Business Ethics: Child Labor in Wal-Mart

Topics: Ethics, Employment, Business ethics Pages: 22 (8567 words) Published: March 2, 2012
Part A: Introduction
There are several ways to define ethics. Ethic is a set of principles of right and wrong behavior guiding. Ethical person will behave in accordance with sound moral principles based on fairness, justice and trust (Wiley, 1995). The purpose of ethic is to provide an environment that allows people to live a more structured, happy life than would exist without ethics (Warnock, 1971).

Business ethic is examination of variety of problems that can arise from business environment and how employees, management and corporation deal with them such as fiduciary duty, insider trading, bribery, discrimination. In other word, ethic of business is about making the right, moral, ethical business decision. Society has subsequently demand for higher business standards and ethics. Corporations are expected to be morally responsible for a variety of issues such as environment, product and workplace safety instead of only just making profit for their shareholder (Paine, 2003). Practice of ethics is an instrument of business strategy to enhance reputation and performance of business (Haddad, 2007). There are arguments that stakeholder debate is an important issue within the overall corporate governance and corporate policy area. Thus, in this assignment, we will focus on and examine one entity in stakeholder group - employees by studying labour friendly corporate practice or unfair labour practice issues in a corporate and its impact. Unfair labour practice is conduct by employers or by unions that violates the right of employees. Unethical labour practices including low labour wages, child labour, unequal pay and treatment, unsafe working environments, racial, gender and sexual discrimination. Based on Immanuel Kant’s theory, everyone should have sense of duty and right thing to do (McNutt, 2010). Thus, as a responsible corporation, management should comply and do right by its stakeholders especially toward employees, suppliers and local community such as ensured fair treatments and proper benefits given to employee. Besides that, feminist ethics also states that an organization should prioritize empathy, harmonious and healthy social relationships, care for one another and avoidance of harm above the abstract principles (Machold, 2008). Thus, corporation should build health relationship and shows care and empathy towards its stakeholders instead of violate stakeholder right and interest. Utilitarianism theory is considered to be an ethnical theory because it deals with whether a person’s action are right or wrong. This ethical theory states that an act is morally right if it maximizes utility or creates the most usefulness to both parties. This ethical theory can be effectively applied to current pay scale for its workers according to act utilitarianism. This would mean that employees would have to be paid in a way that would allow them to prosper above poverty. The initiative of this ethical theory of utilitarianisms is to bring the best outcomes, and depending on if those results are positive or negative established whether our actions are morally right or wrong (Rietti, 2009). The combination of benefit to harm after considering all parties potentially affected by the act must exceed the benefit to harm ratio of any of its substitute option. Following act utilitarianism, company decision to exploit low employee wages is morally wrong because it does not maximize utility for both parties. There are different groups of labour include skilled or unskilled, black and white, or male and female whom will receive different wages according to some characteristic value in market. In standard economic theory, different wages is due to differences in productivity. However, in notion of discrimination involves additional concept that personal characteristics of worker that are unrelated to productivity are also valued on the market and decision such as race, ethnic background and sex (Arrow, 1971). Thus, discrimination is...
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