Professor

7RESPONSE TO POST AND REFLECTIVE JOURNAL

Response to Post and Reflective Journal

It is may be tempting to claim that unethical situations are no longer evident in the society today. I concur with you that our past generations established innovative means to satisfy human needs, but at a cost. It is true that human beings put too much expectation on the manufacturers and international markets to satisfy their needs. The same people who want the manufacturers and the market to meet their needs are the same people who question the actions of these manufacturers. People want to consume milk and meat and cheaper products but they are disgusted by the manner in which these products are produced. This irony leads to the question of what is right and wrong. I concur with you that our habits of consumption are responsible for the unethical situations in the society. In my opinion people, people fail to focus too much energy on changing their habits because some of these habits are ethically justifiable. According to Kizza (2013), ethics does not only help us in distinguishing wrong and right, but also in understanding why and on what basis our judgement of human actions is justified. Although animals are not as valuable as human beings are, they are not to be dominated and abused. However, with respect to Unitarianism ethics, the pain experienced by animals when being slaughtered is justifiable because of the benefits that people get out of these actions (Perrin, Wursig & Thewissen, 2009). This assertion supports your views that there is a cost attached to satisfaction of human needs and wants. Therefore, the decisions of human actions are not based on their own values and principles but on the desired outcomes.

I concur with you that child labour is a difficult topic to discuss, particularly when it touches on developing nations. It is true that children in developing nations have responsibilities and values. As a result, people cannot morally judge children who are in the labour force a long as they are not subjected to conditions that impede their growth and jeopardises their democratic rights. I concur with you that multinational firms employ child labour in developing nations for profit purposes. Similar to your opinion, such actions prompt ethical and moral conflict. Kant’s maxims of duty that stresses on human dignity would definitely rule out the use of child labour (Bowen 2011). This is because children are taken as the ends instead of respecting their dignity. However, when the end justifies the means, an action can be taken to be right. While the MNCs are concerned with profits, children work to alleviate their poverty level and enhance their lives and that of their families. According to Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2011), globalisation deserves credit for aiding in lifting scores of people out of poverty and enhancing their standards of living. Although MNCs employs child labour for profits gain, these firms enhances the lives of these children. In my opinion, it would be pointless to boycott products from the MNCs that exploit child labour because this would mean unsatisfied needs and increased poverty level.

I concur with you that consumers are to blame for unethical behaviours in the markets. It is true that consumers depend on business to satisfy their wants and needs. Consumers want to buy products at affordable prices without considering the cost of producing these goods. According to Grant (2015), consumers want low prices and good quality products without considering the benefits and costs of the economic decisions involved in the production of these products. I like your honesty that you do not mind where goods that satisfy your needs come from and how firms obtain these products and bring them where the consumers need them. Evidently, MNCs enter into developing nations and exploit child labour because consumers in these nations require cheaper products without minding how these products are produced. Consumers are willing to purchase goods at cheaper prices even when the goods are produced in an ethical manner. As a result, the moralisation of markets depends greatly on consumers. Stehr, Henning and Weiler (2011) assert that the mainstream production and existence of ethical production should be linked to consumer actions. The inner cravings of consumers are stronger and desire cheaper and quality products notwithstanding their means of production.

From your thoughts, we can presume that the industry level that satisfies the consumer needs damages resources. From a moral perspective, environmental damage and child labour are justifiable from the utilitarianism perspective. Although it is unethical for manufacturers of consumer goods to allow their industrial waste to contaminate water, soil and air, consumers stand to benefit from the activities of these companies in terms of availability and affordability of key products that satisfy their needs. Similarly, child labour is ethically justifiable when it is in the interests of families and employers. Although change is needed, consumers in the developing nations must initiate the change by stressing on ethical production means. You have acknowledged the need for education in enlightening consumers about business ethics. While I do not disregard your idea, education cannot work with the current mindset of consumers and people in developing nations. Even if education in needed to promote ethical behaviours in the market, consumers must first change their mindset towards. According to Zadek (2012), consumers who have education about exploitative working conditions and ethical consumerism experience frustration in the market because most consumers in the market focus on satisfying their needs through whatever means rather than focusing on ethical market practices.

Reflective Journal

The module has been enlightening about the ethical challenges that have been instigated by globalisation. The dynamic temperament of international business affects the societies in different ways. Drawing from the course materials, it is evident that international business and globalisation is a key contributor to ethical issues linked to environmental damage, child labour, gender discrimination, unfair wages and poor working conditions. Throughout the module, I have learnt that stakeholders in businesses instigate the moral challenges facing business in the contemporary globalised world economy. With regard to globalisation and international business, people claim that globalisation enhances the general living standards of people around the world through lifting people out of poverty (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2011). More so, globalisation has instigated development of novel industries in developing nations besides making goods and services accessible to all by stabilising markets around the world.

While I cannot deny the benefits linked to globalisation, I believe that in its efforts to raise the standards of living and making goods available to all, globalisation has instigated great ethical issues. Drawing from, ‘it’s a chicken’s life’ case study the effects of globalisation can be seen. The case study demonstrates how globalisation leads to establishment of large companies that create unnecessary competition besides employing unethical means to increase their productivity and profit margins. It is very immoral for a company to rear chicken in unsafe conditions in order to reduce costs of production and attain enormous profits. It is also unethical for consumers in developing nations to purchase products produced through unethical means simply because they are cheap. This is a clear indication that ethically of business does not solely depend on businesses themselves, but also requires the commitment of consumers to uphold and support ethical businesses. With regard to market and consumption; I have learnt that consumers depend on business to satisfy their needs. In fact, business holds a responsibility to consumers. However, faith in the assiduousness of business is sometimes lost when unethical issues surface. This occurs when manufacturers fail to offer the level of product safety that consumer desire. It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure product safety besides ensuring product quality, affordable pricing and quality packaging (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2011). Deception and unfairness in product marketing amount to unethical conducts.

In addition, I have learnt that the environment is a major stakeholder in business. It is only fair and ethical for businesses to ensure that their activities do not harm the environment. It is the obligation of every business to leave a habitable world for future generations. However, in the contemporary world, the business practices are assessed and judged based on the outcome of their practices instead of principles. Particularly, the global business environment through its economic and cultural diversity generates different ethical issues. This creates an inevitable risk amid ethical practices and business profitability. For instance, the case study,’ When in Rome’, demonstrate how the international business focuses on achieving greater productivity and profitability at the expense of ethical practices.

References

Bowen, W.R.(2008). Engineering ethics: Outline of an inspirational approach. UK: Springer Science & Business Media.

Grant, S.(2014). Cambridge O level economics workbook. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kizza, J.(2013). Ethical and social issues in the information age. UK: Springer Science & Business Media.

Lamb, C., Hair, J., & McDaniel, C.(2011). MKTG 5. UK: Cengage Learning.

Perring, W., Wursig, B., & Thewissen, H.(2009). Encyclopaedia of marine mammals. USA: Academic Press.

Stehr, N., Henning, C., & Weiler, B.(2011). The moralisation of the markets. UK: Transaction Publishers.

Zadek, S.(2012). The civil corporation: The new economy of corporate citizenship. AU: Earthscan.