Forming ethical programs can have a positive effect in the workplace as they can give executives and employees a guideline to use in the case of making moral decisions (Trevino and Brown, 2004). IBM Global Services, Saudi Aramco, and Dell, have developed high ethical practices in which they base their success and employee satisfaction on.
Saudi Aramco (2008) provides an in depth explanation about the company values including, excellence, fairness, integrity, teamwork, safety, trust and accountability, whereas IBM (2008) simply state their values as dedication to clients success, innovation, trust and personal responsibility as their values. Additionally Bell, has also worked hard to develop their governance program that includes a good ethical Program (Bell Canada Enterprises, 2008). Job satisfaction, as defined by McShane and Von Glinow (2005), is a person’s perception and affinity for his or her job and responsibilities.
IBM and Saudi Aramco boast high satisfaction of their employees and offer their employees many benefits. While both companies provide many career opportunities and advancement Saudi Aramco also offers lifestyle benefits such as schools, busses and fitness facilities at no charge and grand living arrangements like villas inside the compounds away form the normal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia society. These incentives entice employees to work and live in Saudi Arabia and increase the likelihood that employees will stay loyal to a position.
Each of the incentives, employee benefits and testimonials can be found on each company’s professional website (IBM, 2008 and Saudi Aramco, 2008). While researching the best practices of each company it was interesting to note how companies from various industries can have very similar issues, opportunities and strategies to continue to strive for success. Both IBM and Saudi Arabia have financially strong competitors, who threaten the profitability of the company; therefore they have come up with various strategies to continue their reign as industry leaders.
IBM and Saudi Aramco, in particular, have multiple departments responsible for targeting various markets and have influence and offices in many different countries to keep a global competitive advantage. Similarly, Bell and Dell, also pursue global business successfully. Both IBM and Saudi Aramco have joint ventures with other major companies within their industry to increase their success in the industry. IBM, Saudi Aramco, Bell and Dell, have built professional websites to promote their company to the public, which help increase global awareness as this information is available to anyone with Internet access.
This mode of communication (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005) is an effective and convenient method that reaches out to current and prospective executives and employees and shareholders or key stakeholders. There are a few differences between IBM, Bell, Dell and Saudi Aramco. IBM, Bell and Dell have built a highly regarded reputation that is connected to its strong brand name so that people around the world recognize them as a powerful, reliable company, whereas Saudi Aramco does not have a brand name, as they are weak in the retail sector.
Saudi Aramco has recognized this issue and united with companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil who have recognized names to help them market to retail around the world. The political pressures that Saudi Aramco faces, due to the instability of the Middle East countries, are not an issue for IBM, Bell or Dell. These political strains and security demands increase costs, which cut into profits, however, necessary to keep the employees and company safe and productive. Bell is one of Canada’s largest communications companies (2008).
Bell is in the same competitive industry as Global Communications, so they will be utilized in a competitive benchmark for key areas related to the telecommunication industry like increasing concerns with share value. Bell was successful in growing share value in a dipping market, unlike Global Communications. They were able to achieve this through clear management and governance guidelines that were created for well constructed plans and the decision making processes.
As compared to Global Communications, Bell was able to successfully recognize that they were accountable to their shareholders and created guidelines that clearly outlined their responsibilities. The company believes that good corporate governance practices help create and maintain shareholder value, while Global Communications did not even mention their key stakeholders. The decisions were set by the board and implemented by the leadership team without any clear plan or shareholder approval.
If Global Communications created clear guidelines for the decision making processes, they may have been better able to solve the problems of low share value, and relate it to improved planning practices. Similar to IBM’s commitment to ethics and integrity, Bell Canada Enterprises (2008) states that as dictated by the Statement of Corporate Governing Principles and Guidelines, the role of the board in this situation is to approve the annual business plan that will outline the strategy, objectives and set out measurable financial and operating targets.
With this information including procedures and guidelines clearly defined, Bell is significantly different than Global Communications, in that Global Communications did not have these guiding principles or did not practice them. Dell is one of the world’s largest suppliers of personal computers and related products. While they are not in the same industry as Global Communications, they will be utilized as a generic benchmark for their practices in globalization. They were able to increase their global efforts successfully by understanding their market, having abundant information available for decision-making and contingency planning.
Dell, Bell, IBM, and Saudi Aramco, all recognized that a huge decision like globalization and increasing business in other countries would have to be well planned and researched. They had much information regarding the potential market, the market demands, and expectations prior to moving to India. Furthermore Dell was able to create operations in India that impacted not only the globalization of sales, but cut costs so that prices to their consumer were reduced.