Evaluation of a business code of ethics

Essay by kerma02University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2014

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Ethical behavior from employees is the foundation for a successful business. Trevino and Nelson define ethical behavior as being, "consistent with the principles, norms, and standards of business practice that have been agreed upon by society (2007, p. 16, para. 1). A code of ethics is an example of the way a company would have employees act; an instruction manual for ethical behavior. Simply possessing a code of ethics does not guarantee ethical behavior from employees.

Therefore, a code of ethics must outline consequences for violations. Employers must enforce the code as well. A code of ethics ensures that, if followed, employees will work diligently with integrity and expertise, safeguard confidential information, and do so in a professional manner.

Implementing and maintaining a code of conduct and ethics creates stakeholder confidence in a multinational financial services company. MetLife is one of the largest financial services companies in the world as well as the number one life insurance company in the United States; providing services worldwide in the following areas: investments, financial planning, banking, and insurance.

MetLife was formed as a mutual insurance company in 1864 in the wake of the American Civil War.

The company would insure Civil War veterans against disabilities because of wartime injuries and sickness. After a rough start in the first four years and several reorganizations, the company started to focus primarily on the life insurance industry; a move that would establish MetLife as one of the largest companies in the United States. Over the span of 143 years MetLife grew significantly through acquisitions and continuing to provide superior service and support to clients.

Most recently MetLife acquired American Life Insurance Company (ALICO), and provides people financial services, life insurance, health insurance, and investments, in the following counties: Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Pakistan. This...