|Subject Code and Title||MGT301A : Ethics and Sustainability|
|Length||Part A: 750 words (+/ 10%)|
Part B: 1000 words (+/ 10%)
|Weighting||Part A: 25%|
Part B: 35%
|Total Marks||100 marks (each part)|
This assessment provides you with the opportunity to engage with and apply ethical frameworks to real-world issues. You will select two ethical issues facing an organisation of your choice and identify ways of dealing with them. By doing this, you will enhance your ability to ethically address the economic, commercial, social and environmental issues you will face in the workplace.
You will complete in-class activities, in modules 2.2 (week 4) and 4.2 (week 8) that will prepare you for this assessment task and give you examples of the ethical issues you could choose.
In Part A, you will address the following questions:
To complete this assessment, you will need to select two ethical issues and then undertake library research to identify two relevant ethical frameworks. You will then explain how these theories can be used to identify different ways in which these issues can be handled ethically. Finally, you will reflect on your thinking and describe how undertaking this assignment has developed your thinking about your future workplace behaviour.
Both parts to this assessment task should include appropriate academic referencing and a reference list following APA 6th edition style of referencing. Please see the Academic Skills page on Blackboard for information on referencing in APA 6th: https://laureate- ntent_id=_2498849_1
Ethics and Sustainability
Every organization stress on the management and the operational aspects of the company, but the ethical standards of the organization are also instrumental in creating a well-reputation image and status for the company (Bittici, Cocca & Ates, 2016). The image is to essential to increase the brand value of the company and attracts top talented which ultimately contribute to the sustainability of the company. This report will identify the ethical issues in Nike – one of the largest company in the world and find the resolutions using the various ethical framework applicable.
Nike is one of the most recogized company in the global market specialized in sport shoes and apparel industry. The company established itself as a celebrity company by effectively incorporating diverse parts of its corporate personality into a powerful special methodology that relates its brand image with positive social qualities going from physicality and wellness to social and ecological obligation and responsibility.
However, the company was accused of using “sweatshops” since the early 1970s. Nike has continuously been operating factories in the developing country which provide the low standards working environment as well as low-labor cost . The employees of the factory are mostly from the poor surrounding inhabitants, who looked for an income for their live. Otherwise, the worry is about the safety of the worker. In order to cut off the costing, the law of protecting workers had been ignored, lead to the low health standards (TeamSweat, 2011). Furthermore, 80% of the factory worker are woman and teenagers or under twenties. They are being controlled strictly with the working hour and forced to work over hour during some occasions.
Under the theoretical, according to Rather B.A (2016), a business should maxmise the profits of the company. And it is correct when we mentioned Nike’s scenario. It can be seen clearly that Nike has made billions dollar revenue for the company in the past few decades. On the other hand, although the employee work under the low standards but still agree to work for the company. Both parties reach an agreement on each side. The egoistic approach is using the utilitarian calculation to produce the best for itself (Santa Clara University, 2019). As a consequence, the management can make the huge profit to the company which is agood outcome for the company to achieve their goals. So that, the company can maintain the structure of factory and working environment.
The Rights Approach is concentrated on people’s dignity that people have the moral right to live what they want to live. People should respect one’s choice such as freedom, equal and moral duty (Santa Clara University, 2019). According to McCall (1998), an employee in Asia said that “they need $3 per day to maintain an adequate living standard” while they only receive $1.60 per day. In this scenario, the company’s action is not the one that respect the moral rights of people affected. In order to show consideration for this case, Nike should increase the wages which included the living standard expenses.
The Justice Approach is about how the organization treat people equally and proportionally based on some criterion is justifiable (Santa Clara University, 2019). Nike, in this sceanrio, can continuously do the “sweatshops” strategies as Nike pay their labor with the same average wages per hour under the same working condition. There is no signal showing that Nike has been treating people under the factory unequally. So in regard to this framework, this is an ethical for Nick to keep maintaining the factory system.
This approach may draw attention to the common stipulation that may affect to the welfare of everyone (Santa Clara University, 2019). According to TeamSweat (2011), the supervisor often do not check properly with the safety steps. Furthermore, they were forced to work about ten hours per day, six days per week under the heat temperature of 37 Celsius degree which may harmful for the health. This is not an ethical action while it affects the general welfare of the community. The company itself need to invest more in the factory partnership to provide a better condition for the worker. According to McCall (1998), Nike have the ability to raise the average wages by cutting down 2% from investing expenses for advertisement. So that Nike can improve the minimum wages as well as invest in the factory partnership to avoid the toxic in the factories, prevent from diseases for the workers.
The Virtue Approach is consistent with ideal human virtues. In this scenario, people working in the factory is a part of the company, who contribute themselves to the success of the business.A good character of a person would be attained certain virtues (Santa Clara University, 2019). In order to be consistent with the acting at the best of the company, Nike should engage with the worker by replacing all the old and virulent factory, increasing the minimum wages, controlling the working environment standards. As a result, the brand image can be inhanced in the eyes of the consumers which can bring a positive result to the company.
As a consequence, although many laws and rules are in place for ethical management, most of the companies are of the opinion that the broader ethical issues should be necessarily discussed. The conduciveness of the atmosphere of the company also provides a level playing field for all and guarantees optimum output through the effectiveness of the employees.
Two issues in business practices exists in Nike’s working environment including the provision of low standards working environment and low-labor costs for Nike’s employees and, forcing women employees to work for extra hours. The company should be taking many necessary steps and measures to mitigate and contain the problems. These two ethical issues as highlighted in the previous section have been analysed in this section as well.
The existence of malpractices in the work environment does not necessarily mean that those cannot be changed in the future for creating a better atmosphere to work in. Hence, the necessity of ethical management of the issues faced by the employees in their day to day operations becomes paramount for a successful organisation, and it also ensures the sustainability of the organisation. The ethical issue of low industrial standard of the wage gap is heavily rampant in the company. It affects all the employees, and they are considerable in number. But the company has taken many necessary steps and measures to mitigate and contain the problems. These codes create an atmosphere of trust and sticking to these codes and practices are stringently overseen. The frameworks like Egoistic Approach, Rights Approach, Justice Approach, Common Good Approach, and Virtue Approach could be applied within the business practices of Nike that could help in sustaining ethical practices and culture at the workplace.
I believe that as a responsible employee, I would urge the management of the organisation the company to concentrate more on erasing the wage gap which also is the demand of the time. The company could also learn to sustain in the adverse situation of the future through sustainable resource management. I would restrict the use various animal products and parts used for the production of various apparels, products and goods.
I should encourage the employees to talk to the managers and maintain a healthy relationship amongst each other (Feigin, 2016). Complaints can be raised which are thoroughly investigated by the company, and stringent action is taken against the culprit by the company in accordance with the company laws. The company should also actively work to erase the wage gap existing in the country. I believe that the company should be offering better wages to their employees that meet the minimum wage structure of the region. The standard of life of the employees is also required to be raised by providing them perks like education for the children of the employees, health benefits etc. There are various ethical issues in Nike but as is evident from the project that the company is in the right course to mitigate the discussed issues.
I believe that the inculcation of standard and ethical behaviour exhibited by the professionals could prove useful in developing an ethical institution. The professional ethics could also be taught to the employees and obeying such ethics and standards could also be stressed through regular practices in their operation (Hollingworth & Valentine, 2015). As they say, charity begins at home. We learn a good deal of ethics from the people we grow up with or work with. Professional ethics is much better instilled in the employees when they learn from their management professionals. They are more than probable to follow practical examples of their managers and also grow a healthy ethics code of their own. The behaviour of senior management also plays an important and decisive role in developing and effective, ethical standard within the company.
When the employees observe an inclination of allowing the ethical violation, the employees are more likely to not follow the codes and conducts of the company (Gok et al. 2017). The active following of ethical laws by the senior management urges the employees and shape up the work environment for the company and the employees to follow. Corporate governance structures in place today are mostly redundant today. What they do not realise is the new recruits learn from their seniors and the existing Government policies undertaken by the companies teach them the wrong lessons. They learn to break the rules of ethics and malpractices as they have seen their superiors do. The company should be taking the necessary steps to challenge those issues and are improving day by day. Although there are no immediate after effects that are visible they will give a long term result which could be beneficial for the image and ethical standard of the company. The company could also learn to sustain in the adverse situation of the future through sustainable resource management (Daspit et al. 2017). An educated workforce is less likely to break ethical codes. This will slowly improve the demographics of the infringement of the laws and help in bettering a broken system of ethical standards. The business schools could also inculcate a rigid structure of corporate governance that follows the existing ethical standards. A perfect balance of personal ethical education and practical corporate governance by senior management obeying professional ethics is a good place to start the change which could prove instrumental in creating an ethical culture within the organisation.
I believe that the culture of the organisation is heavily dependent upon the behaviour of its employees. The ethical codes and conducts exists in every company in the world. What is problematic is the disobedience of these laws in place and infringement of the established standard (Gok et al. 2017). The companies need to have in-depth knowledge of the employees. This would give a better and real-time idea of the existent ethical standard within the organisation and could also so help up in pinpointing the areas that need improvement. The new recruits could also be asked to undergo the necessary ethical assessment that reminds employees to refrain from unethical practices. Ethical behavioural standards could also be raised by rewarding employees (Engelbrecht, Heine & Mahembe, 2017). It must also be made sure that the employees know that necessary action is going to be taken for sure in accordance with the necessary laws in place for such atrocities. A combined effort by the employees and the senior management would prove a successful strategy in building a healthy ethical standard within the company (Langan-Fox et al 2007).
The necessary frameworks for the mitigation of such problems have also been discussed. The workplace behaviour and culture of the organisation which plays a decisive role in building an effective, ethical standard within the company have also been discussed. Although many laws and rules are in place for ethical management most of the companies are of the opinion that the broader ethical issues are necessarily neglected. The conduciveness of the atmosphere of the company also provides a level playing field for all and guarantees optimum output through the effectiveness of the employees. For sure, these menaces would be mitigated with the help of the necessary standardisation, laws and practices prevalent within the organisation. The above discussed factors if implemented within the workplace of the organisations, would be helping in maintaining the ethical standards at the workplaces and which could be strengthening the foundation of a modern workplace culture.