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BMA735 Management Ethics

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  • Course Code: BMA735
  • University: University Of Tasmania
  • Country: Australia

Question:

Use this link and its heading as the title of the ethical issue that exist in Coles Supermarket Australia Pty Ltd.

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/coles-to-pay-25m-for-misleading-baked-today-and-freshly-baked-in-store-bread-promotion

Address what Coles is doing wrong and use at least 3 ethical theories under which this can be regarded as unethical act of Coles.

Also use another 3 ethical theories of management to provide recommendations for each issue. Ethical theories must be mentioned and applied appropriately.

 

Answer:

Coles to pay $2.5m for misleading "Baked Today" and "Freshly Baked In-Store" bread promotion

The main issue identified in Coles Supermarket is the underpayment of the workers and for the wrongful claim of ‘freshly baked’ products when the case was not such. The workers are being underpaid due to the controversial deal that the supermarket signed with SDA (Shop, Distributive and Allied Association of Employees) and for selling products which could have probably mislead the customers of the supermarket.

Ethical theories to explain issue of the Coles Supermarket are:

  1. Coles supermarket in the above context has violated the work ethic of deontologywhich refers to the moral obligation to one’s duties when engaged in the decision making process. It was the duty of the authorities of Cole’s supermarket to prevent its workers from getting exploited by the process of underpayment or malpractices in production in the name of the fresh products. (Menzel 2019).
  2. The second theory is This refers to one’s ability to predict the consequences of the actions taken. In this context the owners of the supermarket should have analyzed the harsh or the negative consequences of underpaying the workers. This could have resulted into popular revolt or unions or strikes.
  3. The third theory that shows how the supermarket has violated the management ethic can be referred to the ethical principle of virtue. It has violated the virtue of the standard relation between the worker and its consumers. The supermarket has failed to conform to the obligations of workplace ethics which could have possibly resulted in a tense conflict situation (Quarshie, Salmi and Leuschner 2016).

Recommendations for the Issues highlighted:

  1. Employee standards and relations: The gross unethical practices that took place in the Coles’ Supermarket could have been prevented or could be further prevented by conforming to the norms of the basic ethical standards of the employees as well as the consumers. Coles Supermarket should also maintain the standards of delivering freshly manufactured products in the market. After servicing the court notice when the Coles supermarket again starts manufacturing its products then the supermarket should consider the safety of the consumers and its employers as the highest priority.
  2. To consider the conditions prevailing in the supply chain: At a time when the consumers all around the world are becoming more aware of the different work and the environmental factors owing to globalization and digitalization, the shops should consider an ethical and a well-informed supply chain of the products in order to enhance its market base.  (Petrick 2017).
  3. Development, up gradation and the timely application of the proper policiesThe Coles Supermarket should adopt appropriate policies for its workers and consumers. The policies should protect the rights of both its workers and the right of getting properly served by the consumers. (Merchant and White 2017).
 

References

Menzel, D.C., 2019. Ethics Management in Public Organizations: What, Why, and How?. In Handbook of administrative ethics (pp. 381-392). Routledge

Merchant, K.A. and White, L.F., 2017. Linking the ethics and management control literatures. Advances in Management Accounting, 28(1), pp.1-29.

Petrick, J.A., 2017. Theoretical Issues in Management Ethics and Moral Performance. The Journal of International Management Studies, 12(1), p.47.

Quarshie, A.M., Salmi, A. and Leuschner, R., 2016. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in supply chains: The state of research in supply chain management and business ethics journals. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 22(2), pp.82-97.

Australian competetion and consumer commisiion, 2015. Coles to pay $2.5m for misleading "Baked Today" and "Freshly Baked In-Store" bread promotion 10 April 2015.

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