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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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First of all, tobacco causes harm to the body. So, it is ethical responsibility of companies to warm the people about it (Chapman, 2007, 95)…
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Business Ethics If one takes a look at the world of business today, one will be able to see that it is often affected by different ethical concepts that guide the performance of various companies.
It would not be a mistake to point out that when it comes to analysis of tobacco industry, the position of consumers should be protected. First of all, tobacco causes harm to the body. So, it is ethical responsibility of companies to warm the people about it (Chapman, 2007, 95). Secondly, smoking is harmful not only to the person who does it, but also to the people around. Indeed, second hand smoking may not seem dangerous to people, but companies should warn about it as well (Acosta, 1992, 396). Thirdly, it is often thought of as habit, smoking is a kind of addition; that is why companies should make sure that their consumers understand that they might end up being addicted to the product (Orleans, 1993, 81). Fourthly, smoking may surely become a whole in a budget, so companies who promote this product should warn about possible financial consequences when a person will have to spend a certain sum of money each month to harm one’s organism (Sloan, 2004, 51). Finally, the reality of smoking is not as glamorous or exciting as it is being portrayed. So, tobacco companies should not deceive people by providing them with different pictures that do not reflect the reality at all (Wallander, 1995, 143).
Сapitalism often relies on shared ownership which means that a considerable number of people might hold shared and by combining their voice they might shape decision making process in a way they want (Kruse, 2010, 41). In addition to that, capitalism often points out that making ethical decisions may be quite beneficial in long term perspective, especially when company accepts its social responsibility and tries to maintain sustainable production (Young, 2003, 194). What is more important is that capitalism puts great emphasis on the notion of free market, which urges companies to make sure that their decisions will ensure their competitive advantage over competitors (Buchholz, 2012, 28). As for the connection between capitalism and tobacco, I think that the former might view the latter as a popular commodity which is likely to bring a considerable amount of profits, regardless of the harm that it will do with regard to the person who consumes or addicted to it, and encourage people to buy it.
Keeping in mind the above mentioned, one is able to argue that it is quite possible to combine the interests of a company with personal interest. Thus, on the one hand, any organization wants to be successful, so profit might be recognized as one of the primary goals of it (Jayachandran, 2004, 71). Nevertheless, a company is expected to perform actions that are beneficial for it in short as well as in long perspective, so taking into account interests of the consumers might be seen as a part of it (Rosam & Peddle, 2004, 3). Utilitarianism might explain this kind of thinking in the following way: companies accept social responsibility and want to improve not because that is their ultimate goal, but because by doing so they will be able to achieve what they want – the profit.
Finally, speaking of the way company is able to combine points of view of the industry and the consumer, it would not be a mistake to suggest that the former will always prevail (Kakabadse, 2013, 250). Of course, it does not mean that companies will always think about the profit that they will be able to get; however, every action that will be performed by them will lead to beneficial consequences in the long term perspective which will ensure that interest of the consumers is taken into account. In other words, a company may want to have a good reputation in the eyes of public; however, the real motif for making a certain decision is always connected to organizational goals. In spite of the fact that up to a certain point organizational and personal goals might coexist, in times of crisis a company is likely to chose the former since it is a for profit organization the behavior of which is primarily guided by the desire to maximize the return on investment.
References
Acosta, D. (1992). Cardiovascular toxicology (2nd ed.). New York: Raven Press.
Buchholz, R. (2009). Rethinking capitalism: Community and responsibility in business. New York: Routledge.
Chapman, S. (2007). Public health advocacy and tobacco control: Making smoking history. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
Jayachandran, S. (2004). Marketing management text and cases. New-Delhi: Excel Books.
Kakabadse, A. (2013). How to make boards work: An international overview. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kruse, D. (2010). Shared capitalism at work: Employee ownership, profit and gain sharing, and broad-based stock options. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Orleans, C. (1993). Nicotine addiction: Principles and management. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rosam, I., & Peddle, R. (2004). Implementing effective corporate social responsibility and corporate governance: A guide. London: British Standards Institution.
Sloan, F. (2004). The price of smoking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wallander, J. (1995). Adolescent health problems: Behavioral perspectives. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Young, S. (2003). Moral capitalism reconciling private interest with the public good. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Read More
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