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Question:

Discuss about the Comm101 Principles of Commerce.
 
 

Answer:

Reflective Essay

Core values are the guiding principles, which dictate the behavior and actions of a human being. These values can help people to choose between right or wrong behavior and action (Bocken et al. 2013). Compromising with even one value can cause disregards to the entire value system. While assessing my core values, I can first mention Honesty. My strength of honesty is linked with my self-concordance, which accurately represent my interest and values. I am always fair, trustworthy and loyal to my work. It can further guide me to perform ethical jobs in my organization. Secondly, I can mention Integrity as my important core value. I always remain honest and use moral principles in all of my activities. Moreover, this trait of truthfulness can help me further to get accurate results in the professional career.

Thirdly, I can mention my core value as creativity. It is reflected in my thrust of innovation and knowledge. I always enjoy gathering something new from any activities I do. I am quite sure that this power of creativity will definitely help me to establish my career with providing something new to an organization. Fourthly, teamwork is my significant core value, which can help me to make belongingness with my surrounding people. I always enjoy working in team and remaining supportive to each of the team members. This core value can foster my career as team leaders in my future workplace. Fifthly, excellence is my utmost preference as my important core values. I always prefer perfection in all my activities and try to have excellence in all those. It will definitely help me to excel in my career with the tough of excellence in jobs.

Johnson & Johnson performed an extremely unethical practice. The organization has been claimed with the allegation that its talc power is being responsible for causing ovarian cancer for the women. Despite of many order from the court, the organization denied to agree with such claim. Moreover, they never warned the customers regarding the possibilities of physical harm on usage for their products for many years. Moreover, in response of lawsuits from the courts, the organization has said that there is no proper and sufficient evidence for proving such claim. Rather than providing warning level, the organization is simply avoiding such claims and continuing their marketing activities in the continuous way. The organization was also ordered to pay the women for their medical treatment, who suffered from ovarian cancer in hospitals. However, the organization also denied doing so before proofing the claims.

 


For years, medical researchers knew that talcum powder was dangerous for children and babies. It causes breathing problems to the babies and children. Recently, the women are also claiming that talcum power is causing their ovarian cancer. J&J is also aware of such possibilities from their talcum powder. Therefore, it was expected that the organization would at least use warning level on their products regarding its side effects. However, despite of various lawsuits from the courts, the organization is still reluctant to believe such claim and still not provides such warning levels on their products.

Ovarian cancer can damage the reproductive abilities of the women. In this way, it can even lead to loss of femininity after removal of reproductive organs during cancer treatment. Most of the women giving ovarian cancer face real possibilities of dying. Moreover, this disease has rare chance to cure. Furthermore, such unethical practice of J&J also has some organizational consequences. Such claims can actually damage the reputation of the organization and customers will be less willing to purchase such talcum powder, which will reduce the sales volume of the organization. Moreover, the organizational practice also under developing the society through cause the health harm to the women. Furthermore, the organization is also making the people economically weak for the expensive treatment of the ovarian cancer.

I feel very disappointed after reading the case study of Johnson and Johnson’s organizational practice regarding the talcum powder. Decades of medical research have proved that talcum power is dangerous for women. Even the organization has been accused with the claim that its talcum powder is responsible for the ovarian cancer of women. However, the organization never paid significant attention to the claims. Moreover, the organization still not provides warning level on its products. In this way, the organization is conducting unethical business practice, which is causing serious diseases for the women. I have felt such disappointment and noticed such unethical practices in Nestle. Nestle was using excessive amount of lead in their Maggi noodles, which caused several health harms to the noodle lovers. However, the product had been banned immediately.

 


Utilitarianism is the most popular and best known moral theory. This theory is also like the other forms of consequentialism. The core idea of this theory is that whether an action is ethically and morally right or wrong is depend on its consequences (Drolet and Hudon 2015). Moreover, as per this theory, the best is the one, which can maximize its utility. Utility can be depicted in various forms, but usually defines the terms for the well-being of human beings and animals. However, the founder of Utilitarianism theory has defined utility as the sum of all pleasures out of the action minus the total sufferings involved in the action. Therefore, the consequence of an action can be just in the form of standard between right and wrong. In contrast to other forms of consequentialism, this theory involves all the interest equally. Furthermore, according to this theory, an activity is right, when it is capable of promoting happiness (Craft 2013). On the other hand, an activity is wrong, when it promotes the reverse things of happiness among the human beings and animals. From my point of view, an activity can only be right, when it does not harm anybody and promotes happiness in life. Apart from that, this theory has analyzed the happiness as the balance between the pleasure of an activity and the pain gained from that activity (Ives and Bekessy 2015).

Utilitarians believe that the purpose behind moral action is to make life better through increasing extent of good things and decreasing extent of bad things in the world. This theory rejects the moral codes, which are consisted of taboos and commands based on traditions and customs or the orders from supernatural beings and leaders (Jones and Felps 2013). This theory believes that a morality can only be true, when it positively contributes to the life of human beings. I have learnt from this theory that an ethical and moral action should provide maximum utility and should provide maximum amount of good. Moreover, the happiness of largest amount of people within the society is considered to be as largest amount of good. This theory relies on equal consideration of interest and never discriminates among the individuals regarding their interest. However, this theory is based on the concept of declining marginal utility, which depicts that the same thing can enhance the interest of a well-off individual to a lesser degree than a less well-off individual (Ayios et al. 2014). The focus of happiness and pleasure is the eventual end of any moral decision. Moreover, Utilitarianism depicts that moral worth of an action is completely determined by the contribution of the action to the overall utility by increasing happiness.

 


While applyingUtilitarianism in the case study of Johnsons and Johnsons, it can be said that the action and practice of the organization is not at all moral or ethical. Moreover, the practice of the organization is not providing maximum utility to the consumers. Tough the talcum powder of this organization provides cool and smooth skin with nice odour, still the powder cannot provide the maximum utility to the consumers. This powder cannot be the greatest reason of happiness to the consumers. Moreover, the power is actually harming the women physically over its long-term usage.

Utilitarianism depicts that the morality and ethical extent of an action is fully dependent on its consequence on the human life (Fleurbaey and Mongin 2016). In such extent, the talcum powder of J&J is causing ovarian cancer to the women, which can even lead to death of those women. Furthermore, even after getting the order of courts, the organization is not providing any warning level on their products. In this way, the practice of this organization is ultimately increasing the amount of pain in the society, which is completely opposite of Utilitarianism theory. Moreover, the organization is practicing unethical business practice, which is being the reason of pain for the consumers. Furthermore, this theory depicts that the morality of an action is measured through the sum of total happiness minus the sum of total pain coming out of the action (Yazdani and Murad 2015). However, in case of J&J, the sum of pain is quite larger than the sum of happiness it provides to the consumers. Apart from that the lack of transparency of the organization with its consumers is also causing further possibilities of physical harm to the consumers from the talcum powder. In this way, ultimately, it can be said that J&J is actually practicing immoral and unethical business practice.

I would have definitely maintained honesty in the business, if I was the chief executive officer of the Johnsons and Johnsons. I would have given me the fundamental value to the business and it would have been possible to maintain long-term relationship with the customers. It is proven that talcum powder leads to some diseases for the children and babies. Apart from that, various researches have also proved that the talcum powder is causing ovarian cancer to the women. Therefore, towards conducting responsible business, I would have definitely provided warning level on the talcum powders regarding its long-term usage. As per the Utilitarianism theory, moral business operation can only be possible, when can provide maximum utility towards the happiness of the consumers. However, the business practice of this organization is completely opposite to the moral action and ultimately causing pain and harm to the consumers. Therefore, I would have tried to change the ingredients of the talcum powder during its production, which can have less impact of the health of the women. It would have assisted the organization to regain the trust and co-operation of the consumers and Government on their talcum powder. In this way, it would have been possible to maintain long-term relationship with the customers and other stakeholder towards long-term sustainability of the business.

 


Furthermore, I am always willing to maintain integrity in all my activities. I believe that integrity is the prime factor for maintain the genuine loyalty level of the customers. Moreover, transparency with the organizational stakeholders can bring business integrity towards business fairness. Therefore, as the CEO of J&J, I would have never tried to hide anything from the stakeholder. I would have maintained transparent policies in the organization and obviously provided warning to the customers regarding the health harming possibilities of the talcum powder. It would have assisted me to maintain a trustworthy relationship with the organizational stakeholders and protect the image of the business in the society.

As Utilitarianism theory, a moral action is the one, which can bring maximum happiness in the society and minimize the overall pain in the society. However, the organization is nowhere capable of increasing the happiness of the customers rather it is actually increasing the amount of pain in the society. Moreover, the organization is even denying the claims against the products and not even trying the resolve the issues causing from their products. I would have definitely tried to cooperate with the stakeholders towards minimizing the harms caused from the products. It would have proved the organizational responsibility for its society and enhance the level of loyalty with the customers. Moreover, as the CEO of J&J, I would have definitely use my creative value towards finding alternative ways of reducing the harmful element in the talcum powder and thereby maintain the corporate image in the society.

 

References

Ayios, A., Jeurissen, R., Manning, P. and Spence, L.J., 2014. Social capital: a review from an ethics perspective. Business Ethics: A European Review, 23(1), pp.108-124.

Bocken, N., Short, S., Rana, P. and Evans, S., 2013. A value mapping tool for sustainable business modelling. Corporate Governance, 13(5), pp.482-497.

Craft, J.L., 2013. A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 2004–2011. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(2), pp.221-259.

Drolet, M.J. and Hudon, A., 2015. Theoretical frameworks used to discuss ethical issues in private physiotherapy practice and proposal of a new ethical tool. Medicine, health care and philosophy, 18(1), pp.51-62.

Fleurbaey, M. and Mongin, P., 2016. The Utilitarian Relevance of the Aggregation Theorem. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 8(3), pp.289-306.

Ives, C.D. and Bekessy, S.A., 2015. The ethics of offsetting nature. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13(10), pp.568-573.

Jones, T.M. and Felps, W., 2013. Shareholder wealth maximization and social welfare: A utilitarian critique. Business Ethics Quarterly, 23(02), pp.207-238.

Yazdani, N. and Murad, H.S., 2015. Toward an ethical theory of organizing. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(2), pp.399-417.

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