Governance and Business Ethics Assignment Help
- Evaluate ethical dilemmas in the global environment based on the knowledge of diverse cultural and philosophical traditions that influence behavior.
- Reflect on theory and practice to develop and justify solutions for complex management problems relating to ethics and social responsibility.
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The main objective of a business organization is to maintain a good relationship with their shareholders by retaining a good organizational value to them. Successful organizations maintain business ethics and norms to become popular and satisfy their customers to retain success and growth in the business. Maintaining a good image needs transparent and honest business operation which includes ethical decision making. Within the business, ethics and law do not mean same but often law supports ethics in the business. The study aims to understand the business ethics and government intervention within an organizational structure and its effects on the business operation. The field of business ethics is relatively new concept and now it is becoming popular with time as the business organizations are seeing their customer base differently than before. Every organization are now focusing their business operations concentrating on their customers and stakeholders to deliver better service and support to strengthen the customer base in this competitive market.
The current issue regarding business ethics in Australia is maintaining a good and equal environment for the employees and shareholders by the organizations. Employees often get differentiated and isolated for their appearances, language, background, name, culture and other factors which is unethical. This issue is important in business organizations because solving this issue will enhance working environment and support the fundamental right of a person within an organizational structure.
Accent Group Limited is a leading retail and distribution company in Australia which distributes lifestyle and performance footwear in all over the country. They have 420 stores in all over Australia by naming ten different retail banners as well as exclusive distribution rights. The Athlete's Foot is the largest retailer of athletic footwear in Australia and they have more than 130 stores in New Zealand and Australia. Hype DC is a retailer of exclusive, premium and limited-edition sneaker distributor from selective footwear brands from all over the world. Another multi-branded sneaker distributor is Platypus which is largest sneaker distributor inAustralia. The CAT (Caterpillar) is one of the most recognizable industrial brands in all over the world which is mainly lifestyle and industrial brand. Some of the brands of Accent Group are CAT, Dr. Martens, Platypus, Sperry, Stance, Vans, Palladium, Merrell, Hype DC and others (Accentgr, 2019).
According to the shareholder policy of Accent Group, the purpose of the business is to create good communication channel with their customers and shareholders. They encourage their shareholders to participate in the general meetings to include in the business operation. They communicate with their shareholders with half-yearly and annual reports, ASX market disclosures, market briefings by Accent Group, presentations shown in the general meetings, announcements placed in the company's websites and other methods. The general meetings often held by the organization in the general business meeting hours and at a place which is convenient to the shareholders so that the shareholders can attend the general meetings and be a part of the company group (Accentgr, 2019).
Discussion of the case
Within Australia, business ethics not only refers to the fair treatment to the employees by the corporates and honest business operations by the companies, it also means to maintain and promote individuality and privacy of the employees through honest communication and negotiation (Jaffe, Kushnirovich&Tsimerman, 2018). An ethical business behavior in Australia means presenting individuals and judging others based on their skills, performance and actions, not by name or rank. Different factors are involved in ethical business operations in Australia are as follows:
Equality is well supported by Australian people all over the country which ultimately supports business ethics by maintaining an equality in the workplace environment. Australians usually avoid the standing out in the crowd which they call ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome' in their everyday life. They often avoidunusual attention in academic and personal life for accomplishments. As opined by Zwolinskiet al. (2017), people and corporate organizations take the performance, skills and abilities for competing from one another which greatly promotes equality in the work culture in the organizational structures.
Australian people and company officials place company policy above in case of formal, informal meetings and negotiations. According to Montiel et al. (2018), people usually focus onprofessionalism by keeping aside the emotions and personal conflicts when comes to their professional and academic life. Business negotiations often end smoothly and Australians appreciates new ideas in the business. However, they accept those ideas which have strong empirical evidence.
- Privacy and relationships
Australian people know how to separate personal life and professional life apart from each other and promote this thought. They also do not entertain asking personal life questions and extreme personal stuff in corporate life (Sahin, 2018). However, they tend to establish personal relations with their colleagues and supports small talks before any meetings and important staffs in their corporate life. Their professional mentality helps business organizations to maintain fair ethical business operation.
- Gender Roles
Women are being treated as same as men in Australia and women often holds similar corporate posts of males. The men and women are treated equally in different corporate sectors in Australia. The working environment in different sectors also promote gender equality greatly and people from Australia does not differentiate people based on their gender.
The argument is that in spite of promoting equality and gender equality in Australia, there are still some cases present where people do not get what they deserve from the organization they are working under, from the colleagues they work with. This is a direct opposition to the personal rights of a person and violated the organizational ethics to a great extent. People still sometimes hold some discrimination mentality in their working culture which differentiates one person to another. These factors have to be dissolved from the organizational structures to establish a fair and ethical business operation for every employee.
Discussing ethical decision-making approaches and theories
Ethical decision making within an organizational structure is crucial to maintain an ethical business environment (Wang, Cheney & Roper, 2016). Code of ethics is useful instrument to encourage and promote ethical behavior within an organizational structure. Implemented codes of ethics in a business operation does not cover every factoris employees often does not respond instantaneously to the different ethical issues and contingency factors if they arise.
Ethical behavior model
Ethical dilemmas sometimes complicate the trade-off processes regarding competing interests and values. People tends to act individually to breaking the ethical code within an organization to fulfill their greed. Organizational, societal and individual characteristics help to build a moral consciousness of s person.
- Individual characteristics
A person's behavior at first comes from his or her background, how he or she grew up, what kind of parenting they got, how often they have been interacted with and other factors. Gilbert et al. (2019) have stated that, a person's ethical behavior mainly comes from the age, characteristics, gender, experience and other factors. According to study, aged people tend to make better ethical decisions than a young one. Education is another essential factor which gives shape to the personal behavior of a person towards maintaining moral codes within an organizational structure.
- Organizational characteristics
An employee's ethical behavior also gets shaped by the corporate structure as corporate working culture greatly affects a person's mentality they are currently working under. Aggressive business operations, financial objectives, boss's directives and many other things play a crucial role in maintaining organization ethics. Support and promotion of business ethics by the organization dramatically improves the working environment of that organization.
- Societal characteristics
A person's ethical behavior greatly shaped by the society they belong to. Collectivism promotes work culture where people tends to work collectively. Power inequalities are also gets promoted by the society. According to Quarshie, Salmi& Leuschner (2016), society shapes a person's mentality regarding masculinity and femininity by forcing people to act and obey based on gender discrimination.
- Individual's moral consciousness
Mental state of an employee also controls the ethical behavior within an organization he or she is currently working under. People having open mentality and accepting power often shows more supportive behavior towards business ethics. Moral awareness as well as sensitivity points to the recognition of different situations based on ethical dynamics. Moral development of a person results ethical decision-making power of a person.
- Situation's moral intensity
Moral intensity based on different type of conditions are issue related factors which helps to understand a person's ethical approval or disapproval. As stated by Robertson, Voegtlin&Maak (2017), moral intensity can result from different situations like when the consequences are very high due to any business conduct, when the effect of any act is high and it can be predicted easily, when the consequences are in high proximity and other situations.
- Ethical judgment
Individual, society and organizational structure are responsible for forming ethical judgment of a person which directly constructs moral consciousness of that person (Rhodes, 2016). According to research, the judgment is mainly resulting from intuition, not from reflective behavior of a person.
- Ethical intentions
A person tends to possess ethical purposes if he or she has s good background and mental structure. People often take ethical intentions if they think those are morally appropriate. Sometimes obstacles create blockage towards taking ethical intentions due to lack of confidence, lack of moral courage, second thoughts, lack of willpower, old habits and other factors.
Explaining the relation of chosen ethical decision-making approaches and theories with the current concern
Within the organizational structure of Accent Group, business ethics plays an important role for maintaining a positive and ethical business operations to meet the stakeholders' and shareholders' expectations. According to Ferrell & Fraedrich (2015), discrimination not only weakens the workforce of an organization, it also weakens the business structure of the organization. Discrimination, inequality, organizational misconduct directly effects on the service quality towards the customers as it degrades the productivity and capability of the employees to a great extent. Maintaining an ethical work culture within Accent Group will be the ultimate aim of the company's higher officials. It is their duty to look for the employees whether they are getting adequate facilities and services from the organization and whether they are discriminated in their working environment. Though, Australian people does not promote discrimination in the workplace, however, there are still some cases where employees gets separated from others. These issues have to be eliminated by the company officials to establish an ethical business environment in Accent Group. In the words of McMurrian&Matulich (2016), implementing strong code of ethics can lead toeliminating organizational discrimination. Improving mentality of the employees by implementing strong rules and encouraging employees to maintain ethical behavior in their everyday work. Moral consciousness of the employees can be enhanced by encouraging the employees by projecting them the consequences of not maintaining ethical business operations. In Australia, discrimination in work culture is not a common phenomenon because of the cooperative and collaborative mentality of the general people, however, in some cases it is still present in different forms in different corporate sectors in an all over the country.
Ethical business operations are nowadays taking increasing popularity in the corporate sectors all over the world. From the above study it can be concluded that implementing business ethics in Accent Group will help the company to enhance its customer satisfaction by improving employee's performance and satisfaction. The distribution chain also has presence in New Zealand. An overall working environment within an organization greatly affected by the ethical behavior of the employees who are working under that organization. A strong code of ethics, rewards for maintaining ethical behavior by the employees, an ethical work culture, giving punishments for not-maintaining ethical behavior are various factors which creates positive impact on ethical behavior. Ethical intuition is said to be a prompt moral insight which helps a person to differentiate which is right or wrong by his or her own. The ethical behavior model can help the Accent Group to understand and evaluate the current organizational structure to promote ethical behavior among the employees.
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