Business Ethics

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Ethics at the workplace
* Concept of ‘employment at will’ in hiring and firing * Screening, pre-employment testing and interviews
* Method used must be reliable, valid and free from bias * Privacy issues
* Promotions
* Seniority – Based on time spent on the job
* Inbreeding – Only from within the firm
* Nepotism – Favoritism to relatives and close friends * Discipline and discharge
* Just cause – Proper reasons based on job performance * Due process – Proper procedures to impose sanctions on employees Privacy at the workplace
* Legitimate influence
* Informed consent
* Deliberation
* Free choice
* Issues surrounding
* Pre-employment testing
* Drug and AIDS testing
* Monitoring of employees use of computers
* Monitoring of employees movements at work
Issues on setting of fair wages
* The prevailing law/legislation
* The prevailing wage in the industry
* The community wage level
* The nature of the job
* Job security
* Employer’s financial capabilities
* What are other inside employees earning for comparable work

Minimum wage issues
Benefits: Promotes a fairer living wage, promotes greater social welfare, argued to promote Issues arising:
* Increased costs for employers
* Increased cost would be passed on to the consumers of goods/services * May cause difficulty for low skilled workers to get jobs as employers may hire less of them (Crowding-out effect) * May reduce a country’s wage competitiveness

* For the same minimum wage, non-performance are paid the same as those who take more initiative

Job discrimination
Able to highlight issues pertaining to job discrimination against: Women, LGBTs, HIV/AIDs, Handicapped Alternative action:
* Argued to correct imbalances caused by effects of past discrimination * Promote a more diverse workplace
* Arguments against:
* Violation of rights of certain employees
* Violation principle of equality
* Nondiscrimination alone will achieve social goals
Sexual harassment
* Definition
* Types of sexual harassment
* Steps to report sexual harassment
* Personal considerations before sexual harassment is reported * Negative repercussions – hostile working environment * Burden of proof
* Moral courage
* Harasser may be a superior
Conflicts of interest in workplace
Bribery
-arguments for and against bribery
-theories/justification
-gift vs bribe
-corruption perception index
-bribe payers index
Insider trading
-buying/selling of shares based on material non-public information -arguments for and against insider trading
-is it ethical?
Whistle blowing
* Situation where employee informs the public about an immoral activity of the organization * Public interest versus obligation to employer
* When is it justified?
* Factors to consider before whistleblowing
* Procedures to follow in whistleblowing
* Examples of whistle-blowing

Ethics and Marketing
* Lying versus deception
* Duties of companies, manufacturers and salesman
* Controversial areas of advertising
* Exploitation of women in advertising
* Use of minors/children in advertising
* Use of celebrities in advertising
* Greenwashing
* Controversial advertising techniques
* Puffery and exaggeration
* Psychological exploitation
* Subliminal advertising
Ethics and the environment
* Definition of sustainable development
* Concept of intergenerational equity
* Tragedy of commons
* Social versus private costs
* Externalities
* Free rider problem
* Why regulations alone is not adequate
Other areas:
* ‘Everyone is doing it’ argument – why it does not stand as an ethical justification * Greenwashing
* Difference between what is legal, moral and ethical
* Other...
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