Becton Dickinson is a pharmaceutical brand created in 1897 in the United States. By 1996 it was the world's largest producer of various medical devices such as syringes and needles. The company grew rapidly through the century and had to revamp its organization scheme in 1995 in order to face new challenges. This restructuration, led by the CEO, Clateo Castellini, had several main objectives. Among these objectives, one stood out: the ethics and business practices program. However, the company faced various problematic issues while attempting to realize this specific objective. Indeed, the company is implemented all over the world and one had to take hinge of it's cultural singularities. Thus, is it possible to implement a unique rule in business practices for a worldwide company, especially when it comes to corruption? More generally, how can a company draw the line separating corruption from business practices? At what level of the organization should corruption issues be treated? Last but not least, who should communicate inside the organization on this policy?
[...] We disagree openly and honestly, and we deal with our differences professionally. Once we have made a decision, we act together in harmony. We do what is right We are committed to the highest standards of excellence in everything that we do: on behalf of our customers, our shareholders, our communities and ourselves. We are proud to work for a health care company whose products and services make a difference in people's lives. We derive our greatest sense of accomplishment from doing what is right - not what is expedient. [...]
[...] Example: a physician considering BDs diagnostic equipment would like to go to California for instrument training and then visit Disneyland with his family. Managers such as Santucci therefore need a clear guideline issued by the company in order to know if their behavior is ethical. It was also coherent with the chairman's desire to Page Becton Dickinson (Case Analysis) communicate basic expectations for business conduct worldwide: points we don't want to compromise”. However, the firm being international, the legislation in each different region makes it very difficult to issue a homogenous guideline. [...]
[...] Page Becton Dickinson (Case Analysis) III. HOW ARE THE PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE APPLICATION OF ETHICAL PRINCIPLES ARISING "ON THE FIELD"? In 1995, Castellini and Galiardo transmitted to all associates the business conduct compliance Guide, which was mentioning BD's values and principles that all employees should now follow. That was underlining the fact that change in ethical behaviour should proceed at all levels, and spreading personal responsibility among staff. Among the points that needed to be reinforced stood conflicts of interest, gifts and gratuities granted to potential clients and the attitude that was required to deal with government officials. [...]
[...] Page Becton Dickinson (Case Analysis) So, in the end, what does the dilemma consist in? What could be the solutions? Everybody has to respect the same law. If not, hospitals will turn away from the company to deal with competitors that accept to pay extras. Following the Guide can make BD lose clients, and great opportunities, at a moment where it needs to gain market share in a competitive environment. Competitors must stick to the same values; otherwise BD will not be able to stay on the market. [...]
[...] Page Becton Dickinson (Case Analysis) The competition between companies in those sectors is not loyal and based on competitive advantages, but relies on personal advantages and family connections, referred to as "mutual back-scratching". Hospitals will chose the company that offers the best gifts and advantages for its managers and employees, not the best quality in the service they provide. Asking for a licence is seen as a request made to the official in charge, therefore he will ask for something in return. [...]
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