Dow Corning Corporation (DCC)’s code of conduct is made by Audit and Social Responsibility Committee (ASRC) in a very long and sophisticated process. The process analyzes DCC corporate cultures in many countries and develops guidelines as a basic communications of legal and ethical standards of business conduct around the world. It also step the ground in each places by developing a workable process for monitoring and reporting DCC business practices. This is a very systematic approach to develop code of conduct. It starts from field research, conceptualizes the facts in general, details it in particular country, and promotes code of conduct as ‘living’ standards of business conducts.
There are some strengths and weakness in DCC code of conducts. The strengths are managements and employees can communicate it and monitor the compliance easily. With this code of conducts, company also can moderate the lawsuits and make universal ethical standards applied to employees all over the world.
The weaknesses are mostly in applying this code of conduct in various countries that have different cultures and law. Therefore, it needs much adaptation according to different countries the company operates. Another thing, this code of conducts includes agents in other country to comply. This is very complex to manage and might shift focus from business itself.
CEO of DCC, Jack Luddington believes these strength and weakness factors are worthier to make company better. Especially, after the government becomes stricter with new corruption foreign practices acts, the risk of breaking the law is getting higher. This will put higher guarantee to keep BCC protected in law.
The situation in country X is difficult. If I were Bill Hargreaves, I will immediately stop the business in country X with previous agents and find some ‘clean’ distributors to keep doing business. Situation in country Y is a little bit sophisticated, especially to conducting business in Asia countries, which has different values. However, points should be taken that we should obey the law. Therefore, DCC should stop supporting political campaign, but prepare for other new support for government such as built public facility or making CSR program cooperating with governements.
Country X and Y case above show us that it is impossible to apply similar code of conducts cross border. Code of conducts need to have generally similar in global perspective, but particularly it should be detailed in each local countries considering law` and ethics.