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Outline of Review Methodology to gather project data

Describe about the Business Law for Ethics and Work Policy.

An organization faces many legal issues. The legal issues are generally related to the business ethics and working polices of the company. It is very crucial for a company to maintain and follow the ethical and legal guidelines to restrain themselves from falling into trouble. This assignment discusses the legal issues that were faced by ALDI between the years 2014 to 2016. The first legal issue that the report discusses is action relating to the copyright issues suffered by ALDI due to its brand campaign and the second legal issue that the report discusses is ALDI was alleged to have infringed its liability relating to partnership.

For the purpose of this assignment, the organization that is chosen for gathering relevant information in relation to the legal issues faced is ALDI. ALDI is one of the leading supermarket chains in the world having more than 10,000 stores in almost more than 18 countries. However, there are many legal issues that a company faces or has faced. Likewise, ALDI has also faced few legal challenges related to business ethics, standards and due diligence. The business issues of ALDI will be discussed in this assignment ("ALDI US - Homepage", 2016).

For evaluating the business issues of ALDI , the annual report of ALDI shall be taken into consideration. Moreover, 10 managers currently employed in ALDI will also be interviewed. Thus, the primary and the secondary data collection methodology will be adopted for assessing the legal issues faced by ALDI ("ALDI US - Homepage", 2016). The assessment of the annual report of ALDI will be the secondary data collected and the interviewing of the managers will be the source of primary data collection. Following the method of data collection, the data analysis will be conducted. For this assignment, the data analysis method that shall be used for analyzing the data collected is qualitative data analysis. Qualitative data analysis means a theoretical analysis of the data (Harper et al., 2013). This means that the researcher will not make use of numerical data rather theoretical data to explain his findings and analyze the findings.

This section discusses the two legal issues selected. The first legal issue that is discussed in this section is action relating to the copyright issues suffered by ALDI due to its brand campaign and the second legal issue that the report discusses is ALDI was alleged to have infringed its liability relating to partnership.

Case Organization description, background and context

In the year 2016, ALDI suffered a great challenge as it faced criticisms for infringing copyright of other brands. Consequently, ALDI’s operations came to a halt for a period of more than 6 years. Ad News conducted an investigation according to which many of the products of ALDI had similar brand spots. ALDI hosted a brand campaign named as “Like Brands Only Cheaper” that was susceptible of infringing copyright of other brands operating in Australia. According to the Intellectual Property Law of Australia, an advertisement that has similar representation of some other brands in terms of logo, designs and packaging shall be held as copyright infringement. Thus, many Regulatory Authorities held ALDI responsible for infringing the copyright protection of other brands via the brand campaign. It was further also noted that ALDI made similar representations in the past as well, however, in the year 2016, ALDI specifically made three advertisements that featured three products such as Reckitt Benckiser stable, Lindt Choclate and Banana Boat sun cream. It was primarily for these three products that ALDI was held liable for ("Aldi's brand campaign threatened by copyright issues - AdNews", 2016).

ALDI has more than 30 stores in Australia and five distribution centres in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. It is expected from each store to at least make a profit of 10 million dollars per year. This does not include the non-food accounting calculation. Though ALDI is known for its brand value, reputation and trust, yet the company was criticized over the past for exceeding its partnership liability. Originally, ALDI is registered as a business having limited liability in partnership. The limit that is imposed on the operation of ALDI is having 3400 limited partnerships with Australian Business Number. However, no proper information is available from the corporate regulator. Moreover, many theorists also viewed the partnership structure as irregular. Thus, for this reason there is a high probability that the Regulatory Authority claim for lifting the corporate veil of ALDI for understanding its business processes carefully (Heffernan, 2014).

As part of this assignment, the primary and secondary data were collected and based on the data collected the data was analyzed. This section of the report shall review the current strategic business laws and due diligence plan of ALDI based on the legal issues that were faced ("ALDI | English", 2016).

In the year, 2015 a report was published by ALDI contained a clause that was related to the legal proceedings and strategic plan of the organization. Based on the issues that were faced by ALDI it was seen that ALDI has been subject to frequent legal proceedings from time to time. The investigations were conducted at the request of the governmental organizations that were related to claims, clarifications or damages. Thus, it was seen that ALDI has been subject to legal investigations as and when required. However, currently, the aim of the company is to abide by the ethical standards and rules that is contained in the Australian law for regulating the actions and working of their business. Currently, the company aims at improving their brand value by paying more attention in abiding rules that are related to a functioning of a corporation (Wheeler, 2016).

ALDI threatened by copyright issues related to brand campaign

Likewise, an interview was conducted of 10 managers who are currently employed at ALDI. Depending on their responses, it may be concluded that currently, ALDI focuses on working in improvement of their integrity, sustainability, performance, accountability and respect. As per the interview that was conducted the organization seemed to focus more on diversification and abiding by the ethical rules and standards.

A SWOT analysis means analysis of an organization, legal issue or case description. This is a detailed analysis that states the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of any given issue or organization and description. In this section, a SWOT analysis will be conducted on the team’s perception regarding the legal issues of ALDI. The team members of ALDI perceive the legal issues faced by ALDI in the following way:

STRENGTHS: Since the time ALDI has faced legal issues, the company has become over protective and over careful about abiding by the rules and regulations relating to business laws. The collapse of dam incident has made the organization take preventive steps and at the same time has allowed the organisation to be careful of the operating business laws.

WEAKNESS: The weaknesses that ALDI may have to face because of the legal issues are frequent internal and external investigations by the Regulatory authorities affecting the overall reputation of the company.

OPPORTUNITIES: As per the team members of ALDI, the legal issues has paved way for many opportunities for the organization, such as the company has become proactive in its actions and formed new rules and policies in case of similar legal issues taking place in future.

THREATS: The threats that ALDI has the likelihood of facing are reduced number of shares in the market and affect on the brand value of the company as a whole in the market.

The following is the diagrammatic representation of the perception of the team members about the legal issues.

Strengths:

ü  Preventive steps

ü  The organization shall become extra cautious

ü  Aware of the operating business laws

Weakness:

ü  Frequent internal and external investigations by the Regulatory Authorities

ü  Affects the Reputation of the company by frequent court natters

Opportunities:

ü  Identification of mistakes shall help the company become more cautious and proactive

ü  Formation of new rules and policies for similar legal issues

Threats:

ü  Reduced market share of the company

ü  Brand value spoilt of the company


Figure 1 - SWOT ANALYSIS

Source: Author

Section 3.5 Other Observations and Conclusions:

Thus, it is very essential for organizations to abide by the rules and regulations that are laid in any country for a company. The organizations have an ethical burden on them for compliance of the laws established in any given country. Ethics and law are interrelated. Companies should not forget that infringement of ethical rules and standards ultimately leads to infringement of law. It is therefore, advisable for the companies to ensure that they revise their current business models placing law and ethics as the most important factor for their working (Bachmann, 2017).  

Conclusively, it may be held that this assignment discusses the importance of the role of implementation of laws and rules in any organization. With the help of the example of ALDI one may come to a conclusion that law and ethics should play a very important part in the functioning of a business.

References:

ALDI US - Homepage. (2016). Aldi.us. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from https://www.aldi.us/

Aldi's brand campaign threatened by copyright issues - AdNews. (2016). Adnews.com.au. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from https://www.adnews.com.au/news/aldi-s-brand-campaign-threatened-by-copyright-issuesALDI | English. (2016).

Bachmann, B. (2017). The Implementation of Business Ethics Explored: 11 “Key Themes” or Building Blocks. In Ethical Leadership in Organizations (pp. 13-25). Springer International Publishing.

Dark, D. L., & Rix, M. (2015). Back to the Future: using the ethical climate Questionnaire to understand ethical behaviour in not for profits. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 10(3), SI22.

Harper, J. C., Geraedts, J., Borry, P., Cornel, M. C., Dondorp, W., Gianaroli, L., ... & Morris, M. (2013). Current issues in medically assisted reproduction and genetics in Europe: research, clinical practice, ethics, legal issues and policy. European Journal of Human Genetics, 21, S1-S21.

Hedemann-Robinson, M. (2015). Enforcement of European Union environmental Law: legal issues and challenges. Routledge.

Heffernan, M. (2014). 'Smartest retailers in the world, and absolulely ruthless' - lifting the lid on Aldi. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from https://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/lifting-the-lid-on-aldi-20141128-11wepp.html

Jaspers, P., Houtepen, R., & Horstman, K. (2013). Ethical review: Standardizing procedures and local shaping of ethical review practices.Social science & medicine, 98, 311-318.

Khan, M. (2014). Ethical human resource management: a critical analysis.

López-Campos, J. L., Hartl, S., Pozo-Rodriguez, F., & Roberts, C. M. (2013). European COPD Audit: design, organisation of work and methodology.European Respiratory Journal, 41(2), 270-276.

Sacconi, L. (2012). The social contract of the firm: economics, ethics and organisation. Springer Science & Business Media.

Sugiura, L., Wiles, R., & Pope, C. (2016). Ethical challenges in online research: public/private perceptions. Research Ethics.

Wheeler, S. (2016). Reconstruction of ethical conduct within financial firms.Controlling Capital: Public and Private Regulation of Financial Markets, 72.

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