The primal focus and purpose of this report are to conduct an ethical overview in correlation with public relations and how ethical codes get broken in business organizations repeatedly. This report is going to focus on the ethical practices and necessities in terms of managing a company profusely well, also the organizational barriers that may hinder proper management and implementation of ethical practices in PR will be discussed as well. We will also focus on the stakeholders’ analysis factors, branding impacts, press releases, ethical management, and PR management in depth. We will vigorously discuss the ethical practices and the guidelines in PR factors, how to overcome ethical practice related problems to restore proper ethical management and PR in organizations such as a Bank located in Australia named CBA.
repeated ethical scandals through the lense of Pr theories and practices
For any kind of organization regardless of its size and shape, the operations of the business start with one factor and that is if the company will be capable of having social responsibilities or not. Business organizations do not get started on their own but people start them, work on them brick by brick to take it further. While all kinds of activities are taking place regarding the business, an enormous responsibility falls on the people who are related with the company, the responsibility is to maintain the business based on ethics through the operations of PR practices.
Behind every successful business organizations or any kind of corporations, ethical management, and PR based ethical practices are responsible. Typically ethical practices are dictated by the management of the company but are followed by the employees of the company (Pages.uoregon.edu. 2018).
Individuals working in a bank or any other kind of business organizations are constantly under the influence of several issues like- cultural, political, economic factors. A person’s upbringing has an enormous impact on how he/she will react and act as a grown-up person, how she/he will handle corporation activities and how they will manage the ethical codes.
PR also was known as Public relations is most of the times considered as a profession that only works behind the curtains and handles problems’ silently. It is a necessity to know that, PR is one of the most fundamental corporate conscience which imposes business ethics and social responsibilities of different kinds of businesses such as a bank. PR standards contain-
• Ensuring effective behavioral guidelines to the members of the company
• Educating the management regarding PR
• To differentiate PR from workers who only use the title do not really understand the PR practices and theories and giving this profession a bad image because of it (Kang, 2010).
Even if a corporation has several ethical codes in it, it will not guarantee that all the employees, workers and the management itself will act based on the ethical codes based on the PR practices. There are some very common and dominant reasons behind unethical activities due to lack of PR practices and comprehension of it and the causes of repeated unethical practices within a company and they are-
• Sometimes organizations give an advantage to shorter usage over long-term gals
• Not having enough or any written ethical codes to follow up
• Ethical dilemmas take longer to show up in the company so, its reduction or eradication cannot be so easily implemented, but solving them too fast can leave the residue of unethical practices behind, that means the solving took place only over the surface and not from the roots (Bivins, 2012).
• It is also a cause of repeated unethical problems is that, considering ethical codes just as a legal policy, not as a lifestyle (Grunig, 2014).
• Lacking in integrity and not maintaining integrality and honesty while dealing with business operations.
• Incompetence in keeping loyalty and managing confidentiality.
Australia’s one of the largest and most reputed banks is CBA Bank and they are recently been accused of breaching anti-money laundering rules. By doing so, they are now on the verge of facing billions of dollars in fines from the court by the regular ASTRAC. Due to lack of the implementation of Rules of the Money Laundering Prevention Act-2002, this organization is now facing numerous charges against them.
existing barriers to the organizational learning at the bank
CBA bank is going through potential financial troubles and unethical charges against them. As financial planning is one of the most rudimentary parts of a company especially if the company is a bank, so focusing on its safety and safer transactions are a must. However, several pieces of evidence have come to the surface regarding financial provision and advice and not enough compliance offering in the banking industry, not enough ethical banking decisions and such.
In the year 2013, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) had published a report on unethical and rogue financial activities taking place in CBA also known as Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Yeates, 2018). The report stated that this bank in the last four years has exposed to misconduct in financial activities and continued unethical behavior. SMH did not stop there and kept reporting on CBA on unethical practices over three years (Pria.com.au. 2018). They have also found to be guilty of encouraging unethical behavior by continuing to give incentives to financial planners unethically in a form of commissions, bonuses and luxury vacations overseas. Financial planners who were able to meet their targeted sales were provided with unethical incentives for several years. These are the two biggest barriers which are holding this company to move forward towards betterment and organizational learning.
An organization can have several bigger and major barriers to organizational learning which can create dilemmas, major internal problems within the company, unethical practices and so on. A bank just like any other business corporations can have certain barriers to its’ learning processes and the barriers that have taken place in CBA bank to the organizational learning are-
• Employee resistance to change- CBA bank’s employees were provided with incentives after doing good work, but the incentives were unethical and since 2013, they are not trying to change whatsoever (University, 2018). They have gotten used to unethical commissions, bonuses, and trips overseas.