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Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Introduction

Ethical consideration and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have become fundamental aspects most businesses have customized on to back up their significance in enhancing firm’s success. Adherence to ethical imperatives has assisted most companies to establish healthy relation with stakeholders. For instance, it is through ethical compliance that a business can design superb employee management practices that succinctly cater for workers rights and further encourage them to participate in running of the organization. When employees are recognized for their exceptional determination in contributing to firm’s success it ultimately results to success.

Ethics refers to rules and laws that guide a business or individuals about what is right or wrong. Ethics primarily encompasses morality issues, and all businesses, people, and professions are imperatively expected to comply with ethical postulations. On the other hand, corporate social responsibility precisely refers to the methods applied by companies to realize a balance of environmental, social and economic assertions and still address stakeholders and shareholders expectations. Hence, this paper has addressed current excellent ethical practice and an ethical aspect to be changed in Elizabeth Suzann clothing production business.

An aspect I find ethical from the case study

This case study strongly depicts the greatest level of accountability and openness of the business to providing quality products to customers and at the same time, taking care of employee’s rights and needs. Compliance to business ethical imperatives by companies indeed contributes to total commitment to achieving short and long term objectives. The sheer fact is that achievement of a company's long and short term goals significantly depend on the management effectiveness in putting all due processes intact. Organization operational processes are required to be aligned with the mission and vision which conflate in spearheading for profit maximization, cost minimization, customer satisfaction and positively impacting on the social environment. Simply, the entire processes revolve around business ethics and CSR.

The Elizabeth Suzann business is committed to ensuring its employees grows in all aspect as the business grows and further provides customers with quality products. This initiative of ensuring both the customers and employees also derive reasonable benefits from the business is one of the primary ethical metrics that most selfish organization have found too hard and even impossible in implementing. In the apparel and clothing industry, the prices of various fashions have plummeted just because of the contravention of the ethical imperatives regarding inputs quality, employees working conditions, wages, and quality of the outputs. As earlier stated, ethics goes hand in hand with compliance to moral assertions. In every industry, there is a unique specification concerning the nature of products, the minimum wages to pay employees, product pricing and the business working environment. For Elizabeth Suzann business, ethical practices used can be related to deontological and utilitarian theories where they both significantly describe ethical practices hinged to positively impact on the employees and customers. Based on these principles, business is ethically right if the action it undertakes benefits most people. In this context, the welfare of employees is captured, whereby they are handsomely rewarded based on their contributions to the business.

The business of Elizabeth Suzann since incorporation has charged high prices for its prices to customers which contrast with other businesses in the industry. Apparently, the owner has acknowledged and justified the reasons why products of the business are relatively high. This article is primarily unveiled to keep the consumer conversant with reasons why more dollars are paid on the clothes produced and sold by this business. Undoubtedly, this show can only be done by few companies, but up to date, this is among the exceptional businesses to share production and profit margin information with customers that adds up more credit to the management.

This gracious and transparency in pricing of the products is one of the ethical mandates for business. The prices probably match the quality of the clothes provided. From Kant’s deontological theory, it is unethical to charge pretty high prices for a product on products that are of low quality. Ostensibly, a customer should be offered products that completely satisfy the needs. There should be a maximum derivation of the desired benefit that is even higher that the price charged. Also, this business considers offering cheap products to customers as unethical, injustice and unfair to clients. Hence, the business of Elizabeth Suzann has never and will never relent on offering quality products that guarantee customer derivation of maximum benefits.

Moreover, this business reward employees pretty well based on their contribution. By paying employees above the minimum wage aims to aid them to feed their families. It is unethical for a business to overuse employees and fails to reward them accordingly. In this case study, it is blatantly clear that the number of staff has increased. The increase in the number of employees depicts good performance. For a business to be ethically fit, employees should also benefit in other ways such as excellent salary package and safe working conditions irrespective of the position individuals holds. According to the context of this paper, initiatives enacted by the business to benefit all can be contrasted to utilitarianism. Additionally, good pay to employees is a reflection of fairness and justice.

In summary, the Elizabeth Susann business has upheld the highest degree of conforming to what is right and of benefit to both the employees, customers and other stakeholders. Firstly, this business has ensured the best quality inputs are purchased from the vendors. Consequently, the best quality products are manufactured. However, these products are perhaps expensive, but customers are guaranteed to derive excellent satisfaction out of them. Simply, they are value oriented and can be used for several years if contrasted to cheap clothes manufactured by other players in the clothing industry. Secondly, the employees are fairly rewarded for the good tasks. This business does not set its profit margin high only to benefit the owner, but considers other stakeholders such as the government and employees. Hence, these two areas discussed significantly portray a pretty good picture of ethical consideration for this business.

An aspect to be changed to make the business more ethical

Despite applauding this business for maintaining and upholding good ethical practices, there is a need for this business to perfect on one of the existing ethical practices. By doing such will enable to be more ethical. Particularly, the workers should be provided with health and safety programs.  If this recommendation is factored, the business can comfortably retain its workers and further attract new talents. Notably, health and safety programs for all levels of employees have missed in this company. The efforts undertaken by the management of ensuring all the staff are well compensated can further be improved and cater for if safety and health aspects are added on employee programs. Arguably, every task exposes workers on particular health and safety risks. However, the apparel industry is not exceptional. The workers still experience some health problems such as fatigue and stress which ultimately result in illness. Being considerate on the pay system but failing to address health and safety issues perhaps adequately discredits the ethical practices of the company. For instance, systems to address ethical issues in this organization can be compared to putting up a house and failing to fix windows. In such a scenario it is apparent that a house without windows will not be safer than the one that has everything.

             Creating a safe working environment for employees builds the reputation of the firm. For instance, most innovative and technology-oriented companies customize on creating a decent working environment to attract talented employees. A healthy business environment further extends to consider other activities besides good pay, reward systems, and safety and health programs. A healthy and morally business working environment tends to limit all instances that may result to inflictions of discomfort in employees. Instead, it establishes a collaborative workforce where most of the activities focus on enhancing the growth of the company and the employees as well.

A decent business working environment is characterized by aspects such as employee participation in decision making, high bargaining powers, and consideration of worker's rights. As a result, Rawls principles of liberty and equality will now take a critical role in ensuring that ethical imperatives are factored. In this context, the principle of liberty will encompass the openness in the employees to contribute in any matters concerning the business or their rights. Ultimately, constructive ideas would be put forth and assist the management to fix various issues before they adversely affects the business. Also, equality principles can be achieved. There will be a system that significantly advocates for fair distribution of benefits in the firm. Basing on the Elizabeth Susann business, fairness and equality are achieved when the gap between the earnings of the senior and junior workers is very insignificant. Moreover, distributive justice will also be achieved. Distributive justice is associated with assigning roles according to workers ability. People are assigned roles based on their qualification and are rewarded accordingly.

The most important argument to note in this part is that morality encompasses an array of activities. For instance, it is suggested that the Elizabeth Susann business to extend from the current good reward system and further incorporate in the system health and safety programs. However, ethical and corporate assertions for most philosophers do agree that ethics is the same to morality and encompasses what is right. If the meaning of ethics is magnified to doing activities that benefit most people in the society, then it becomes a corporate social responsibility matter. Business organizations are not different from professionals who are imperatively expected to uphold the highest degree of morality while discharging duties. A professional is supposed to ensure that no principle is compromised to favor personal interests. By doing that will be termed unethical and can eventually destroy the reputation. The same applies to a business which has a primary role in ensuring that all the stakeholder's interests are made, and at the same time, it achieves the profit making objective. For example, a firm can refer to Norman Bowie’s principles that succinctly explain how to ensure stakeholder’s interests are ethically addressed.

In summary, it is noticeable that this business has enacted a system that appreciates the contribution of employees to its success. However, an aspect that will make ethical practices regarding employee's welfare in the business to be complete is health and safety programs which should also be incorporated into the system. Because everyone is always exposed to work risks, it is important to establish a system that can help the employees in case a misfortune happens to stand up again and concentrate in assisting the business achieve its objectives. Perhaps, sickness never inform the time it will affect individuals. People live by grace, but in the business set up, a well-framed plan should be laid that can help people deal with any uncertainty's in the event they occur. For example, the business should establish health insurance programs and savings plans. It is, therefore, through upholding ethical imperatives in the organization a base for fully participation of the employees in operation is created hence success. 

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