Ethics as a set of moral principles determining and distinguishing right from wrong plays an important role in a business. There could be a number of factors that may influence ethical conduct and behavior in a business retail store like Zara. To begin with, the most important factor that influences ethical behavior of a business is the business organization’s culture that influences the kind of relationships that exist between the business and outsiders and among the workforce. Individual employee’s factors such as personal values, peer or family influences, life experiences and situational factors may also have an impact on the business culture of a retail store like Zara. Moreover, organizational factor such as the level of the business organization’s leadership’s commitment of ethical behavior and conduct also has an influence on business ethics (Yusoff et al. 201). This commitment may be seem in the form of a code of ethics, publications or policy statements of the owners and managers of the store.
Virgin Airways develops and maintains a relationship between the company and its customers, employees and other stakeholders through the establishment of proper public relations management, customer satisfaction campaigns, corporate branding, employee motivation and improvement of the working environment for their employees to deliver quality services. The company also ensures that there is people-oriented, task oriented, transformational, transparent and democratic leadership and corporate management. Also, at Virgin, there is a corporate culture established by its founder, Richard Branson, which entails a culture of promoting feedback from its customers and employees regarding quality of services. According to Grant (2011), Virgin Airlines is one of the best travel companies to work with as an employee, partly because the company is passionate about its goal of reinventing flying. It also offers benefits to employees such as extended holidays, flexible work schedules. However, the workload and long working hours remains a challenge for attracting a pool of employees for the Airline.
According to a report by the Baldocks et al. (2013), the EU countries such as the UK continue to face the challenge of negative environmental impacts posed by different business activities in the region. Hence, in light of this threat, the EU has come up with an environmental policy framework that covers aspects of climate change, water and air pollution, waste management, mitigation, chemical waste regulation, energy conservation, biodiversity conservation, marine protection and environmental liability and justice. While this policy has had its own limitations in terms of implementation, it has had significant positive social and economic impacts on regulation of effects of business activities on the European society. For instance, in the UK, EU directives and policies have seen the enactment of national environmental protection laws that have helped reduce pollution from commercial activities and industrialization.
The impact that new aspects of technology have had on business and the society cannot be gainsaid. Technology has affected business and society in a number of significant ways. First, emerging aspects of technology such as web or video conferencing and teleconferencing have made business management easier, effective and convenient. Furthermore, cell phone technology has improved communication in many business organizations among the workers and between the business and its customers or suppliers. Moreover, through computer technology, businesses can now do multiple accounting transactions at a go, produce accurate business financial reports or statements and reduce paperwork. According to Brynjolfsson and Schrage (2009), business technology has also changed the face of innovation by enabling companies to come up with new products and ideas that give them a competitive edge and improve sales volumes or profit margins. However, on the other hand, business technology has led to business malpractice such as fraudulent transactions by managers and employees or loss of confidential business information to competitors through hacking. On the society, technology has improved safety through global positioning systems, expedited service delivery, led to standardization and customization of products to suit societal needs or preferences and led to production of quality products. On the downside, however, technology has resulted in unemployment and promoted pollution thus leading to climate change and health complications.
Whenever a company decides to engage in business philanthropy as one of its CSR or competitive advantage initiative, several social issues are bound to emerge. First, corporate philanthropy raises the issue of organizational accountability and social responsibility, business ethics, cost benefit analysis, measurement of social investment returns, impact achievement potential measurement, the right amount to give, response to social environmental problems and outcome measurement.
Brynjolfsson, E., & Schrage, M., 2009. The new, faster face of innovation: Thanks to technology, change has nevr been so easy or so cheap. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204830304574130820184260340
Grant, A., 2011. Best travel companies to work for: Southwest Airlines and Virgin America top list of travel related companies as rated by employees. U.S. News. Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2011/06/01/best-travel-companies-to-work-for
Baldock, et al., 2013. Report on the influence of EU policies on the environment. London: Institute for European Environmental Policy. Retrieved May 2, 2016, from https://www.foe.co.uk//report-influence-e
Yusoff et al., 2011. The influence of personal and organizational factors on ethical decision making intentions among managers. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(9), pp.261-267.