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Title: Business Ethics

Contents

Introduction. 1

Opening Case: Exporting Used Batteries to Mexico. 1

Closing Case: Working Conditions in a Chinese Factory. 2

Discussion Assignments. 3

Works Cited. 5

 

Introduction

The aim of this paper is to look into the matter of ethics in the business environment. The code of conduct used by companies not only affects employees but also other people, for instance, consumers of the goods produced. In this paper, the cases of exportation of used batteries into Mexico and that of employees’ working conditions in a Chinese Factory will be looked into by drawing information from two excerpts, “Exporting Used Batteries to Mexico” and “Working Conditions in a Chinese Factory”.  Actions of companies involved in both excerpts will be analyzed to determine whether they are morally wrong or right.

Opening Case: Exporting Used Batteries to Mexico

In the first excerpt, “Exporting Used Batteries to Mexico”, the standard and laws of the United States on recycling of lead products is shown. America has more stringent standards for regulating recycling of lead and its products than Mexico. However, it permits the exportation of the products into countries which are lax in enforcing laws in regard to recycling of lead products. Moreover, the companies which export lead to these countries are socially and ethically irresponsible. For instance, they do not erect factories for managing recycling. This exposes the public in the importing countries to by-products of lead which affect an individual’s health due to the poor methods used in recycling that lead to emission of lead (Hill 123).

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The companies should be held to high standards demanded in America. Lead is harmful to human life, thus, it should be handled with care both within and outside the United States regardless of the law enforcement weaknesses of the targeted countries. The companies which export it should establish recycling companies to prevent emission of lead waste into the air which will inevitably harm the public. Demanding more from the companies will ensure that recycling is done effectively to ensure the health and welfare of the individuals is taken care of.

Ethics play a great role regulating the actions of companies. The companies should take actions which ensure that the welfare of all individuals is advocated for to the highest achievable level. In the case of the lead industry, the companies should ensure that they have recycling industries which employ the right methods in recycling lead batteries. This will ensure that the health of all individuals is not affected negatively as the methods used will be appropriate. Hence, there will be less cases of health problems resulting from improper use of hazardous materials in various manufacturing processes.

Closing Case: Working Conditions in a Chinese Factory

Owners of companies which offer poor working conditions for the employees frequently get away with wrongdoing as shown in the second excerpt “Working Conditions in a Chinese Factory”. In many cases, the companies get away with it as the employees are desperately poor and have no alternative source of income. Therefore, the employees endure the poor and frequently hazardous conditions in the factories. In other cases, they may not be members of labor unions which would advocate for their rights. Thus, their rights for good working conditions are properly addressed. This is the kind of situation described in the Chinese Factory. Nevertheless, one of the reasons why the owners of these factories get away with it is because of neglect by Hewlett- Packard, Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft; these companies have failed to advocate for fair treatment of workers who greatly contribute to the production of their products (Hill 148).

Companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Microsoft should be held responsible for poor working conditions in the foreign countries where they contract companies to make goods for them. The companies are in a position to help the struggling employees not only because they contract the foreign factories, but also because they are aware of the poor working conditions there and have the backing of the U.S. government. They should strive to ensure the production of high quality products in those factories goes hand in hand with improvement in the working conditions of the employees who produce them.

Discussion Assignments

Improving working conditions of employees greatly contributes to ethical behavior. It ensures that companies achieve positive results not only in terms of output but also due to the absence of complaints from labor unions and the employees themselves. Influential companies, such as Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett- Packard, and Lenovo should solve the problem in the Chinese factory as they benefit from the produced goods. This will ensure that they achieve their corporate social responsibility role by catering for the needs of the employees in this company. Moreover, if these companies demand for changes in working conditions, the employers will ensure that the necessary improvements are made in efforts to maintain market for their goods.

The importance of good working conditions is best illustrated by the case of Wells Fargo. The company was sued as a result of misconduct on the part of the employees which occurred due to the pressure the bank exerted on its employees by requiring them to achieve high sales levels. This pressure drove employees into using underhand methods such as drafting fake credit cards and charging fees on accounts that the customers did apply for. The employees overlooked morality to achieve the goals of the company (Abel).

Ethics is a vital element in ensuring that business takes place effectively, but more importantly, it ensures that the welfare of the society is looked into adequately. Ensuring that companies handle businesses ethically will ensure that the businesses produce good products as the employees needs will be catered for. In addition to this, the companies will be able to maintain and develop their market share as the products will be of high quality.

 

Works Cited

Hill, Charles. Global Business Today. 2014. Print.

Abel, Jennifer. Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo for “unfair, unlawful and fraudulent             conduct” 2015. Web.

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