Running head: ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS 1 Ethical Issues in Business Lisa B. Luckenbach Western Governors University ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS 2 Company Q is a small local grocery store chain that has a poor attitude toward social responsibility. After reviewing the given, I feel the chain is more committed to profit than social responsibility. Most companies are in a business to make a profit, however, the difference in what is considered reasonable and what is considered ridiculous comes into play.
Most people start companies because it something they are interested in and to make a living. In today’s society the line between outright social responsibility neglect and compliance is clearly drawn, Company Q clearly did not cross over the line into being socially responsible. There are a few reasons that I feel Company Q is concerned more with profit than social responsibility. The first is the closing of a couple of stores. The given states Company Q closed these stores due to revenue loss; however, it also states the store was in a high-crime-rate area of the city.
By using the little information in the given I would assume that the store was closed more because of the climate of the area and not the loss of revenue. If it was in fact due to the climate of the area, then poor research was done when the store was built there. By closing these stores Company Q was more concerned with profit than social responsibility because now they have laid off employees, which may create a higher crime rate. They may have also left a building vacant, if this was already in a challenged area of the city a vacant building may turn into a liability.
The second reason I feel Company Q is more concerned with profit than social responsibility is refusing to donate day-old products to the local food bank. They chose to instead throw it away due to worries over lost revenue. Wow, talk about an unwillingness to be socially responsible. If Company Q is really worried about lost revenue due to unethical behavior by their employees, they need to review their mission statement and look internally into ethics training and basic integrity fundamentals.
If I were a company I would never want to advertise that those are the types of employees I have, it would be a management issue and not a community problem. Company Q missed a few opportunities to improve their attitude toward social responsibility. The first is closing the stores. The areas where the stores closed were in high-crime-rate areas, before ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS 3 closing the stores they could have done community outreach or service projects to help lower the rate of crime. They could have led the establishment of a neighborhood crime watch.
They could have set up a mentorship program for teens at risk. There are a multitude of programs they could have implemented, some could probably have been used as a tax write off. If all of these efforts failed then I understand closing the stores. If they had to close the stores they should have made every effort to be sure that the displaced employees were able to find a job in another store or assisted them in being placed in another job. They also need to make every attempt to keep the building they were using occupied or cleaned up until it is occupied.
How do these actions contribute to being socially responsible? It shows they care about their community, that even though they may have to shut down a store, they still care about what happens. The second way Company Q could have improved their attitude toward social responsibility was by listening to their customer’s product request sooner than later and offering the product at a reasonable profit margin. According to the given, customers had requested health-conscience and organic products for years. If you are being socially responsible then you are listening to your stakeholders.
It should not have taken that long to provide a product to the customer that has health benefits. The second part of this opportunity is to provide these products at a reasonable, rather than high-profit margin. Customers are going to pay more for specialty products, but since they have wanted it for so long, a reasonable profit margin would be more responsible than a high one. Another missed socially responsible opportunity was giving food to the local food bank. Again, wow, how would any company in their right mind not take full advantage of a “free” marketing event?
Even if they didn’t care, which apparently they didn’t, about being socially responsible they clearly missed an advertising opportunity. In order to improve their attitude toward social responsibility they should have willingly donated the food to the food bank. They should have asked their employees to donate time to help out with the event. They could have cut out the middle man, the employee, by having ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS 4 the food bank truck comes directly to the store and had the day-old products contributed that way.
There are many ways they could have done this, they flat out choose not to. Company Q did not take socially responsible actions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t. In today’s society being socially responsible in business is really not a challenge and it is the right thing to do. Companies are created with profit in mind; however, profit should not always be gaged in numbers, but also in how well the business is received by its stakeholders. By being socially responsible a company may increase its profits in ways money can’t buy.