Can Alcoa's "values in practice" be adopted by other organizations as a universal set of ethical standards leading to ethical employee behavior?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question. Ethics in business is essential. Moreover, Alcoa is a great and respected company. They are even more so because of their high ethical standards. They have created an ethics and compliance program, which they make every company member go through. They want all people to be all on the same page when it comes to ethics.

As for whether their ethical standards can be universal, let me make a few points. 

First, I think what Alcoa states concerning ethics is great. It is very clear and has a very high ethical standard. Let me give you an example of what they say:

  • No one may ask any employee to break the law, or go against company values, policies and procedures.
  • We treat all employees fairly.
  • We do not tolerate any form of harassment.
  • Personal employee information is handled and protected according to applicable laws.
  • Information is provided to perform jobs in a safe manner.
  • Employees must not use, bring, or transfer weapons or illegal drugs on company property.
  • Employees should report suspicious people and activities.

As you can see, these basic rules can be a great starting point. 

Second, it is important to note that there are different companies in the world. For this reason, there will be some ethical changes that are necessary at times. So, as long as companies adapt and not simply adopt Alcoa's guidelines, it should work well. The key is to adapt based on type of company and the culture. I will add a link to Alcoa's website for more information on their ethics.