It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that their products are safe and that it cannot cause harm to the consumers. The consumers on the other hand believe that the products they purchase from businesses are safe and cannot in anyway cause harm. However, challenges arise when the safety regulations of businesses clash with consumer choices. For instance, challenges arise when the consumers fail to judge a number of sophisticated products because they lack the expertise. Consumers also make human errors when handling some of the products and that explains why millions of Americans seek medical treatment every year as a result of product related accidents.
- Explain how businesses respond to government regulation and self-regulation.
Political considerations and public opinions have played a big role in responding to government regulation on business. This has sometimes led to increased pressure whenever the government regulates products or services. One example is when political pressure caused FDA to lift its ban on over-the-counter sales of the “morning after” pill. On self-regulation, businesses prefer it to government regulation especially on safety. One industry that has been known to fighting against safety regulations is the automobile industry. For instance, even with the regulation that required all cars to be equipped with air bags poised to save more than half the accident deaths, automobile industry still fought lobbied for its delay through the federal government in mid 1980s.
- What can be done to increase product safety?
Several measures ought to be taken into considerations particularly by businesses to increase product safety. These include the following. 1) Businesses ought to prioritize safety that is warranted by their products. 2) Business ought to accept and take some responsibilities that accidents do not completely occur due to product misuse. 3) Businesses should always inspect their processes (manufacturing) all the time. 4) companies ought to raise safety awareness for their products during marketing. 5) Consumers ought to be informed about the product performance since they do not have the expertise to judge. 6)Companies ought to respond swiftly to the complains and concerns of the consumers.
Chapter 7: Environment
- Business has regarded the natural world as a free and unlimited good. What are the potential consequences of doing this?
The two potential consequences of taking the natural world as a free and unlimited good are resource depletion and pollution. On resource depletion, businesses have continued to exhaust natural resources such as minerals associated with increased mining activities, oil through extraction, grass through over-grazing among many other resource depletion activities. By doing so, the coming generation will have limited or no resources to use. On pollution, uses up clean air and water which not only affects human beings but also creatures that depend on the same like birds and fish.
- What are the factors that have contributed to the serious environmental problems we face?
Environmental problems have been contributed by various factors which include the following. Mining and consumption of coal which has led to increased air pollution as more carbon dioxide is emitted into the air. In the outer space, human activities have contributed to over 20,000 fragments and debris which even posses a threat to the active satellites. Extensive agriculture has led to the increased use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides which have had negative impacts on the surrounding ecosystems especially the water bodies. Similarly, emissions of toxic gases from factories and even animal wastes have contributed to increased global warming.
- What should be considered to be the deep causes of environmental degradation and the solutions to these causes?
The biggest cause of environmental degradation is the issue of free riders. Although measures such as recycling have a benefit to each and every individual, the problem of free riding has continued to be a problem to environmental degradation. Free riding occurs when companies that contribute a little bit to pollution see their contribution as very little and does not make any difference. These companies free ride on the efforts of other companies to reduce pollution while they make no effort of reducing the pollution that they contribute to the environment. To solve this, an environmental bill of rights that applies equally to all companies ought to be enacted to curb free riding.
Chapter 8: The Workplace (1): Basic Issues
- Explain why it is that companies who respect employees’ rights and ensure a fair workplace tend to outperform other companies.
It is by no doubt that many companies continue to violate the civil liberties of their workers as witnessed from different employee dismissals such as that of Lynne Gobbell and Gonzalo Cotto. Approximately 200,000 employees are dismissed every year without cause. The consequence of this is that the remaining employees feel discouraged of even being involved in legitimate conduct for fear of being dismissed. But for companies who respect employee’ rights, they tend to motivate their employees for they are free to raise any issues affecting them and solution is provided. That increases productivity of such like firms compared to those that violate the civil rights of employees.
- Why are seniority, nepotism, and inbreeding not always the best basis to give promotions?
Seniority does not always imply that and individual is competent or is qualified for job promotion. Should seniority be the only factor considered, employee morale might be damaged as workers will start to be bothered by their time at the company at the expense their skills and talent for future job promotions. Regarding nepotism, promotion that is based on blood relationship might also have a negative effect on the morale of other employees even if the person in question is competent and qualified. On inbreeding, companies ought to consider capabilities and competency before deciding whether to look from inside or outside. Inbreeding can also result in conflict and sometimes damage the morale of other employees.
- Explain in your own words what the legal guidelines and requirements are in paying wages to employees.
The law is one of the factors that bear the fairness of wages. Since a majority of the employers face difficulties when it comes to setting wages for their employees, legal guidelines and requirements come in rescue of the employees’ wages. To determine the fair wages and employees ought to receive in different positions at different industries, factors such as prevailing wages in the industry play a key role. However, the legal guidelines and requirements play a key role in determining the minimum wages that employers ought to pay their workers at a given working hour. Additionally, the law provides guidelines for proper employee classification in farms.
Chapter 9: The Workplace (2): Today’s Challenges
- How do you balance the concern for privacy by employees with the other moral considerations that employers must face?
Every individual and particularly employees have a right to privacy at home or in their places of work. However, when it comes to their workplaces, the nature of their jobs can make firms access their privacy. Now, to ensure that there is no conflict of interests between the firms and the employees, companies should preserve the privacy of their employees even if they gain access to it for work purposes. Employers should also balance the concern for privacy by focusing on private information that is necessary to the work of the employees and not to interfere with the personal privacy outside the jurisdiction of the company.
- What guidelines should be considered when giving polygraphs to employees?
Polygraphs tests are given to employees to test their level of honest and detect lies regarding their operations in the company. However, polygraphs are not perfect and give false results that can lead to the wrong suffering of innocent employees. To correct this, companies ought to follow certain guidelines when it comes to giving polygraphs to employees. 1) Only the information that is related to the specific job ought to be asked by the organization. 2) Organizations ought to use polygraphs only if they have exhausted all the viable alternatives of getting private information from employees. 3) All information from an individual obtained using polygraphs should be made confidential.
- What are the pros and cons of using personality tests?
The use of personality tests helps a company establish areas of adequacy and inadequacy among its employees or those that are applying for different positions at the company if used properly. For that matter, the personality traits reduce the complexities involved in determining the appropriate personality characteristics that are necessary for a particular job. The problem with personality tests is that organizations might miss the employee’s real potential if they opt to use personality tests to all. This is because the characteristics shown in the personality tests might have been influenced by circumstances. Again, humans possess different characteristics in different degrees.
Chapter 10: Moral Choices Facing Employees
- Is it ethical to consider bribes to be illegal in the United States yet to pay off foreign officials for business favors?
Paying off foreign officials for business favors imply that one party is enticing another in order to do business at the expense of other interested parties. This act is no different from local bribery with the only difference being that one involves local parties while the other involves both the local and the overseas parties. All these acts are the same and if one is illegal, that is bribery in the United States, then paying foreign officials for business favors should also be illegal. It is ethical if all illegal acts are treated just equal.
- What is the proper position of giving and receiving gifts in a business situation?
The proper position of giving and receiving gifts in the business context revolve around the moral or ethical acceptability of the gifts. One of the proper position is that the value of that should not be big enough in terms of its nominal value to influence the decision of the business. Another position is that the purpose of the gift should be harmless and free from intentions of offering preferential treatments to the firm. In other cases, the ultimate moral decision depends on whether an objective party could rationally doubt that the gift might influence the recipient’s judgment or lead the recipient to act other than in the best interest of the company.
- Is the FCPA appropriate in its attempt to discourage overseas bribery? Why or why not?
The introduction of prison sentences and stiff fines for any firms caught involved in overseas bribery is an appropriate move by the FCPA in discouraging overseas bribery. This is because companies that have been caught involving in those illegal acts are forced to incur heavy burdens in terms of fines which affects their businesses. When other companies learn about what befell those that are found engaging in overseas bribery, they will be discouraged for fear of prison sentences and stiff fines. Again, companies get discouraged because they are required to come up with strict accounting and auditing controls which seal any loopholes to international bribery.
Chapter 11: Job Discrimination
- How does stereotyping and assumptions become damaging to women and minorities?
Stereotyping become damaging to women they get disregarded from their job applications. For instance, the job applications of women were intentionally disregarded by an executive at Rent-A-Center, simply because of the stereotypes that women are supposed to stay at home and take care of the children and husband. Assumptions also become damaging to the minorities such as the Latinos, and the Blacks. For instance, the minorities have seen themselves being put in less visible jobs for instance, the Shoney’s restaurant separated blacks from whites and even the lucky few blacks who managed to get employed were sent to the kitchen where they can be less visible from the dining room.
- Present the arguments for affirmative action.
A group of minorities together with a group of women are calling for affirmative action especially in employment to repair the past injustices. However, the critics counterpoint these compensatory justice demands by arguing that the current generation of people are not responsible for the past sins and that everybody should compete equally on the basis of their merits. The same counterpoint is presented in the case where the minority and women group call for consideration of race and sex to permit fairer competitions. Advocates of nondiscriminatory employment practices have been counterpointed that the affirmative action makes everyone to be racially conscious which is again another problem.
- What should an employee do if he or she encounters sexual harassment?
In instances where an employee encounters sexual harassment, he or she should start by making it clear to the other party that what he or she or they intend to do is not acceptable at all. Even if the other party feels offended that is it and they should deal with it. In instances where the other party appear to be persistent with the behavior, the offended person should find a way of documenting the incidence by either recording or taking a picture that will assist her in case the case reaches a legal jurisdiction. After that the affected individual should report the incidence to the appropriate supervisor and that does not bear fruits he or she should seek outside legal options available.