How to Find Top Companies’ SWOT Analysis Information

8 Important Business Ethics Cases

For those interested in researching some interesting ethical businesses cases, there are plenty from which to choose. Business leaders may feel squeezed by shareholders to produce profits.  Some have made some ethical blunders in an attempt to remain competitive. Others have used their size to squeeze out the competition.  The following includes some important business ethics cases based on well-known organizations:

  1. Enron – Questionable accounting practices and manipulation of the energy supply brought down this company. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is an excellent documentary movie that explains the scandal.  Check out an excerpt from Enron’s Code of Ethics.
  2. Monsanto – Monsanto has been criticized for its mega-size.  Critics fear they are taking over the food supply as well as creating negative environmental issues. Check out Monsanto’s Code of Ethics for Chief Executives and Senior Financial Officers.
  3. Arthur Andersen – Arthur Andersen is known for its unethical auditing practices. Check out The Fall of Arthur Andersen for more complete details.
  4. WalMart – Studies have shown that WalMart may save people money but they may also negatively impact communities.  Their low prices may also hurt suppliers. The company received criticism when leadership announced they wanted to hire healthier, more productive employees. WalMart has been accused of being anti-union and has survived sweatshop and discrimination scandals. Check out WalMart’s Statement Regarding Code of Ethics.
  5. Countrywide – The company offered subprime loans that later resulted in default.  Critics have claimed that Countrywide employees told clients that their properties would increase in value and that their loans would be able to be refinanced when market values rose.  The market values declined causing many to lose their homes.  Check out Countrywide’s Code of Ethics.
  6. Beechnut – Beechnut’s ethics came into question when it was discovered that they were selling “apple juice” to foreign countries that contained something less than apple juice.  For more information on this scandal, check out Beechnut’s History and Apple Juice Scandal.
  7. Starbucks – Clustering strategy may force smaller companies out of business. There were so many Starbucks on street corners that movies like Best In Show made fun of how there might be one Starbucks right across the street from another.  Check out Starbucks’ Code of Ethics for CEO and Financial Leaders.
  8. Nike – Manufacturing practices included producing shoes offshore to save money. Nike has used its share of sweatshops in manufacturing. They have come under fire for human rights violations. Check out Nike’s Code of Ethics.

Related Articles:

Top 10 Companies’ Code of Ethics and Conduct

Companies have something called a code of ethics that outlines how they will run their business.  Sometimes they refer to this as their code of conduct. There aren’t always laws to govern things like ethics.  Therefore, it is up to companies to define some of their ethical behavior.

 

via searchenginewatch.com – Google a Little Evil

According to the International Labor Organization, “Unlike labor law, corporate codes of conduct do not have any authorized definition. The concept “corporate code of conduct” refers to companies’ policy statements that define ethical standards for their conduct. There is a great variance in the ways these statements are drafted. Corporate codes of conduct are completely voluntary. They can take a number of formats and address any issue – workplace issues and workers’ rights being just one possible category. Also, their implementation depends totally on the company concerned.”

Click here for an article on the difference between laws and ethics.

The following is a list of some major companies and their code of ethics:

In researching these companies, it was interesting that Facebook didn’t have a clearly defined code of ethics listed in the same way other companies did.  For more about Facebook, check out the Wall Street Journal article:  Facebook Agrees to Work With Government on Germany Privacy Code.

Related Articles

Value of Top Companies

The following is a list of the estimated value of some of the top companies in 2011.  They are listed in order of highest to lowest value.

Apple – TechCrunch recently reported that Apple’s value is now worth as much as Microsoft, HP and Dell combined.  Valued at over $300 billion, Apple continues to grow.  For more specifics, click here:  Apple Value

Microsoft – Recent estimates put Microsoft’s value at about $200 billion.  Skype – Microsoft’s recent purchase assessed Skype’s value at $8.5 billion.

GoogleGoogle’s value has been estimated to be $192 billion as of January, 2011.  For more specifics on this income including Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s net income, click here:  Google ValueYoutube – Recent estimates put Youtube’s value around $1.3 billion.  Google paid $1.6 billion for Youtube in 2006.

FacebookFacebook was valued at $82.9 billion in January and that number continues to grow.

Amazon – In January, it was reported that Facebook passed Amazon’s value.  Amazon still showed a $75.2 billion worth.  For more specifics, click here:  Amazon Value

HP – Recent estimates put HP’s value at about $72.8 billion.

Dell – Recent estimates put Dell’s value at about $29.3 billion.

Groupon – Recent estimates put Groupon’s Value at as much as $25 billion.

Twitter – It is suggested that Twitter’s value is around $7.7 billion.

Linkedin – Recent estimates put LinkedIn’s value at over $4 billion.

Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings

 

The movie The Social Network showcased Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to create an enormous business from seemingly nothing.  Not all entrepreneurs have been accepted to Harvard like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to hit it big. However, having the intelligence to get there doesn’t hurt.

I grew up next door to a very smart man who worked his way through a state college and started a little company with $5000.  That man was Leonard (Sam) Shoen who created U-Haul by asking gas station owners to let him rent trucks from their lots.  Amerco is now the parent of U-Haul and is a far cry from the corner gas station beginnings.

There are plenty of Leonard Shoen and Sam Walton stories out there.  Accountingdegree.com recently published a list of 10 big businesses that got started in a garage including: 

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Mattel
  4. HP
  5. Amazon
  6. Disney
  7. Microsoft
  8. MagLite
  9. Yankee Candle Company
  10. Harley Davidson

For more detail regarding how each of these companies got started, you can click on each individual company or read the article by clicking here.

To see Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford explaining how he started Apple watch the following video:

 

Top 10 Company Mission Statements

Image via n2growth.com

Companies often list their vision and their mission statements on their sites. The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future.  However, some companies tend to blend these statements.  The following are some of the top technology-based company mission statements:

Amazon:  Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.  (They list this as their mission as a combination mission/vision on their site).

Apple:  Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

Dell:  Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve. 

Facebook:  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Google:  Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Microsoft:  Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Skype:  Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

Twitter:  Twitter lists its mission as “a work in progress” as it has yet to be fully developed.

Yahoo!:  Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses

YouTube:  YouTube’s mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently

What is a Monopsony? How does it Relate to Companies like Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Google?

Many have heard the word monopoly but have you heard the word monopsony?  This word is becoming more commonly used.  A monopsony exists when there is a market dominated by a single buyer, giving power to set the price for whatever is being purchased.  If there is no competition, the buyer can pay less for what they are purchasing.  Demand all comes from this one source.  This would be the opposite from a monopoly where the monopoly is about supply; the monopsony is about demand.

Some examples that have been given of monopsonies include major employers in a small town, universal healthcare, and the post office. Some very popular companies such as Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Google have also been called monopsonies. 

Can a company be both monopoly and a monopsony?  In a white paper about Google, it is suggested that Google’s has a monopolistic hold on search advertising, but also may be considered a monopsony, by restraining digital commerce. Click here to find out more about Google and its stronghold in the technology market.   

Check Out:

Monopsony As the Dominant Market Structure of Web 2.o

Monopsony Employers

What is Prezi? How Does it Compare to Powerpoint

I use Powerpoint on occasion.  In fact, I used it for a presentation last night.  However, there is another program out there that could give Powerpoint a run for its money.  If you haven’t seen Prezi yet, I highly recommend checking it out. 

Prezi differs from Powerpoint in that it is a web-based program that allows you to create more of a canvas presentation instead of a sequential slide presentation. Think non-linear. It allows you to incorporate not only text and pictures, but videos and other presentation objects.  You can create your presentation online and then download the final product so that you don’t require an internet connection to display the presentation.

Students and professors can get this application for free.

Search Engine War: AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Bing

I use AOL and I am a big fan of Google.  If you use AOL, you may have noticed the search screen says:  AOL Search Enhanced by Google. 

AOL and Google have a continuing relationship that they have extended for another 5 years.  Part of that relationship includes: 

  1. Google provides AOL with additional features and enhancements to improve their search function.
  2. Google provides AOL with ad formats.
  3. AOL and Google work together to focus on mobile apps.
  4. This relationship allows AOL to have a content partnership with YouTube
  5. This relationship improves the international scope of AOL’s audience.

I was curious to see if there was a big difference between the results by searching within AOL vs. going to Google to search. AOL included a few local addresses at the beginning but otherwise the results were similar.

I have to admit I don’t use Yahoo and Bing very often.  I noticed when searching for my press releases, that Yahoo and Bing do not pick up the information nearly as well as Google and AOL do.  However, I am interested to see if their future relationship may change things.  Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how Bing and Yahoo were going to join forces.  Google may have some competition with that.  WSJ stated, “With the integration of Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search businesses now well advanced—Yahoo searches are using Microsoft’s Bing engine and its search ads will increasingly go through Microsoft’s adCenter platform—the duo have a better chance to take on Google.”  Google is hardly hurting though, “Digital-marketing firm SearchIgnite estimates Google’s share of U.S. ad spending rose nearly two percentage points to 80.2% in the third quarter, with Yahoo dropping two points to 13.4%. Bing had 6.4%.”

The search engine war and capturing unique visitors continues to be big business.  Check out the following chart to see how the search engines and social networking sites compare in terms of revenue per unique visitors:

chart of the day, revenue per unique visitor, google, aol, twitter, facebook

Facebook’s Growth: More People Logging In, Catching Up To Google

In a recent Windows: The Official Magazine article, they noted that Facebook has 400,000 active users and the average user has 130 friends, 3 billion photos are shared every month, 60 million status updates are made every day, and the average user spends about 55 minutes a day on facebook. 

Gigaom.com had some interesting facts about how people prefer to log in. According to that article: Most website users still prefer logging in with a Google account, but Facebook is a close second, according to new data from Janrain, a Portland startup whose software plugin makes it easy for websites to offer multiple login methods. The company’s latest survey looked at statistics from more than 250,000 websites and services that use its software, and found that close to 40 percent of users prefer to sign in with a Google ID, while 24 percent chose to login with their Facebook profile. Yahoo came in third with 14 percent of sign-ins, while Twitter and Microsoft’s Windows Live were tied at 5 percent.

To read more from that article, click here.