System of Inquiry
A system of inquiry refers to the mechanism employed by organizations and businesses in ensuring that all the steps are followed in the business enterprise to ensure that the decisions made in the business as well as the problem solving procedures are not only ethical but they follow the stipulated code of behavior and ethics of the company. In traditional usage, the system of inquiry has a given number of questions which are used by the relevant agents from the organization to help in solving the problems present in an institution thus ensuring the overall success of the business (Jackson, 2000). The codes of ethics present in an institution form the basis at which the system of inquiry is based. This paper seeks to review the Microsoft company code of conduct in and the system of inquiry employed to ensure its total satisfaction in the implementation process. A general framework of the company's system of inquiry will be included as well as why, by whom as well as when the system of inquiry is used. In addition to this, the paper will have a discussion both the negative and positive effects of the identified system of inquiry to the general wellbeing of the institution.
It is vital to note that when a system of inquiry is put in place, then the organizations decision making process will be ethical thus the organizations culture will be enhancing. The organization is also able to meet the aims as well as the objectives it has set out to achieve. Any business enterprise which implements a system of inquiry derived from the organizations code of ethics greatly influences the performance of the employees positively especially on the social structures (Jackson, 2000). The implementation of a system of inquiry can either boost the productivity of the employees of the institution or reduce the performance levels especially when solving of the companies problems is not done adequately. For a system of inquiry to work effectively, it is paramount that questions are formulated based on the code of ethics. The questions are by the management personnel to come up with policies and sound decision making processes which are helpful to the performance of the company. For efficient implementation of the system of inquiry, it is paramount that the top are involved so as to ensure uniformity of the process and avoid adverse effects from being exhibited. The stakeholders should also be well educated in regards to the benefits of implementing the system of inquiry.
The Microsoft Company has several guidelines stipulated in the corporation's code of conduct of how the employees are to conduct themselves ethically while still maintaining high levels of professionalism. These guidelines enable the company to remain focused on achieving the organizational goals. The system of inquiry is intended for the Chief executive officer, the corporate controller as well as all the company's employees. This is because all these personalities hold vital information in ensuring the corporate governance and achievement of goals is achieved. From the code of ethics, the system of inquiry can be formulated which stipulates questions which can be followed to discipline an employee who does not consistently follow the code of behavior. In the implementation of the code of ethics of the company, the top management officials must ensure that the checklist on the code development is fully followed (Jackson, 2000). All the employees must be aware of the merits of having the code in place thus they will be involved in its implementation. The organizational culture of the company is inculcated at all times.
The system of inquiry framework which is employed by the company in the implementation of the code of ethics is pragmatic approach under the participative management framework. Through this framework several approaches are used to ensure that communication between the employees as well make a positive contribution in the development process of the code. These approaches include performance appraisal where the employees are given a chance to present their contributions as well so as to institutionalize as well as integrate the code into value system of the institution. Training, discussions, ethics appraisals as well as culture interventions are appropriate sure ways of ensuring that the code of ethics is integrated into the employees systems and making it form the basis of their feelings, beliefs as well as attitudes (Jackson, 2000).
Participative management is utilized by the Microsoft Company in their implementation of the code of ethics through giving each employee in the company a chance to participate in the bottom-line of the company through contribution skills, talent as well as knowledge. The information collected from the employees either in the suggestion boxes or through observation from the seniors is implemented and the recommendations are acted upon. Through this process, the employees as well as the executives has a chance to redesign the working relationships through making the workplace more interactive and participative. Since clear goals are stipulated in the management of the organization, employing participative management does not mean that a company is turned to the hands of the employees. A mild hierarchy exists in the management of the firm thus the employees are not dictated upon the tasks they will undertake. This system of inquiry has several advantages. For instance, the productivity of the employees is increased since their roles as well as responsibilities have been clearly stipulated (Jackson, 2000). The employees are thus able to manage their work schedules. Since the top management decides on the strategies to steer the organization or business venture and the frontline employees focus on their stipulated primary tasks, such that any conflict of interests which can derail the achievement of organizational goals is not encountered. Through this system of inquiry, employees no doubt get satisfaction from their jobs thus improving on their performance levels. The workforce of a business which employs participative management feels appreciated thus implementation of the code of conduct becomes easy as it is the ideas which the employee's have created which are implemented. In order for the employees to give their best in as far as work policies are concerned, the management should consult the employees. With this system of inquiry, the Microsoft Company has continually enjoyed increase in customer productivity with few changes being witnessed in changing the working environment (Jackson, 2000). Problem solving in the institution becomes easy.
Through participative management, the general management and implementation of the code of ethics is improved as vital feedback is acquired (Jackson, 2000). When the feedback is implemented the management employee relations no doubt improve. Since an open management system exists, the employees will strive to work hard thus achieving maximum results. Through participative management, employees sharing information is of vital importance since both parties benefit. For instance the profitability of the business is increased and the employees get added salaries. Through the participative design workshop, the organizations performance is fast since the goals are clear and the tools for the implementation of the system of inquiry are fast. Another effect of the participative system of inquiry is the ability of the employees to solve the future problems. Based on earlier experiences, the employees are able to develop solutions.
Possible reactions which the employees may exhibit in the usage of the participative system of inquiry is instances of sabotage by some management officials as they might fear loosing the power and control which had been initially held before the introduction of this system of management. The employees who are threatened by the system may attempt to pair with other employees who hold a similar view so as to derail the achievement of such goals of the organization (Jackson, 2000). When Participative management is introduced to institutions which were earlier on run through bureaucratic structures, employee participation may fail at first. The employees may be afraid of the basis at which they have suddenly been involved in the management process of the institutions. In case the management notices this withdrawal, then integration of the ideas and the implementation process will greatly assist the employees during the implementation process. The actual conduct of the management should reflect the actual or the stated culture and code of ethics of the organization. By so doing, the employees will feel that they are at liberty to participate in the management process by giving positive criticisms as well as negative criticism regarding the running of the affairs of the company. Employees are quite resource in any organization. It is expected that through the participative management procedure that the employees will give information to steer the organization to higher profitability through giving information which the management can utilize to make implement the necessary changes (Jackson, 2000). Through this system of inquiry, the employees will do excellent work as well as enforce the code of ethics.
In implementing the system of inquiry especially in regard to the code of ethics, the employees should be well informed on the contents. When the employees are aware of their expectations, chances of disruption on the laid down code of ethics is not adhered to, are kept to the minimum. Through short training courses, the employees will be availed with these concepts. Management may chose to hold management ethics forums with outside facilitators to make the process amicable. Through induction and formal training on the participative management approach, the employees are made aware of what the management process entails. In order to enforce its usability, the employees may be divided into small groups then issued with ethical dilemmas where amicable solutions are to be delivered (Jackson, 2000). The ethical code of Microsoft Company is visionary and still handles the day to day dilemmas which the employees encounter. The avenue chosen to implement the system of inquiry should be accorded proper planning. For example, the right timing depending on the activities of the company determines when the system of inquiry regarding the code of ethics will be introduced. When proper timing is adhered to then maximum exposure as well as total commitment on the employees will be achieved. In order to avoid cynical response from the employees, it is vital that the top management is involved in the launch and implementation process. In order to ensure that each employee is aware of the change system of inquiry to be employed, several tools may be employed. For instance, newsletters, briefing groups or holding information sessions with the top management officials will come in handy (Jackson, 2000). Since attractive launches of the system of inquiry do not guarantee its immediate usability, it is vital that the top management is involved continually in reinforcing the message as well as addressing the challenges the system may present.
In conclusion it is vital that the business ventures employ the right system of inquiry while implementing the management policies. Through open performance appraisal, employees from the firm feel they have a take on the implementation of the decisions made by the top management officials. Through an open communication system which exists, the employees as well as the management jointly participate in enforcing the code of conduct through participative management. Every employee should follow the code of conduct regardless of the hierarchy or position held in the company. Though formal approaches which entail the use of such mechanisms as suggestion boxes to pass on concerns to the top management, open management greatly ensures efficient service delivery. For example, an employee may follow the hierarchy in existence from the supervisor up to the organization's CEO. Every employee of this company must go through the induction of the code of ethics before embarking on his roles. This is vital in knowing the guiding principles that the workforce upholds while at the institution. Employees play a significant role in determining the decision making process of the corporation.
Jackson, M (2000). Systems Approaches to Management. New York, U.S.A: Springer