Ethics in a Global Marketplace
What in your view makes a company "good" or "bad", from the perspective of your idea of ethics? Why and explain.
A company can be a good or bad one for a variety of reasons. Principally there is the issue of how the company is constituted and if its directors are ethically abiding by the rules which are the basis for all good finance. Then there is the issue of how the company gets its finance and how this is sourced, obviously this is definitely one of the most important issues in this regard. A good company would ensure that its financing will be properly sourced and that it all comes from a good source while a bad company would be rather lax about financial procedures and these would not be that much of an issue in any case and this could lead to bad practices being made with the result that the company suffers a bad reputation. A good company would also apply an ethical policy towards its employees and would ensure that they are kept happy in various fields and are not left to their own devices either. However the most important issue which determines a good or bad company is the way it actually conducts its business and how open it is both in its accounting practices and in the way it manages its operations. Ethical considerations should always be at the forefront of any company’s operation as these will ensure that it is successful in the long run with short term gain being exposed for what it actually is.
Based on the contents of chapter 3, what does it mean for managers to put business and ethics together. You may want to refer to your readings in module 1, as well.
The combination of business and ethics is inescapable and it is important for these to be mixed together without much ado. Managers should ensure that as much as possible, decisions are based on ethical considerations, especially those to do with finance as the provenance of money from sources which are not always correct could prove problematic in the future. Managers should also ensure that when interviewing employees, ethical considerations are always placed first and foremost as some persons who are not ideal for the job in question could be employed and the result will be that the job will not be done properly. It is also crucial to observe that when ethical considerations are placed first and foremost, the end result would be successful for all concerned as the manager would have his/her mind at rest that the right decisions would have been taken and the employees concerned would know that their personal safeguards and interests would have been protected. Basically any decision which has to be taken must be based on ethical considerations all the time and the situation should not be otherwise in any case. The chapter argues that sound management should always be tied with ethics as both are complimentary at the end of the day.
What are some of the key ethical questions facing companies doing business in a global context? What is your view on how well business has done in facing and addressing them?
Globalisation has brought about an intrinsic change in the way we go about things especially in business. The main question is to address ethical issues in the proper manner so that these do not impinge on productivity and the quest for profit but ethics is always at the centre of things in almost every way. Notwithstanding all this, companies can only have benefited from creating business in a global context as this has opened up the market considerably and everything is now a smaller global village. Life has perhaps become faster and more detailed with less time for reflection and the need to maximize resources continues to haunt the local business. Tax havens are an issue for any business and one obviously needs to question if these are affecting the ethical considerations of any business. Perhaps the global recession and the stock market crashes all over the world have had a huge effect on the way we perceive business but ethics seems rather to have fallen by the wayside in this respect. However recent years have seen large globalized companies become much more open about their operations and about the way they do business and this means that they are consistently addressing ethical issues in a more transparent and open manner. Although the war against non transparency is not yet one, there remain other areas where progress has been made and these include the availability of ready accounts and other corporate practices coupled with more open legislation.
What are universal values and how are they helpful for sorting out how to act in a global economy? Refer to Donaldson’s ethical algorithm in your response.
Ethics and universal values mix together in more ways than one. If profit is the sole scope of a business venture than the outcome would be conversant with individualism where the common good is not applied. This can have serious ramifications according to Donaldson’s ethical algorithm which specifies that one must pursue an interventionist policy in the global economy for it to succeed. For example when large surpluses are achieved in food production, these are morally dumped to maintain certain levels of prices but this means that other countries where food shortages are endemic will suffer unduly and continue suffering. This gross imbalance in moral values ensures that the global economy continues to be run on capitalistic lines with equality a thing of the past. The same issue is pervasive when speaking about subsistence wages for those who labour cheaply in Western countries where gross inequality continues to persist. Here universal values are thrown out of the window where others are made to suffer for the profit of others and charitable purposes are also disengaged. The debate focuses on the importance of equality between others and to ensure that people are given the right opportunities to move forward in a conduicive environment. Donaldson’s theory confirms that the global marketplace cannot continue to sustain a business model where inequality continues to be practiced in a blatantly flagrant manner and this should be addressed if universal values are to be accepted.
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