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Business Ethics Memo Assessment

Business Ethics Memo Assessment

Memo To:       Adam Briggs

Memo From: Name

RE:                 Mayo Clinic

Date:               1/28/2021


The memo delves into Mayo Clinic’s ethical framework. Firstly, Mayo Clinic’s corporate culture is highlighted. Next is the company’s mission, core values, and code of ethics. A recent ethical breach at the company is discussed to put corporate ethics into perspective. Last are recommendations on how the company may improve its ethical and legal compliance in the future.

Name and Description of the Organization

Mayo Clinic is a US-based non-profit organization that provides clinical practice, educational content, research, expert advice, and whole-person care to anyone who needs healing. Mayo Clinic employs physicians, health experts, administrators, and allied staff to provide concrete care and research advice. The organization’s practice segment treats complex medical issues through destination tertiary care. In terms of education, the clinic hosts the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, a top-15 ranked medical institution. Mayo Clinic spends significant amounts of money on funding research initiatives, besides employing over 3000 staff members on the field. Therefore, Mayo Clinic’s roles in healthcare include patient treatment, medical research, and training medical students.

Description of Mayo Clinic’s Corporate Culture

A key aspect of Mayo Clinic’s culture is patient-centeredness. The culture of putting the patient first dates back to 100 years ago when the clinic was a small Midwest establishment (Berry & Seltman, 2014). Consequently, Mayo Clinic’s governance structures have ensured that patients’ interests are informed in the day-to-day tasks performed by medical staff. Culture plays a crucial role in decision-making. For instance, if there is a disagreement among board members regarding a specific decision, then a decision is made based on the interests of the patient (s). With patient-centeredness, a physician can attend to unscheduled patients during odd hours. To that end, culture is critical in ensuring that patients are attended to, which is a key ethical consideration in medical quarters.

Team-based medicine is also a key component of Mayo Clinic’s medical practice. Medical teams at Mayo Clinic rely on one another’s reviews to provide complete treatment (Berry & Seltman, 2014). The system allows the organization’s practitioners to learn from one another. In the long run, medical errors are avoided since diagnosis by one physician is subject to review by a colleague. Besides, the system offers patients wholesome services since practitioners handle diverse aspects of patient treatment. Medical error avoidance is a key ethical consideration in medicine, and Mayo’s teams play a key role in avoiding errors.

The mission, code of ethics, and core values of the organization


“Inspiring hope and promoting health through integrated clinical practice, education and research.” (Mayo Clinic, 2017)


“Transforming medicine to connect and cure as the global authority in the care of serious or complex disease.” (Mayo Clinic, 2017)

Code of Ethics

Mayo Clinic’s code of ethics is based on providing outstanding patient care and ensuring integrity is upheld. Outstanding patient care aligns with the organization’s customer-centered cultural alignment. On the other hand, integrity is meant to foster customer trust.

Core Values









Leadership strategies to promote legal and ethical compliance

The first step to fostering ethical and legal compliance is to analyze the compliance environment against resource availability. While at it, leaders should also consider employee needs (Butts, 2012). Also, the leader should look into the organization’s core values. After analyzing the compliance environment, a leader ought to develop a program that is alive to the organization’s strengths and vulnerabilities.

Organizational leaders should also apply justice while running the organization. Justice and fairness demand that everyone be treated equally (Butts, 2012). In the case of Mayo, justice may apply when attending to patients from different backgrounds. A hospital administrator must ensure that all patients, including those with limited resources, get sufficient care without discrimination.

Also, a leader should direct employees to read an employee handbook. Employee handbooks contain an organization’s core values and principles. The handbook also contains the legal and ethical aspects that apply to the organization. Ensuring employees go through the handbook goes a long way to ensuring they uphold ethical and legal compliance.

Ethical Issue Faced by Mayo Clinic

One of the ethical issues that the Mayo Clinic has recently faced is when a former employee accessed and viewed part of patient data. Among others, the clinic revealed that the former employee viewed patients’ demographic information, birth dates, nude patients’ pictures, and health records. In October 2020, the hospital notified 1,614 patients whose data was viewed about the breach. Following the revelations, Mayo Clinic faced two lawsuits and one class action. One of the lawsuits and the class action were settled out of court, while the remaining lawsuit is slated to begin trials on September 2023.

Recommendations to strengthen legal and ethical compliance

To strengthen Mayo Clinic’s legal and ethical compliance, the company needs to communicate relevant policies and expectations to staff members. Among others, leaders should specify the policy, its rationale, and employees’ roles in its implementation (Warsame & Hayes, 2019). Also, employees should be informed about compliance frameworks, which should be incorporated into employee orientation.

Also, avoiding the risk altogether may come in handy, even if that is not the primary reason for implementing a compliance policy. For instance, some patients refuse to be treated by some practitioners based on their race, age, and sex. If the clinic cedes to patients’ demands, the organization risks being sued by employees who feel discriminated against (Warsame & Hayes, 2019). The establishment should ask such patients to seek care elsewhere to avoid that.


Berry, L. L., & Seltman, K. D. (2014). The Enduring Culture of Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 89(2), 144–147.

Butts, J. B. (2012). Ethics in organizations and leadership. Nursing Ethics: Across the       Curriculum and into Practice, 3rd Edition, Jones and Bartlett, Boston.

Mayo Clinic. (2017). About Us – Mayo Clinic Value Statements. Mayo Clinic.   

Warsame, R. M., & Hayes, S. N. (2019). Mayo Clinic’s 5-Step Policy for Responding to Bias Incidents. AMA Journal of Ethics, 21(6), 521–529.


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As a risk manager, you have been assigned to an organizational committee that has been asked to evaluate the organization and make recommendations to the compliance officer on ways to strengthen legal and ethical compliance. Using a memo format, you explain the effect of organizational ethics, culture, and values on compliance to evaluate business ethics.

Business Ethics Memo Assessment

Business Ethics Memo Assessment

A memo template has been provided for you to use.

You will research organizations, not agencies, for this assessment. Remember that an organization is a company or business, such as a hospital, clinic, or insurance company. Whereas an agency is a part of the government at the federal, state, or local levels, such as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or a state health department.

Choose 1 of the following options to complete this assignment:

Verizon Healthcare IT Solutions
United Healthcare
Tuskegee University Hospital
Stryker Corporation
Mayo Clinic/Healthcare
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
GE Healthcare
Aetna Insurance

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