Ethics can also be defined as morals that we derive from our parents, relatives, friends, community and the surroundings which gives us the ability to separate right from wrong. As people grow up in different surroundings the ethics and morals of a person is different from that of the other. Since an act may be appropriate in a community and frowned upon in another we have to be careful before doing anything outside our own community. Ethics also changes with time for example smoking at work place was considered tolerable few is very important to maintain a peaceful environment at every organization.
Business ethics guides while interacting with the superiors and subordinate. Lack of business ethics creates gap between workers as people may feel left out and unappreciated. Business ethics helps bring in some sort of equality to the organization. Anglo American is one of the few companies that have worked and been successful in installing proper business ethics in their organization. Anglo American Pl was earlier called Anglo American Corporation when it was established in the year 1917 but later in 1999 the main operating office was shifted from Johannesburg to London.
It is a company concerned with the mining of iron, copper, nickel, coal and other precious metals. Anglo American is a part of WEBS. The company has also spent millions of dollars fighting HIVE in Africa. 1. 1 Explain the background and development of theoretical ethical approaches in business The problems arising from morals and ethics of the staff of an organization are dealt with business ethics. People are expected to be professional at work place and work towards the interest of the firm which can only be achieved through following business ethics.
The norms of business ethics are always changing as the view of the people changes with time, for example sexual harassment towards the female workers were not a topic of grave importance in the sass but today people lose Jobs for such accusations even the male employees today enjoy the same code of harassment. Religious idles guided the norms and rules of business institutions in the early days but in the sass the view of the people started changing. They began o care about the feelings of the coworkers they also began to look into the factor that was changing the environment around them.
The public started to frown upon factories releasing poisonous gases into the atmosphere which deteriorated the quality of air, inefficient machineries that wasted raw materials. Companies that tried to Just make profit without caring for the consequences of their action were penalized by the government as the government too started to get into such public issues. The deprived and the exploited workers Joined trade unions that now had a lot of power to make bargains with large companies. It is during this era that business ethics gained importance and it became the guideline that helped reform and create rules in every organization.
Business dedicated their attention to gather maximum profit while caring for the surrounding. Sustainable development became one of the main focuses of the companies were they tried to conduct their business in such a way that does not affect the environment adversely and also bring about stability between business and nature. Business ethics has gained a lot of importance in the present day by multiplying capacity through reward for Job well done and equality at work place. The main purpose of ethical theories is to differentiate the right action from the wrong ones and this where ethical theories come into play.
Two important ethical theories are consequential and non consequential. According to consequential theory if a deed fetches a positive result it when an action serves the purpose of the actor it can be considered as ethical behavior according to this theory the actor need not concern him or her selves with the consequences of the action or how it affects others. Utilitarianism under the same theory suggests an action can only be considered to be ethical is it serves the repose of many. This theory is concerned with the welfare of many and not Just the actor.
There are also theories which deem an action ethical if it is considered ethical by the community of the actor. For example dating is expectable generally in all developed countries and the communities there accept that dating is a way of life but in Middle Eastern countries such actions are not permitted and considered unethical. 1. 2 Compare and contrast absolute and relative ethics in relation to Anglo American Absolute ethics states that if an action is not ethical it cannot be acceptable under any condition. This theory does not take into account the cause of the unethical behavior it only looks in to the action itself.
Relative ethics gives the actors some wiggle room where it deems an action ethical if the situation demands it. This theory takes into consideration the circumstance under which the action took place. To make the concept clear lets draw an example from the Second World War, the use of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be considered ethical in case of relativism this action on the part of the US army caused Japan to withdraw the war and hence saving lives of millions at the expense of a few thousand but this action ill be considered unethical in case of absolute theory as the action cause the demise of many people.
Anglo American lives by their motto which is “Good Citizenship”. They hope to create better citizens of their workforce and also the communities they are related with. Like most other reasonable organization this one follows the relative concept of ethics. Anglo American is a believer of education installing good values and ethics in people and so they have dedicated a lot of resources to educating the employees in Africa and also the community they live in. They harbor the idea that education has the capacity to correct ones behavior and Hereford turn them into good citizens.
They also believe in complete disclosure and have complied with every government laws which demand exposure of revenue or any other business actions. They aim to fight against corruption and for sustainable development with plans they have developed recently. According to their core principle they plan to encourage human rights all over the world. 1. 3 Explain the ethical issues which can affect the operational activities of a company such as Anglo American Violation of labor rights can bring the operations of a company to a complete halt.
Labor right violation can occur in many ways like underpayment to the workers, unsafe working environment, the attitude of the superiors towards the subordinate or any other actions that could harm the employee. In such cases labor unions comes to the rescue of the workers, they may use strike or lock downs for unknown periods of time to force the employers to fix the issues. The labor unions may also use force to intermediate the owners to comply with their demands.
The government can halt the proceedings of a business institute illegal immigrants, polluting the environment production or import of illegal goods like cocaine or meet. The government can stop the production of a business even there is the existence of a suspicion. The government has the power to look into all the aspects of business from the records in accounts to suppliers. Polluting the environment is a grievous offence as it affects everyone as everyone shares the same air. There are standard limits set by the governments in case of pollution and crossing that line is considered to be a criminal offence.
The limit states the amount and the quality of gas the factories are allowed to release into the atmosphere, the expected condition of waste materials before dumping them into water bodies or mandrills. There are also Nags that look into matters like rights and environmental protection. Nags like WFM fights to protect the wild life and the habitat for the animals. If the actions of factories effect the environment of the protected animals like dumping into water bodies which provides habitat for endangered species like wild salmon than such Nags sue the companies and in most cases win thereby stopping the production process of that company. Incinerations The main objective of any business is to earn profit and Anglo Americans has made many sacrifices to uphold the ethical aspect of the business. They have made sure that none of their mines ever employ a minor as it is child labor; where as the competitors of Anglo Americans in those countries are using child labor as it is cheap. Not Just the mining companies, the factories in the developing and under developed countries are using child labor the cut cost. Anglo American have taken this issue into consideration and built infrastructure in a few regions where education was not available to the children.
In order to make the work environment as comfortable as possible Anglo American have made all the efforts eke spent millions of dollars on modern ventilation systems and drills for the miners. They have also used a lot of money to avail machineries of the most efficient kind which do not produce much pollution and waste only a little material, these machines also use less power. All these changes have positive effect but on the other hand it is insanely expensive and adds drastically to the production cost.
Nowadays companies are moving their production plant to under developed and developing countries on account of cheap labor. Cheap labor can reduce the cost a product inconsiderably but it poses one dilemma which is the people at home are left Jobless. In case of Anglo American the situation is a little different as its origin in South Africa but now that the head office is moved to London its identity has changed. Presently Anglo American is able to employ only a few thousand employees even though it as about 100000 employees all around the world. . 2 Evaluate the implications to Anglo American and its stakeholders to operate ethically Even though we know that it is the goal of Anglo Americans to maximize the wealth of its equity holders but they are not willing to do so at the expense of their levels, their ideals and the nature which provides them with the goods they sell. The the nearby water bodies. They treat the waste before disposal. Anglo America operates in war torn regions and the workers there are constantly under the threat of an attack by various rebel gangs.
The company has made efforts to make the life of these people safe. They have provided the some workers with safe accommodation close to the work site. Most of the workers are provided security and transportation by the company itself. These have made the workers extremely loyal and appreciative of the company. This Job satisfaction made them better employs with high output rates. The expenses made for the improvement of the workers quality of life though expensive is a good form of promotion.
As people grow conscious of the problems of the people of Africa they tend to make changes to help them one of which is buying products that supports the workers in Africa which is very profitable for the company. Mining requires a lot of capital on account of the equipments needed and as it’s an expensive venture the investors tend to make only profitable choice which may always not be an ethical one. It is one of the few companies that abide by all the rules in all the countries it is operating in. It maintains a strategy of full disclosure which makes it accountable hence ethical.
It has done its best to make the work environment as friendly as possible for the workers by making special arrangements. They have also done their best to comply with the environment laws and made necessary changes to the equipments and manufacturing process. In order to give the children of their workers a better chance arranged to provide education to them and the community so that they can better understand their surrounding and be able to make changes, they have also arranged for scholarships for students with promise.
Today Anglo American employ over 100000 people most of who live in regions where a stable employment is a rarity. By providing work to these people they have made significant changes in the lives of the workers. They have tried and succeeded in staying away from any kind of politics and still is liked by the governments they are working under. Empowerment, how well does Anglo American operate ethically? In order to further rigorous training sessions which have helped to make better employees out of them.
The trained employees once proven worthy are then given appropriate tasks and later given additional task along with the proper authority which helps the workers to take the next Jump in their careers. Some of the workers are taught on the field which makes the worker experienced and desirable for other companies. The education programs for the employees are provided to make the future trainings easy to grasp and it also makes the employees knowledgeable and useful for different purposes. Anglo American also believes in the empowerment of woman and hence is against any kind of discrimination based on sex.
They believe a person of any gender is equally capable of achieving great things. They also do not believe in any racism and employ people based on the capacity to work and not the skin. The workers are shifted from department to departments in order to keep the Job interesting this also makes the workers efficient in different fields which adds to their value. In order to increase the worker involvement the company takes advice from the workers an when their advice is accepted they become even more involved with the work as they believe in their brain child. . 1 Research a current ethical issue affecting a selected business A grave ethical sue faced by the employees of Wall-Mart is violation of human rights. The salaries the workers at the Wall-Mart are paid is meager and barely keeps the workers afloat. Most of them are not even able to maintain even the minimum standard of life. Wall- Mart has also made it crystal clear that they have no intention of dealing with the trade unions as they believe they themselves are enough to safeguard the rights of the workers but in the true sense it is not quite so true.
Various Nags and social activist groups took steps to remedy this problem but being a retail giant it had the ability to get past all those efforts. But lately in China where the labor unions are hugely popular Wall-Mart had to concede and allow the trade union get involved with the workforce in china, while at home Wall-Mart has offered a 10% pay raise to keep the employees from Joining the labor union. They have closed down a few of their branches in Canada due to the affiliation of the workers there with the labor unions. It can also be deducted that with proper amount of pressure Wall-Mart will concede at home too.
Environmental issue is one such other problem where the companies simply disregard the quality of the environment and the harm they are causing to it. Environmental problem is an age old issue which began with the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe and today it has taken a deadly form. Today china is one of the biggest industrial countries in the world producing almost everything for everyone and in the process is emitting the maximum amount of pollution into the atmosphere. They have not been very careful while dumping their waste in the ocean too.
This has caused severe hazard to the habitat of the fishes. The mercury leak into water body through waste disposal in the water bodies caused the deadly Inanimate disease. 4. Report on how the business could improve the ethics of their operations whilst meeting objectives and ensuring good employer/employee relationships If the ethical issue the company is facing is environmental than the solution is sustainable development through which companies can reach their goals through a balanced approach and make sure no adverse effects befalls the nature.
The company can start by using renewable sources of energy. Using renewable sources of energy reduces pollution to the environment as the power is not derived from burning any sort of fossil fuel which eliminates the creation of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide ND other such harmful gases. Using efficient machinery can also curtail wastage and improve production. Educating and training the workers can have positive effect as it helps the workers to better understand the Job at hand and can also make informed comments about the Job itself.
Providing fair wage to the workers in every country of operation is important as being fair is essential to being ethical. All these ethical efforts are also rewarded by people as people today care what they are buying and hoe was the product made and a positive story can draw in more clients who can be ere profitable. 4. 3 Design a suitable ethical code for Anglo American As stated earlier Anglo American is one of the few companies with conscience. This company already employs an ethical code that protects its employs and propels the company itself to do better for their community.
In order to set a code of conduct for Anglo American the formulators must be professional and free of any kind bias. Equal opportunity to all the people should be one of the governing principles of the code. The use of such could will create a feeling of equality among the workers and ad to their satisfaction level. The code must contain the minimum wage to be paid to the worker in relation to the economy. The code must state the attitude the superiors must have toward the subordinates.
The code is to be updated at intervals to keep up with the laws of the region they are operating in. The code should be well constructed and should not leave any issues unresolved. The code should precisely dictate the penalty that will be issued if one of these codes is broken. The code should also be approved by the superiors and their ideas too are to be considered In a time when making profit has become so important that people do not hesitate to take immoral decisions Anglo American stand as an example of moral triumph.