Explore BrainMass

Corporate Environmental Responsibility

This content was STOLEN from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

Explain some of the challenges associated with Norman Bowie's approach to corporate environmental responsibility.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 16, 2018, 10:45 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview


In his article "Morality, Money, and Motor Cars, "Norman Bowie (1990) argues that "Business does not have an obligation to protect the environment over and above what is required by law?" (p. 89, as cited in http://ecophilosopher.com/documents/OverView%20-%20Sept.pdf).

Even though corporations produce pollution, which can be reasonably considered to harm some (but not all) individuals, managers are not necessarily morally culpable for such actions. As long as the risks involved in using particular products are known, it is not wrong that some avoidable harm be permitted so that other social and individual goals can be achieved. The level of permissible harm is decided by social consensus when considering the trade-offs between potential harm and the utility of the product.Thus, so long as corporate managers operate their respective firms in accordance with environmental laws, it is reasonable to think that society accepts most of the harm done to the environment by corporations. The evidence for this claim is provided by the fact that most consumers are unwilling to pay extra for environmentally friendly products; demonstrate little effort to conserve resources by recycling; and are unlikely to support increased taxation to fund environmental causes (Bowie, 1990, as cited in http://ecophilosopher.com/documents/OverView%20-%20Sept.pdf).

As a result, according to Bowie's approach, it is unreasonable to place the full blame for environmental harms on the ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains some of the challenges associated with Norman Bowie's approach to corporate environmental responsibility. It also provides a link to an on-line article about this approval for further considerations.

Similar Posting

PharmaCARE Case Study: Ethics and Corporate Responsibility

PharmaCARE (We CARE about YOUR health®) is one of the world's most successful pharmaceutical companies, enjoying a reputation as a caring, ethical and well-run company that produces high-quality products that save millions of lives and enhance the quality of life for millions of others. The company offers free and discounted drugs to low-income consumers, has a foundation that sponsors healthcare educational programs and scholarships, and its CEO serves on the PhRMA board. PharmaCARE recently launched a new initiative, We CARE about YOUR world®, pledging its commitment to the environment through recycling, packaging changes and other green initiatives, despite the fact that the company's lobbying efforts and PAC have successfully defeated environmental laws and regulations, including extension of the Superfund tax, which was created by Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Based in New Jersey, PharmaCARE maintains a large manufacturing facility in the African nation of Colberia, where the company has found several "healers" eager to freely share information about indigenous cures and an abundance of Colberians willing to work for $1.00 a day, harvesting plants by walking five (5) miles into and out of the jungle carrying baskets that, when full, weigh up to fifty (50) pounds. Due to the low standard of living in Colberia, much of the population lives in primitive huts with no electricity or running water. PharmaCARE's executives, however, live in a luxury compound, complete with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a golf course. PharmaCARE's extensive activities in Colberia have destroyed habitat and endangered native species.

1.Describe the key characteristics of a stakeholder and determine all the stakeholders within the PharmaCARE scenario.
2.Analyze the human rights issues presented by PharmaCARE's treatment of the Colberia's indigenous population versus that of its executives. Recommend at least three (3) changes PharmaCARE can make to be more ethical going forward.
3.Assess PharmaCARE's environmental initiative against the backdrop of its anti-environmental lobbying efforts and Colberian activities. Support the position.
4.Decide whether or not PharmaCARE's actions with respect to the indigenous people of Colberia would be ethical in accordance with each of the following ethical theories:
3.Virtue ethics
4.Ethics of care
5.Your own moral / ethical compass
5.Compare PharmaCARE's actions with those of at least one (1) real-world company, whose corporate activities led to ethical, environmental, or workplace safety issues and financial loss. Analyze the similarities and differences between PharmaCARE and the company that you chose.

View Full Posting Details