Establishing a Culture of Sound Business Ethics (Essay Sample)
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit II
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Differentiate among the concepts of social responsibility, integrity, and business ethics.
2. Analyze the influence of corporate culture, including leadership, power, and motivation, on business ethics in the workplace.
3. Analyze the role that culture plays in global business ethics.
Thinking about the famous cartoon series Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner by Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies reinforces another set of ethical situations. Wile E. Coyote (referred to as Coyote) and the Road Runner (fast-running bird) were involved in a series of situations in which Coyote attempts to capture and eat the Road Runner. Revolving around the setting of the American southwest desert area, the only audio used is a periodic “beep-beep” uttered by the Road Runner. Instead of using conventional methods, Coyote used complex contraptions and innovative methods that always seemed to backfire, resulting with Coyote sustaining an injury (see suggested reading sample of Road Runner cartoons).
Throughout the series, the Road Runner is never harmed, and the Coyote is more humiliated than harmed through his failures. Although the show presents this scene in a comical venue, the idea of blowing up, running over, smashing, or attempting to kill brings forth unethical connotations. Additionally, the intended viewers of these cartoons are children, which brings forth questions of the cartoons' impact on young children with respect to advocating violence. This incident relates to the controversial actt of avertising to children, which continues to plague companies and the marketing field in general.
“It is estimated that advertisers spend more than $12 billion per year to reach the youth market” (American Psychological Foundation, 2015, para. 3) through advertising. Task forces continuously review the effect that these advertisements have on children, which raises the question of how much impact a cartoon series like Road Runner has on children. The literature clearly states that children's cognitive development for understanding what they view on television is significantly less than that of adults. The question arises as to whether or not children can understand the actions of the Coyote to destroy the Road Runner as fictional, meaning that they should not replicate these actions in the real world. This show also brings forth the question of whether there is real harm to the child and those around him or her. One might draw analogies to the increased amount of school shootings that our nation is enduring.
Another question related to the antics of the Coyote and the Road Runner is whether these are, in a broader sense, an integral part of their culture. Is it a natural tendency of the Coyote to attack birds, specifically a road runner species? This brings into focus the need for a discussion around the effect that an individual culture has within an organization. We all can probably agree that different cultures have different habits, mannerisms, and practices that will lead to different decisions and behaviors on a personal level, as well as within the business setting. The broad question here is about how an organization works with these differences in cultures but still maintains good business ethics within the organization.
Once an organization has evolved to this point, it needs to establish what it believes by clarifying what sound and ethical practices look like. Educating, training, and motivating employees to follow these ethical guidelines is a crucial next step. Continuously communicating, as well as providing incentives to motivate employees, will solidify the process. The underlying purpose of these steps is to create a culture within the organization where it expects and practices ethical behavior habitually. In most circles, an organization should create a culture of ethical behavior. Ethical behavior is one of the most complex processes within an organization, as well as one of the most integral in maintaining an ethical business environment.
American Psychological Association (2015). Report of the APA task force on advertising and children. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/advertising-children.aspx
Your assignment for Unit II is to write a paper with a minimum of two double-spaced pages, not including the title and reference pages about a company that markets products which are not “healthy” for consumers. You are required to use at least one peer-reviewed source (a scholastic journal). There are four questions listed in the Syllabus that you should respond to.
Unit II Essay
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. Using the CSU online library, 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.
Your essay should be formatted in accordance with APA style.
Headquartered in Massachusetts, the United States, CVS Pharmacy is a subsidiary of a healthcare company named as CVS Health. The company was founded 1963 and is currently one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. CVS primarily sells medications or perception drugs, as well as merchandise like beauty products, photo and film finishing services, greeting cards, cosmetics, and over-the-counter drugs. It also sells convenience foods via its official website and CVS Pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores across the country (Bonner, 2014). For a long time, CVS has been selling tobacco products too, and there are a lot of ethical issues associated with it. Tobacco has always been a subject of intense discussion, and to address this issue, CVS has initiated campaigns to create awareness among people regarding health consequences of tobacco. The societies we live in, as well as our religions, prevent companies from manufacturing, marketing or selling tobacco. For some people, tobacco is a must part of their life and a way to stay in fashion, while for the others, it is nothing more than a harmful product (Richardson, 2015).
How the perception of products differs in cultures in the United States and worldwide?
Our youngsters believe that tobacco helps them stay energetic the whole day, and the seniors state that tobacco is good for nothing and that the governments should stop its production on an immediate basis. There are, no doubt, different perceptions of this product in the United States and worldwide. To some, it is a “haram” thing, and to others, it is “a good source of energy.” In March 2008, the World Health Organization called upon governm
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