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Executive Summary

Describe about the Ethical Consumerism, a Case Study of Coca Cola?

Ethical consumerism can be justified as the purchase of the services and goods that are produced and manufactured in an ethical way. Ethical consumerism can also define the production technique should not take place in such a way that can harm the society or the environment. Consumers are having intension to buy products, which are produced or manufactured ethically. The techniques of producing or manufacturing products ethically should not engage children and the work place even the work culture need to be maintained. Those consumers who are involved in practicing such form of buying behavior are known as ethical consumer. In this document study is based upon the concept of ethical consumerism and its significance on the business organizations. It is expected to accept the fact of continued success of business organization is measured by the ethical business practices. In this scenario a company Coca Cola is identified here, that is a multinational beverage company. Like most of the companies, Coca Cola is focused on customer satisfaction along with ethical consumerism. According to the researches and surveys, Coca Cola’s ethical consumerism and ethical practices have been highlighted here.

 Ethical consumerism is a type of consumer activism that is mainly based on widely known concept of dollar voting. Ethical consumerism is practiced through ‘positive buying’ of the ethical products or pursuing moral boycott, that is company based purchasing or negative purchasing. There is a huge number of people are there who are engaged in ethical decision making. Ethical decisions are made regarding product purchase keeping in mind about the product characteristics, whether the products are environment friendly or not and also the human rights, maintenance of labor standards, managing technologies and techniques are the aspects to keep in mind. Ethical consumerism is the rapidly increasing issues that are randomly used to recognize the ethical business activities that are miscellaneous in nature. With ethical business practice consumer’s values, interest can be concluded while decision making is concerned. Even consumer can also draw the conclusion on the environmental responsibilities held by the companies and production process is also considered to measure, whether the process is going on effectively or not.

In context of ethical consumerism, it can be justified as the purchase of the services and goodsproduced and manufactured in an ethical way. Ethical consumerism can also define the production technique should not take place in such a way that can harm the society or the environment. Consumers are having intension to buy products, which are produced or manufactured ethically. The techniques of producing or manufacturing products ethically should not engage children and the work place even the work culture need to be maintained. Those consumers who are involved in practicing such form of buying behavior are known as ethical consumer.

In this document study is based upon the concept of ethical consumerism and its significance on the business organizations. It is expected to accept the fact of continued success of business organization is measured by the ethical business practices. In this scenario a company Coca Cola is identified here, that is amultinational beverage company. Like most of the companies, Coca Cola is focused on customer satisfaction along with ethical consumerism. According to the researches and surveys, Coca Cola’s ethical consumerism and ethical practices have been highlighted here.

Detailed Review of the Company

Coca Cola enterprise is a producer, marketer and distributor of Coca Cola products. The company Coca Cola is responsible for the production of Coca Cola, Cock Zero, Diet Cock, Fanta, sprite, Ocean Spray, Schweppes, relentless, monster and so on (Barkay, 2011).

In the year of 1980, Coca Cola owned the Coca Cola bottling company of New York with 215 million dollar. In the year of 1982, Coca Cola owned the associated Coca Colabottling companywith 417.5 million dollar. Beatrice food, which is known for its bottling operation, was owned by Coca Cola in the year in the year of 1986 (Albanese, 2001).

Few of its production facilities are located in Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, France, Belgium and UK. As an anchor bottler in North America, it is having its largest hybrid electric trucks in North America.For the large deliveries, the hybrid tractor units are used with a standard bulk. CCE (Coca Cola enterprise) planned to deploy total 185 numbers of hybrid trucks across the Canada and U.S in 2009 (Albanese, 2001).

As per the revenue results of Coca Cola enterprise and Coca Cola company, 2014, the sales of the North America division of the CCE’s, Coca cola paid over 15 billion dollar along with the salvation of Coca Cola’s 33% shareholding in Coca Cola Enterprise.

Coca Cola set its value by fundamental integrity rule of the Coca Cola. In this context integrity means doing right thing. By acting with integrity Coca Cola is able to reflect positive impacts of applied values and gained reputation of its brands and company in over 200 countries (Karnani, n.d.).

In this context Code of business conduct helped Coca Cola a lot to define the way employees conduct themselves being the representative of the Coca Cola Company. The Code addresses employee’s responsibilities towards the company, to the customers, to the supplier, to the governments and to the each other (Karnani, n.d.).

Company’s aim is to fairly deal the customers, consumers, suppliers and treat them with respect and honesty. Hence it was imposed that, not engage in deceptive, unfair or misleading practices. It is always taken care about the company’s product presentation in and forthright and honest manner. It is also taken care that nothing should be provided to the customers, consumers or supplier in exchange for illegitimate advantage for the company (Gunkel, 2014).

Scaling the quality of food plays an important role, while company thrives to offer best quality of beverages at affordable price varies with different quantity and flavor. Another secondary research has been found on ethical practices carried out by the Coca Cola. Coca Cola has adopted various steps by eliminating the high carbon level of the products, even removed saturated fat. Furthermore Coca Cola’s decision to eliminate BVO from drink is reflecting the positive movement of Coca Cola.  Hence, it encourages customers and employees to live with a good workplace environment and to tackle problems that occur in the work font (Gunkel, 2014).

The ethical trading of products of Coca Cola has covered a beneficial point by trading the product in an effective way, hence consumers can engage in the ethical purchase.Due to ethical engagement of the consumers, Coca Cola keep their customers, consumers aware about product knowledge they are consuming (Henn, 2000). In this context Coca Cola is aware about how to make customers aware about their products- such as,

Values and Ethics Conducted by Coca Cola

a) Coca Cola is aware about making product levels clearly and in a concise manner; hence it is possible to meet the legal requirements of the target country, where the product is sold. In this context, legal requirement are –

Business values: business values are set, in order to set standards to approve suppliers.

Effective Monitoring: A suitable working environments are identified, in order to make better supply chain (Gunkel, 2014).

Improvement of the workplace: keeping aspect of safety in mind, scope for advancement in workplace safety and safety of supplier is given.

Quality: Quality of product has been maintained for customer retention (Hudson, Hudson and Edgerton, 2013).

b) Bribes are banned: A Bribe is offering or giving anything valuable to the government officials in order to take a flexible decision. For example, a bribe can be the lump of money given to the government official to affect a decision to continue or award business relation. In this scenario Coca Cola has banned such favorable treatment by indirectly or directly offering anything to government officials (Devinney, Auger and Eckhardt, 2010).

c) To be consistent about the relevant laws and guidelines company has adopted personal political activity, to follow the guidelines: Company never force its employees to be engaged in a personal political activity. Job of an employee is strictly banned to affect by their personal political view (Clarke, 2008).

Based on 15 students at GSM London, a short survey has been conducted based on Convenience Random Sampling.

Did you test Coca Cola products?

 

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

4

27

Agree (4)

5

33

Indifferent (3)

3

20

Disagree

1

7

Strongly disagree

2

13

 

It is seen that there are around 60 percent of students have tested Coca Cola products.

Do you think that the company is committed to sourceedible colors, whole grains or low fat grains in an ethical way?

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

3

20

Agree (4)

4

27

Indifferent (3)

5

33

Disagree (2)

1

7

Strongly disagree (1)

2

13

 

It is evident that 33 percent of students are having similar opinion about company’s involvement in sourcing of foods, while it is also apparent that 47 percent of students are sensible about their food consumption.

Scale your level of satisfaction with ingredients that are in use in Coca Cola products?

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

1

7

Agree (4)

3

20

Indifferent (3)

2

13

Disagree (2)

4

27

Strongly disagree (1)

5

33

 

With the current controversies of using chemical in the products made the scenario of dissatisfaction of around 60% students.

According to your view is it healthy for children to consume products of Coca Cola?

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

3

20

Agree (4)

5

34

Indifferent (3)

2

13

Disagree (2)

2

13

Strongly disagree (1)

3

20

 

By this graphical representation it is evident that there are 54% of students believe that Coca Cola is maintaining their health consciousness parameter.

As per your view scale the working condition of Coca Cola.

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

3

20

Agree (4)

4

27

Indifferent (3)

5

33

Disagree (2)

2

13

Strongly disagree (1)

1

7

 

Scale companies values and ethics standards as per your view.

Likert scale range

Number of respondents

Frequency percentage

Strongly agree (5)

2

13

Agree (4)

5

33

Indifferent (3)

5

33

Disagree (2)

2

13

Strongly disagree (1)

1

8

 

Lastly we can conclude that there are 33% of students are there who are indifferent about value and ethics practices done by Coca Cola and 33% students agree to the application of values and ethics in company.

Another secondary research has been found on ethical practices carried out by the Coca Cola. Coca Cola has adopted various steps by eliminating the high carbon level of the products, even removed saturated fat. Furthermore Coca Cola’s decision to eliminate BVO from drink is reflecting the positive movement of Coca Cola.

Conclusion:

In this modern era of globalization customers are free about their options and choices. Numbers are consumers are engaging to make decision based upon the green economy. Hence it is important for a business enterprise to assess the needs of the customer. There are two types of ethical consumerism, moral boycott and positive buying. Moral boycott refers to the concept of boycotting products due to their harmful production by breaking ethical terms. Moral boycott takes place when the products are made harming the environment or taking advantage of workers by paying them low wage. Positive buying engage consumers in such a buying behavior, where consumers are concerned about the ethical products, those are involved in production for general wellbeing rather than self-absorption. Rest form these two kinds of ethical consumerism, the ingredients of Coca Cola products are also considered as another kind of awareness that is seen among the consumers. Different nutritional information about the product are needed to be available while it is purchased, Judicious and fair employment of labor, maintenance of human rights, giving protection to the consumers as well as workers, in order to follow the sustainability and practices regarding green environment hence the reusability and recycling of the product can be followed. In this context Coca Cola Company is seen to be stood by the corporate social responsibility which is associated with the issues regarding environment management, labor standard maintenance, eco-efficiency, human rights, prohibiting child labor, gender balance, working condition of labor and required action in account of corruption are taken. Hence environmental, social and economic factors stay balanced.

References

Albanese, F. (2001). Merchandising and Licensing to Improve Brand Equity. The Coca-Cola Case. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (1).

Barkay, T. (2011). When Business and Community Meet: A Case Study of Coca-Cola. Critical Sociology, 39(2), pp.277-293.

Clarke, N. (2008). From Ethical Consumerism to Political Consumption. Geography Compass, 2(6), pp.1870-1884.

Devinney, T., Auger, P. and Eckhardt, G. (2010). The myth of the ethical consumer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gunkel, C. (2014). Politicizing Consumer Choice. Frankfurt: Peter Lang GmbH, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Henn, W. (2000). Consumerism in prenatal diagnosis: a challenge for ethical guidelines. Journal of Medical Ethics, 26(6), pp.444-446.

Hudson, M., Hudson, I. and Edgerton, J. (2013). Political Consumerism in Context: An Experiment on Status and Information in Ethical Consumption Decisions. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 72(4), pp.1009-1037. Karnani, A. (n.d.). Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Avert the Tragedy of the Commons - Case Study: Coca-Cola India. SSRN Journal.

Koumi, A. and Panos, M. (2010). Oesophageal food impaction in achalasia treated with Coca-Cola and nifedipine. Case Reports, 2010(feb02 1), pp.bcr0520091891-bcr0520091891.

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