Evaluationof Lockheed Martin’s Efforts on Organizational Ethics and CSR
Evaluationof Lockheed Martin’s Efforts on Organizational Ethics and CSR
Question1: Failure of the ethics program to inhibit ethical breaches at thehighest level
An effectiveethics program should extensively involve the entire managementespecially in regards to training and developing employee.Furthermore, effective programs should stress managerialaccountability, develop a climate that enhances exemplary behavior,and go beyond compliance or punitive legal stance (Ruiz, Martinez,Rodrigo, & Diaz, 2015). It is essential for the management tocomprehend that an ethics program cannot fully prevent moral breachesunless it is tactically aligned to a firm’s strategy,accountability, organizational values, and encompasses the capacitiesof all employees. Terris (2005) argues that Lockheed Martin’sprogram is effective mainly to the employees, but it does little toinhibit ethical breaches among the executives. This shows that theprogram aims at training, developing, cultivating compliance, andenhancing accountability among employees without considering thenotion that top-level management may act unethically. However, theethics program has called for integrity and trust, which means thatit considers both top-level executives and employees as importantstakeholders to the realization of accountability. The firm continuesto train and teach its workers on the importance of ethics and thesustained trumpeting of morals.
The company through its helplines and surveys has experienced successand evolved as an ethically-aligned firm. However, the organization’spast unethical behaviors, for instance, financial scandals,corruption, and bribery claims continue to inhibit the employees’confidence in the ethics program. Terris (2005) notes that a numberof Lockheed Martin’s employees, particularly the new ones feelhelpless against moral violations. Some of the workers do not fullygrasp the firm’s organizational values while some top-levelmanagers fail to comprehensively perceive ethical issues. In someinstances, the ethics program fails to deal with the relationshipbetween employee and management discord especially when juniorsreport their superiors on unethical conduct. This shows that Terris’notion on the inadequacy of the program is honest and an illustrationof the firm’s reluctance to involve the executives fully. Althoughthe firm has accomplished numerous objectives, such as, instillingteamwork and integrity into employees and aligning the ethics programto its strategy, it has failed to comprehensively align the ethicsprogram with the executives’ job descriptions.
Question2: Discussion on the adequacy of the efforts developed to involveexecutives in training
An ethics program cannot succeed effectively without efficienttraining and development of all employees. Lockheed Martin hassucceeded in involving its employees in decision-making processes andtraining them to behave and act ethically and remain accountable fortheir actions. Despite the challenges that the firm experiences inpreventing ethical breaches among executives, it has developednumerous measures, which have helped in involving the executives.Some of the measures include creation of helplines, conductingsurveys on ethical progress, training, and alignment of the ethicsprogram with the firm’s strategic plan. Terris (2005) purports thatthe firm has cultivated measures to involve top-level managers intraining and development, which continues to help the executivesnavigate the ethical minefield. The organization’s ethics officersconduct surveys and relate with employees through helplines, whichhas inhibited discord among employees. Furthermore, the firm has anextensive support system, which allows employees including, topexecutives to deal with ethical dilemmas. Ruiz et al. (2015) contendthat ethical training should be exhaustive and extensive particularlyin proliferating integrity and calling for organizational change.Lockheed Martin’s training focuses on both the junior employees andexecutives and this helps in assisting the executives on helping theethics officers. The coordination of the ethics program by the ethicsoffice helps in planning and assessing surveys and results of thedifferent strategies developed by the firm. In addition, the trainingof the executives will help them understand the aspects and theintricate nature of ethics. Other measures, for example,collaboration among employees, collaboration with other competitors,discussions on ethical issues, and inculcation of honesty, integrity,and trust among the top-level managers will help them navigate theethical minefield. Lockheed Martin needs to incorporate all theelements of principles, values, leadership, and followership to itsethics program in developing a foundation for acting ethicallyextensively. Furthermore, developing effective and interactivecommunications and decision-making processes will help in assistingthe executives to overcome all hindrances to ethics.
Question3: Addressing issues related to ethics at higher executive levels
The firm shouldadministratively include integrity as part of its strategic approach.Popa and Salanta (2014) assert that for any organization to involveits management fully on issues pertaining to ethics, it needs to viewethical leadership as the most applicable model of leadership. Bymaking the executives ethical leaders and medium-level andsubordinate managers as followers, the firm can extensively addresstop-level ethical breaches and inadequate training. This means thatthe organization needs to develop uniform work practices everywhereand involve all employees in the decision-making processes. Themeasures will make communication a fundamental component towardsrealizing an ethical environment. Some unethical conducts have arisenfrom the top management thus, the firm should understand that allemployees need training and checks (Popa & Salanta, 2014). Inthis regards, the company should make the head of ethics a seniorofficer directly answerable to the board of directors and the CEO.The officer should have the authority to review training and surveysfor the senior management. This will help in developing checks andbalances aspect for the senior executives. Effective communicationshould become a key element of consideration in involving theexecutives and structuring their job descriptions to ensure theyunderstand their accountability in ethical matters. In this regards,the program should go beyond compliance or punitive concerns andembark on a comprehensive framework to develop decision-makinginstruments for the executives to determine grey areas and addressemployee discord or moral issues effectively.
Question4: Recommendations on addressing group dynamics
Sometimes,effective ethics programs fail because the organization fails toextensively address group dynamics. In this case, Terris (2005)points out that Lockheed Martin has failed to address these dynamicssince the company focuses greatly on the individuals at the expenseof the existing dynamics. This has contributed to a tendency whereemployees agree to the decisions made without effectively analyzingethical issues. Ruiz et al. (2015) say that teamwork is a significantaspect in addressing group dynamics, which means the firm needs to becareful not to involve only a small fraction of employees within aparticular group. Furthermore, the firm’s ethics program shouldspecify that all members partake in decision-making and contribute indiscussing different ethical issues. The firm should develop anorganizational culture that supports cooperative choice but alsoinfluences individual choices. The existing diversity should beutilized to involve all employees by instilling in them a sense ofbelonging, knowledge, and giving them decision-making tools. Trainingthe employees on interpersonal communications, solving ethicalissues, discussing issues through collaborations, contributing togroup discussions, and instilling a culture of extrication shouldbecome part of the company’s program. The firm should undertakesurveys on members’ contributions and reward those employees whoparticipate greatly in the decision-making processes.
Popa, M., & Salanta, I. (2014). Corporate social responsibilityversus corporate social irresponsibility. Management &Marketing, 9(2), 137-146
Ruiz, P., Martinez, R., Rodrigo, J., & Diaz, C. (2015). Level ofcoherence among ethics program components and its impact on ethicalintent. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(4),725-742.
Terris, Daniel. (2005) Ethics at work: Creating virtue at anAmerican corporation. Brandeis University Press. Waltham, MA.