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Ethics Within Companies. Essay

2127 words - 9 pages

Ethics within companiesWithin this essay I will give my opinions on the statement, 'Companies do not have to be ethical, they are guided by the law; business ethics is an unnecessary consideration.' I will investigate two different organisations' responses to this statement in marketing and identify some other ethical issues. I will also analyse ethics within the marketing mix.Ethics, in the broadest sense of the word, is rising to the top of the corporate agenda. Scarcely a week goes by without a leading company coming under attack, rightly or wrongly, for alleged unethical business practices whether it's Shell UK dumping it's oil in the North sea or McVities, the biscuit manufacture, use of fish oil from sand eels. Some of these scandals have made international news, such as the case of Union Carbide's plant in Bhopal, India, which negligently released toxic, fumes killing 25,000 people.Shell businesses in the UK are part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, one of the largest industrial undertakings in the world. Any oil company like Shell will have ethical issues to deal with, whether these issues are to do with extracting oil out of the sea or simply rising petrol prices, ethical issues will always have to be dealt with. It is important therefore that if the company wants people to buy their petrol, for example, they address these ethical issues as a matter of urgency. From research from Shell's website, they have discussions about ethics in different countries, they also show examples of some ethical issues which could affect the company.One ethical issue that Shell has talked about is how it manages its business ethics in different countries. Shell responds to this by insisting that every Shell Country Chairman has an annual meeting with the Group Managing Director responsible for that region, where they discuss progress and problems in the implementation of the Shell Group Business Principles in that country. This, in turn forms part of the Business Principles annual letter produced by each Country Chairman. This response to the ethical issues of how Shell manages its business ethics in different countries shows that the company does care about the ethics of their company.An example of an ethical issue that Shell has previously addressed is the difficulties they have faced in Nigeria. The two main ethical considerations they faced are the environmental problems caused by oil production in the Niger Delta and the current debate on Islamic Sharia Law. Shell response to the environmental problems is to press ahead with investment in infrastructure to replace pipelines where necessary, bury all flow lines and upgrade flow stations and production terminals. Shell have said they have also invested $52 million in 1999 in the Niger Delta, which has provided a wide range of infrastructure projects such as hospitals, health centres, schools, water schemes and electricity.Taken from is a statement about...

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