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Is there any ethical/framework/research that can play any part in analysing the real world ethical problem today?

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Introduction

Is there any ethical/framework/research that can play any part in analysing the real world ethical problem today? To be able to answer this question and for people reading this essay to understand, it is important to clarify what ethics is. Ethics is not about following a persons feeling, it is not about religion, nor is it about law and what the society expect, but it refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues and ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. (Raymond Baumhart). During this essay, Wal-Mart, which are the US leading retailer, employing 1,4 million people world wide with a annual sale on $220 billion a year, which makes them the most profitable company in the world, will be analysed to see if there are some useful ethical theories, framework and research in explaining if the sweatshops allegations in Bangladesh are unethically. There are little doubt that many MNE's(multinational enterprises) engaged in regime shopping, locating contentious activities in countries where there are fewer legal restriction (Mellahi and Wood, 2003. Lecture notes 6). This is what Wal-Mart did in the beginning of the 90's when they saw a big opportunity in that they could move abroad with some ...read more.

Middle

In taking this perspective, utilitarian invite considerations of the overall purpose of function of morality as a social institution. Basically it focuses on taking the action that will result in the 'greatest good for the greatest number of people'. Wal-Mart is supported by this theory in that they provides jobs to Bangladeshian that they couldn't get somewhere else, but they have to accept the bad working condition long working hours and low pay to satisfy the US customer that goes to Wal-Mart stores and shops that can offer cheap product that are made in sweatshops in Bangladesh. This again gives Wal-Mart the opportunity to open more shops and employ more peoples who breaks down unemployment and so on in the US. However, this theory is not adequate and Locke (1632-1704) argues against utilitarian theory saying that there is a 'natural law of ethics' in that every human being has a right to life, liberty, justice and property'. This right is being effectively prevented since the workers in sweatshops in Bangladesh still has to work under the same condition and with the same amount of money as they always have. Wal-Mart and other multinational companies must accept and understand that they have conducted their business within framework of social responsibility. ...read more.

Conclusion

could have been employed to prevent any imbalance of power within the boards. Higgis report, 2003 advises that '50% of the board should be non - executives to discourage the old boys network', which could in theory lead to exploitation of the environment and human rights abuses all in the name of profit. The aim of this essay was to show if the academic material of the management ethics unit could help me see that there are ethical theories, frameworks and research that can be useful to analyse real life's ethical problems. Wal-Mart which state they have done nothing wrong when putting up the sweatshops in Bangladesh have been "axed" as a real life ethical problem. Kant's non-consequentially theory and Locke's 'natural law of ethics' explain that the company has been unethical. However, there are also those that state they have acted ethical, for example the utilitarian theory, ethical relativism and cultural relativism. Due to this it is difficult to say how useful they are in analysing since there always are some that have arguments for and against. The same is within framework as social responsibility and corporate governance. It is clear that Wal-Mart have acted unethical, and because of that there are companies around the world refusing to do businesses with Wal-Mart, such as Norway's largest insurance companies. They refuse to do businesses with Wal-Mart because the company does not meet its minimum ethical standards, including labour rights conduct. ...read more.

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