a. How would you classify Alcoa’s ethical work climate? Which ethical criterion, as shown in Figure 5.1, was used by the company: egoism (self-centered), benevolence (concern for others), or principles (integrity approach)?
b. What role did top management commitment play in developing the ethical work climate and organizational performance seen at Alcoa? What other ethical safeguards are mentioned in the case to support the company’s efforts at developing a strong ethical culture?
It used to be known as Pittsburgh Reduction Company; the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) started in 1907 in Pittsburgh and had a good start as a company with morals and values for its employees. The company ensure that all of its employees are transparent and doing their job with integrity as they follow the values that the company wants them to possess. Alcoa have core values and they started having it in black and white in 1985 allowing all of their employees to be aware of the values that the company wants to instill. Alcoa is known to be pro employees and the values they have are there to ensure the needs of the employees as well as the needs of the customers are met in a timely manner without sacrificing the quality of the service the company provides. The company wants their employees to live with their values involving integrity, work quality, being accountable while at the same time profitable. With the company vision, you can see that they are trying to do things the right way all the time. This is the reason when you look at Alcoa from the outside, you won't see any ethical or integrity issue within them because the company's aura is all about integrity. The company also ensures that everyone is committed into having a safe working environment avoiding any injury or health issues while at work. This is true for all of their branches because the company follows a code of conduct applicable to all of its employees. Alcoa is giving full trainings to its employees before letting them work full time in the production area and during trainings; code and ethics are the main topics being discussed putting emphasis to the fact that the company needs everyone to adhere to the set guidelines and policies of the company. There are new branches that might not have the same practices yet but these are mostly outside of the country because they are still new with the process at hand.
Employee’s health is one of the main things that Alcoa is checking because they want their employees to be safe while at work while all they ask in return is for employees to maintain their honesty and integrity while at work. The company provided a program that will work for everyone and is easy to use and all of these tools are used to enhance the productivity of everyone while at the same time supporting the goal of the company (Lawrence & Weber, 2011). As part of the healthy working environment that Alcoa is providing, they want to incorporate safety and satisfaction to their employees and the managers and supervisors are expected to be the leaders in doing so. If the management shows good behavior and becomes a role model, the chance of having better employees working for them is also greater. Alcoa takes pride in ensuring they are giving the best security privilege and safety of their employees even on management meetings held within the company premise. To show how much the members are actually enjoying their new working environment, there is not much percentage of employees not reporting to work and in 2009, there is just 0.118 work loss in the company. This is the same for DuPont, one of the best companies when it comes to employee safety and satisfaction reports.
In one of Alcoa's branch in Mexico, there was a reported issue about