Business Ethics

Currently, most of the business is focused towards the affects created by the business operational activities to the business environment. In result of increase concern towards the ethical concerns and increase in customer awareness, most of the businesses are trying to promote their social values, in order ensure about the competitive advantage (Carroll 1999). It is noted that business ethics try to embrace the corporate social responsibility, along with ethics that associates with the marketing,accounting practices, human resource management, as well as production.

The report will go to examine the theoretical base of the growth and background of different ethics of the business. The report will also look into the various types of ethics that is required by the business in order to consider and learn how the ethical values development can impact over the behavior of the business. It is significant to appreciate how considering the ethical stance can impact over the business from both internal and external side that even includes the company’s stakeholders. The report will also try to identify the social implications related to business ethics for many activities of the business,which create impact over the company along with the external environment. It will also include the ethical stance that is behind the research area like, employment practices, environmental awareness, use of new technologies, etc.

The report will also include about the ethical stance of an individual that createimpact over the moral relation among the staff members with the employer,and even try to consider the parties contractual relationships. This report will going to present the opportunities about the response of the business towards ethical issues or concerns and also tries to assist the extent to which all the objectives impact the behavior,and even try to ensure that business objectives are fulfilled. The aim of this report is to develop the understanding about business ethics in different organizations.

Task 1

1.1 Explains the background and development of theoretical ethical approaches.

Deontology Theory

The theory of deontological explains that the results of the actions are not so important, but what matters are the actions, which are justified morally or not (Transparency and Ethics 2014). For instance, drinking while driving is not correct,and if any person argues over this point and says that there safety navigation is not with them, then on this basis of this, they can be accountable towards the laws, as they have done wrong and actions should be taken, because breaking the moral principles would be incorrect (Transparency and Ethics 2014). This theory was developed by Immanuel Kant, and the theorist has also proposes that, while taking decisions, it is important that duty should be followed properly (Transparency and Ethics 2014). The actions taken by the people should be considered ethically and morally correct, when they try to understand there won sense of duty and responsibility(Transparency and Ethics 2014).

Teleological Theory of Ethics

The main focus of this theory is over the consequences, which state about the action and the one that produces the best results (Transparency and Ethics 2014). This theory also tries to suggest about the decisions framework in order to develop for achieving the needed consequences and the same should need to manage carefully (Transparency and Ethics 2014).

Consequentiality Theory

This theory relies over determining how moral actions of the person are its consequences (Moore 2005). The consequences actions might result into good or bad or either they can be favorable or damaging (Moore 2005).

1.2 Compare and contrast absolute and relative theories

There are two approaches of ethical theories such as approach based on character and relationship,and the other approach is based on principles (Moore 2005).

The approaches based on ethical principles:

The approach relies over the two variant ethics tradition like Kantianism and Utilitarianism. This theory was developed by Immanuel Kant,and this approach is also known as deontological, which also explains duty (Moore 2005). This theory has significant role in the professional ethics along with moral philosophy. This theory focus over the service users and whether they are capable in taking decisions or not (Murphy 1997). The major principles linked with this approach are to maintain confidentiality in the person, obtaining the consent of information, no discrimination,and to provide the wrong information (Murphy 1997).

On the other side, Utilitarianism is considered as the teleological theory, which comes under the theory of consequentiality ethics (Wilber 1998). The main variation in the theories lies in their concept, and the contrast is in comparison with the approach of Kantian ethics. This approach leads towards the better results,and it mentions that there are no issues in telling lies (Wilber 1998). This theory is based on facts, whether something is wrong or right based on the results of actions (Corbridge 2000). In the case of teleological ethics, the end justifies all the means. This theory also mentions about the rightness of the actions that is judged through the end (Wilber 1998).

1.3 Explain the ethical issues which can affect the operational activities of a business.

Anglo American Plc is also criticized for their social and environmental issues in the operational activities (Oglesby 2002).In 2012, the company was charged for offering the dangerous working environment. One of the London law firm, Leigh Day and company has charged the Anglo American Plc mines for shutdown their documents about the ex-gold miners, and they even provide dangerous working environment to the employees (Ethical screening of: Anglo American 2012). In the other case, that relates to Anglo American plc was that, the company was sued for the respiratorydiseases in 2011. In this case, ex-gold miners have sued the company for causing harm to their health and this has resulted due to the bad ventilation within the mines (Ethical screening of: Anglo American 2012).

Task 2

2.1 Explain how Pfizer’s objectives are affected by ethical considerations

Pfizer Incorporation in the US based company of pharmaceutical, which is committed for becoming excellent corporate citizen and the company is also inclined towards identifying and developing the different medicines and making it available to the people all over the world (Our Values 2014). Pfizer also increase its focus towards the philanthropic as well as organization profitability. Pfizer also takes the responsibility towards the shareholders and also try to make it more profitable (Our Values 2014). The company also tries to build balance in the obligation by giving promise to the shareholders that is also considered as the vision of the company that mentions, mindful with people relations and outcome of the decisions (Our Values 2014).

Objectives of Pfizer:

The Pfizer objective is mainly inclined towards bringing the advance treatment, prevention, and wellness and cures (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). The objective of the company also cover up, bringing the best skilled as well as scientific people that give challenge to the diseases (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). Pfizer also aims of setting up the quality standards, as well as safety and medicine. Through the company’s global presence, Pfizer wants to develop the variation in the world as well as local communities (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005).

Pfizer also wants to promote the passion, curiosity,and its inclusion towards the work. Pfizer also tries to lead its voice for bringing enhancement in the personability to hold affordable, reliable healthcare facility (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). Pfizer also tries to enhance the financial performance,so that they could fulfill their set commitments. Pfizer wants to become internationally most recognizedand valued company among its investors, customers, business partners, patients, and colleagues (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). Please check how many times also was used in 2.1

Mission and Vision of Pfizer:

Pfizer mission and vision is for its employees and customers (PFIZER, INC 2004). Pfizer mission reflect over the companies identity, principles, values, and core purpose of the company. Pfizer mission is to become the internationally most valued company for its patients, customers, business partners, and communities for they are working(PFIZER, INC 2004). Pfizer vision is to inspire other people through its goals and the vision is to provide health. Therefore, the company is highly dedicated towards developing unique, safe medicines,and innovation that could prevent and want to treat the world that is going through serious issues (PFIZER, INC 2004). Another vision of the company is to make medicines available to every person, who needs them. The company also believes that, by this progress hope could be easily achieved and they would be able to fulfill the promise of making world healthier (PFIZER, INC 2004).

Pfizer Ethical considerations:

  1. 1.    Pfizer comply with the rules, laws and fair dealing

As per the standards, directors of Pfizer try to comply and also try to oversee the compliance by their officers, directors,and employees through the help of rules and regulations and laws,which could be applied in the company (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012).It is important that, directors should get comply with fair dealingand should try to oversee the fair dealing that are made by competitors, customers, employees, officers,and suppliers(PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012).

  1. 2.    Pfizer encourage the reports on illegal behavior

It is important that, Pfizer directors should initiate the ethical behavior and should ensure that company should encourage the staff to interact with managers whenever they hold any doubt, so that properactions could be taken (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012). Directors should try to encourage their employees to report about the rules, laws,and violation of regulations,and inform the employees that don’t allow about retaliation of report(PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012).

The decision about streamlining of Pfizer by selling the two units and then spinning off the rest might lead the organization in the ethical dilemma that is never planned by the company (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012). By putting stress on the core objective of righteousness for companies restructuring, Pfizer tries to ignore the obligation towards the stakeholders. Pfizer has not done correct job for shareholders and stakeholders with the right outcome for process of streamlining (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012). Pfizer even forget to explore the downsizing that cover up layoffs. Instead of this, Pfizer tries to tunnel the vision and even failed in acknowledging the harm associated with enhancing the shareholders value that is inclined at the company’s employees (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012). Pfizer is also committed towards their ethics, but at the sametime, company tries to make other understand that pharmaceutical company’s objective is to support the people in their healthcare needs (PFIZER INC: CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS 2012).

2.2 Give explanations on stakeholders and their interests and evaluate the implications; good or bad/ pros and cons for Pfizer to operate ethically/ decently/ justify.

A stakeholder is someone, who invests in the company. Pfizer stakeholders also share the same interest like the one shared by Pfizer for attaining the success for the company (Pagnattaron 2005). Pfizer stakeholders also hold the degree of power within the organization. Most of the Pfizer stakeholders are the business partners, which are: Harvard University, World Health Organization, etc (Pagnattaron 2005). There are also many private as well as non-private stakeholders of Pfizer, some other important stakeholders of Pfizer are, colleagues, suppliers, customers, investors,and patients (Pagnattaron 2005).

The requirement of Pfizer stakeholders is to enhance the value, earn respect within the society by generating the breakthrough therapies and increasing access towards the healthcare (Pagnattaron 2005). It also tries to invest as well as tries to allocate the needed resources, in order to generate the results for long term,and they also tries to act in a responsible manner like the corporate citizen (Pagnattaron 2005). The interest of Pfizer stakeholders is to bring improvement in the debt situation and increase the drug sales, just like the Lipitor. Presently, Pfizer also tries to hold the stock of the buyback machine that seems to be very attractive, in spite of the low dividend rate, it also created interest in the stakeholders, by combining the dividend and repurchase that, help in gaining around 10% (Pagnattaron 2005). The Pfizer future interest of stakeholders is to address the issues related to dividend for keeping the investors for long term. Pfizer also tries to enhance the layout of dividend (Pagnattaron 2005).

In reference to satisfaction and performance of the stakeholders, Pfizer usually tries to make different strides in present time for the purpose of improving its corporate image (Heather 2013). When the company is under scrutiny for different reasons like, pricing of drugs in the poor countries along with the marketing of large budget is referred as a step for claiming and leading towards the sale of approved drugs that take step in balancing the negative scale through the help of proactive measures of stakeholders, which also tries to create the influence on the company (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). It includes employees, animal right group, and public. In case of employees, stakeholders try to introduce the program for the sustainable transport of employees (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). By developing new headquarters at Surrey, the organization can try to undertake the stakeholder’s consultation for the purpose of ensuring the company integration in these regions that hold companies previous infrastructure (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005).

In case of animal rights group, stakeholders try to focus on this group and try to reduce the animals from the usage of drug tests and then make it use in the tissue studies (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). The areas,which require the animal usage, should incorporate strict laws and policies of government and then try to dictate the same towards the ethical rights of animals.

In case of public, the company has started the health awareness program in the UK, which is highly driven towards the education expertise, along with health and science and its recognition that needs to be active in particular areas (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). In stakeholders influence, Pfizer also tries to formulate the partnership with organizations and people that are actively involved in the healthcare areas and also tries to increase the public awareness of campaign related to cardiovascular disease, whose aim is to highlight the needs for treating the cholesterol and associated risks (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005).

The objective of this campaign is to motivate the individuals to collect information about the GP. This campaign was started between Heart UK and Diabetes UK for setting up the health awareness charities (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). This campaign is mainly driven by the Pfizer team of local marketing, who are working in the organization as the sales team and trying to make use of advertisements in creating awareness about the campaign through the help of telephone, posters, and website for spreading the information to the public (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005).


Under the stakeholders influence, Pfizer has started organizing the various shareholders regional events through the support of building relationship with both the customers and communities (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). All the regional events are trying to show the support of Pfizer staff with the regional communities,and the company is also trying to address the benefits of business in relation to motivation and interest of staff (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). These relations help in informing the companies understanding related to issues that, took place at the patient and surgery level.

This program is among various other programs, which are organized by Pfizer in different countries in order to reduce the inequalities in the quality of healthcare, for promoting the events that are named as think global and act local (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). The objective of the business through this event is to enhance the awareness related to some serious healthcare problems. These events are part of Pfizer business strategy (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). The company has also started various other programs in support of stakeholders for enhancing the awareness about the health and giving advice over the issues of health and the one which provides the opportunity to get associated with business benefits to get involve with staff (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005). Elsewhere, actions related to corporate responsibility of Pfizer includes the reduction of environmental impact over the operations through conserving the energy as well as water with the United Nations Global compact (Rajender and Chaudhuri 2005).

Task 3

3.1 Assess the role of M&S acting as a moral agent

Moralagent is referred to as the individual ability for undertaking the various moral judgments, which are based on the similarly held right and incorrect notions, or either it relates to holding accountable for every action (M&S Plan a Report. 2014). A moralagent is considered as one that holds the acting capability in reference to right or wrong. Marks & Spencer also act as the moralagent and is even committed towards the quality, trust, value, service,and innovation (M&S Plan a Report. 2014). It is analyzed that trust could even be earned from various people due to their results of commitment for holding the ethical and value manner for long period, in which Marks & Spencer is currently behaving (M&S Plan A Report. 2014).

Holding the trust is very important as it makes M&S an important company, as the company even holds the responsibility for saving the countries heritage (M&S Plan A Report. 2014). It also follows the policies and procedures of the organization. The M&S also tries to comply with the UK laws and different countries, under which they are operating their business. The company even tries to act in quite professional way with both honesty and integrity simultaneously (M&S Plan a Report. 2014). M&S is even dedicated towards giving details about the policies of certain issues and also tries to maintain the relevant area. The M&S code of ethics explains its behavior towards the company’s stakeholders (M&S Plan a Report. 2014).

All the initiatives of ethics taken by M&S depict their image as the most recognized, reputed and sustainable retailer (Redman and Wilkinson 2001). The companyhas made their devised plan, in order to achieve the ethical standards and rules and has also taken initiative for fair trade (Redman and Wilkinson 2001). M&S also drives towards handling the issues that are of low wage in the developing companies; in order to handle this, the company has also introduced their sustainable solutions for setting up the ethical model factories, which look ethical after every labor rights and various other ethical aspects (Redman and Wilkinson 2001).

Marks & Spencer also comes in the list presented by the EthisphereInstitute think-tank, which name M&S as the most ethical companies of the world. It is significant that, companies should try to hold the robust compliance with the corporate social responsibility (Redman and Wilkinson 2001). Marks & Spencer also undertake various correct activities for the colleagues, suppliers, local communities,and customers. Company’s ethics also tries to develop the behavioral outline that supports in keeping the activities of the business along with organizing the organization according to honesty and ethical standards (Sheehan 2005). The ethical code of conduct of M&S defines the procedures and policies of the organization, which supports in their behavior (Sheehan 2005).

The M&S success tools is their customers,and it is true that company cannot generate profits and recognized in the market, if it doesn’t have loyal customers (Sheehan 2005). Therefore, it’s important for the company to meet the needs of the customers through which they could easily attain the better customer service and could meet their needs (Schneider 1994). Marks & Spencer also offersquality products at very reasonable price, which could be afforded by their customers,and this thing makes them happy and the customers could also feel the value of money,and they can get motivated and become loyal customers of the company (Schneider 1994).

M&S is also owned by the individual and organization, which has hold on companies share (Budhwar 2000). M&S also holds the commitment for creating the value of shareholders through increasing along with dividend. M&S also tries to be honest and also tries to bring original records of the performance, which is given to company’s shareholders (Budhwar 2000). It is important for everyone, if someday M&S loses its shareholders that, who has no fund for improving the service, and on other side, shareholders become part of M&S, as they hold good reputation (Budhwar 2000).

3.2 Analyze the development of mechanisms employed by M&S for achieving employee involvement and empowerment.

Involvement of employees is considered as a new concept, but in the present time, there are many managerial initiatives that need to be taken that spring up the employee’s involvement and empowerment concept (Budhwar 2000).The best organization in this area are empowerment, quality circles, along with team briefing that mainly connects the organizational change culture schemes such as,  customer service initiatives, total quality management, business process re-engineering, and learning organization (Budhwar 2000). This is referred as the type of employee’s involvement,and it is also known as human resource empowerment initiative.

It comes under the part of whole change of culture, which also includes, creating flat organizational structure and also supporting incommunication (Holden 2001). In the previous year, the company has started the initiative of human resource that provides the art training to their staff and therefore, they also tries to get engage with the employees for generating quality work (Holden 2001). David Ulrich has also developed the model of business partner that is used in large organizations such as M&S for the purpose of structuring the HR policies in relation to bringing change in the business environment (Holden 2001).In the tradition of Human resource model, there are four major elements like, change agent, strategic partner, administrative partner, and employee champion. This model also includes about the shared services, business strategic partner,and center for excellence (Holden 2001).

The M&S HR department is also transformed in current time and the administrative and service role department is also transformed in the proactive role within the organization. All these changes taken place at the strategic level ensures about the superior resource distribution, training and skills, which are needed for building the employees at different levels of organization (Holden 2001). Human Resource Management at the strategic level also tries to enhance the knowledge sharing as well as companies core competencies that move towards the sustainable culture of learning and intellectual capital, which is significant for achieving success in the company. Holden (2001) mentions that, through bringing continuous improvement in the employees skills can lead to achieving the business goals.

M&S has adopted the strategy for bringing continuous improvement in employees skills that will cultivate the loyalty and trust of employees in the different segments of the company, and this will also better engage in the operations of company (Holden 2001). All these engagement in the company depicts about the understanding about the roles and responsibilities of employees, and they even feel more related to the company’s action. In this manner they would better understand how to participate that feel different in operation of the company (Holden 2001).

            Human Resource in the company can be easily engage with the staff since beginning of the job. For example, M&S started their induction program in order to recruit new employees. This supported the organization for initiating the development of employees (Budhwar 2000). It is noted that, employees coming from different culture bring variant skills and aptitude and people from different learning commitmentand style could be easily driven (Budhwar 2000).

            Marks & Spencer also tries to provide assurance to their staff about the work levels in order to achieve the goals and company’s target. For doing this, M&S ensures that, they should hold the right skills for right job and completing the work on right time (Budhwar 2000). It’s the process of structured recruitment that is carried out for the purpose of attracting the right level of applicant at both the managerial and operational level (Budhwar 2000).

Appearance of the economic organization based on knowledge deals with the skill development for giving training to the employees for retaining them in the company. Through giving the continuous training to the employees, they can easily search for right job needs (Budhwar 2000). Marks & Spencer has tried to integrate the strategic Human resource in their plans. It is significant that, managers should try to consider the HR functionalities in the decision making process (Budhwar 2000).

Marks &Spencer also tries to communicate the organizational objective with the employees so that, they could easily understand the objectives and HR department in the company could work with full efficiency (Schneider 1994). In the recent time, there are many changes, which can be viewed in the way training is imparted. Therefore, HR department strategies are moving towards administrative level (Schneider 1994). For making the proactive team to work at the level of strategy, Marks& Spencer tries to expand the training priorities. This form of management supports in encouraging the growth of workforce and then motivates to compete to move at higher level (Schneider 1994).

As M&S in the competitive retail sector, it is important to have sustainability in the growth for employment retaining (Schneider 1994). For attaining the growth, companies should try to acknowledge the requirements of the employees for achieving the goals of the organization, but in this process, HR department of M&S reinforce it when required. In fact, the main element of the organizational strategy is HR, which set up high skilled employees in M&S operations (Schneider 1994).


Task 4

4.1 Investigate a current issue and explain how it affects Shell.

Shell Corporation, who runs its business in different parts of the world, has to face different issues like financial problems, and presently, the company is facing challenges (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001). The company started its business in the year 1833 and since that time, it has faced many challenging, due to the ethical issues. Nigeria, which the largest oil producer help Shell in its oil business (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001). Shell has faced many charges of violation of human rights in the areas of Nigeria after the great incident of Oil spill in Nigeria. The image and reputation of the company was also damaged after that incident. The multinational company of Oil Company operating its business in Nigeria has to come across many serious problems, because the company was not able to provide better healthcare facility in Nigeria (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001).

After the incident of oil spill in Nigeria, there were, many people who come across severe health problems, but at the same time sufficient health facilities were not provided (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001). The company also faced the issues of child labor. As the condition of the company was regarded, child labour was initiated in the country, and the company name was involved into it (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001). Presently, the company is facing the problems, because it’s notable to meet the corporate social responsibility and is also charged due to violating of environmental laws. After the Oil spill incident in Nigeria, the species and environment was highly impacted through the challenges occurring in the country like, shelter, food, heath, economy, and environment (Essential Action, Boycott Shell 2001).

4.2 How shell could improve the ethics of their organizations whilst meeting objectives and ensuring good employer/employee relationships

In order to improve the ethics in the company, Shell Corporation introduced the report on corporate social responsibility and even started giving more attention towards the human rights, which the company has violated long time back (Wyller 1998). In response to the question, what the company can do for bringing the change, the report on corporate social responsibility presents the parts of the business principles and how statement of Shell about the business principles will be implemented (Wyller 1998). The company has also organized the cleanup process, which was started in Ogoni, one of the regions of Nigeria, but the issues are still same, as it will take many years to clean up the whole environment, which was severely damaged after oil spill (Andreas and Falkenberg 2010).

After this incident the people don’t have access to clean drinking water, but Shell along with communities is trying to supply clean drinking water to the people, because the water available over there was infected through the Carcinogens, which is known as radiation that causes cancer (Andreas and Falkenberg 2010).

Shell also claimed about bringing system, which will help in placing the operational activities of the company and abide them with the laws, environmental issues, as well as risk management (Andreas and Falkenberg 2010). The company will also combine the people, plant and process, in order to deliver the better performance. There are many companies who try to behave like the corporate citizen, but due to oil spill the image of the company was badly damaged, because through oil spill, environmental disaster was severe, which impacted the climate, therefore for bringing change, it will take time (Andreas and Falkenberg 2010).

4.3 Design your own suitable ethical code for shell and exclude the one they already have

An ethical code is referred as the rule that is taken by the company for showing the manner in which they should behave in the business environment and society; and employees should also require following ethical code of conduct (Falkenberg and Wyller 2007). In the oil industry the ethical code of Shell ensures that the company is abided with the laws about health and safety, which should be included in operational activities in the safe environment, without impacting any harm to all the natural resources along with surrounding people (Boulstridge and Carrigan 2000).

It is important that, employees should be considered by the companies, by offering them medical assistance, if they are injured during working,and should be entitled for takingsick pay (Brian 2008). The employees in the company should be given equal opportunity regardless of their nationality, gender, race, because this can boost up the confidentiality of the employees (Boulstridge and Carrigan 2000).

It is true that, having the ethical partnership with other companies, can lead to the avoidance of conflicts (Folkes and Kamins 1999). It is significant that, companies should not get engage in any kind of corruption or political issues, which state about anything received by the employees, and the company should fill the form, which should depict what kind of investment is made and should also try to protect their employees and customers (Gabriel 2006).Every activity undertaken in the organization should be kept transparent among the stakeholders, so that, they could understand how the business is operated and they should also conduct the fair trade in the other countries (Folkes and Kamins 1999).



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