Chapter 4 questions
1. How do relative ethics compare to universal ethical standards? Should ethics ever be relative? Provide a rationale for your response. Ethics are a set of beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad. Universal ethical standards are norms that apply to all people across a broad spectrum. These six core values being trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Ethics should never be relative because their ethical standards shift depending on the situation and how it relates to them. This kind of two-face thinking is dangerous because it can help people rationalize bigger and bigger ethical deviations.
2. What is an ethical dilemma? Give 3 examples of ethical dilemmas that workers or managers might face in a business setting. An ethical dilemma is a decision that involves a conflict of values; every potential course of action has some significant negative consequences. Some examples of ethical dilemmas could be: Noticing an employee stealing from the company, Employees bending the rules of the company, or a supervisor demanding that you do something illegal. 3. Compare the role of the individual and the role of the organization in ethical decision making. How can business promote an ethical climate? As an individual you will have factors that come into play as you face ethical dilemmas.
Your personal needs, your family, your culture, your religion, and your personality traits like self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, and sense of humor all play a significant role. As an organization the CEOs, and managers must communicate their personal commitment to high ethical standards and consistently drive the message down to employees through their actions. Business can promote an ethical climate by setting the best example for the employees. Communication will help promote an ethical climate, as well as enforcing consequences for violations of the ethics policy.
4. When might the need for social responsibility conflict with the need to maximize profits? When the needs conflict, how should a firm decide which path to pursue? Social responsibility is the obligation of a business to contribute to society. A company’s goal is to make profits and without company profits other contributions are impossible. A company can choose to make no contribution, a responsive contribution, or a proactive contribution depending on the businesses values, mission, resources, management philosophy, and ultimately its position on social responsibility.
5. Do you believe that employers should respond to employee needs for work-life balance? Why or why not? What are the trade-offs? Yes, employers should respond to employee needs for work life balance. It creates a workplace environment that respects the dignity and value of each employee. It ensures that hard work, commitment, and talent pay off. It moves beyond minimal safety requirements to establish proactive protections. The best employees respond to the ongoing employee search for balance between work and personal life. The employees will work harder for the company and keep longer term jobs. People will appreciate the extra mile the company goes for its employees, giving you more highly qualified applicants to choose from.
6. What are the 4 consumer rights originally outlined by President Kennedy in the early 1960s? How would you rank those rights in terms of importance? Why? The four consumer rights are: The right to be safe, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard. I rank these in importance as follows:
1- The right to be safe (I don’t want to be hurt or lose my life due to faulty products.) 2- The right to choose (I want to be able to choose where and when I purchase products to best suit the needs of my family.) 3- The right to be informed (It is important to me that I know the companies I deal with are legit and ethical, as well as what goes into the products I buy.) 4- The right to be heard (I think it is important to be able to express your complaints to a company and that they learn from customer experiences.)
7. Define the concept of planned obsolescence. Is this strategy ethically unsound? Why or Why not?
Planned obsolescence is the strategy of deliberately designing products to
fail in order to shorten the time between purchases. This strategy is ethically unsound because it thins the consumer wallets and abuses consumers trust. Consumers are willing to pay more to buy products from a socially responsible company.
8. What is the difference between corporate philanthropy and corporate responsibility to The community? Which do you think is better? Why? Corporate philanthropy is all the donations a business has made to nonprofit groups including money, products, and employee time. As where corporate responsibility is business contributions to the community through the actions of the business itself rather than donations of money and time. I think corporate responsibility is better because the company is taking action itself to contribute to the community, rather than just throwing money at the problem. It shows more heart, and more effort, and more dedication to the community.
9. Define sustainable development. What are 3 examples of successful companies that have pursued sustainable development programs? Sustainable development is doing business to meet the needs of the current generation, without harming the ability of future generations to meet their needs. McDonalds (recycling cooking oil and cardboard), Dell (going fully carbon neutral), and Pepsi (cutting emissions from fertilizer) are three examples of successful companies that have pursued sustainable development programs.
10. How can domestic companies that outsource manufacturing to foreign factories ensure that their vendors adhere to ethical standards? Companies can bring together their own values with the laws of both the United States, and their host countries. Most socially responsible companies establish codes of conduct for their vendors setting clear policies for human rights, wages, safety, and environmental impact. Codes of conduct work best with monitoring, enforcement, and the commitment to finding solutions that work for all parties involved.