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Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Dear Xenia,
Please perform a critical analysis of two organizations and their application of business ethics.

Required resources:
Download the Anglo-American and Primark case studies using the following links:

Scan the following article by Svennson & Woods:

Svensson, G., & Wood, G. (2008). A model of business ethics. Journal Of Business Ethics, 77(3), 303-322. Accessed on July 13, 2012 from EBSCO.

Machan, T.. (2011, February). Profit: the Right Standard for Business. Barron's, 91(7), 32. Retrieved August 2, 2011, from ProQuest.

And finally, the following article may be lengthy, but it is also a thorough discussion of business ethics, corporate responsibility, and their benefits:

William I. Sauser Jr.. (2005). Ethics in Business: Answering the Call. Journal of Business Ethics, 58(4), 345 357. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Assess the ethics of the business practices of two organizations, and then discuss the costs and the benefits to organizations that act ethically. You will apply one component of Svennson and Wood's business ethics model to one or both companies.

Respond to the following, using Anglo-American and Primark as examples:
1) Describe what is meant by ethical business behavior;
2) Describe how these two companies - Anglo-American and Primark - apply ethics in practice;
3) Discuss the costs and benefits to an organization when that organization behaves ethically.
4) Choose one component of Svennson & Woods' model (found in the journal article "A Model of Business Ethics"), and discuss how your chosen component is relevant for Anglo-American and/or Primark. For example, you might choose "external stakeholder relationships" (page 314), and discuss how Anglo-American benefits from its positive stakeholder relationships (see page 4 of the Anglo-American case study).

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. In this particular task, you are being asked to conduct research - to review the materials and the information provided in them for the purpose of showcasing your knowledge on ethics. So how should we go about it? I suggest completing the task by utilising information from the materials listed:
1. Ethical Business Behaviour - define, then exemplify using Primark & Anglo American - 200 words
2. Application of Ethics in Practice (use the 2 companies) - 150 words
3. Ethical cost and benefits - 150 words
4. Svensson & Woods component on Primark/Anglo American - 150 words

This should yield around 650 words which should provide you with around 2 pages of material. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. Good luck with your studies!

AE 105878/Xenia Jones

On Ethical Business Behavior

What is business ethics? Also known as corporate or professional ethics, it is a form of applied ethics which essentially studies and takes on the problem or application of ethics in business or organizational environments. The focus is not limited to doing business (the profit part) but is concerned with all aspects of business conduct involving individual employees and the entire organization as a whole as well as the effects of or the impact of the organization to its stakeholders, the environment and society overall. When we talk about ethical business conduct, we talk about the character of the business and its people (normative) and the descriptive moral element in the manner of business practice. For example, when we talk about the code of ethics of a business organization, we are describing the expectations of the organization on itself and on its employees which decides the manner by which they conduct their business - this speaks of ideal character like honesty and transparency (normative - virtue ethics) and what is the right or wrong conduct in dealing with clients (i.e. deceit) which is descriptive. Ethical business behavior is informed by legal elements too and behavior of organizations that apply moral and ethical standards relevant to legal concerns are not only praised but idealized by society. How do you maximise profit, make the organization grow and behave in a way that is ethical, moral and legal? That is the concern of business ethics. In this particular discourse, the task is to look at the following companies - Primark, an Irish multinational clothing retailer and Anglo-American, British multinational mining and steel giant.

Both companies have recently figured in discussions of corporate responsibility and business ethics in a global scale primarily because of their reach and the impact that their business conduct as an organization have in the countries and markets they operate in. For Primark, business ethics is about 'doing the right thing' (Primark, n.d.). The company explains - "As an international brand with a global supply chain we have a responsibility to act ethically. We embrace this responsibility as an opportunity to be a great force for good. Primark is committed to providing ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines business ethics and corporate social responsibility.