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Code Of Conduct For BHP Billiton

Assessment Information

Subject Code:MBA402
Subject Name:Governance, Ethics, and Sustainability
Assessment Title:Code of Conduct

Assessment Description

You are required to read a series of news articles and other information about an Australian company. The details of the Australian company, the news articles and other information will be supplied to you in due course.

You must then draft a Code of Conduct for the Australian company that specifically addresses:

  1. Discrimination
  2. Exploitation
  3. Corruption
  4. Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour
  5. Whistleblower Protections
  6. Enforcement

Answer

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR BHP BILLITON 


1. Introduction 

The current research aims to illustrate a code of conduct for BHP Billiton, one of the most well known companies in Australian. BHP objectifies at working with integrity and care for each of its stakeholders and also focusing on the process by which each of the activities are done in the company. 

There would be a number of principles stated in the current research for a basic guideline of code of conduct for the company. That would be helpful for each of the individuals associated with the company to have a clear idea of the steps that are needed to be followed for ethical integration in the company. 

All the personnel of BHP are expected to adhere to the stated principles and abide by those consistently.  

2. Principles 

The principles stated below are expected to be abided by the personnel of BHP including the employees, board of directors and governors. 

  • Integrity and honesty in each of the tasks done by the personnel of the company
  • To curb any misleaded information provided to the higher officials of the company
  • There must be accountability of the people for their deeds and activities 
  • To work towards the betterment and well being of social, economic and environmental conditions of places it is operating its business in
  • Minimal use of resources of BHP Billiton with less threat to the environment, thereby, maintaining a balance in the ecosystem
  • Giving respect and sharing value to every other person working in the company 
  • Maintenance of privacy and confidentiality  of the employees and customers’ private information  
  • To abide by the legal policies prevalent in the state in terms of business venture 

2.1 Integrity and honesty in each of the tasks done by the personnel of the company

As influenced by Velliaris, Willis and Pierce (2015), at the very beginning, there must be honesty and integrity of the employees who are working with the company. In this regard, the honesty of the board of directors and the higher officials of the company is of utmost importance as that would further motivate the employees to indulge into honesty. Thus, they are expected to do all the tasks of the company being fair and ensuring there is no detrimental impact of the tasks that they do. According to Blackburn, Carey and Tanewski (2018), it is extremely essential to set basic guidelines of roles and responsibilities for the employees which they should perform with the aim of abiding by those. 

  1. Henceforth, the employees must ensure that they are performing their roles diligently and are aiming to be highly efficient in all spheres. 
  2. They must also refrain from any sort of illegal and unethical activities and must restrain themselves from bribing 
  3. They must look forward to the production process of the company and ensure they are being done with ethics are care. Devoid of this, there shall be serious adverse impact on the health and safety of the customers (Orlitzky and Monga, 2017). 

2.2 To curb any misleaded information provided to the higher officials of the company

It is extremely essential to provide information to the higher officials of a company. As opined by Kimber and Lucas (2017), the provision of important information to board of directors and managerial sector is an integral part of business because that determines the steps taken by the officials for the betterment of business. Along with that, it is also essential that the audit and the finance department provide the financial information of the company to them so that the strategy formulation can be done with an estimated budget and financial plan for the implementation of those. Therefore, as influenced by Garegnani, Merlotti and Russo (2015), all the personnel of the company must be very honest while catering information to the higher department for decision making. 

2.3 There must be accountability of the people for their deeds and activities

Accountability refers to the sharing of responsibility of an individual in terms of the tasks that are done by him. In the opinion of Christensen et al. (2015), the personnel of a business must have accountability as that reflects to a smoother decision making process. Accountability also helps understand the loopholes and the weaknesses of the employees and other personnel and advising them the appropriate measures for bridging the gap in their professional skills. Thus, in order to have accountability of the employees the following code of conduct shall be abided by them 

  1. To act with care while performing their tasks 
  2. To refrain from exploiting the resources of other people 
  3. To work towards integrating innovation at all steps
  4. To take part effectively in the decision making process 
  5. The advice made to the associated clients and customers or any agents shall be impartial and devoid of any misinterpretation
  6. To treat people equally and making no distinction between them on the basis of the racial background, region or any other social factor
  7. To work towards diminishing any sort of unethical activity faced by other people and trying to curb that to the fullest (Ryan and Bhattacharyya, 2016)

2.4 To work towards the betterment and well being of social, economic and environmental conditions of places it is operating its business in

Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of a business and thus, businesses are expected to impact the environment to the least. Moreover, they are always entrusted with the task of impacting the economy and society in a positive way with less detrimental impacts on them. As commented by Ni and Van Wart (2015), economic impact of a business associates the cost effectiveness of the products and that should comply with the quality of those as well. In addition to that, as mentioned by Heald (2018), it is also important that there is minimal impact on the environment due to the production processes of the company. Moreover, the marketing and promotional activities of a specific product and service are carried in such a way, so as to cater an adverse impact on the society and their well being.  

  1. It is crucial that business personnel would check the resource availability in the surrounding area where the production procedure is being carried out and use the resources accordingly 
  2. There must not be exploitation of the external environment
  3. Promotional activities must be done with extreme care 
  4. Low promotional cost shall be integrated for low price of product and therefore, provide low cost products to customers, thereby, curbing any chances of financial difficulty of them 

2.5 Minimal use of resources of BHP Billiton with less threat to the environment, thereby, maintaining a balance in the ecosystem

All the important resources owned by the company must be taken care of by the personnel. The important resources of the company are information system, funds, technological system, property and services. As influenced by Bocken et al. (2014), the use of any of the resources by the subordinate personnel of the company must take place with prior permission from the senior officials and to everyone’s knowledge and notice. 

  1. The officials must always ensure that they are using the resources of the company only for the betterment and purpose of the business and to contribute to its well being in the long run. According to Havur et al. (2015), the resources shall not be used for their own privilege in areas which is not purposive for the business at all. 
  2. The company has a huge base of information system which has all the important information of the business. As stated by Wallace and Sheldon (2015), the responsibility of maintaining the confidentiality of that information relies hugely on the employees and to ensure that those information are not being accessed by the competitors which shall cause serious threat to the business venture. Therefore, the employees are expected to take care of the information system and maintain their integrity. 
  3. The employees shall need to take permission before bringing any of their personal technological equipments at the workplace. Moreover, they shall not be allowed to bring in their personal equipment in the office which shall not have any purpose related to the business.  

2.6 Giving respect and sharing value to every other person working in the company

The company strongly stands against any form of unsocial activity towards other individuals and also bullying them. 

  1. The employees shall need to help other employees whenever they face any difficulty in any of their tasks. 
  2. The officials would curb any of the activities performed by the employees in terms of harassment of bullying
  3. There would be no distinction made between the employees from different backgrounds and cultures 
  4. The employees are expected to report any form of illness of health issue that they shall face in the office premises
  5. They would also be needed to abide by safety policies
  6. The officials would be expected to keep any harmful objects far from places visited frequently 
  7. There would not be smoking by personnel within the premises. There would be a different area for the purpose 

2.7 Maintenance of privacy and confidentiality of the employees and customers’ private information  

There shall be private information of the employees, the customers and the business as well; the accessibility of which to third parties shall be detrimental in any form. 

  1. There needs to be implementation of information system and personnel for securing the private information of the related individuals 
  2. The private information of the customers shall only ne accessible to some people which would curb the risk of disclosure of those (Rasoulian et al. 2017)
  3. The personnel are expected to lock the systems with passwords
  4. The employees shall need to refrain from disclosure of the information regarding the important information of the company and its business procedure as well. As influenced by Sadeghi, Wachsmann and Waidner (2015), that shall be applicable to the employees who are working in the company and for those as well who have left BHP Billiton. 

2.8 To abide by the legal policies prevalent in the state in terms of business venture

Each of the personnel of the business must work in accordance with the legal structure and policies that is prevalent in the state legislature. As commented by Singer (2018), the breach of legal policies by business personnel shall result in imposition of legal consequences in them, leading to fine, loss of employment or imprisonment as well. 

  1. At the very beginning, the personnel shall refrain from any form of monetary aid from other people outside or inside the organization in respect to any form of unethical activity of selling of resource of the company. 
  2. There shall not be provision of any gifts from the higher officials, devoid of the incentives that shall be provided to the employees of BHP Billiton and that shall only be provided in compliance with the tasks they have accomplished 
  3. No employee of the company shall be found to engage in full time or part time employment while being an employee of BHP Billiton
  4. They must not engage in any form of political situation which shall cause a serious threat to position and recognition of the company in the market
  5. They must never provide information of the business to any other party both in and after employment
  6. Any form of donation made by any of the personnel to any party or group associated with politics shall only be made as an individual and not as a part of BHP Billiton. However, in case the employee wants to donate on behalf of the company, he must take prior permission for the same with regards to all the necessary legal procedures
  7. The company is also supposed to look after the health and safety of the customers and thus, consolidate ethics into the production process
  8. They shall never be provided with false or inaccurate information of the products or service of BHP Billiton  

Conclusions 

The code of conduct stated above needs to be followed by each of the members associated with BHP Billiton. Moreover, the code of disclosure of information needs to be abided by the former employees of the company as well. In case the company finds any individual not adhering to the aforementioned norms, he shall be subjected to necessary professional and legal consequences and shall be terminated from employment as well. 

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