A2 External Influences

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A2 External Influences

  • Business Ethics

Business ethics

  • The moral principles that should underpin decision making
  • Decisions based on ethical grounds may reject the most profitable solution in favour of benefiting society

Ethical stances

  • There are a number of approaches businesses may take to ethics
  • Task: Read the handout provided (Page 407) highlight important information on the 4 ethical stances a business may make

Ethical companies

  • Look at web-sites of:
  • Co-op bank www.co-operativebank.co.uk
  • BP www.bp.com
  • Vodafone www.vodafone.co.uk
  • Are they genuinely ethical? Why do they provide so much information on these issues?


Student activity

  • Read the handout on Business ethics you must be able to answer the following questions.
  • 1. What are the benefits of ethical behaviour?
  • 2. What might be the disadvantages of ethical behaviour?
  • 3. How might a business culture influence the extent to which an organisation operates in an ethical manner?
  • 4. Why is there potential conflict between ethics and delegating decision making?
  • 5. How might a business solve this conflict? (pg408)

Ethics and PR

  • 6. What is PR?
  • 7. Is ethical behaviour just a source of good PR? Briefly discuss.

Student task

  • Unit 6 requires students to answer detailed essay style questions using a great deal of analysis and evaluation.
  • Unit 6 January 2005 question 4 only. (20 minutes)

Question: To what extent do you agree with Sohail’s statement that Roe Ltd. Is “too small a firm to be able to afford to implement an ethical policy”

  • Possible answers include:
  • Agree with statement:
  • The type of measures mentioned in Appendix A are financially based, such as the provision of grants, and so it may not be possible for a smaller firm to follow the lead
  • Roe Ltd appears to be vulnerable and not in a strong position - they are therefore likely to need to keep all their resources for their own use
  • Arguments against:
  • There are many ways to contribute to society, some of which carry little or no cost to stakeholders, such as Danjon.s positive age discrimination
  • Does not seem to consider all the interests of stakeholders
  • On balance, the statement is probably short-sighted and unhelpful to Roe Ltd.s future survival.

Essay structure

  • Define ethics
  • Discuss the ethical situation of the firm in the case study (application)
  • Analyse by arguing both sides of the argument for a small firm having an ethical policy and apply each point to the situation of the company in the case study
  • Evaluate the argument by coming to a conclusion relating to the initial statement/question. Actually answer the question.
  • Consider the short and long term and what are the important issues for the company in the case study

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