My View of Responsible Commerce
In my first week of COMM101- Responsible Commerce I thought that responsible commerce involved making decisions that are fair for all parties, decisions are to be considered socially acceptable and that all players have equal access to information. I believed socially irresponsible commerce could lead to large-scale problems such as the Global Financial Crisis, In my opinion the GFC is the largest scale manifestation of socially irresponsible commerce and demonstrates the consequences when responsible commerce procedures are not followed. I still somewhat believe in what my initial thoughts were, in that responsible commerce entails making decisions that are considered socially acceptable, what I did not think of at the time however, is how complex and difficult it is to make those decisions. I’ve since learnt that it is not as easy as it sounds to make socially acceptable decisions. When we first started I thought it was simple, you look at the options and decide which was best for the majority, a very Utilitarian view. However I have since realized a lot more thought and decision-making has to go into that process. When we looked at the Levi Straus Case Study in which they shut down one of the manufacturing plants in America forcing hundreds of employees out of work, my view on responsible commerce shifted. When I first read the overview of the case I was very anti-Levi as they left so many employees without work however after re-reading the case and analyzing it further my view shifted. I find the main point in Responsible Commerce is people do not know the full story and make judgments based on the filtered information they receive, making it extremely difficult for companies to be perceived as operating responsibly. Although laying off workers and moving operations off shore is seen as ‘wrong’ by society, what society forgets is that the business needs to earn money and will do their best to ensure that. If the roles were reversed I am sure many individuals would have done the same thing. Additionally the case that furthered my view of responsible commerce was the case involving the possible incursion of private profit seeking firms into public schools. Businesses are giving schools educational material with their logo and brand awareness all over it, for example, Domino’s learn to count, where the student counts the number of pepperoni slices on the pizza. There was great discussion in my tutorial over this case as some saw it irresponsible as they are forcing product awareness on children. Businesses have it tough in terms of trying to please society, as much as they want to be seen to be doing the right thing, too often information is restricted or twisted in turn reflecting poorly on the business. In my tutorial we have also discussed companies who donate such as Bill Gates, he gives hundreds of thousands to those less off than he, yet he doesn’t brag about it, other companies who broadcast their charity giving to ensure all others know. As a tutorial class we decided the company that doesn’t brag is more often than not the one who is more socially responsible. I’ve since come to realize, it is not as easy as it seems to make socially acceptable decisions. There has to be time spent weighing up all the options and discussing in great detail the possible ramifications of actions. My view on Responsible Commerce as a whole has not changed as much as I have learnt more about what it means.
Utilitarianism approaches the issue of our social relations from the perspective of the group of the whole of society (Shaw Barry Sansbury, 2012). Utilitarian’s believe it is a moral principle that people should act in such a way that produces the greatest possible balance of good over evil for all those affected by their actions. By ‘good’, Utilitarian’s propose pleasure or happiness. Utilitarianism promotes the ‘greatest happiness of all’; this constitutes the...