Ethical Problems in Business
Ethical dilemmas are an inseparable part of human lives as numerous variations of ethical issues appear constantly. Choosing between two alternatives with possible positive values is a standard action for any person. Ethical problems occur even more frequently in business and management as these activities involve considerable amounts of complicated decision-making. Therefore, it can be argued that studying ethics is particularly necessary for managers and business people. There might be no workplaces in which ethical dilemmas never appear. However, it may be possible to decrease the presence of such issues or to develop a proper, consistent approach to managing them.
Ethical dilemmas may be related to a wide variety of business operations and participants. The main goal of most companies is to maximize revenue and capitalization, whereas their missions are usually associated with producing quality products or services. Such goals and missions may complement each other to some extent, yet in most cases, they are a source of controversial conflicts. Large groups of people with opposing values and objectives are often at stake in the business. The above-mentioned aspects lead to the development of numerous ethical dilemmas of varying complexity and importance. The quantity of emerging ethical problems may depend on the number of workers, type of provided products or services, targeted clients, and many other elements. Cosmetic companies encounter diverse ethical dilemmas, particularly frequent for several reasons. The main reasons are related to the specific properties of their products. The conflict between quality and costs is especially relevant in the cosmetic industry as produced substances may cause deleterious health consequences to final consumers. The manufacturing process may often be linked with hazardous chemicals. Hence there are ethical issues regarding employee safety and ecology. These peculiar industry-related issues add up with more common ethical problems.
As already mentioned, it is impossible to prevent ethical problems in business, and for that reason, it may be hard to determine if the workplace is ethical or not objectively. There are unique issues for each organization, which may not be compared to problems of any other company. Nevertheless, I believe that my workplace culture is more ethical than most other industry representatives. Moreover, sufficient ethical development is one of my personal criteria regarding job choice. In terms of organizational culture, the primary value of my company is the establishment of trusting relationships both vertically and horizontally. Careful selection of staff in the recruitment process is the first step that contributes to a proper ethical environment. General out-of-work activities and events also maintain ethical workplace culture as employees and employers build healthy human relationships. The atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding may prevent most internal ethical dilemmas.
There is a strict set of corporate rules, which undermine ethical behavior. Strict behavioral rules may sometimes represent an ethical dilemma themselves, yet I believe that their absence may lead to even worth consequences. Overall, ethical issues and possible solutions are closely linked to moral norms, which may be interpreted extremely subjectively. Such an assumption may be proven by the fact that my colleagues have diametrically opposite views on the same aspects of the work process. However, most respondents share my stance regarding the ethical aspects of workplace culture. The company does adhere to its proposed values and mission, which is to provide employees with decent wages and excellent working conditions.
The organization also values product quality and safety as well as ecological aspects. However, the safety of cosmetic substances is related to one of the most complicated ethical dilemmas in the industry. In order to prevent potential health harm to consumers, many cosmetic companies conduct animal testing of their products. On the one hand, such actions may be considered unethical and even inappropriate as they may be cruel, and animals are not able to give consent or refuse. On the other hand, various studies emphasize the fact that alternative methods of testing are not developed enough to provide safety to the consumers. Moreover, while the company is working on a solution, its competitors may already implement animal testing and introduce innovative, safe products to the market. Business is highly competitive; hence it may be crucial to make proper decisions regarding ethical dilemmas as fast as possible. My organization decided to abandon experiments on animals and target consumers who are concerned about that ethical issue.
There are numerous ethical challenges related to my work, including general business issues and unique industry problems. It may be impossible to forecast and prepare for every possible situation. Nevertheless, it is necessary to acknowledge specific ethical issues regarding the cosmetic business and establish personal values and principles to reduce the time spent on decision-making. Accumulating comprehensive data about the company through communication and observation is another possible way of coping with ethical challenges. Information is one of the most valuable resources that are necessary to provide an optimal decision. Conclusively, a timely and confident approach to business ethics may contribute to both personal and corporative development.