Business Values and Ethics Essay Example
Business Value and Ethics
Q#1. The Triple Bottom Line
The triple bottom line (TBL) is an accounting model developed in 1997 by John Elkington for use in measuring how a company promotes sustainability and has three parts namely economic, social and environmental (Savitz 2). The concept behind this framework is that a company has a responsibility to ensure that the business not only generate profits, but also to ensure that the business activities promotes the social and environmental wellbeing.
The economic element of the TBL maintains that the business activities that a company undertakes in an area should have economic benefit to the host community (Savitz 9). In this regard, the profit that a company makes should not just flow to the shareholders and CEOs of the company, but should be used to empower and sustain the host community. Looking at the case, the golf course was not successful from the economic point of view under the TBL. The gold course was created to help uplift the economic and the living standards of the local people. However, the case shows that the local community has not benefited economically from the golf course as one of the caddies states that it is very difficult getting wages from the golf course as they have to wait for up to a week or two to get round of work. Even as the local community continues to struggle with poverty and joblessness, the golf course makes huge profits that go to the owners.
The social aspect of the TBL holds that the actions of a company should promote the wellbeing of the people in the society (Savitz 12). In other words, a company must take into consideration the wellbeing of everyone, including the employees, suppliers, customers and the society as a whole. Therefore, again the golf course was a failure on social aspect of the TBL as it is clear that the golf course was used to exploit the local community instead of being used to benefit them. For instance, Pong Kheungkham’s wife not only miscarried while working at the golf course, but later died without the golf course management helping her. Although the cause of her death is not clear, it is believed that she might have miscarried and died as a result of covering long distance carrying heavy bag for the wealthy golfers, or due to exposure to chemical pesticides used to keep the golf course green. In other words, the golf activity is used to exploit the poor community.
Lastly, the environmental element advocate for engaging in activities that promotes the environmental sustainability (Savitz 16).
Again the golf course was not a success on environmental element of the TBL. The case indicates that the golf course around Asia have resulted in the disruption of ecology and in Thailand, the 200 golf courses have resulted in the depletion of the scarce water supply that the local farmers depend on as a source of their livelihood.Q#2. Utilitarian/Rule-Utilitarian
Utilitarianism is an ethical principle advanced by John S Miller and colleagues that looks at ethics from the consequential point of view. According to utilitarianism, an action is morally right when it generates the greatest benefits to the majority and harm to the least number (Mill 4). Based on utilitarian approach, as the local official in neighboring Cambodia, I would surely not agree to developing similar golf course as is in Thailand. The reason is purely based on the fact that the golf courses in Thailand are only used to benefit a few wealthy individuals at the expense of the society which forms of the majority. The golf courses are causing serious harm to the local people through exploitation that have resulted even in death of some caddies while the over 200 golf courses have also resulted in the destruction of the ecology and depleted vital water sources that the local community depends on as their source of livelihood. Therefore, clearly the Thai golf projects only benefits a few and cause harm to the majority, thus such developments should not be undertaken in Cambodia.
Q#3. Factors in Deciding Moral Responsibility
In deciding whether or not the manager of the golf course was morally responsible for the damages, the following factors will have to be considered:
The golf course manager will be held morally responsible in the event that it if proven that he discriminated against some people on the basis of religion, sex, race or gender among others (Fischer and Ravizza 19).
The manager of the golf course will also be held morally responsible if it happens that he discriminated against some employees when awarding promotions
The golf course manager will also be responsible for the damages if it happens that the damages occurred because of bribery.
The manager will also be morally responsible if the damages occurred because the manager engaged in activities that amount to a conflict of interest. For instance, a conflict of interest might result where the manager awards a tender on preferential basis and not competitively or giving preference to some candidates when hiring for a position.
Fischer, John M., and Mark Ravizza. Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. London: Cornell University Press, 1993. Print.
Mill, John S. Utilitarianism. New York, NY: ReadHowYouWant.com, 2006. Print.
Savitz, Andrew. The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success — and How You Can Too. Upper Saddle River: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
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