Business Values & Ethics SBS MBA / MSc Assignment – Abu Dhabi 2020

Answer ALL the following questions.

Question 1: (20 Marks)

  • Write an essay of around 1500 to 2000 words covering the background of Business Values & Management Ethics incorporated and practices by different global cultures. The written essay should have an Executive Summary complemented with the necessary background analysis on Business Values & Management Ethics where major organizational cultures are discussed.
  • Discuss and provide your point of view on why businesses fail to practice the management of Ethics in the workplace due to organization culture. The essay should be ending with an overall conclusion & recommendations on how organizations can shift the operating model towards better Business Ethics.

Question 2: (20 Marks)

Write a descriptive report of 1000 to 1500 words on Environmental Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility debating on the effects of CSR on Business Ethics. The report should be case driven where students can select annual report of any organization and focus on the CSR part and provide insights on how such non-financial metrics in the annual report are impacting the business model.

Question 3: (20 Marks)

Organizations need to master the fundamentals of data ethics where ethical compliance must become a key performance indicator for every employee who has a direct or indirect connection with customer data. Prepare a short essay report on the given topic highlighting your views and arguments towards how organizations can take effective steps towards incorporating proper governance and key performance indicators to win the ethics battle.

Question 4: Corporate Responsibility - Case Study (Marks 20)

Everyone is familiar with Wal-Mart. It's one of the most successful companies in the world and operates thousands of stores across the U.S., with many international branches. The Wal-Mart Corporation employs more than a million people and is considered to be the largest private employer in the United States. There is no doubt that Wal-Mart is a financial success. Their stocks have climbed steadily since 1970, when shares were offered at less than $20 each. Founded in the 1960s, Wal-Mart is one of the world's largest retailer stores today.

So, it can be said that on one level, stockholders have benefited the most by Wal-Mart's success. On the other end of the spectrum, the consumer is rewarded due to Wal-Mart's low pricing structures. Wal-Mart offers employment opportunities to young and old alike. Suppliers are provided with an ample source for their goods and the community itself benefits through a higher employment rate. On the surface, Wal-Mart seems to be a very positive influence on society in general, and since its inception, has defined its values as those that were "built upon a foundation of honesty, respect, fairness, and integrity."

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Unfortunately, Wal-Mart also has experienced several blemishes throughout its history and is often cited for not living up to very high ethical standards. As a matter of fact, among employees, Wal-Mart is listed as one of the least-admired corporations to work for, and many have charged that Wal-Mart is deceptive and manipulative.

One of the most common criticisms of Wal-Mart is the way it treats its employees. While everyone can understand that the bottom line for any corporation is to control labor costs and to increase profit, Wal-Mart has been charged with paying its employees consistently poor wages. Wal-Mart claims that it offers health care benefits to its full-time workers, but the fact remains that Wal-Mart employees must pay quite a bit more of their health care costs than employees who work for other corporations.

Another charge that is consistently leveled against Wal-Mart is that it pressures employees to work overtime without overtime pay. In some instances, former employees claim they were asked to work "off the clock." Such claims can be heard in just about every town where a Wal-Mart is located.

Wal-Mart has been fined for violating child labor laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Management in a multitude of Wal-Mart stores scattered throughout the United States have been accused of sex discrimination against women employees, who claim they have been denied equal opportunities within Wal-Mart's management infrastructure. Instead, they have been stuck in low-paying jobs. This claim may be buttressed by the fact that more than 70 percent of Wal-Mart employees are women, while men, hold nearly 90 percent of store management positions.

This single claim brought about one of the largest civil rights class action lawsuits in the state of California. In 2004, a California federal judge ruled that a lawsuit on behalf of female employees of Wal-Mart could proceed.

Wal-Mart also has been accused of hiring illegal aliens in a number of states, and has actually paid them less than minimum wage, no medical benefits and denial of overtime pay.

Question 1:

It is easily understood that, while Wal-Mart, as a whole, promotes employment and benefits for many communities, it also has a downside. This dilemma causes one to wonder, what is the proper role of business management within the community? Even further, what is the proper role of business within society?

Question 2:

Business managers do have a responsibility to earn a profit for stockholders, but at the same time, also have the ethical responsibility to customers, employees, and suppliers. Which is more important explain?

Question 3:

So what do you think? Does Wal-Mart have responsibility to everyone? From customers, to suppliers, to employees, to stockholders: Think about how Wal-Mart personifies the importance of business and ethics practiced by a single corporation. Who ultimately pays for Wal-Mart's low prices?

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