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Purpose of the CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an essential inspection for stakeholders in corporate ethics. CSR's purpose is to help organizations enhance and not just operate. Suppose a company actively integrate CSR into their companies. In that case, it is expected that these companies will be aware of the impact their business operations have on society in terms of social, economic, political, and environmental aspects, as well as others. The ideal outcome of using CSR would be that a company would become self-aware and better the environment they work in, among many aspects.

It is typical to break down the impacts of CSR into three separate categories. The pragmatic reason or the theory of how an organization or company can use its power in society in a responsible way. If the company does not use practical reasons, it will risk losing its company (Wang et al., 2020). Ethical reasoning is the obligation and requirement of an organization to do the right thing ethically for its stakeholders and society (Wang et al., 2020). The last of the categories is strategic reasoning. Strategic reasoning is the understanding or reasoning that businesses and consumers depend on each other and will benefit each other in society by providing services and goods, but also with things like bringing jobs to the area.

Primary and Secondary Stakeholders

To make an applicable CSR, primary and secondary stakeholders must be identified when assessing the company's ethical footprint to implement paradigm toys successfully. A CSR cannot appropriately recognize moral effects without identifying both primary and secondary stakeholders. They likewise can't get bits of knowledge for how they can work as an organization to draw in with the climate around them with society.

For paradigm toys, the primary stakeholders will be the people or gatherings who are straightforwardly impacted by choices or activities made by the association. On account of Worldview toys, this would be the workers, the clients and individuals who have contributed or hold a monetary stake and essential partners in the organization.

The secondary stakeholders of Paradigm Toys are people who are not directly financially invested or related to the company's activities and operations. Still, they will be indirectly affected by the company's choices. This group would be parties or individuals and can be many people such as lawmakers or other government bodies or officials, vendors, competitors, and even the media. All of these groups are affected indirectly by their interactions with the organization.

Responsibility to Stakeholders

The primary objective of CSR is driving the higher-up leaders, such as directors of paradigm toys, to create and implement ethical measures that would ensure corporate and social responsibilities to the stakeholders that have been mentioned previously. To be more specific, moral and societal standards must meet the needs of stakeholders and are continuously monitored to support their ethical standards. We can make sure that policies, procedures and practices are in place to ensure that the products delivered to consumers are of the utmost quality and that the options for consumers to get issues resolved quickly if their needs are not satisfied by the products. Many opportunities are measurable and observable that can meet the needs of all stakeholders. Examples of this for direct stakeholders would be ensuring that employees' wages are livable and competitive compared to competitors in the industry and that the salary can satisfy the basic needs of living and other financial markets of an employee. A "what-if analysis" can also be done to understand and determine if dividends for investors would be best served for both the short and long term or if it would be in the best interest of investors to forego bonuses and reinvest any capital that would be used back into the company to serve better the financial needs of said shareholders (Carroll & Brown, 2018).is

When considering indirect stakeholders, there are multiple opportunities in which we can reach out and engage in improvement opportunities for societal and ethical impacts as a company. Being assertive and proactive in fostering relationships with local and government officials is essential. Creating rapport and inviting these individuals to our facilities will show that our best interests are to be allies to the government in movements and agendas that are best for the people they serve. It would also be beneficial to engage in opportunities to lower or reduce the waste of products, such as using recyclable boxes for our toys or recyclable or biodegradable plastics in the toys themselves. These are merely ideas or opportunities that we can use to encourage leaders and directors to use and, in turn, challenge leadership to come up with their unique ideas.

Fostering Ethical Culture and Ethics Analysis

Another equally important aspect of CSR is identifying and defining the ethical culture within the said organization. Ethical culture in any company can be best defined and described when it is continuously worked on and cultivated. Businesses that maintain a culture of ethics by interacting with other organizations by rules, policies, codes of conduct, performance indicators, communication and training programs, informal company proceedings, culture, rituals, ETC. 

While Paradigm Toys works toward establishing and creating a strong and highly regarded ethical culture, it will have many impacts, including on the company's internal and external reputation. The organization's leadership has a unique opportunity to help create this ethical shift and, in turn, create a "trickle-down effect" throughout all other parts of the company to successfully implement this new culture and organization-wide. This will allow them to participate in ethical morality opportunities identified in the CSR. This will also enable them to integrate these opportunities into their routine (Carroll & Brown, 2018). Implementing these changes can be done in several ways, such as positively enforcing the company policy and using incentives that would encourage employees to follow the new culture and standards that are expected of them. Management can also indirectly influence the success of implementing this new ethical culture by continually working towards being respected by those below them or subordinates and continuing to lead the company with courageous and inspiring actions that others will also desire to emulate.

The reason behind an audit of the ethical culture of the company is to "determine if the culture is aligned to support ethical behaviour [via] regular and comprehensive audits of all relevant cultural systems, both formal and informal (Carroll & Brown, 2018). What is discovered in the audit will aid in determining the company's next steps in its action plan. Suppose the company does not meet the standards or is not in alignment with ethical behaviour. In that case, the company will be immediately required to assess and change their ethical culture companywide. It has been shown in studies that "ethical culture will take years to develop and take years to change. A poor ethical culture within the company can be detrimental to its future success. It is critical to the company's continued existence that they are audited frequently to ensure that the company is functioning at the highest standards of society and ethics and that issues are identified early on to adapt and remove harmful components as quickly as possible.

Ethical Dilemma & Potential Solutions

When audits are performed or practised, it is common to find ethical dilemmas within the organization. In reality, all organizations face different circumstances that create the potential for unethical difficulties to arise throughout the organization's life. In the auditing process, it is essential to observe employees and how they embody the company's policies and other business sectors in different companies and their ethical cultures (Etter et al., 2019). One common problem witnessed throughout the auditing process is ethical issues that come from the company's attendance policy. The audit for Paradigm Toys observed the same ethical dilemma relating to the attendance policy throughout the company. 

It appears that one of the reasons that the attendance policy is such an abused company policy is that management often is dealing with the challenge of creating attendance policies, including things as disability standards, sick, and bereavement that can be applied in a diverse number of circumstances as well as universally at the same time (Etter et al., 2019). We often view a policy that can foster good attendance practices for one group of employees, but for others, it can be harmful to another group. Because of this, a loose policy that can apply to the needs and circumstances of most employees will leave areas for exposure and abuse for other employees to take advantage of, which is when we see most of the abuse of the policy.

To make a lasting positive change to the current policy, several avenues can be explored as solutions for the company to put into place. A couple of these solutions will be explained in detail. The first solution would be for the organization to identify and record any suspicions of employees abusing the current policy to make it more generalized or dynamic to locate the loopholes being used (Etter et al., 2019). A second solution that can be implemented would be to create an entirely new policy that considers and addresses patterns or repeat sick times requests and makes requirements for more detailed documentation from medical professionals. This can be investigated if an employee develops a design of calling in sick or taking PTO for longer than expected amounts of time, such as multiple days during the week. The two options posed as solutions stated previously can provide improvements to the current policy that is in place.

On top of the posed suggestions previously stated, there is also an opportunity to find value in performing research and dedicating time to research practices that have been proven successful in other companies who have implemented and adhered to the policy once it was implemented. Another option is to look into the current policy and clarify and use wording that is more explicit and defines when sick time-, bereavement-, short- and long-term disability, FMLA and when can be used and making sure that the policy is clearly explained and easy to understand. It is also essential to ensure that employees have and understand the policy when they are first hired.


Implementation Proposal

After taking a look at the current policies in place at this company, we believe that the solution is creating a new policy about patterns of abusing or using extensive amounts of sick time and needing additional documentation, as was suggested previously. We feel that it is the most ethical solution because it protects the company from employees continually abusing the policy. Still, this solution also protects those employees who need the procedure by creating an evident and apparent approach from the get-go that will be expected to be followed.

To be able to roll out this solution, we will rely upon our human resources department to assess the current policy and create an amendment to the policy that would incorporate the new requirements of needing additional documentation. It will be necessary to ensure that it was adequately communicated to management and down the chain of command (Nguyen et al., 2018). It would also be beneficial to potentially explore the idea of explaining the new policy in meetings and pieces of training to go over these changes and make sure that all employees are aware of and understand these recent changes. With new employees, it would be essential to implement programs and training to ensure they understand the exercise. Implementing training to change and fix the attendance issue at Paradigm Toys is necessary. When creating a new training program, three different aspects should be considered when forming and building this program. These components are conflict solution, safety, and creating a positive environment.

In concerns to conflict resolution, it can be embodied in different forms. This can be related to multiple aspects such as employee-to-employee conflicts, employee and leadership conflicts and even management to manage disputes. The struggle has been viewed in any form in the organization, and understanding this can help to have better reach by making training programs that can impact many levels of the organization (Nguyen et al., 2018). The training has been seen to be the most valuable in previous situations when it has been done around identifying both sides of the conflict's needs, disappointments and expectations related to the competition, and a clear path for leadership to follow if the conflict is unable to be resolved. Similarly to the attendance policy mentioned earlier, if employees and leadership fail to improve the employee adhering to the procedure, the issue can be escalated to the Human Resource department if further action is necessary.

A necessary part of the training programs is also safety training. Safety training will allow a sense of security that Paradigm toys have protected itself from liability and promoted overall safety for the employees while they are working for the company. At the same time, they are employed by Paradigm Toys (Nguyen et al., 2018). Aside from educating employees on policies and procedures while working with the organization, it is essential to make sure that employees can prove that they understand the policies through safety examinations or employee contracts that prove they were educated and that the employee understands all policies, procedures and practices that are expected of them. It is crucial to ensure understanding of these policies, and helping employees understand the importance of the policy will also help improve adherence to the new safety practices. As employees can better understand the necessity of safety policies, it will create a culture of safety and, in turn, lead to fewer workplace incidences or accidents that could cause issues in the future, such as being exposed to unwanted liabilities or being short-staffed.

As the training is being created to have a flourishing positive work environment, it would directly impact the culture of positivity and overall satisfaction and joy in employees and their current position and standing in the company. As employees create happiness and fulfilment in their jobs and careers with the company, the employee morale, output o and success of the company will improve in many aspects.

For the training to be impactful and beneficial companywide, the activity must be as interactive and hands-on as possible. However, due to the restrictions of COVID-19, many of our employees are currently working remotely and are not permitted to come back to the corporate offices for the time being (Zhang et al., 2019). For this reason, I would recommend that the new training be offered in a hybrid format with a mixture of a PowerPoint presentation and role-playing either over virtual meetings or in person, whichever is most plausible for the company. The display in a combined format will aid in keeping the audience engaged because it requires active participation and holds the meetings and practice activities professional. By including both employees and management in training, it can help all parties to feel comfortable in working together. 

The training should be in an open format, allowing participants to feel comfortable asking any questions they may have and getting answers. It would also be recommended to have handouts for reference if they need to look back on it for information on how to contact human resources or read the policies (Zhang et al., 2019). The programs will be the most successful when the employees are mandated to engage with the course material and digest it rather than just reading through and acknowledging documents. The training should only be the first step in creating successful changes and having them implemented and welcomed throughout the organization. The movement needs to remain relevant. It is vital that management continually use and practice training aspects, such as implementing suggestions and instructions from the training. 

Paradigm Toys and its leaders and management need to embody what the culture is and have it been in line with CSR. By doing this, Upper management needs to develop and audit the culture of ethics, understand and identify potential ethical violations or dilemmas, solve problems, and find ways to address the issue (Latapí et al., 2019). They also should ensure that their ethics training is practical and thorough. By Paradigm Toys keeping high standards for the ethics culture, they have no reason not to be recognized and treated as a highly ethical company. 

The organization has always been proud of the culture of ethics and its positivity and reach in all aspects of society, both directly and indirectly. Paradigm Toys continues to self-evaluate and think critically of themselves in how they can improve, as well as creating steps for the company to take actions to implement changes that may be needed, so they can continue to have these high standards that they pride themselves on (Latapí et al., 2019). They also can influence society and the corporate world to safeguard the reputation that they have strived so hard to create to make it so successful in the industry.


Carroll, A. B., & Brown, J. A. (2018). Corporate social responsibility: A review of current concepts, research, and issues. Corporate social responsibility. 

Etter, M., Fieseler, C., & Whelan, G. (2019). Sharing economy, sharing responsibility? Corporate social responsibility in the digital age. Journal of business ethics, 159(4), 935-942. 

Latapí Agudelo, M. A., Jóhannsdóttir, L., & Davídsdóttir, B. (2019). A literature review of the history and evolution of corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 4(1), 1-23. 

Nguyen, M., Bensemann, J., & Kelly, S. (2018). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Vietnam: a conceptual framework. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 3(1), 1-12. 

Wang, C., Hu, R., & Zhang, T. C. (2020). Corporate social responsibility in international hotel chains and its effects on local employees: Scale development and empirical testing in China. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 90, 102598. 

Zhang, Q., Oo, B. L., & Lim, B. T. H. (2019). Drivers, motivations, and barriers to the implementation of corporate social responsibility practices by construction enterprises: A review. Journal of cleaner production, 210, 563-584. 


A: Ethical Leader

The ethical leader I will be discussing today is a former manager of mine, Kenny (name changed for privacy). I worked with and under him for under two and a half years, performing numerous functions for the company we were employed with. The two ethical traits that will be evaluated below are his encouragement of personal growth and initiative and his willingness to lead by example.

Ethical Traits Demonstrated

The first ethical trait, encouragement of personal growth and initiative, is a perfect trait to have as a leader. Encouraging initiatives shows that you respect your employees and believe in them. This allows the team members to contribute in ways they may have been afraid to. This will help the project or team by offering new and creative ways to reach the goal.

The second trait, willingness to lead by example, shows that he would never ask his employees to do anything he would not do himself. This, in my mind, separates a leader from a manager (Lemoine et al., 2019). He is not just sitting back, barking orders, but joining in the fight, climbing into the trenches when needed. This shows employees that he is with them, supporting them, not just expecting results from them.

How Was Ethical Conduct Exhibited

The best way to describe how Kenny showed ethical conduct was by establishing trust and mutual respect for colleagues and employees. With this, he treated his team as co-workers rather than subordinates. By treating us this way, he earned more trust and respect from us, the team (Lemoine et al., 2019). Doing this opened doors for conversations, even those uncomfortable, and a flexible work environment that kept the team happy. He could elevate himself when needed, but that was rare.

B: Deontological and Consequentialist Perspectives

The discussion in this section will be related to the accompanying situation: "You are an agent for a clinical gadget organization that produces fake joints. Your organization has fostered a counterfeit knee joint that is more affordable than the opposition and will emphatically diminish recuperating time for patients. Nonetheless, creating a serious and possibly deadly disease in a little level of patients is likewise known. The organization won't unveil this expected secondary effect. You believe you have an obligation to unveil this issue, however you consented to a nondisclosure arrangement when you were recruited and stress over potential repercussions” (Ruehle, 2019).

When going through the scenario, you can see how there can be different perspectives. The two views to be discussed are the Deontological and the Consequentialist. Our textbook teaches us that consequentialists are a philosophical theory in which the person choosing right vs wrong looks at the results based on the consequences that will come from it (Ruehle, 2019). Of this theory, is the idea of the practical, also one of the better-known theories, focusing on an outcome that would benefit society and offer the least harm to those involved? Based on the previous sentence, a utilitarian would look at the situation, comparing the consequences of both sides, with questions similar to those below: 

If I choose to hide the information, who is affected? What if I disclose it?

The answer to both is - everyone will be affected either way.

If I do/don't disclose, what are the consequences?

Do: I could lose my job, affecting my family, but for the patient's benefit.

Don't: Patients could die, affecting their families. It could later affect the company's reputation when the information is found.

The Deontological theory, as described in the textbook, is one in which the person evaluates a situation and bases decisions on values, such as fairness, honesty, loyalty, and respect for human beings or property (Ruehle, 2019). With this stated, this person would look at the outcome with respect for the human being in the scenario (the patient), regardless of what this would do to the company. This, in turn, would push to have the information shared, as it would benefit the patient who may or may not choose to use the product.

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C: Level of Cognitive Moral Development

When it comes to cognitive moral development, you need to look at the situation and ask yourself a few questions to determine its ethicality. Based on the above scenario from section B, I will answer the following questions:

Which action would most likely serve the greater good in society?

This question falls into the post-conventional morality, stage 5 (Kleshinski et al., 2021), due to the ask for the greater good. In the scenario we are analyzing, the answer would be protecting the lives of future patients instead of the company from losing sales.

If I reveal this information, will I get into trouble and possibly even lose my job?

This question falls into stage 1 of the conventional level, obedience and punishment orientation (Kleshinski et al., 2021). The individual may be swayed in their decision and action, fearing retribution or firing if they reveal this information without company-expressed consent.

Which action best aligns with my long-held belief in the principle of justice?

What do the laws say, and what would a law-abiding citizen do?

Questions 3 and 4 would fall under stage 6 in the post-conventional level, universal principles (Kleshinski et al., 2021). This level reviews the laws and possible legal repercussions involved, as well as ethical regulations of justice and the rights of patients.

If I keep quiet, will I get some reward? 

Worrying about a reward would fall under the pre-conventional level, stage 2, about individualism and exchange. The person is thinking about a discussion of a reward for their silence, in the form of a bonus, raise, or related item of value to them.

D: Ethical Lens Inventory

At the beginning of this course, it was asked that I, as a student, take an Ethical Lens Inventory. The selected site offered a quiz called a 'game', in which questions were asked, and then it provided me with results based on my answers. The below sections will be a review of what it revealed.

Preferred Ethical Lens

According to the game's results, my preferred lens is the Blended Responsibilities and Results. This means I use personal reasoning skills and intuition to balance personal principles and long-term goals to meet autonomy. I will always look at my values and past experiences to make ethical decisions.

Based on the positioning of the dot in the graph, I am very near the centre. This suggests that in some situations, I may not prefer any particular lens and would choose my approach to any condition being authentic in the world rather than towards any lens.

Analysis of Lenses per Setting

Based on the situation (work, social, personal, etc.), I feel that my preferred lens is a good fit. I follow the same decision-making whenever I work with my family or volunteer at my rescue squad. I am always learning from my past, wanting to be better in the future, and always trying to be authentic and using personal principles.

Primary Value and Classical Virtue

Looking at my results, my primary values are no preference between Rationality and Sensibility and Mild Autonomy. Because Mild Autonomy is the only one that I do not incline towards, I will discuss this. Having a preference for autonomy over equality means respecting the individual rather than the group as a whole (MacQuillin, 2022). This means that while aiming for personal goals, people may be able to influence me slightly, but I will still make decisions based on myself and a good life. Autonomy also should that I defend the rights of each person involved in a situation, looking for them to take responsibility for their actions and to choose their own goals.

As for a virtue identified, I can choose between temperance and prudence or the ability to be moderate and self-restrained when making decisions about daily affairs. I will discuss temperance or being moderate and self-restrained (MacQuillin, 2022). Abstinence helps me not worry about others' opinions or expectations but focus on myself and my goals. This will allow me to avoid greed and gluttony while maintaining discipline and self-control.


My primary value from Primary Value and Classical Virtue is Autonomy, which falls into the personally identified value of Customer Satisfaction. I will put an individual and their feelings above a group of people in each of these values. I have noticed at work that a customer wants to be heard and handled individually, and blanket responses do not go over well (Sila, 2022). Treating them as an individual fits autonomy very well. My discussed virtue is temperance, which aligns with another personally identified value of self-discipline. I have found myself working towards strengthening this value in myself after a life of freedom in past years. As I better myself, I see self-discipline growing. In doing this, I notice that others' opinions do not matter to me anymore, aligning with the definition of Temperance given in the ELI.


In my ELI, it was identified that my Blind Spot is the belief that motive justifies the method or being satisfied with too little good. This is found in my mild preference for autonomy, which means I am reluctant to second-guess guess what people want; I may take the path of expedience and be satisfied with too little good (MacQuillin, 2022). With the above, I may lose sight of my goals and the consequences of my actions concerning those goals. This happens by not holding myself or others accountable for our actions. I will decide that consistency is only for people who do not recognize me and are not essential to my goals. 


To mitigate my Blind Spot as identified above, I have devised two methods. Those methods are regularly tracking and reviewing my personal goals and enforcing accountability. Setting a schedule to review my dreams and track progress towards them will help me stay on track and hopefully identify where I may get stuck or sucked into my blind spot. Then, forcing myself to remember accountability for myself and others will keep me on a steady path without skipping items, or cutting corners, thus setting myself up for better success and the team for a better overall image.


When reviewing my ELI and trying to align it with a situation at work, I think back to when we had an issue with the software offered to our clients. The parent company sent a party-line to use with every involved client, but it was vague and generic. My manager Kenny (from section A), and some team members had a quick meeting regarding the line. We all felt it was unfair to hide information about the outage, as it may have been company-caused and affected our clients negatively and financially (Palanski et al., 2021). We argued back up the chain that we should be more transparent with our clients, especially those impacted the hardest.

This type of discussion and behaviour falls into my value of autonomy. I wanted the clients to be treated as individuals, based on their specific impact, rather than the group, as a whole, with a public party-line.

E. Ethical Lens Inventory Attachment

Attached along with this document is a PDF of my Ethical Lens Inventory.



Lemoine, G. J., Hartnell, C. A., & Leroy, H. (2019). Taking stock of ethical approaches to leadership: An integrative review of honest, authentic, and servant leadership. Academy of Management Annals, 13(1), 148-187. 

Kleshinski, C. E., Wilson, K. S., Stevenson-Street, J. M., & Scott, B. A. (2021). Principled leader behaviours: An integrative framework and extension of why leaders are fair, ethical, and nonabusive. Academy of Management Annals, 15(1), 1-36. 

MacQuillin, I. (2022). Normative fundraising ethics: A review of the field. Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing, e1740. 

Palanski, M., Newman, A., Leroy, H., Moore, C., Hannah, S., & Den Hartog, D. (2021). Quantitative research on leadership and business ethics: Examining the state of the field and a plan for future research. Journal of Business Ethics, 168(1), 109-119. 

Sila, I. (2022). A stakeholder view of quality management and CSR through feminist ethics. Quality Management Journal, 29(1), 51-79.

Ruehle, C. R. (2019, September). Investigating Ethical Considerations of Machine Learning Adoptions Within Organizations: A Systematic Literature Review. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Engaged Management Scholarship (2019). 


A. Company’s Code of Ethics: Target


The subject of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is widely used in Target's broad set of rules. Target worked effectively at conveying what they mean for social, monetary, and ecological change by covering clear goals that express quantifiable results for our planet. Target's set of rules examines a shared obligation to regard fundamental liberties. Fair work rehearses by colleagues and colleagues, focusing on the world through manageability endeavours and putting resources into the networks through generosity and volunteerism. The business naturally includes us with others, and we frequently follow up for the benefit of others (Smith, 2021). Many parts of a decent CSR strategy are examined exhaustively in Target's set of principles record.


Target's code of ethics unequivocally addresses how the organization consents to legitimate orders. The implicit principles subtleties the organization's position on keeping a zero capacity to bear resistance with legitimate infringement. Target's broad set of principles urges colleagues to be careful in noticing resistant ways of behaving and supports a commitment to voice concerns when occasions of thought manhandling happen. With wellbeing, security, and administrative drives, infringement of compensation and work regulations, safeguarding individual data, and directing business decently, Target's implicit set of principles underlines prerequisites for all representatives and colleagues to know and consolidate in their day-to-day work the regulations that oversee moral and fair strategic policies to guarantee lawful consistence (Smith, 2021). Target's broad set of principles sums up that when worker activities disregard the law and affect the Objective brand, legitimate outcomes could happen, including punishments, arraignment, fines, and prison time.


Organizations should observe guidelines, guidelines, and regulations to prepare for extortion and misuse. Rules and guidelines are upheld in the working environment to shield representatives and organizations from arraignment, claims, and fines. Ramifications for organizations with resistant strategic approaches with legitimate commands incorporate criminal arraignment and charges, efficiency misfortunes, penalties, and punishments (Smith, 2021). The ramifications of resistance aren't restricted to lawful punishments. Roundabout expenses for an organization can be huger and incorporate pessimistic reputational costs, business interruption or conclusion, and individual liabilities. The Government Exchange Commission (FTC) directs many regulations and guidelines to safeguard shoppers against organizations with out-of-line and misleading practices (2017). If the FTC finds organizations are resistant to the law, it can force a most extreme common punishment of $40,000.00.


Target implements internal safeguards to protect business data and the organization's assets. To guard against illegal or unethical theft of property, abuse, misuse, or unauthorized disclosure of non-public and intellectual property, Target put in place protections to manage business operations effectively and avoid disruptions in work efforts. Two ethical safeguards Target enforces to prevent illegal and unethical acts for physical security in the workplace are tracking physical property through asset management and empowering employees through security awareness. 

To ensure the impact of communicating ethically is understood by all employees, Target publishes the Delegation of Authority policy and Social Media Guidelines to enforce the understanding of communicating responsibly. The protections include publishing policies that address Records and Information Management, Information Security, and the Acceptable Use of Information Resources. Other physical security protections include contacting assets protection or corporate security when suspicious or dishonest activity is observed. 


Ethical conduct in the workplace encourages a culture of moral decisions. Leaders are modelling acceptable behaviour to help to drive employee engagement, happiness, and retention. Target's code of ethics is a proposal to comply with the company's code to promote a culture of integrity and accountability. Target's code of ethics does a great job of fostering an ethical culture. Entrenched in Target's code of ethics, employees are equipped with the knowledge and tools to do what's right when ethical dilemmas arise (Giwa et al., 2020). Every topic in Target's code of ethics is a commitment to the values, behaviours, and code of the company and resources that actively reinforce ethical standards. The communication of expectations is a powerful organizational influence tool (Johnson, 2019).


To do what's right, people have to hold themselves and others accountable for how they act and conduct business. Reporting unethical behaviour is a test of character. Leaders encourage teamwork and create structures, processes, and programs that allow a positive ethical culture to flourish. Target gives employees three resources to use to reinforce an ethical culture when raising alleged ethical code violations for deliberate reasons. Target provides employees with a channel to voice concerns, seek guidance, or report violations. Employees have the option to talk with their immediate supervisor or a member of Human Resources. When reporting unethical actions, employees can call the compliance hotline or visit Target's integrity URL (Giwa et al., 2020). Employees can report an unethical violation by email or writing to the ethics and compliance board. Reporting non-compliant violations is handled anonymously and confidentially. Target bans retaliatory behaviour against employees when unethical conduct is reported and takes protection seriously. 


If I observe an ethical violation, I will follow company procedures for reporting unethical behaviour. I have a great working relationship with my direct leader and would elect to speak with her directly for a directive on how to address suspected unethical acts of conduct. As an alternative option, I would call the internal compliance hotline. I believe a hotline encourages people to report wrongdoings due to its convenience and anonymity. 

B. Three Factors an Employee Might Consider Before Deciding To Report Unethical Conduct Observed At Work

Unethical Behaviors Policy 

Purpose: Unethical behaviour adversely affects workplace morale and contributes to opposing outcomes. This policy establishes guidelines for addressing unethical behaviour by individuals at the organization, including employees and business partners (2015). 

Policy: It is the organization's policy that every team member lives the values, understands the code, follows the law, and takes action when witnessing conduct that undermines the foundation of ethical culture.

Unethical conduct will not be tolerated at the organization. Unethical behaviour is any manner of interaction that harms workplace morale and includes but is not limited to:

Illegal activity and non-compliance with the law;

Hurts the Target brand;

Egregious breach of values, behaviours, and code.



I. Guidelines to Prepare for Reporting Unethical Concerns 

Target's code of ethics requires employees to observe standards of business and ethics by understanding the code requirements, living the values in daily actions, and reporting assumed violations of the code. There are ethical reasons why people blow the whistle on unethical behaviour or actions. Employees must weigh important personal and organizational considerations before blowing the whistle (Turyakira, 2018). An individual assessment should include research to ensure the unethical act is valid. The employee should know why they feel strongly about a given issue, understand the force behind their intentions, consider the moral and financial implications, be prepared for others to learn of their identity contingent on the occurrence and outcome, and ready to live with the consequences, determine the best timing, discuss the issue with family, and have an alternate course of action if the expected outcome doesn't occur.

Organizational considerations should start with gathering the report contents, including the suspected person's name, description of the instance, and any pertinent documentation regarding the violation (Turyakira, 2018). Organizational considerations must include discussing the unethical example with a direct lender, making sure the concern is the correct type of issue to report, compiling evidence to support the claim, reviewing company policy on how to internally report the violation, contacting the company's compliance officer if applicable, be prepared to follow the chain of command, take the concern outside the company if still unresolved, or find other employment. Employees must cooperate in internal investigations of unethical behaviour.


II. Reporting a concern

Ultimately Target's ability to enforce the code is based on the commitment of its employees to follow the code requirements and report suspected ethical violations. If an employee decides to blow the whistle on illegal and unethical behaviour, internal and external reporting steps must be followed. Internal reporting steps must include fully following company protocol. Unethical concerns should be reported following the chain of command, starting with the immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor has taken part in the problem, the employee should proceed to the next management level. After management has been notified, reporting steps include contacting human resources, the compliance officer or reporting the concerns to senior leaders such as the CEO or president of the company. Reporting can be done in person, by phone, or in writing.

Following applicable laws and regulations, Target will determine whether law enforcement or an external government agency should be notified. Employees must follow external reporting steps if they decide to report unethical behaviour. After all specified internal steps have been performed, the exterior reporting step should report the probable ethical violation to the external compliance hotline (Podgorica et al., 2021). A report will be created, and the appropriate teams will be engaged for further follow-up. Confidentiality and anonymity will remain intact but could be released to the public at some point, depending on the type of complaint and statute.

C. One Advantage and One Disadvantage of Paying Whistleblowers

The False Claims Act enables whistleblowers to bring suit on behalf of any wrongdoer who is currently defrauding the US government (2020). A person considering filing a lawsuit under the False Claims Act on behalf of the government should thoroughly educate themselves on the rewards, protections, benefits, and perils for whistleblowers. The potential rewards and risks associated with whistleblowing can be significant. The rewards system with the False Claims Act encourages people to come forward to help stop wrongdoing and hold offenders accountable (2020). Advantages include moral, ethical, and financial tips. The moral and ethical benefits for whistleblowers outweigh the risks (Podgorica et al., 2021). A whistleblower's entitlement to financial rewards ranges from 15% to 30% depending on the unique circumstances with a successful outcome. Disadvantages could include retaliation from an employer such as loss of employment or demotion, negative feedback or harassment from work colleagues and family members, direct or indirect threats against personal safety, struggles from stress and anxiety with anonymity, and lengthy or unfavourable outcomes.

D. The Changes That Organizations Have Made Based On the US Sentencing Guidelines

Corporate adoption of practical ethics and compliance programs was greatly influenced by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, developed by the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) on November 1, 1991. Since 1991, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations have provided a criminal justice framework to deter and punish organizational misconduct (Patuzzo et al., 2018). These guidelines encourage organizations to implement internal control systems by mandating penalties when internal systems fail. Initially, individual defendants were prosecuted. With the new sentencing guidelines, organizations were held responsible and accountable when a sole employee was indicted on a crime. This changed the way organizations viewed the efficacy of ethics and compliance programs and how they drove their business operations. Developing an ethical corporate culture gained more momentum for the organization's top management (Patuzzo et al., 2018). Compliance initiatives, codes of ethics, and compliance programs provide the standards and guidelines for ethical behaviour. They reinforced adherence to the laws that governed ethical conduct and were critical to avoiding penalties and fines.

When organizations are criminally liable for illegal actions, the liability is based on several factors. Culpability factors used to determine fines under the US Sentencing Guidelines are the organization's size, prior history of similar criminal conduct, and the role of obstructing or impeding an investigation. Penalties are based on a base fine and a culpability score. The base fine corresponds with a determined offence level, the organization's monetary gain, and the ensuing loss caused by the criminal offence. 

The culpability score is increased or decreased based on aggravated or mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are the size of the organization by factoring the number of employees in the organization or the number of individuals involved in criminal activity, prior history of misconduct conduct, and the role of obstructing or impeding an investigation (McPhail et al., 2018). Mitigating factors are whether an effective compliance program was in place at the time of the offence, if the organization self-reported the crime and was fully cooperative, and if they accepted responsibility for the criminal activity. 

Corporate compliance, ethical culture, and ethical decision-making are vital components for the success of every business operation, regardless of the industry. An effective compliance program will protect organizations and employees to avoid fraud, abuse, and practices that inevitably interrupt business operations. Compliance violations can result in fines, penalties, lawsuits, and loss of reputation.


Giwa, A., Milsten, A., Vieira, D., Ogedegbe, C., Kelly, K., & Schwab, A. (2020). Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Bioethical Analysis of Healthcare Professionals and Institutions' Moral Obligations During Active Shooter Incidents in Hospitals—A Narrative Review of the Literature. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 48(2), 340-351. 

McPhail, I. V., Stephens, S., & Heasman, A. (2018). Legal and ethical issues in treating clients with pedohebephilic interests. Canadian Psychology/psychologie canadienne, 59(4), 369. 

Patuzzo, S., De Stefano, F., & Ciliberti, R. (2018). The Italian code of medical deontology. historical, ethical and legal issues. Acta Bio Medica: Atenei Parmensis, 89(2), 157. 

Podgorica, N., Flatscher-Thöni, M., Deufert, D., Siebert, U., & Ganner, M. (2021). A systematic review of ethical and legal issues in elder care. Nursing Ethics, 28(6), 895-910.

Smith, H. (2021). Clinical AI: opacity, accountability, responsibility and liability. AI & SOCIETY, 36(2), 535-545. 

Turyakira, P. K. (2018). Ethical practices of small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries: A literature analysis. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 21(1), 1-7. 


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How to prepare for IRB Application

Initial Application to the IRB 

Within the eResearch Regulatory Management (eRRM) system at the University of Michigan, the IRB application is a web-based questionnaire or form that may be initiated by any member of the study team. It is intended to collect all of the information and materials that are necessary for the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB-HSBS) and any other relevant research review units to evaluate and approve the research in accordance with federal regulations and University of Michigan policies.

 The IRB application is divided into different classes, which determine the review path, as well as parts that describe the proposed research and specify subject safeguards. This is done to make data entry and committee review more efficient. eRRM will activate further pertinent sections and questions inside the form based on the application type you have chosen and the replies you have provided in the initial sections of the form. It is possible for a section to contain functionality that allows users to add or select information from other eResearch systems, as well as upload associated documentation (such as documents pertaining to informed consent, protocols, recruitment materials, and so on) into the application (e.g., PAFs from Proposal Management).


The following application routes are available for projects that will be examined by the IRB-HSBS:

  • Research Involving Human Beings :That Involves Interaction Or Intervention This protocol is utilized for any study that will collect data or biospecimens from human subjects. If you choose this option, you will be presented with a series of additional questions designed to help you locate projects that may be eligible for an exemption determination.
  • Uses of Private Information or Biospecimens in Secondary Research : Secondary study uses of private information or biospecimens refers to research that only involves the examination of information or biospecimens that was gathered in the past. If you choose this option, the Scope of Secondary Use Research section will become visible and you will be prompted to provide comments so that the application can be directed down the appropriate review path (comprehensive IRB review, exempt or not regulated).
  • Activities That Are Not Regulated As Being Carried Out On Human Subjects : This category is for projects that include individuals or their data but do not satisfy the definition of human subjects research that would require oversight from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Compliance with HIPAA or another institutional standard may be necessary for the projects, as well as certification from the IRB that they are "not regulated." (For further information, please refer to table Regulated/Not Regulated located in Part 4 of the HRPP Operations Manual.)
  • Projects that may not include immediate intentions for the involvement of human subjects, their data, and/or their specimens (also known as a "umbrella" or "dry" application) - for training grants, program projects, or research that may not involve human subjects until later in the year.
  • Requesting Review by an IRB That Is Not Part of the University of Michigan – to keep track of requests that the University of Michigan hand over IRB monitoring to an external IRB


An application to an IRB has parts that outline, at each stage of the project, how the research team will engage with the people who are the subjects of the study and/or their data. The information that the IRB anticipates finding in an application is highlighted in the following table, which provides a description of the most important elements of the application and links to relevant resources when available.

  • Information Relating to the Study in General: Please introduce the research team. Please provide a synopsis of the project. IRB and application type should be selected.
  • Information Regarding Sponsors: Indicate whether the support is coming from outside or inside the organization, and include a link to the grant application (PAF) or award number.
  • Locations of Performances: Please include a list of the institutions that will be participating in the research project as well as the places where research activities will be undertaken. Plan for the Research : Enter the specifics of the protocol, and give a comprehensive account of the study's contacts with human participants.
  • Benefits & Risks: Describe both the positive outcomes of the study as well as any potential adverse effects on the participants.
  • Taking Into Account Particulars: Provides navigation to particular portions of the IRB application, as indicated by "yes" replies, for those factors that call for additional information concerning their application in the research (e.g., surveys, interviews, tissue or specimens, subject compensation, deception, etc.)
  • Information Regarding the Subject: Input data regarding the research population, method of recruiting and screening, and susceptible subjects.
  • Consent Provided After Being Educated: Describe the process of informed consent, and upload any documents required for consent.
  • Maintaining Privacy, Confidentiality, and Physical Safety: Indicate the identifiability of the data, as well as the privacy safeguards afforded to people, the data management and security procedures, and the future applications planned for the data.