Business Ethics



TheJCPenny Company is a departmental store having more than 1,060locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. It sells conventionalmerchandise, and house leased departments like Seattle’s BestCoffee, Optical Centers, Jewelry Repair, Sephora, and Saloons. Itsrivals include Sears, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Kohls.Most of its stores are situated in suburban shopping malls.Initially, their stores were located in downtown regions. However, asshopping malls became common in the 20th century, the companyrelocated. In recent years, the company has been following theretailing trends of opening freestanding stores. Some stores aresituated in power centers. The company also joined internet retailingin 1998. It was first created in 1902, with only one store operating.By 1912, it had 34 stores within the Rocky Mountain States. It wasincorporated into J.C. Penney Company in 1913. The headquarters wasmoved to New York City to ease transportation, financing, andpurchase of goods. Ever since the company has grown considerably invarying capacities [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].


Acode of ethics guides the company in their daily undertakings. Someof the elements of the code of ethics include conflict of interest,corporate opportunities, confidentiality, fair dealing, reporting ofunethical or illegal behavior, compliance with the rules, laws, andregulations. It also entails the protection and appropriate use ofthe corporation’s assets. These codes are instituted to govern allemployees as well as top management. Its main aim is to ensurepeaceful coexistence with the surrounding environs such as customersand competitors. Contravening any of the stipulated law is regardedunethical. Nevertheless, in some instances, people break the codes [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].

Accordingto the company’s system, a conflict of interest arises when anindividual’s interest affects or seems to interfere with thecorporation’s interests. With regards to the board of directors,this aspect occurs when a member of their family is given personalbenefits due to the position in the corporation. The top managementof JCPenny Company must adhere to this section to prevent anyinjustices. The code also states that directors must not accept anyvaluable gifts from anyone seeking or having business with thecorporation. They can only receive promotional gifts. The directorsmust also avoid any instance that can lead to guaranteeing oraccepting loans. Apart from that, the top management must notinteract with the competitors if it may influence job performance.This aspect is mandatory for all the leaders and employees [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].

Companyinformation is also confidential. Therefore, it is unethical to shareany confidential information unless the law requires it. In otherwords, if the disclosure of information is legal, the top managementmust discuss on the same. As such, board members are mandated toconceal the information even after completion of their terms. It is,therefore, the obligation of the company stakeholders, particularlymanagers and employees to safeguard the confidential information.Since the company is involved in a competitive market, sharing of theinformation might aid the rivals. The ethics code also coversreporting of criminal undertakings. If any member associated with thecompany contravenes the set regulations, they must be reported to therespective department. Directors are instructed to encourage ethicalbehaviors to make sure all the elements of the company work justly [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].

Fairdealing is also an essential part of JCPenny Company’s businessethics. The corporation has a responsibility to interact reasonablywith the suppliers, employees, competitors, and customers. Themanagers are barred from taking advantage of anyone throughconcealment, misrepresentation of facts, unfair dealings, andmanipulation. Compliance with the rules, laws, and regulations isalso paramount. The directors of the company must ensure thecorporation is well represented when it comes to the application ofadministrative rules namely the local, state, and federal codes,regulations, and statutes. This system also covers the trading rules.As such, if the company is non-compliant, an appropriate measure mustbe taken. These are some of the moral codes governing the JCPennyCompany [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].

However,the implementation part is always quite complicated. For instance, inmore than one occasion the conflict of interest is contravenedwithout subsequent actions. Some family members of the top managersreceive favorable treatment due to their positions. For instance, inseveral occasions, family members get assistance instantly in thecustomer care while the rest are forced to wait. Non-compliance tocompany’s business ethics is detrimental to customer acquisition.For example, a client who is overlooked when offering service mayswitch to the rival company. Worryingly such as instances are rarelyreported as entailed in the company’s code. In addition to that,confidentiality is hard to maintain. In one case, a service JCPennyCompany was planning to launch leaked to the rivals who adopted itfirst. Due to this, the company lost significantly in the marketshare. The company has not embraced diversity in some sections.Therefore, communication breakdown is usually experienced due tolanguage barriers. All these aspects are vital elements of businessethics [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].


Dealingwith the above aspects is quite hard. For instance, reporting amanager might be risky and can lead to demotion or termination. Aworker fears to report their supervisors since it may have severeconsequences. However, this aspect can be alleviated by the use ofsuggestion boxes. JCPenny Company is big, and workers come fromdifferent backgrounds. Nevertheless, the employees, as well as thetop management, must be conversant with one another’s culture.Therefore, the company should increase the team building activitiesthat help employees as well as the managers to grasp the differentcultures. Maintaining confidentiality can be achieved by disclosingthe future alterations to a small number particularly, top managerswho have been loyal to the company for a while. This can also beachieved by treating the employees as shareholders. In that regard,they would be allowed to share the business’s profits. Such a movewould increase loyalty and heighten confidentiality [ CITATION JCP15 l 1033 ].


Employeeswill be given chances to own shares in the JCPenny Company. They willfeel important and work extra hard to increase the corporation’srevenues. This will also encourage them to safeguard vitalinformation concerning the company. The suggestion boxes that do notspecify the source of information will give the employees courage toreport any unethical behavior. This would streamline activities ofusing authority to manipulate other employees. The team buildingevents will strengthen the bonds between the people associated withthe company. The mechanism will also enhance diversity within theenterprise. Unethical behaviors that affect consumers will beprevented once all these elements are implemented. In general, thestakeholders of the JCPenny Company will comply with the variousbusiness ethics demands.


JCPenny. (2015). J.C. Penny Corporation Inc. Company Information. Retrieved from

Business Ethics


Managementeducation enables the learners to be acquainted with the knowledgethat will make them effective business leaders as well as makingsound decisions when it comes to the administration of the diverseorganizations. However, ethics have a crucial role to play because itenables them to shape reasonable judgments that can differentiatebetween right and wrong behaviors and thus avoiding irreversibleramification in the future.

Someconclusions that are made that can lead to adverse and tragicincidents, like the case of Rana Plaza if they are not guided byethics. The moral code can enable a director or any other person,from the general public, to be first whistleblower thereby raising anissue of concern that may be a threat to the public (Kaplan EducationLimited, 2014). In this case, the crack in the building foreshadowedan imminent hazard that could cause the collapsing of the structurehence, leading to severe damage and loss of life. If such informationwere aired earlier, the responsible authorities would have taken anaction to determine the safety of the building before the innocentindividuals being allowed to continue working in the sameenvironment.

Similarly,the skills gained can help identify if there is consideration of lawand ethics while such resolutions are made. If the rules andregulations are followed substantially, they give no room forinefficiencies that can lead to adverse consequences either in theshort or long-run. The decisions made are, therefore, suitably shapedfor the interest of all people.

Ina nutshell, the incorporation of ethics in management education canenable us to make decisions that have maximum advantages to mostpeople. We can as well raise issues of interest that indicates thatthere are flaws in the conclusions that are raised by the companystaff or owners of structures, like the Rana Plaza.


KaplanEducation Limited. (2014). The Role and Rights of Whistleblowersretrieved from 28 September, 2016.