Unit 37 – Understanding Business Ethics Explain at least 3 general activities from an ethical viewpoint your chosen business needs to consider in its operational activities. Describe how the business is attempting to show its stakeholders that it is aware of the ethical concerns that apply. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society. Business ethics Business ethics is the accepted set of moral values and corporate standards of conduct in a business organization.
The specifics of what this actually means can vary from one organization to another. Task 1/P1 Include the following, which should explain: Virgin Airlines operational activities A Virgin Atlantic employee has resigned following allegations she passed on eight celebrities’ flight details to paparazzi agency Big Pictures in 2010. Among those reportedly affected were Tottenham Hotspur player Jermaine Defoe, actress Sienna Miller and singer Cheryl Cole, the Guardian reported. Virgin Atlantic has said it is investigating while Defoe’s spokeswoman said he was consulting lawyers.
The employee has denied the allegations. Other celebrities named by the paper include Ms Cole’s ex-husband, the Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole, actresses Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Patrol and pop stars Robbie Williams and Nicole Scherzinger. http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/uk-17637277 Virgin started a trial of free Wireless In-flight Entertainment on a few selected air crafts; the idea was to see if flight entertainment boosted annual profits, they wanted to provide state of the art systems including 300 hours of movies, TV shows and music all available on your own device.
The device can be accessed on an iPod, iPhone, iPod, and laptops this shows that Virgin is also in touch with modern technology Virgin yet needs to consider potential price changes for the customers and how this might effect them travelling with the company. Virgin Atlantic has reduced fuel emissions by 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually following the introduction of innovative, new flight software. New, innovative computer software will save Virgin Atlantic almost 20 million and reduce fuel emissions by 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, it has emerged.
The sophisticated system can pin-point accurately where fuel can be used more efficiently, monitoring 300 different points during each flight and enabling the airline to reduce fuel burn significantly. As a result the airline can now boast impressive emission cuts and savings of of ? 20 million. http://www. clickgreen. org. uk/news/national-news/123721-airline-virgin-atlantic-reveals-100,000-tonnes-of-annual-co2-savings. html Virgin airlines mission Statement and corporate aims and objectives?
Virgin airlines mission statement says that they want to provide safety, security and consistent delivery of the basics that are the foundation of everything that they do. Virgin also has their aims and objectives. These aims are to provide their passengers with pleasurable flying experience from the time they book the flight to the time the plane lands at their destination. Virgin Atlantic also want provide a cost affective way to travel which appeals to all classes.
How Virgin Airline attempts to show its stakeholders that it is aware of the ethical concerns Virgin have already created more than 200 branded company’s world wide, employing approximately 50,000 people, in 29 countries Virgin have Corporate social responsibility (CSR) which is how companies manage the business process to produce an overall positive impact on society, Virgin are now doing this by delivering brand values, which are: value for currency, superior quality, dazzling customer service, pioneering, competitively testing and fun. to provide a quality service by motivating employees and to assist and examine consumer feedback. Virgin value all its stakeholders which is anyone who is involved in the running of the business, they are an essential part of virgin production and brand and keeping trust in Virgin is one of their core values. In 2006 the group defined a Code of Conduct, covering human rights, environmental concern and business ethics issues. Virgin also launched 3 non for profit projects.
These where Virgin earth, Virgin Green Fund and Virgin Unite Virgin Earth rewards a $25 million dollar prize for inventing a method or design of anthropogenic and atmospheric greenhouse gases removal which results in Earths climate stability. http://www. examiner. com/article/a-company-profile-virgin P2 Task 2 Explain the implications, benefits and drawbacks for the business and its stakeholders of operating ethically and any conflicts of interest between different stakeholders, with reasons. The meaning of stakeholders and why they are important to the business with regards to ethical behaviour.
Stakeholders are anyone that makes a significant difference or shares and interest in the overall success and running of the business e. g. the stakeholders in Virgin are the shareholders, management and employees, customers and suppliers, banks, government, trade unions, pressure groups. At Virgin they like to promote good ethical behaviour because they want a good reputation among all the stakeholders, if Virgin behaves ethically then this can attract more and more stakeholders such as suppliers and customers, which in turn can boost the annual profit.
Virgin’s stakeholders play a vital role in the progress of the company which is why Virgin needs to behave ethically. This means that all the staff must be treating fairly by complying with all legislation, to attract good employees, always creating new jobs; recently Virgin has decided to go into banking by putting in a bid to buy Northern Rock, the banks today are responsible for our current economic state thus far, Sir Richard Branson ( Virgin Owner) wants put the trust back in banking and shake up the sector, Branson seams like he genially shares an interest in society, he makes comments such as we genuinely try to do what’s right. Any company that does that, hopefully, gets a good, positive brand, and if you’re not trying to do what is right in life, then your brand is damaged. We like to run our company ethically. ’ Richard Branson sets a persona of a person who cares about the public, which proves beneficial to the company because people are more likely to take an interest due to Virgin running its business ethically. The reasons for conflict of interest between stakeholders
Their are many reasons for conflict of interest between businesses, at Virgin more than 300 GPs decided to end their partnerships with Richard Branson’s Virgin Care to provide healthcare services after criticism that the arrangements might see doctors personally profit from sending patients to clinics they part-own under the coalition’s health reforms. Under Virgins former name Assura, set up 24 local companies, knows as GPCOS which wanted the NHS to fund them to offer community services such as dermatology, physiotherapy and rheumatology to patients this was all run as partnerships with local GPS.
The government decided to force GPs to commission health services but they put family doctors in a position of conflict of interest. As a result of this Virgin had taken over the provider companies, they released the doctors from there obligations, and talks with the GPS have been going on for around 18 months. http://www. guardian. co. uk/society/2012/oct/24/doctors-virgin-partnership-conflict-of-interest The benefits and drawbacks of ethical practice to the business on the way in which it is operating and give reasons with examples.
Richard Branson ( Virgins owner) likes to make sure that society believe and trust in the company, recently Sir Richard Branson offered a $25m prize for scientists who find away to prevent the threatening effects off climate change to or planet. Richard Branson’s is trying to offer scientists incentives to come up with a way to extract greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Richard Branson understands the importance of behaving ethically and has shown an interest in the future of the planet, also by him doings so he encourages other organisations to match this by operating in a similar more positive way. Task 3
Assess how your selected business could improve the ethics of their operations. •Assess how your selected business could change or alter some of its practices, showing how the changes would contribute to ethical behaviour, with reference the 3 issues discussed in Task 1, (eg Walker’s Crisps altering the fat and salt content in their crisps to address consumer health; Europe’s largest oil and gas companies planning to survey their suppliers to establish, for the first time, a global database on supplier corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies to check compliance with treatment of the environment, workers and customers. This task addresses M1 In comparison to all the over airlines Virgin Atlantic by far operates the most ethically, like most companies they still have problems within the airline, recently their has been conflict with Virgin and its customers. It came to light that their has been an issue with a member of staff leaking information to the media about who and when, celebrity’s and politicians where traveling on the airline this matter has serious implications, although this is simply immoral, it effects the privacy of the individual and could potentially put the person in danger.
Following these allegations in the press in April Virgin voluntary contacted the information Commissioners office and fully assisted with the enquiries, they couldn’t find any other evidence of other members of staff leaking the information and breaking the data protection act, however this is a matter that Virgin takes seriously as it says in the mission statement that they want to provide safety and security. In my opinion they should take action to prevent this from happening again.
I think Virgin should improve the way they structure the recruitment process by asking more questions in the interviews that are relative to this matter, such as have you ever work for the media? Do you have any friends that work for the press? I also think that how they handle personal information needs to improve and should be looked at again to see if their are any loop wholes of gaining access to this type of information. Virgin media needs to keep matching its reputation if the company wants to keep up the trust it’s built over the last few years.
I also spoke about Virgin having free wireless internet and flight entertainment on the planes this has proved to rapidly boost of annual profits, I only have one idea to improve this idea and that is to make this device available to all classes not just upper class individuals. Virgin still need to change the price but I think if they didn’t do this so vigorously and applied the idea to lower class passengers more people would then fly with Virgin and enjoy the experience.
Virgin Atlantic has reduced fuel emissions by 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide saving them 20 million each year, Virgin have worked with emissions specialists CICS and environ to assess both the emissions of the air craft operations and the carbon foot print. I think this puts Virgin in a good position and most certainly makes them look like a well organised ethical business. I would recommend Virgin to promote this idea to over airlines; this should work because although they are taking into account global warming they are reducing expenses which n turn will lead to an increase in profit. Task 4 Evaluate the impact the changes and suggestions from Task 3 would have on the selected business and its stakeholders. This will need to be supported with evidence of research. Related to your chosen organisation, select 2 stakeholders and explain the relationship between these stakeholders and the organisation. I have chosen to work on the relationship between 2 stakeholders in Virgin Atlantic; these stakeholders are the employers and the employees who work for the organisation.
The relationship between these stakeholders and the organisation is tied to the success of the business e. g. In task 3 I talked about why staff leaking information to the media would affect the customers, this is because the customers in this case who were people in the public eye did not want the public to know when or where they were traveling. This concerned the customers; if you are making your customers concerned about their safety then they are less likely to use your organisation which in turn will mean a loss of profit.
I thought of a solution to try and prevent this from happening again, the idea was to find out information about potential employees at the interview stage, and to offer good incentives for employers who report these people, this act would also let them know that leaking information has been an issue and might make them think twice about doing this in the future, in my opinion the more you make your staff aware about these issues their is less chance of them reacquiring. Evaluate how the suggested changes and suggestions on ethical practice will impact on the stakeholders and the business.
I think with staff signing more legal documents and training staff to look out for people not complying with company policy and offering incentives for them to catch these people, will lead to the customers preferably upper class customers gaining more trust when using the airline, because their has been some bad press about the information leak, it has had a knock on effect on the image of the business and now Virgin needs to put the trust back into the business. With this idea they can almost reassure customers that any information on the whereabouts can be considered safe. With the practice in place it will take a lot of
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