Categories for Business ethics

Ethical concerns Essay

Ethical concerns Essay

In this report I will be examining and explaining ethical concerns that communities face when a business operates. In this case I will be using Primark as the selected business. Primark within the past year or so have faced many concerns that have heavily affected the surrounding communities of where their businesses operate such as the sweat shops discovered within the UK. This was a big ethical concern due to the child labour and the incredibly low pay rate which broke UK trading laws and human rights.

Although this was not as shocking as the Bangladesh disaster which involved the collapse of a large factory that Primark produced products in. The result of this caused many lives to be taken and serous court action taken on the managers and owners of this factory. While these workers worked within this factory they worked under incredibly poor conditions and an incredibly low pay rate of 25 pounds a month to live on.

This conditions which workers lived under not only affected them for the worse but their entire community was surviving on barley enough money to eat or live in acceptable conditions.

What this factory was doing to the community before it collapsed is enough to break most trading laws such as human rights and workplace safety. But when the factory collapsed killing close to a hundred of its workers it has had a bad effect on the environment and communities due to the debris and rubble that surround the site.

Primark have admitted liability and paid compensation but a lot more could have been done to prevent this; * Safety – Primark could at least send one health and safety officer to examine the workplace before Primark makes business deals with. If problems arise then Primark could invest in the work place raising its safety standards instead of having to pay fines then being known as an unethical business. * Wellbeing checks – Primark could send Human resources employees to examine the wellbeing of the employees of the business which business deals are to be made.

This would make sure that the business is operating ethically and to the standard of what their customer’s expect. * Send assessors on a yearly or monthly basis – To make sure the safety of the workplaces and the wellbeing of its workers is kept up to the average standard from the first visit assessors should be sent to document the businesses maintained standard. To which it is then reported back to superiors. What Primark have done after the Bangladesh; Spending $1 million (? 640,000) on short term aid and food aid the victims. * Compensating thousands of families that where effected by the disaster. * Opened a website -http://www. primark-ethicaltrading. co. uk/ – on this website it has information on what further action Primark is taking to help and aid the local communities such as an improved safety programme and the HERproject which focuses on the wellbeing and health of female workers.

The collapse of Enron Essay

The collapse of Enron Essay

The collapse of Enron seems to be rooted in a combination of the failure of top leadership, a corporate culture that supported unethical behavior, and the complicity of the investment banking community. In the aftermath of Enron’s bankruptcy filing, numerous Enron executives were charged with criminal acts, including fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. Ben Glisan, Enron’s former treasurer, was charged with two-dozen counts of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy.

During the plea negotiations, Glisan described Enron as a “house of cards.

” Andrew Fastow, Jeff Skilling, and Ken Lay are among the most notable top-level executives implicated in the collapse of Enron’s “house of cards. ” Andrew Fastow, former Enron chief financial officer (CFO), faced 98 counts of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy in connection with the improper partnerships he ran, which included a Brazilian power plant project and a Nigerian power plant project that was aided by Merrill Lynch, an investment banking firm. 2.

How did the top leadership at Enron undermine the foundation values of the Enron Code of Ethics? Enron’s ethics code was based on respect, integrity, communication, and excellence.

Kenneth Lay, former chairman and (CEO) of Enron Corp. , once quoted as saying: “I was fully exposed to not only legal behavior but moral and ethical behavior and what that means from the standpoint of leading organizations and people. ” In an introductory statement to the revised Enron Code of Ethics issued in July 2000, Lay wrote: “As officers and employees of Enron Corp.

Its subsidiaries, and its affiliated companies, we are responsible for conducting the business affairs of the companies in accordance with all applicable laws and in a moral and honest manner. ” Lay went on to indicate that the 64-page Enron Code of Ethics reflected policies approved by the company’s board of directors and that the company, which enjoyed a reputation for being fair and honest, was highly respected.

Enron’s ethics code also specified that “An employee shall not conduct himself or herself in a manner which directly or indirectly would be detrimental to the best interests of the Company or in a manner which would bring to the employee financial gain separately derived as a direct consequence of his or her employment with the Company. ” 3. How did Enron’s corporate culture promote unethical decisions and actions? Enron has been described as having a culture of arrogance that led people to believe that they could handle increasingly greater risk without encountering any danger. According to Sherron Watkins, “Enron’s unspoken message was, ‘Make the numbers, make the numbers, make the numbers—if you steal, if you cheat, just don’t get caught.

If you do, beg for a second chance, and you’ll get one. ’” Enron’s corporate culture did little to promote the values of respect and integrity. These values were undermined through the company’s emphasis on decentralization, its employee performance appraisals, and its compensation program. Each Enron division and business unit was kept separate from the others, and as a result very few people in the organization had a “big picture” perspective of the company’s operations.

Accompanying this emphasis on decentralization were insufficient operational and financial controls as well as “a distracted, hands-off chairman, a compliant board of directors, and an impotent staff of accountants, auditors, and lawyers. ” Jeff Skilling implemented a very rigorous and threatening performance evaluation process for all Enron employees. Known as “rank and yank,” the annual process utilized peer evaluations, and each of the company’s divisions was arbitrarily forced to fire the lowest ranking one-fifth of its employees. Employees frequently ranked their peers lower in order to enhance their own positions in the company.

Enron’s compensation plan “seemed oriented toward enriching executives rather than generating profits for shareholders” and encouraged people to break rules and inflate the value of contracts even though no actual cash was generated. Enron’s bonus program encouraged the use of non-standard accounting practices and the inflated valuation of deals on the company’s books. Indeed, deal inflation became widespread within the company as partnerships were created solely to hide losses and avoid the consequences of owning up to problems. (p29-31) Weiss, Joseph W. (2009). Business Ethics: A Stakeholders & Issues Management Approach