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Company Policy for Fitzgerald Foods' Directors and Officers

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One of the most significant current discussions in Business is Ethics

Some people believe that the decisions businesses make in interest of the business has no place in ethics and that they are essentially amoral. These businesses believe that their main objective is to simply make a profit and that it does not affect the success of the business. Whereas some businesses believe that they have to take ethics into consideration, in order for their business to be a success. The value judgements made in ethics between actions that are classed as good or bad, or labelled right or wrong, do not apply to businesses. Businesses simply want to sell their goods and services and make a profit. Although businesses are not immoral they may be amoral. However, people that claim that businesses are immoral do not understand that if everyone in a business acted immorally then business would come to a standstill.

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There is something good behind every good name. For today’s generation, Fitzgerald’s is the name of a local grocery store. But for older generations and generations past, the name holds years of memories and a rich history rooted in the Farmington Valley community. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, John and James Fitzgerald began a grocery store in Hartford. Yvette Fitzgerald married her husband, Jim, while he owned that first store on New Britain Avenue. The store was quite successful and the brothers saw a need for their business in what was known as the tritown area of Avon, Canton and Simsbury. “They moved to Avon in 1957

They rented a space in Tri-Town Plaza,” Yvette explained. “At that time there was a 5 and 10 cent store, a hardware store, Western Auto and a drug store in that plaza. There was a paint store and a fruit stand, a nursery and very little else on Route 44 at that time.” Jim and Yvette’s daughter, Laurie Regish, explained, “It was the boom time. My dad clearly came into the Valley at the onset of the development of it.” On Friday, Oct. 29, Yvette and Laurie sat at Yvette’s kitchen table with The Valley Press and pored over old newspaper clippings, tracing years of Fitzgerald’s history. One Hartford Courant article from Nov. 19, 1970 showed the opening of the second Fitzgerald’s Food Store in the Drake Hill Mall in Simsbury. As years passed, Fitzgerald’s became one of the largest employers in the Farmington Valley with over 300 employees, second only to Ensign-Bickford. Jim Fitzgerald was one of the first in the Valley to hire children with learning disabilities, and he also took to hiring elderly men. One Farmington Valley Herald article about this practice began, “Four Farmington Valley men have discovered a simple formula for staying healthy: bagging it.” In dedication to the community, Fitzgerald’s also developed a scholarship fund for many of the high school students that worked for the store. An unidentifiable newspaper clipping from around the mid-’60s read, “Through the hiring of area high school students as employees, the Fitzgerald brothers saw a financial need for those young people who wished to continue their education beyond high school and so they established the Fitzgerald Scholarship. The scholarship awards $750 to a graduating senior from each of the Simsbury, Avon and Canton high schools.” The scholarship officially began in 1962.

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The third component is organizational ethical rules and standards. During the training program, employees will be provided with the behavioral standards expected from the company. Basically, this involves the code of ethics which stipulates the standards of behaviors expected from every employee (Marx & Els, 2009)

It is important to include this third component in an ethical training program because most employees are provided with the code of ethics and employee handbook but end up not reading them. However, through the program, they will get regular opportunities to be exposed to the code of ethics. The fourth component is helping employees understand their ethical tendencies. Employees have different personalities which influences their perspective with regards to ethical issues. During training, it is important to note the personality and individual differences that may likely have an influence on ethical actions or decisions of employees. The training program therefore will seek to measure the individual morality of every employee in order to help understand how to make judgments in different situations (Ferrel, 2010). The fifth component of an ethical training program is developing a realistic view and approach into dealing with ethical issues. Sometimes, employees may act out of good intentions but since there are various ethical concerns involved in a situation, their actions may be considered unethical. The training programs may focus on helping employees respond to such situations that involve biasing factors. Finally, the sixth component of an ethical training program is getting employees to absorb and practice the concepts. This will require the program to allow employees time to practice the issues in reality. As they spend time working in their daily routine, the trainers will be monitoring and watching the employees exercise ethical standards. After practicing the concepts, the employees can be engaged in a session of questions and answers where they provide feedback of their encounters.

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All things considered, during times of change, there is often no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex conflicts about what is right or wrong. Continuing attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they want to act consistently. When all these related and somewhat overlapping components combine synergistically, they increase the power and influence of individuals, teams, and organizations. Also, most people know that ethical behavior can empower their personal lives as well. All these happening prove beneficial for business on a long term.

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Ferrel, F. F. (2010). Business ethics: ethical decisions making and cases. South Western: Cengage Learning.

Marx, B., & Els, G. (2009). The role of the audit committee in strengthening business ethics and protecting stakeholders’ interests. African Journal of Business Ethics, 4(1), 5-15.

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