Coca-cola Soda: Business Ethics (Essay Sample)
Establishing a culture of sound business ethics within an organization is challenging, to say the least. Companies that market products that are not considered to be “healthy” for consumers have additional challenges. Research a company that markets “unhealthy” products. Examples might include tobacco or alcohol companies but these examples are not all-inclusive. Respond to the following questions.
1. Briefly describe the company and its product and the ethical dilemma associated with the production and distribution of its products.
2. Describe how the perception of the product differs within cultures both within the United States and globally.
3. How has this company handled the ethical implications of its product with a focus on social responsibility, integrity and business ethics?
4. Explain how leadership within the organization can instill a culture of ethics within the marketing department as they strive to advertise a product that is not healthy for the customer.
Your response should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages not including the title and reference pages. You are required to use at least one peer-reviewed source. Referenced sources must have accompanying citations complying with APA guidelines.
In this 21st century, establishing a culture of sound business ethics is essential for every organization. The top management has to examine policies and practices within the business that are likely to bring controversies and misinterpretations in the public setting in which the business operates. However, companies that market products that are considered “unhealthy” for human consumption have additional challenges in the distribution and marketing of their products. For instance, Coca Cola Company has gone through several challenges in distributing its products following some misinterpretation of its practices and policies from the public. In this regard, the essay will use the case of Coca Cola company to examine how entities can establish a culture of sound business ethics in their products that have been identified “unhealthy” for human health.
The Coca Cola Company is an American corporation that offers sweet, nonalcoholic beverages. Headquartered in Georgia, the United States, the company sells its products to various bottlers who then distributes them to retail stores, hotels and food service providers across the globe. The company was founded in 1886 by an American businessman known as G. Candler (Renz and Vogel, 2016). Presently, the corporation has developed various structures, corporate bodies, and policies that assist and frames how it operates — giving concerns about maintaining high standards concerning health security as well as ethical business cultures. Through these structures and policies, the corporation has developed a product portfolio of more than 500 brands ranging from soda to soya-based drinks to energy drinks. Brands include Fanta, Sprite, Diet Coke, vitamin water, Powerade, and Coca-Cola Zero. However, in the past, the company was faced with various ethical issues associated with the production and distribution of its products.
The ethical issues were charged with racial discrimination, manipulation of workers’ earning as well as disruption of long term contracts with their suppliers. In 1999, the company was accused of paying African Americans employees’ the least compared to the white employees. The African Americans who were working at the Coca Cola company felt that the corporation was paying them lesser compared to white workers because of their black skin color and took the matter to court. In the lawsuit, the African Americans stated that the top management was aware of the discrimination but did nothing to bring equality in payment. The leadership denied the accusation and instead said that all workers were treated and paid equally. However, the public had a strong feeling that the top management lied since workers were discriminated in pay in which whites were paid more than the black workers (Dipboye, 2016).
Another critical issue occurred in the same year when some children were reported sick after drinking coke and other products of the corporation. Many people lost respect for the company and considered the products unhealthy for consumption. Some of the investors started buying their shares from the company. The issue became worse when the top management remained silent to respond to the inquiries from the media about the issue. At that moment, the public assumed that the administration was holding the information about their products b
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