You have just been hired as the Chief Ethics Officer for a start-up online retail company. The company will initially have a workforce of 100 employees, including a financial department, a vendor-relations department, a Human Resources Department, and a Legal Department, among others. The company’s executive management group consists of a Chief Executive Officer, a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Financial Officer, a Chief Legal Officer, a Chief Sales Officer, a Chief Information Officer, and a Chief Ethics Officer. The company has a Board of Directors consisting of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, and 7 other independent directors. The company employs very sophisticated technology and has many trade secrets. The company has many competitors each of whom employs many competent employees, and many of those employees have access to their respective companies’ trade secrets.
Your mission for the company is to create:
1. A policy for reporting illegal or unethical behavior and for disciplining employees;
2. A values statement for the company;
3. Incentive compensation programs for the sales department and for the senior management of the company. Discuss the programs you would implement and the types of programs you think should not be implemented and why;
4. Training programs covering appropriate conduct for employees within the company (e.g. sexual harassment) and any other areas for which you think training program would be useful;
5. Gifts acceptance policy;
6. Compliance program with the Sarbanes/Oxley and the Dodd-Frank Acts;
7. Reporting structure for the executive management group, the Audit Department, and the Finance Department. (Does the Board of Directors have any role here?);
8. Description of the audits that should be conducted at the company. Where should the audits be focused and why;
9. Strategies the company should adopt prospectively so that the company can effectively compete while at the same time maintaining its ethical edge.
10. Discuss what stakeholders you believe should be considered in accomplishing the projects set forth above;
In creating the policies and programs above, discuss any ethical approaches you think should be applied in creating policies and programs set forth above. Discuss any rationales you think should be avoided in creating the items set forth above. Each of the above items that you will create is worth 10 points.
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