Ethics refers to the morals principals that guide behavior. Different communities have distinct ethical standards. In businesses, ethics demand that individuals conduct themselves in a manner that not only benefits the business but also the community (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). as much as business owners want to engage in practices that are beneficial to the society, they also want to ensure that they make profits. However, community members prefer to associate with corporations that alight with their values and beliefs so corporations strive to observe ethics in communities in which they operate.
Rules of a given area govern how business is conducted in the area. for example, businesses in Africa observe to different ethical standards from those in America. In a setting where individuality if a preferred way of life than communal living, business people are likely to pursue individual goals. Indeed, business owners as well as workers are unlikely to understand why they need to structure their work around helping each other if they come from a region where they have been taught to take care of themselves before others. The mentioned pattern is the case because culture determines how people associate with others in a community (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). In other words, people coming from different cultural have a standard ethical practice (Hartman, 1998). Since ethical practice relies on the ability to discern between right and wrong and for it to be universal communities need to have the same perception about ethics, which is impossible, it is difficult for universal ethical standards to be used in business.
Organizations have and do not have a right to influence ethics in the country they operate in. they have a right to influence ethics in that country if they find that some of the ethical standards which are considered universal are not being observed such as operating without corruption. On the other hand, they have no right to interfere with the ethics of the said country since they are not citizens of the said country (
Toys are an essential commodity for children across the world. Since many of the children end up putting the toys in their mouths, all toys need to be made out of materials that are safe for the children. It is the government as well as the community’s role to ensure that they protect their children from individuals as well as organizations that produce products that are dangerous (Hartman, 1998). Recently, it has been discovered that some of the toy products from China contain lead, which is a dangerous metal. Some of its harmful effects on the body include convulsions, death, behavioral disorders, and mental retardation (Zhang, Yang, Li, Li, Wang & Ye, 2012). As such, it is unethical for corporations to put the metal in children’s toys.
Various groups are liable for any negative effects that the lead contaminated toys will have on children. Organizations distributing the mentioned toys manufactured in China have a social responsibility towards their customers. These firms are aware of the probability of toys from China containing lead thus when by importing and selling them, these enterprises are liable for the consequences of the products on the consumers. The media, which acts as the source of information for the community, has the responsibility of exposing organizations selling the products as well as showing the toys that might contain lead. Human rights bodies are also stakeholders because of their role of need to taking affirmative action to ensure that the toys are not imported in the country and that China is stopped from manufacturing them until it meets the safety measures. Children need to be protected from any harm, including that which comes from foreign countries. Since the World health organization deals with international public health, it also has a stake in this case. The organization can intervene by recommending that toys from China not be allowed in Canada or in any other country as long as China has not rectified the problem. Parents are also major stakeholders because they buy toys for their children thus should be at the fore front in fighting the importation of toys that are suspected to contain lead. Parents have a duty to protect their children from dangerous situations and they can come together to sue organizations importing toys from China. Parents are the ideal stakeholders to end the sale of these toys since they are the major consumers and the effects of these toys affect them more than any other stakeholder. If they do not purchase the products, toy shops will be forced to source safe products from other countries.
Section 2: Rationale
Utility/utilitarian reasoning uses the outcome of an action to gauge its appropriateness or morality. If an action causes positive outcomes for the majority of the affected parties, ten it is perceived as moral. In other words, utility recommends that the outcome of an action be of greater good rather than favor a few people (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). In this case, while china and the corporations that distribute these toys gain profits, they do so at the expense of the consumers. As mentioned, lead, which is present in the toys, could cause serious side effects, including death. Therefore, the action to import and distribute toys which might be laced with lead will not be for the greater good of the community thus is not moral in the utility perspective.
Justice is also another method utilized in ethical reasoning and it calls for burdens and benefits to be distributed equally to an accepted rule. Justice considers whether an action taken is fair or not to determine its morality (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). indeed, organizations that distribute toys benefit from their sales since they will make profits. the government also benefits from taxes levied on these products. However, even though the children will gain satisfaction and happiness from with these toys in the short term, they are likely to the side effects of lead. The children might never walk or talk due to the damage caused by lead on their brains. Parents will have to shoulder the burden of paying for hospital bills and looking after disabled children. As such justice cannot be achieved from the sale of the mentioned product thus it is unethical.
Rights is the third reasoning method and it refers to making an informed judgment or decision. Rights dictate that individuals should be treated in accordance to positive morals and values (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). The government has to observe human rights and people have to respect other people’s rights. Parents have the right to protect their children and governments have the right to protect their citizens. Additionally, children have the right to live and play in safe environments. Indeed, organizations have the right to conduct business with other organizations in their country as well as in foreign countries as long as these trade dealings are supported by both nations (Sinclair, 1993). Nevertheless, such a right should not infringe on that of others. Indeed, importing and distributing toys from China infringes the right to health, and that overrides the mentioned organization’s right to do business with who they want albeit within legal constraints.
Justice is the ethical reasoning method that best applies to the mentioned scenario. The ethical reasoning provides an opportunity to think about the positive and negative effects of a given action to ensure that it is fair to all parties involved in a case (Lawrence & Weber, 2016). These toy-selling corporation can source for the product from a manufacturer that observes safety guidelines to protect children from the dangerous effects of lead and parents from losing their children and shouldering heavy medical bills. While such a move may increase the operating expenses of the business, such a cost can be carried on to the parents through slightly increased sale prices. Parents prioritize the health of their children hence will not refrain from buying toys because of a tad increased price.
The sale of lead contaminated
Section 4: Impacts on Community
Family is the basic unit of the community and if the family unit collapses the community also collapses. One of the direct effects of lead poisoning is the loss of jobs. Many parents may opt to leave their jobs to care of their now special needs children. Without a steady income these parents will face financial difficulties thus they may be unable to afford the basic needs, such as proper housing and education for their children. Without jobs and education, these families may fall into a cycle of poverty. The community will also have reduced income in terms of taxes if its people do not have purchasing power.
Another impact on the community is unavailability of labor in future. Children who have been poisoned with lead may be unable to perform some roles, such as those that require constant movement from one place to another (Zhang, Yang, Li, Li, Wang & Ye, 2012). Other children will die from the poisoning thus reducing the labor force. As such, community will not raise a generation that will take over from the another. Another issue that lead poisoning could cause the community is reducing productivity, creativity and efficiency because of lack of skills. As mentioned, raising disabled children can be expensive and limit the ability of parents to work, which may cause the parents to fail to educate their children. Such children may never acquire the required job skills.
The moral and ethical standards of the community will be broken since many people will lose faith in the system. Community members uphold morals and values since they believe that the system helps maintain equality. Since the government has the obligation to protect its citizens from external harm, including ensuring that all the products imported from other countries are safe, when it fails to do so, the people might feel that there is no need to uphold moral and ethical standards.
The health rates of the community are likely to decline. The children who are exposed to lead will have long term and even irreversible health conditions. Additionally, financial burden of treatment and guilt resulting from the inability to provide for the family are likely to stress the immediate family and even led to other mental health issues, such as depression. These conditions need to be treated and contained at the earliest stages but since they dare expensive to treat, these families may not seek treatment. Consequently, such conditions would worsen thus compounding the problems such families would face.
Section 5: Impacts on the Country
The decision to sell lead-laced toys in the country will have negative effects on the country. One of the effects is that people will no longer have faith in the government to protect them, which may lead to protests. The government is one of the stakeholders to be held accountable since it is tasked with the responsibility of developing and implementing laws to protect its members (Sauser, 2005). The instability that is likely to arise because of the people distrusting the government will also affect economic stability of the region.
The nation will lack a reliable work force in future. Many of the children who will be exposed to lead will either die or develop irreversible health conditions that would prevent them from working (Zhang, Yang, Li, Li, Wang & Ye, 2012). Acquiring outside labor will not only be expensive but also lead to underdevelopment in the country since many families will not have sources of income. The nation will, therefore, enrich other countries instead of itself. Moreover, the nation might have to rely on other nations for medications as well as food relief for their citizens who will be poverty stricken and unable to work. As such, the government needs to protect its people instead of chasing profits that will not sustain it in the future.
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Donaldson, T. (1996, September). Values in tension: Ethics away from home. Harvard Business Review, 74(5), 48–62