The subject of ethics and social responsibility in trade has risen to become a critical theme in business management within the 21st century. Ethics, in particular, have become a priority for the management and subordinate staff. The society has also experienced dissatisfactions, especially in the actions demonstrated by irresponsible trading organizations. In fact, the activities of many firms have only benefited a few individuals while, on the other hand, impoverishing the majority of the people. Accordingly, with increased awareness, many modern firms have complied with the legal and moral responsibility of embracing ethical practices. Therefore, organizational leaders have been on the front line in making ethical policies and guidelines and imposing them in the daily running of the firms. For instance, Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is a leading player in the hospitality industry in the United States and in other countries. The company prides in excellent services as offered by a team of highly skilled personnel under the management of an equally competitive management team. Again, the organization appreciates the importance of observing ethical and social responsibility in business activities stipulated in the company’s code of ethics and business operations. Therefore, a critical analysis of the important elements in the Cheesecake Factory Incorporated’s code of conduct and the steps necessary for implementing the code would be important in the current discussion.
Key Areas in the Code of Ethics
Besides being separated into two elements, the code of ethics of the Cheesecake Factory Incorporated has certain features that are most useful to running the business. In essence, the document aims to guide the company into complying with the country’s law on ethical business practices as well as the performance of the employees. Accordingly, the company’s code of ethics covers a wide diversity of issues that touch on the performance of the employees, the managers, and the general business operations in the different countries of operation (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated., 2016). The first section dwells on the general conduct by the stakeholders and highlights the importance of maintaining good relations based on trust, honesty, responsibility, and loyalty. Indeed, the clause aims to celebrate the diversity exhibited by the company’s staff members (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated., 2016). The code also highlights the commitment and importance of observing and complying with the set laws in all the areas of operations.
Another important element of the code of ethics is that all staff members are supposed to avoid conflict of interest or anything that would appear to benefit the officials. In essence, solicitation of non-company products or personal philosophies is highly prohibited by the company’s codes of conduct (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated., 2016). Another element involves the confidentiality of the company’s information, which the entire stakeholder should protect. Moreover, the code of conducts insists on the illegality of all staff to engage in insider trading. Finally, the document highlights the obligations at all management levels, ensuring that the company’s dignity and credibility in operations are maintained (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. 2016). Specifically, the relevance of the code as stipulated would be confirmed in envisioning a holistic approach in harnessing the operations of the company and delivering to the expectations of all stakeholders.
Enforcing the Code of Ethics to Employees
For the company to ensure that the code of conduct is followed and adhered to, the firm would need to embrace strategic steps. First, the company should ensure that all the employees read, understand, and adhere to the written code of ethics before being confirmed as employees to the company (Bishop, 2013). Particularly, the consent form should include specific employee policies, which demand that the actions of the employees be in line with the stipulated code of ethics. However, the company should present the code of ethics in a simpler language for ease of comprehension by the employees. More importantly, frequent review of the policy and the code of ethics would ensure that the employees follow the right document.
On the other hand, the company management should have interactive forums with the employees to ensure that the bureaucratic structure does not affect the mode of operation of all parties. Through such interfaces, the staff would get opportunities to ask questions, hence understand the codes better (Bishop, 2013). Nevertheless, the interactive forums should not interfere with the chain of command as established in the organization hierarchy. Through such a structure, disciplinary measures against the staff who fail to observe the written code should be embraced. Therefore, such mechanisms could ensure that the working teams follow the Cheesecake Factory Incorporated’s code of ethics.
Ways to Engage in Social Responsibility Activities
The company should engage in social responsibility in the community within which it operates through various ways. For instance, taking active participation in environmental conservation and management forums would ensure that the firm’s operations do not negatively affect the natural environmental systems (Korsch, Bhattacharya, & Swain, 2014). Secondly, such a company could also invest in the communities by offering industry-related training and absorbing some of the trainees for employment opportunities instead of outsourcing the workforce. Finally, by ensuring that the foods served to the customers meet the public health standards, the company could contribute positively towards eliminating disease and potential illnesses among the communities it operates (Korsch, Bhattacharya, & Swain, 2014). Finally, the company can also invest in social justice awareness campaigns to give back to society through social advocacy.
As it is palpable from the above discussion, the relevance of social responsibility by trading organizations in the 21st century cannot be overemphasized. Such companies as the Cheesecake Factory Incorporated must ensure that its operations are guided by the code of ethics as required by the law. It is worth appreciating that all parties involved in the running of the company are obliged to observe the code of ethics besides observing social responsibility in the business dealings. The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated has a well-stipulated code of ethics that guides its internal and external operations.
Bishop, W. H. (2013). The role of ethics in 21st-century organizations. Journal of business ethics, 118(3), 635-637.
Korschun, D., Bhattacharya, C. B., & Swain, S. D. (2014). Corporate social responsibility, customer orientation, and the job performance of frontline employees. Journal of Marketing, 78(3), 20-37.
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. (2016). Code of ethics and code of business conduct. Retrieved September 3, 2016, from http://investors.thecheesecakefactory.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=109258&p=irol-govconduct