What set us apart
Business ethics: The label lends itself most directly to a core set of questions about how individuals in the business world ought to behave, or what principles they might appeal to in order to negotiate moral dilemmas at work (Norman, 2016).
For AMS Compostable the core values provide a common direction to our entire team, and establish the guidelines in daily tasks, creating a sense of identity that facilitates ethical decision making. The core values can be summarized as follows:
- Cooperation. Necessary platform for corporate cohesion, efficiency and business dynamism. Individual challenges are a source for personal development; these must be combined with internal knowledge transfer and co-participation in problem solving with customers, suppliers, competitors and social institutions.
- Participation. A right and an obligation to channel personal potential, to put it at the service of common interests and increase satisfaction and sense of belonging. The development of participation requires flexible organizational structures that favor a good working environment, the management of interfunctional processes, teamwork and permanent training.
- Social responsibility. Since personal purposes must be compatible with those of the company, and those of the company should reflect social responsibility; the reach of the people of AMS Compostable must influence both their closest environment, whose improvement must be solidary, as well as the development of their country and today´s global society at large.
- Innovation or permanent attitude of searching for new options in all areas of action, as a necessary condition for business progress, as well as to respond in the most convenient way to the expectations generated in the company.
In addition to these four core values AMS Compostable is continually setting corporate strategies based on complementary values, such as:
- Sustained solidarity commitments.
- Programs for the promotion of management involvement and leadership.
- Continuous innovative training for the development of human and technical capacities.
- Application of a self-developed management model to reach leadership positions and foster cooperation.
- With complementary values such as: honesty, socio-environmental responsibility, coexistence, trust in our work team, commitment to customers and other interest groups.
- Minimal environmental impact without compromising the needs of future generations.
These core set of values will be the basis for the creation of the AMS Compostable code of ethics.
Attached to all these values there are basic objectives for the integration of corporate strategies with operational plans:
- Customer satisfaction.
- Cost effectiveness.
- Social participation.
Under this approach, the leader plays a fundamental role, and through his management team he guides the company towards its duty and consolidating himself as a charismatic and transformative leader. These principles also require that all the processes where our human talent intervenes, adhere to the strategies and are designed to strengthen business ethics, the desired values and that operational plans are achieved with the highest possible profitability.
To mitigate the possible problems that can be generated by the presence of people of different nationalities, AMS Compostable is evaluating the implementation, from the point of view of business ethics, of a methodology applied by “Mondragon Cooperative Corporation”, where they are reviewed at background the structural elements of the organization and are confronted with what they call, subsystems of organizational culture and its ethical effects:
- Representation subsystem. Organizational beliefs, which explain how the company is managed and how it competes with others, are often presented in the mission or in the code of ethics. In most cases, organizational beliefs include the way in which interpersonal relationships are interpreted and constructed, and in particular, how power, leadership and authority are exercised. Organizational ideologies provide direction, coherence, motivation, criteria and norms of behavior to the members of the corporation. The most important thing for the analysis is that this component of the culture contains the generally accepted ideals, exerts a significant influence on the values of the company and facilitates decision making.
- Values and norms subsystem. Norms constitute the basic determinants of social attitudes and human behavior that are acquired throughout life. Values are important because they serve as decision criteria, shape the perceptions and interpretations of the individual, define the options available and define positive sanctions, such as respect and rewards. The rules, in turn, support social expectations and define the corresponding sanctions, in response to individual aspirations and the common good of society.
- Subsystem of expression modes. Metaphors constitute derivations of the language used to define the organization and its components, or to reflect the image that society desires. The heroes and organizational stories represent the experiences and successful characters within the company. The strength of the stories can model the behavior of third parties through parables, and the heroes represent the ideal role model to succeed in the corporation. Rituals and ceremonies support cohesion and allow the socialization of individuals within a framework implicitly accepted by the corporation; they give a concrete and coherent frame of reference to the expected behavior of the individual; they help manage differences before a potential conflict or dilemma occurs, and they provide a collective identity with a meaning for the person and for the corporation.
- Subsystem of modes of action and organization. The patterns for action differ if the individual or the organization is the center and priority of the way of doing things. Relationship games correspond to hidden behaviors that serve as a platform for the relationship between people. These games, by definition, are dishonest and dramatic in nature.
Each of these four cultural subsystems has a series of influence for the expected behavior of each of its members and, in particular, the subsystem of norms and values constitutes the central point of business ethics, its understanding and transformative potential.
In terms of facilitating ethical behavior for our work team, AMS Compostable has a lot to encourage. We recognize three key components: first, it is important for us to develop a self-evaluation program to regularly monitor our status as well as a third party evaluation. Second, a visible program (ethics manual) is required to encourage equal ethical and socially responsible behavior. A third component would be to ensure that employees understand the messages, modify their behavior and perceive the effect of the consequences; this by continuous training of our core set of values.
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Norman, W. 2016. Business Ethics. Harvard Business School. Faculty Conference. Available at: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/conferences/2016-newe/Documents/Norman,%20Business%20Ethics,%20IntEncycEthics.pdf