Evaluation and Recommendations by: David
Many businesses, such as Company Q, are faced with ethical decisions every day. And many of these ethical situations can conflict with the overall profit margin of a company. In three distinct area Company Q has made ethical choices, electing to put the company first, and its customers and community second. In our scenario Company Q has made three ethical decisions that have directly affected the company, employees with the company, the community in which Company Q does business, and to the needy people that count on companies such as Company Q.
In our first situation where the ethics of Company Q come into question is where Company Q shuts down the operation of a couple stores in a high crime area and excuses itself with a “bottom line” analysis. According to company Q these stores were losing profits. So we need to ask ourselves why the company is losing money in these high crime rate areas. Are we offering all the products that are asked for by the customers? Are there ways to add security to these stores to help insure higher profit retention? Just like all across the United States the choices and needs of people are different. Maybe some analysis in customer needs could help prevent customers from going to other area stores to get what they are looking for. Theft could be another attribute to the loss of profits in these stores. If so maybe adding addition security, secret shoppers, and locks to grocery carts preventing them from leaving the store property, adding lock boxes for cash could all be methods that could help prevent loss from theft. It is also the stores responsibility to provide all communities with access to the needs of the community. By making a few simple changes Company Q could turns its losses into profits in there higher crime rate areas and will help the community by keeping jobs in these areas.
Our second situation involves the lack of healthy/organic foods offered by Company Q. When analyzing ethical business decisions of companies it is essential to respect what the needs are of your customer base, and to make moral decisions, such as offering quality and healthy products, that will have a positive effect on the communities in which the firm operates. “U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Sales in 2010 represented 7.7 percent growth over 2009 sales. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2010 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.8 percent over 2009 sales. “(“Organic Trade Association” n.d. http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html para 1.) This citation demonstrates how ethical decision making by consumers in regards to buying natural and organic products has changed of the past two decades. It is not only morally right for firms to sell healthy products to their customers but is also vital to keep up with the competition. Grocery stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Natural Grocers have exploded in their numbers due to a larger number in ethical consumers. While Company Q has finally come to terms with the requests of its customers for more health conscience foods are a greater selection of organic produce, it still offers these items in a limited supply regardless of the high-margins these items bring. I would suggest that Company Q apply a better business strategy through listening to customer needs and wants, by adding a larger selection of organic and natural food all while maximizing profits. After all, the object of business is to maximize profits, and if a firm can does this while making ethical choices for its customers, than it’s a win-win scenario.
Company Q’s management has decided that it will throw away expired foods rather than donating these products to local food banks. “Even though we may not realize it, there are people we interact with every day who are not sure where they will find their next meal. They might be a co-worker at your office, one of your child’s best friends, or an employee at your grocery store. Each year, more than 36 million Americans, in communities across the country, are making difficult choices—seniors who are forced to choose between buying food or buying medicine; parents who might feed their children but not themselves; and working families who must make the difficult decision between paying their utilities or putting food on the table. Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food can be donated to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. Local and national programs frequently offer free pick-up and provide reusable containers to donors. To encourage food donations, the “Good Samaritan” law was created to prevent to prevent good food from going to waste and to protect companies from liability surrounding their donations.” (“EPA” n.d. http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-donate.htm). Although communities need assistance from grocers, Company Q has decided not to donate food due to its lack of confidence in its own employees to not steal or fraudulently give away food. As stated by the citation many food banks offer free pick up service from the grocer. Extra security cameras can also be installed in areas where donations are picked up to help prevent fraud by employees. Management could also create a new position in its stores that addresses food donations. This added cost might slightly affect the profits of Company Q, but the ethical decision is to not throw away food but to donate it. And dependent on the where the firm is located this could also be a tax right off, aiding the bottom line all while addressing community need.
In conclusion, there are several ethical decisions that Company Q can make to better serve its community, its customers and it current employees. Corporate responsibility in not an idea to be taken lightly, but one to be thought at every level of decision making within an organization. This will help provide a corporate image that consumers favor and can lead to increased sales all while helping the community in which one does business.
Organic Trade Organization. Retrieved from http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html EPA: Food Donation: Feed People—Not Landfills. Retrieved from