to continue on what they are doing on one end and to change the work practices on the other end. First is for them to stop the process of bribery within organizational deals as well as to be honest to the government in terms of tax revenue paying. The other one is to continue with their usual doings; bribery and tax evasion. Although both have their own positive consequences, they also have negative effects.
Right now we can see that the company is facing a dilemma. If they go on the usual way they are violating several things. First is the code of ethics of every individual especially the employees who are subject to the process. Second is the legal system for they are actually violating the laws, which may also result in imprisonment or deportation of employees such as John Smith himself. On the other hand, this process ensures the stability of the company and livelihood of the workers. If the company chose to change the way the organization makes transactions, not bribing and paying the right revenue tax, the whole organization is also in danger of bankruptcy and thus may result in unemployment. The code of ethics, whether personal or business, is uplifted though. Thus, the choice is whether to uplift the company or the code of ethics.
I can say that Horizon Trading Company should gradually change its current processes. Slowly decreasing bribery and tax evasion in the organization would be the best solution. First is because the ethical violation mentioned cannot be totally eradicated but the company must not stay that way. Therefore, the changing process would really require time. Also, if the company shifts to be ethically responsible all of the sudden, the company might be in danger causing unemployment on the part of the workers. When there is no job, we cannot say that there will remain ethics for it may result in the increase of crimes such as theft. The company must also change because the reputation of the company is at hand that is also important in any business. A customer would not want to buy from someone with a bad reputation. Changing the process is also a responsibility of the company to the workers. If the process cannot be changed there will surely come a time that the company will be caught and sued … and fall. Another reason to change is to uplift the morality of the company and the employees as well as of co-businesses associates.
One may go back to the issue at hand if the process was changed and argue that the company might not survive that way, there is no certainty. Well, if the way the organization is dealing was not changed, the company would also end up falling, financially and ethically. This is also the main reason why changes must be done slowly, to monitor the changes and capability of the company to adapt. Also, changing the processes of the company may attract further opportunities for the company that will result in greater revenue and although the tax is high, the company will be able to stand up even if it has to pay the right tax amount to the government.
Amarante et. al. (27 September 1996). John Smith at Horizon Trading Company. Retrieved July
21, 2008 from http://roger.babson.edu/ethics/horizonc.htm.