Ethical oil: Choose your poison
Oil from both the Canadian sand fields and from the Middle East is tainted one way or another. Oil from the Middle East is tainted in the essence that not only do these countries have poor human right standards, also some are known to be outright supporters of terrorist activities. Oil from the Canadian sand fields on the hand pollutes the environment and changes the ecosystem hence making climate change a reality in addition to destroying livelihoods that are dependent on the environment. From an ethical standpoint, these two are both unethical. As far as consumers are concerned, oil is important and therefore it does not matter where it comes from as long it gets to the pump in sufficient and affordable quantities. As long as the consumer keeps relying on oil, they will never change the ethics of oil. Ethical oil does not exist. However from an ethical perspective, it is easier to transform Middle East countries rather than to reverse the environmental impacts of exploring Canadian oil reserves.
Businesses exist for the sole purpose of meeting needs. These needs more often can be translated into monetary terms. It is a common understood business principle that a business is supposed to attain operation efficiency as it grows. This implies that businesses are expected to maximize on their profits while minimizing their losses. This said, a business will therefore go for the cheapest oil in the market regardless of the ethics of the oil. As earlier mentioned, the ethics of oil industry since the beginning of the industry are a grey area. On the other hand, businesses are run based on a predefined set of values. Based on these two considerations and the ethics of oil, a business is more likely to human rights friendly oil due to costs and public perception.
This scenario does not present all the options present both to businesses and to consumers. Yes, indeed it is possible to introduce ethics in the oil industry. However, this involves intentional and gradual reduction on the oil industry. Specifically, the Canadians need to embrace greener options such as nuclear, solar and wind energy. There is therefore a need for both the consumers and businesses to lobby the government to make the shift to green and sustainable sources of energy
Should financial markets face greater government regulation?
The following facts are evident in this case: the global financial crisis did occur, it was a result of minimal regulation of investment banks, and some invest banks were bailed while others failed and that market forces can potentially create a healthy economy. It is also evident that the type of regulation and the industry are nonissues. All forms of regulations are either market or government sanctioned. However, the level of regulation does matter.
Based on this case, the success and failure of regulation the financial sector are evident in the results during under regulations and regulation. Clearly, under regulation resulted to the largest financial meltdown in history that had far reaching impacts on the global economy. Regulation on the hand has steadies the ship and most economies of the world are on the path of recovery and have shown tremendous growth.
Deregulation promotes competition. Competition on the hand potentially spurs growth in an industry and subsequently the economy. Competition also reduces the costs of doing business in the industry and consequently the prices paid by consumers. Regulation on the other stabilizes the industry, protects the consumers and in the long run has the potentially of spurring growth within the industry.
The key stakeholders affected by government regulation are the consumers. Recklessness as a result of deregulation affects the consumers most and they are usually the biggest losers. In addition, government regulation potentially also affects the government’s business partner with interest in the industry. Professional codes and standard can significantly reduce the level of government involvement in regulating certain industries. Companies that adhere to sound corporate government policies make it harder for the government to have tight reigns on the industries they operate.
Short term versus long term
Companies exist for the sole purpose of meeting a need. It is therefore important to balance the needs of making profits versus how the company meets these needs. Successful companies therefore must take into consideration the values they hold and these values dictate how they deliver their product to the market. At the end of the day, the client is king. For a company to effectively shift to a client focused model, there is a need to implement an assessment tool. Specifically, the company must adopt a customer relation management tool that will enable every aspect of client acquisition and retention to be monitored and appropriate actions taken.
Employees must be made to understand that profit is a byproduct of successfully meeting the needs of clients. Therefore, consumers should be core of the focus of all companies. The culture within the organization should therefore be realigned to focus more on the delivering value to the customer in a manner that the customer wants and always innovating to surpass the expectation of the customers. The most effective way of shifting the culture change to a customer focused one as opposed to profit focused one is a combination of factors that include support from the management, board and investors of the company; incentives; and rewarding employees based on customer satisfaction.
Culture change must be accepted by all levels of the company’s structure beginning from the investors and owners all the way to the employees. Different stakeholders will definitely be affected differently. The owners and investor must be willing to accept reduced profits in the short term. Similarly, the management and the employees must also be willing to accept reduced bonuses and commissions in the short term. However the people who will be affected most are the employees who will need to shift their focus from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation. Specifically, they must value job and customer satisfaction higher than financial returns.
The key fact in this case include: illegal use of technology both to win a case and for recreational purposes; abuse of power and employee privacy. The key stakeholders are the management, the employee who is the agent of the management and the employee who is the target of the management. It is unethical to spy on employees because of the following. First and foremost, it violate their privacy. Secondly, it creates a toxic work environment where courtesy and decorum are the exception rather than the norm. Finally, it is entails irresponsible use of technology and more often than not this is usually as a result of power.
In order for companies to access information in the custody of employees, they can employ the following strategies. First, institute policies that hinder employees from carrying any work related information from the company’s premises. This will involve implementing securing measures to ensure that all employees comply. Secondly, companies can implement policies that dictate all work related business must be conducted on company owned platforms. Companies do not require employee permission to access information held on company owned platforms. Finally, they can apply through relevant authority for access to be granted to the said information. Only the judiciary has the right to break privacy laws based on proven grounds. The judiciary will consequently use the law enforcement agencies to retrieve the said information.
When has a company’s action caused injury to its customer?
In the determination of this case, it is important to determine two key factors; why the railroad employees helped the passenger who had missed train and who caused the luggage with explosives to drop? In this case, it is clear that the railroad employees were negligent and liable. To begin with, the passenger who was trying to get on to an already moving train had already endangered his life and broken the law. When the railroad employees assisted this passenger, they not only aided and abetted them commit a crime, but also were negligent in exposing the passenger to harm’s way. In addition, the negligence of the railroad employees is also evident when their actions directly result to the luggage in the unnamed passenger’s possession fall and cause the ensuing chain of events.
In addition, the railroad company is negligent for not constructing bays for passengers waiting to board the train far off from the tracks. In addition, the supporting structures were clearly structurally weak. To add to this, the rail company should have made it hard for passengers to access the trains while in motion by constructing barricades. Finally, the company that manufactured the explosives is also negligible for not securing them and aptly instructing its clients on how to handle them. Based on this premise, it is therefore clear that the key stakeholders in this case are Palsgraf, the railroad employees, the railroad and explosive manufacturing company and the unnamed passenger.
A jury would therefore have made sure that all the parties responsible in this case are held liable for their contributions. Of the four stakeholder, three should are defendants. The defendants should have shared the liability of the misfortune that befell Palsgraf. A jury would have therefore determined this case in favor of Palsgraf in addition to holding all the defendants to account based on this premise.
First, this case is a matter of both consequence and principle. The combined consequences of the actions of the defendants caused the injuries sustained by Palsgraf. Secondly, as far as principle is concerned, all passengers have a right to access safe transport services. Allowing some passengers to risk their lives and to carry explosives aboard a train goes against this principle. Secondly, the railroad and the explosive manufacturing company have the duty and responsibility to make sure that their products are safe for public consumption. Finally, these companies also must deter the public of wrongfully using their products.
Office romance should be prohibited for the following ethical reasons. First, to protect the employer both financially and administratively. Prohibiting employees from office romance protects the employer from sexual harassment suits and wrongful termination suits should one of the parties in the relationship be in a decision making capacity. In addition, banning office romance allows employees to relate in ways that are beneficial to the employer.
Secondly, banning office romance protects the employees from sexual overtures. Specifically, it protect juniors and women from sexual harassment and it dissuades those in seniority from abusing their power. In addition, it also protects employees who refuse romantic relationships from being treated unfairly. Finally, prohibiting office romance protects the ex-partners in the event the relationship comes to an end. Generally, prohibiting workplace romance fosters a healthy workplace environment.
Based on this, it is clear that workplace romance is a thorny issue that ropes together employees, employers and human rights activists. Proponents of workplace romance hold the view based on the following. First, it is possible for workplace romance to lead to marriage which significantly affects the satisfaction levels of employees. According to the American Management association, 44% of workplace romances lead to marriage while 23% leads to long-term relationships. Therefore banning workplace romance will be an impediment to one meeting their soul mate. Finally, ban on workplace romance is an infringement on one’s freedom of expression and congregation.
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Helen Palsgraf v. The Long Island Railroad Company, 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (New York Court of Appeals May 29, 1928).
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