Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World

PharmaCARE (We CARE about YOUR health®) is one of the world’s most successful pharmaceutical companies, enjoying a reputation as a caring, ethical and well-run company that produces high-quality products that save millions of lives and enhance the quality of life for millions of others. The company offers free and discounted drugs to low-income consumers, has a foundation that sponsors healthcare educational programs and scholarships, and its CEO serves on the PhRMA board. PharmaCARE recently launched a new initiative, We CARE about YOUR world®, pledging its commitment to the environment through recycling, packaging changes and other green initiatives, despite the fact that the company’s lobbying efforts and PAC have successfully defeated environmental laws and regulations, including extension of the Superfund tax, which was created by Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Based in New Jersey, PharmaCARE maintains a large manufacturing facility in the African nation of Colberia, where the company has found several “healers” eager to freely share information about indigenous cures and an abundance of Colberians willing to work for $1.00 a day, harvesting plants by walking five (5) miles into and out of the jungle carrying baskets that, when full, weigh up to fifty (50) pounds. Due to the low standard of living in Colberia, much of the population lives in primitive huts with no electricity or running water. PharmaCARE’s executives, however, live in a luxury compound, complete with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a golf course. PharmaCARE’s extensive activities in Colberia have destroyed habitat and endangered native species.

In preparation for this assignment, use the Internet or Strayer Library to research companies that have recently experienced negative consequences as a result of the company’s corporate activities.

Write a three to four (3-4) page paper in which you:

  1. Describe the key characteristics of a stakeholder and determine all the stakeholders within the PharmaCARE scenario.
  2. Analyze the human rights issues presented by PharmaCARE’s treatment of the Colberia’s indigenous population versus that of its executives. Recommend at least three (3) changes PharmaCARE can make to be more ethical going forward.
  3. Assess PharmaCARE’s environmental initiative against the backdrop of its anti-environmental lobbying efforts and Colberian activities. Support the position.
  4. Decide whether or not PharmaCARE’s actions with respect to the indigenous people of Colberia would be ethical in accordance with each of the following ethical theories:
    1. Utilitarianism
    2. Deontology
    3. Virtue ethics
    4. Ethics of care
    5. Your own moral / ethical compass
  5. Compare PharmaCARE’s actions with those of at least one (1) real-world company, whose corporate activities led to ethical, environmental, or workplace safety issues and financial loss. Analyze the similarities and differences between PharmaCARE and the company that you chose.
  6. Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference and proprietary Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

 

SAMPLE ANSWER

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World

The ethics and corporate responsibilities found in business organizations consist of similar elements to those found in the socio-economic context within which they operate. It is the responsibility of every company to develop aspirations and ethical levels that ensure maximum defense to the environment, human rights and social welfare of all the other stakeholders. This is only possible with the presence of a well coordinated system of management. Like any other organization, PharmaCARE has the responsibility of behaving ethically to its employees, the community and towards the natural environment (Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009).

Stakeholders are those businesses or individuals who have developed interest in the operations of a company (Clarkson, 1995). They are important to PharmaCARE because they help the company realize its mission and vision through; provision of labor, financial assistance, purchase of products and formulation of important legislations. In this scenario, PharmaCARE’s stakeholders are; employees, customers, creditors, donors, the community and the government. Employees are the source of labor for PharmaCARE and they help the organization to achieve its objectives by producing quality products that meet consumer tastes and preferences. PharmaCARE must therefore handle its employees with a lot of respect if it wants to continue with its good performance in the pharmaceutical industry. Customers play a very important role in PharmaCARE because they determine continuity and profitability of the organization. Without them, the company will not be able to sell its pharmaceutical products and will eventually be unable to proper. Customers will continue to buy more of the organization’s products only if they are handled well (Cavalieri, 2007).

The government of Colberia is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies that regulate the activities of PharmaCARE in the country. The organization must either strive to abide by the set policies or face legal liability (Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009). The community would wish to receive positive reputation about the company because it has the powers to request for removal of the company from their area. For example, when the company is causing tremendous environmental damage to the environment and does not participate in social development of the area. PharmaCARE ensure that it engages in activities that minimize environmental pollution and contribute to community development (Cavalieri, 2007). The other two stakeholders for PharmaCARE are its creditors and donors. This company must fight to lift up the status of it creditor by offering financial assistance to them whenever they are in need. The organization must also provide important operation information to it donors for verification. By developing positive business interraction with employees, customers, creditors, donors, the community and the government, PharmaCARE will be able to achieve its mission, vision and objectives, and will remain one of the world’s most successful pharmaceutical companies (Cavalieri, 2007).

Describing PharmaCARE as an ethical company is quite ironical because its treatment of the Colberia’s indigenous population and its rank-and-file workers versus that of its executives depicts a very unethical organization. Situated in Colberia, PharmaCARE is willing to pay the Colberia’s indigenous population only $ 1.0 a day. These workers have to walk very long distances of five miles daily while carrying heavy baskets weighing 50 pounds. Comparing the pay and the amount of work done, it is evident that PharmaCARE does not observe ethics in dealing with the Colberia’s indigenous population. The principles of corporate social responsibility require that the employer pay his or her employees based on the nature and quality of the work done (Cavalieri, 2007). In this scenario, the pay is too low to match the amount of work load that the employees are subjected to in a day. Employees are very important to an organization because if they fail to work, the company will not be able to get product to sell to customers. Ethically, they should be paid well and their working conditions modified to avoid putting much pressure on their health. Good pay helps to motivate workers, making them to deliver their best hence ensuring high quality of products and services. PharmaCARE should improve its management process by increasing pay for its employees from $ 1.0 to a higher value that matches the amount of work done in a day. In addition, it should consider purchasing trucks that can be used to transport the heavy baskets from the harvesting plants and for easy movement of employees (Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009).

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