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MGMT20134 Business Ethics And Sustainability

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MGMT20134 Business Ethics And Sustainability

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Course Code: MGMT20134
University: Central Queensland University

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Country: Australia

Question:
Investigate the interconnections between business ethics, sustainability and globalisation; and evaluate the differences between ethics, legal requirements and cultural factors in a business setting;
 
Explain the various aspects of business sustainability and how these impact upon business strategy; critique the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to compare these in a contemporary business setting;
 
Discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in asssisting such management; and demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others.
Answer:

Introduction
Ethics and sustainability have a lot of relevance for an organization. The term ethics refers to the values that the organization inculcates in the workplaces and the moral principles that guide its everyday operation. Conducting a business involves many ethical factors such as management of assets, paying employees sufficiently and maintaining a proper public image. All these factors have to be carefully managed by the organization in order to ensure that it can conduct its business with integrity and respect. Sustainability, however, can connote a variety of meanings in the organizational context. It can imply different things in different contexts. The concept of sustainability can be applied in social, economic or environmental context. The aim of this assignment shall be to explore the importance of sustainability and ethics in an organization through the study of case studies from the context of the results of the diagnostic tools.
The Gold and Diamond Watch
Ryan, a 24-year old salesman in a wholesaler: Anderson Office Supplies gets lured into a shady deal with an Arab named Abdul on his first overseas sales trip. Abdul demands a Rolex watch of $10,000 for which he shall place an order of office equipment worth A$5 million. However, he is initially discouraged by his boss who was a man of strict ethical principles. But, Ryan nonetheless went ahead with his plans and took a loan to buy the watch despite having substantial debts and a mortgage. His dreams come to a crash when he is discovered by Charles with the watch and is fired from his post and on the other hand he receives an email from Abdul saying that he is no longer interested in the deal as he has found another supplier.
It can be seen that Ryan was seeking out short term gains while being completely oblivious to the fact that engaging in bribery and other fraudulent practices might seriously hamper his career prospects and also can bring down the entire organization over some minor issue. I think that if he had indeed been serious about his career and was keen on establishing a client base in the Middle East, he would not have been lured so easily by Abdul who might as well have been a fraud. He would have rather devoted his time there in building up new contacts who could have been prospective clients. For this reason, I identify more with Charles than with Ryan in the story. When I would have my own company I would definitely want my employees to work hard and not get involved in shady affairs (see diagnostic 6). But merely words would not suffice. I believe that teaching by example is a more effective way of inculcating values in employees. I would try to keep everything transparent and straight.
The case study reveals that the organizational culture of All Asia Airways in China had been one where contracts were made on the basis of personal relationships built through the payment of bribery and giving of gifts to important officials. However, when the company expanded to the USA it was subject to a different set of laws that made the kinds of activities that were rife in China a legal offence. Here, it was illegal to accept invitations from suppliers or to bribe foreign officials so as to keep business dealings impersonal and honest. However, when an employee of the purchasing section, David Leong, was faced with the problem of faulty fuel pumps which would ground 15 out of 20 planes, it was a moment of shock for David. However, there lay a solution to the problem where he could secure 10 extra pumps provided he pay a $200,000 bribe to a client manager of a government owned manufacturer in Europe. David was faced with a critical situation which brought him at his wit’s end because neither was he very enthusiastic with going ahead with the deal which would mean imprisonment in case he was exposed nor could the company afford the losses that would arise from the grounding of the flights.
I must say that David is faced with an indeed critical situation where either of his choices will have consequences of substantial magnitude. However, he still needs to take some time to contemplate and weigh the odds against each other. Given my perspective which I believe, has a fairly strong set of internalised morals (see diagnostic 13), I would rather have the planes grounded than get involved in illicit activities. Perhaps, this choice would initially stunt the growth of my career within the organization but it would not pose the threat of completely destroying it. I had had gone ahead with the bribery I would have prevented the imminent loss that the organization would face but in the process I would have placed myself in a precarious position where, if found out, my entire career would have been in shambles. I could always leave a job and join another provided I have the requisite skills and qualifications. Therefore, I would rather have the planes grounded than put my career at stake for short term professional gains.
Motoring Accident
An expensive new Mercedes was driving through an intersection that had a green light. While from the adjacent road a speeding car hit the Mercedes despite having a red signal. The Mercedes, as a result, was damaged beyond repair.
The driver of the Mercedes is clearly not the one to blame as he was driving in normal speed through the intersection when the lights were green. The second driver who hit the Mercedes deserves the blame for the mishap as it is evident that he was breaking the traffic rules firstly by over speeding and secondly by not halting his vehicle in the face of red lights. Therefore, the latter driver is duty-bound to pay compensation to the Mercedes driver because it is because of his irresponsibility that the disaster has occurred. My judgement stems out of my belief that people should be responsible towards their personal choices (see diagnostic 1) and try to accept the consequences that can arise out of those.
A Community Affected
The federal government in order to establish a high speed railway line between Melbourne and Adelaide has to demolish the houses of Hicksville each of which cost around $55,000-70,000. But, the houses that are available in the nearest town are about $125,000 each. Therefore, the government is in a kind of dilemma about how to rehabilitate or pay compensation to the local population.  
Such projects where the government has to relocate populations in order to build infrastructure are indeed very common. The basis for such projects is that the communities that are being affected by the activities of the government have to be compensated in full. In this context, since the community has to be deprived of their homes, issues relating to human rights and civil liberties have come up. The government is duty-bound to rehabilitate the population or pay them reparations that shall allow them to find residences elsewhere. The problem of the cost is of secondary importance as human rights should be a priority for democratic governments. As my diagnostic tool result 6 reveals, I have a substantially high sense of fairness and therefore, I think I am obliged to take up this kind of a perspective to the problem
A Heinous Crime
A middle aged man has been found guilty of several rape and murders of young women in an American Southern state. The DNA evidence from the scene of crimes implicates him as guilty and therefore, it can be safely assumed that he is responsible for the crimes. The state has a provision for either life in prison without parole or death penalty. I, being the judge, have to decide which punishment is more appropriate.
I believe that we are merely humans and we cannot assume the role of the arbitrators of life and death. My religious background (see diagnostic 12) compels me to view life as something divine and human beings cannot judge whether a person has the right to live or die. Therefore, I am wholeheartedly opposed to the idea of capital punishment. If I were the judge, I would have chosen life imprisonment without parole.
A Taxing Question
It has been found out that man has evaded taxes to the amount exceeding $4 million. Considering this to be his second offence of tax evasion, the previous one amounted to $2 million, the judges are required to impose harsher penalties on him or a 6-month duration of Gaol time. However, the latter punishment has been rarely put of effect by former judges.
I think that after the first time the man should have mended his ways and tried to do business in an honest manner. However, this was not the case and he committed the same offence again. Although the penalties can be harsher but I believe that merely a monetary penalty shall not change his ways. He already has a lot of money to spare and a fine would be of no effect for him. Therefore, he needs a punishment that shall affect him psychologically. Gaol shall hurt his pride and substantially undermine his prestige in society. Therefore, I shall prescribe gaol time for him.
Conclusion
Thus, it can be seen from the above assignment that the domain of ethics is a highly complex and problematic one. There exist many nuances when speaking of ethics and sustainability. While the two are related on different levels, the primary objective within the organizational framework would be to incorporate the latter as a part of organizational ethics. From this perspective, promotion of sustainable practices becomes an ethical responsibility for the organization. The philosophical implications of such an assumption have to be explored. The principle of sustainability promotes the preservation of the ecosystem and the protection of various species of organisms. The needs of not only humans but also of other sentient beings have to be taken into account. Thus, the principle of utilitarianism is compatible with that of sustainability. Therefore, the primary objective for organizations, in this context, would be to develop a business strategy that integrates sustainable practices in its production mechanisms. In order to run a business successfully, the actions have to adhere to the accurate kind of ethical theories and frameworks. Proper ethical standards in workplace have to be ensured and it has to be seen that an appropriate standard of demeanor is being maintained towards the other employees functioning in the organization.

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