Ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes one of key point to evaluation business value. “In today’s highly interconnected, global, and transparent world, corporations are finding that social responsibility is essential to fundamental business strategy” (Trevino & Nelson, 2010, page 332). The main purpose of this paper is to offer readers an overview and concept about the role of ethics and social responsibility in food industry. Besides that, some ethical problems of organizations, stakeholder perspective on the firm and some recommendations are listed.
Ethics Choice in the Workplace Regarding to corporate ethics and CSR are exposed, both consumers and governments are focusing their attention on corporate social responsibility practices (Maloni & Brown, 2006). Ferrell, Geoffrey & Ferrell (2011, p.38) stated, “business ethics as the principles and standards that determine acceptable conduct in business organizations”. The behavior of acceptability is confirmed by many stakeholders of organizations such as customers, suppliers, employees, government regulators, owners as well as community. Ethics and social responsibilities are influent to business strategy and setting in recently. White (2012) claimed social responsibilities manage on decision making from top level to bottom line of firms. Ethics and Social Responsibilities are being evaluated as a key successful factor to measure organization outcomes. Ethics Issues in Business
In order to identify certain situations that affected by various environmental and individual factors as ethical or unethical decision (Bommer, Gravander & Tuttle,1987). The identification is impacted by bias, principles, concepts and definitions of social group or community. These standards are different from geographies, races, languages, time, etc. According to Ferell et all, 2011, ethics is related to organizations’ culture, financial status and business objective. Plenty of ethical issues in business can be classified into their relative behavior as abusive and intimidating behavior, conflicts of interest, fairness and honesty, communications, and business associations. Abusive and Intimidating Behavior
Actions in working environment caused other people physical threats, being annoying, harshness, or even though bypassing some individual opinions. Abusive can be considered as a distraction or disruption of the workplace (Ferell et all, 2011). Intensity of voice, situation of speaking and used words are factors to be determined to abusive or un-abusive. Conflicts of interest
This kind of conflicts occurs quite frequently in reality. For instance, managers could make decisions either to reinforce their power or enhance benefit to shareholders. A CEO will keep confidential a bad financial status to board of director sometimes. The conflict is often among employees because they use the same resources. Un-transparency of gifts may effect to outcome decisions to be an illegal or un-ethical behavior. Fairness and Honesty
Fairness and honesty is the most important of business ethics and create general values of decision makers (Ferell et all, 2011). For instance, some newspapers claimed there are some exceed ingredients in power milk caused harmfulness to children health 2 years ago. In addition, Microsoft window software is still being cracked very popularly in China and Vietnam in particular even though people knew these products are protected by copyright law. Communications
Communication is one of effective tools to bring product ideas and images to consumers. However, some organizations transferred to community incorrect information about their products. Under-weight or over-weight harmful of ingredients, food safety and hygiene are the most of improper announcement in advertising and labels. Furthermore, there is lack of information to compare differences or similarities between products (Ferell et all, 2011). For example, many people does not know how differentiated among Uniliver’s detergents: OMO, Viso, and Suff. Business Relations
This ethical behavior is relevant to business relations to customers, suppliers, bosses vs. their staff and others in their workplace that create to ethical concerns. Managers take advantages on legitimate and authority roles to supervise their staff. Sometime they play Lording games to reinforce their power (Mintzberg, 1985). In reality, commission and gifts are used very popularly on Sales and Marketing. In Vietnam, gifts are considered as traditional requirement on national holidays. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility “means that organizations should take responsibility for their impact on society and the environment” (Castka & Balzarova, 2007, p.297). Every organization should build and adopt their owned CSR plans. There are four dimensions or four faces of social responsibility: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic (which sometimes call voluntary, altruistic or humanitarian) (Ferell et all, 2011) and (Geoffrey, 2001). Economic Responsibilities.
Business organizations are groups to conduct goods or service to satisfy consumers as well as create jobs for community (Geoffrey, 2001). Firms should pay fair to workers, look for new resources, technical innovation and celebrate a friendly and fairly working environment. Therefore, economic responsibility “is to be profitable for principles by delivering a good quality product at a fair price is due to customers” (Geoffrey, 2001, p. 3). Novak (1996, p. 139-145) defined seven economic responsibilities. There are to (1) satisfy customers with goods and services of real value, (2) make a reasonable return on the funds entrusted to the business corporation by its investors, (3) create new wealth which reduce poorness as their wages rises, (4) create new jobs to enhance worker incomes, (5) defeat envy by generating people values and creations that can improve their conditions, (6) promote ingenuity and invention, (7) diversify the interest s of the republic. Legal responsibilities.
Legal behavior is obeying the law by playing rules and policies of the game. The business laws are passed by the society and community. The laws tell organizations what should or should not be done. However, the laws often provide a minimum level or a floor of moral that “might be followed involuntarily out of fear of punishment rather than voluntarily out of internal moral conviction” (Geoffrey, 2001, p. 4). Ethical responsibilities.
Ethical duties overcome limitations of legal responsibilities. They include moral, doing what is right, just, fair and avoiding harm to society and community even if preventing harm caused by others (Smith & Quelch, 1993). This behavior shows how wealth the organization affects non-economic aspects of society, such as benefit to employees, how closely working environment is, as well as natural environment. Altruistic responsibilities
This kind of responsibilities display in the forms of voluntary service, association and giving, offer over of legal of society floor principles. Over the half of century, business increasingly has been judged not only by its economic and its ethical performance, but also by its social contributions (Geoffrey, 2001). Conclusion
By understanding deeply Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, businesses can adopt not only get higher profit or outcomes but also be interested to society, community and natural environment. For the time being, we can expect to hear more about social responsibility and much of what of our companies do to give a hand to build our society around us.