Ethical issue in business research and their solution

Name: Bilal Ahmed Roll no: am552469 Course: business research methods Level: m.com Assignment submitted to: Prof Tahir Jameel Couse code: 8510

ALLAMA IQBAL OPEN UNIVERISITY

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
First of all we thank to ALLAH ALMIGHTY gave us this beautiful life and blessing us throughout the working on these papers or pages. We are indebted to our respected teacher who’s in dispensable and intricate comments on various aspects conjoined with motivation made us come forth holding such as assignment.

INTRODUCTION OF THE TOPIC:
When most people think of ethics. They think of rules for distinguishing between right and wrong, such as the Golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you). A code of professional conduct like the Hippocratic Oath (first of all do no harm), a religious creed like the Ten Commandments or a wise aphorism like the sayings of Confucius. This is the most common way of defining ethics is norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Most people learn ethical norms at home, school, in masjid, or in other social settings. Ethical norm are so ubiquitous that one might be tempted to regret them as simple common sense. On the other hand, if morality were nothing more than commonsense, then why are there are so many ethical disputes and issue in our society? One plausible explanation of these disagreements is that all people recognize some common ethical norms but different individuals interpret, apply, and balance these norms in different ways in light of their own values and life experiences.

INTRODUCTON TO SUBTOPICS:
THERE IS SOME SUBTOPIC RELATED TO TOPIC. HERE ARE SOME PRICIPALS

Honesty: Strive for honesty in all scientific communications. Honesty report data, results methods and procedures and publication status. Objective: Objective must be clear. Openness: Share data, results, ideas, tools, resources. Be open to criticism and new ideas. Carefulness: Avoid careless errors and negligence; carefully and critically examine your own work and the work of your peers. Confidential: Protect confidential communications, such as papers or grants submitted for publication, personnel records, trade, and patient records. Respect for colleagues: Respect your colleagues and treat them fairly. Nondiscrimination: Avoid discrimination against student or colleagues on the basis of sex, race, or other factors. Legality: Know and obey relevant laws and institutional and government policies. Animal care: Show proper respect and care for animals when using them in research.

Social responsibility: Strive to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms through research, public education and advocacy. Competence: Maintain and improve your own professional competence and expertise through lifelong education and learning.

What is the problem or issue?
It is always important to get a clear statement of the problem. In this case, the issue is whether to share information with the other research team.

INTRODUCTION OF UNILEVER:

On any given day, two billion people use Unilever products to look good, feel good and get more out of life. Life partners With more than 400 brands focused on health and wellbeing, no company touches so many people’s lives in so many different ways. Our portfolio ranges from nutritionally balanced foods to indulgent ice creams, affordable soaps, luxurious shampoos and everyday household care products. We produce world-leading brands including Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Omo, alongside trusted local names such as Blue Band, Pure it and Suave. Responsible business: Since Unilever was established in the 1890s, brands with a social mission have been at the core of our business, and now corporate responsibility underpins our strategy. In 2010 we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – a set of targets designed to help us deliver our objective of growing our business while minimizing our impact on the environment. To embed sustainability into every stage of the life cycle of our products, we’re working with our suppliers to support responsible approaches to agriculture. We’re also learning from NGOs and other organizations, recognizing that building a truly sustainable business is not something we can do without expert advice. We believe that as a business we have a responsibility to our consumers and to the communities in which we have a presence. Around the world we invest in local economies and develop people’s skills inside and outside of Unilever. And through our business and brands, we run a range of programs to promote hygiene, nutrition, empowerment and environmental awareness. About our brands: From long-established names like Lifebuoy, Sunlight and Pond’s to new innovations such as the Pure it affordable water purifier; our range of brands is as diverse as our worldwide consumer base.

Unilever has more than 400 brands, 12 of which generate sales in excess of €1 billion a year. Many of these brands have long-standing, strong social missions, including Lifebuoy’s drive to promote hygiene through hand washing with soap, and Dove’s campaign for real beauty. Unilever has more than 400 brands, 12 of which generate sales in excess of €1 billion a year. Many of these brands have long-standing, strong social missions, including Lifebuoy’s drive to promote hygiene through hand washing with soap, and Dove’s campaign for real beauty.

INRODUCTION OF UNILEVER:
In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Bros, wrote down his ideas for Sunlight Soap – his revolutionary new product that helped popularize cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. It was 'to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products'. This was long before the phrase 'Corporate Mission' had been invented, but these ideas have stayed at the heart of our business. Even if their language and the notion of only women doing housework – has become outdated. In a history that now crosses three centuries, Unilever's success has been influenced by the major events of the day – economic boom, depression, world wars, changing consumer lifestyles and advances in technology. And throughout we've created products that help people get more out of life – cutting the time spent on household chores, improving nutrition, enabling people to enjoy food and take care of their homes, their clothes and themselves.

INRODUCTION OF UNILEVER OF PAKISTAN:

Unilever Pakistan Limited needs no introduction By far the largest consumer products company in Pakistan, UPL is a part of the consumer products giant Unilever.

UPL was established some fifty years ago in the then newly created Pakistan. The town of Rahim Yar Khan was the site chosen for setting up a vegetable oil factory in 1958 and that is where the first UPL manufacturing facility developed. Now a force to be reckoned with Today, Unilever Pakistan is a force to reckon with. Its contribution to Pakistan's economic development cannot be overestimated. Now operating four factories at different locations around the country, the company contributes a significant proportion of the country's taxes. It employs a large number of local managers and workers. It provides a pool of well-trained and highly motivated manpower to other segments and has introduced new and innovative technologies into the country. The UPL Head Office was shifted to Karachi from the Rahim Yar Khan site in the mid 60's. By this time the once dusty and sleepy village was the hub of activities for UPL. A residential estate situated near the factory is the home of UPL employees at Rahim Yar Khan.

Our vision:
We help people around the world meet every day needs for nutrition, hygiene and wellbeing, with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.

MISSION STATEMENT:
The unilever mission is to add vitality to life. They meet every day needs for nutrition; hygiene and personal care with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.

Practical study with respect to the ethics of unilever:
Good ethics, good business Unilever is also singled out as an example of best practice on the Institute's website. Alex explains, "Unilever recognizes that being ethical is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business practice and leads to more successful and profitable operations." In deciding the list, the judging panel considers everything from a business's code of ethics; history with litigation and regulatory action; and investment in innovations – to its sustainable practices and activities designed to improve corporate citizenship. Unilever has been named in the 2009 World's Most Ethical Companies list by the Ethisphere Institute. Unilever has proven to be one of the world leaders in upholding high ethical standards, making it a true standout in its industry, especially as unethical business actions and decisions grab headlines each day," said Alex Brigham, Executive Director, Ethisphere Institute. "The competition for this year's World's Most Ethical Companies was very strong and we applaud Unilever for rising to the top." The ranking evaluated a record-breaking 10 000 companies from more than 100 countries and over 35 industries. The judging panel consisted of leading lawyers, professors, government officials and organization leaders who created a short-list of companies. Those selected as semi-finalists then had to fill out an in-depth questionnaire about their ethical practices.

Environmental pollution: Unilever claims to be concerned for the safety of its operations and the environment but this attitude clearly does not stretch to PAKISTAN. Unilever has recently been accused by Greenpeace of double standards and shameful negligence for allowing its PAKISTANI subsidiary, PAKISTAN Lever, to dump several tons of highly toxic mercury waste in the densely populated tourist resort. Hypocritical Health Campaign induced by Self-Interest: In an effort to avoid tobacco-style lawsuits, food giants including Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Heinz are to use internet, TV and press ads to warn consumers that eating too much fast food will make them fat. Food companies are worried if the problem continues they could face the threat of similar lawsuits to those being brought against tobacco firms. There is also concern governments may try to crack down on fast food advertising or impose mandatory health warnings. Misleading marketing: Rebranding the same or slightly changed products for sale can legitimately be labeled misleading, likewise the introduction of new products that supposedly improve the daily lives of consumers (‘you will feel better starting the day with…’) or strengthen their self-image (‘you are worth it, aren’t you?’). The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently accused Unilever for false advertising. The ASA ruled that Unilever misled British consumers in the way the company presented the health benefits of its cholesterol-lowering margarine, Flora pro-active. According to ASA, Unilever’s Van den Bergh Foods unit overstated the benefits of Flora pro-active one press advert that claimed it could reduce LDL cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent. After the ASA ruling, Unilever agreed to make the required changes and not advertise in the same way again. (Sanctions against advertisers who break codes of practice in Britain are ineffective. The ASA has no statutory powers. It can report persistent offenders to the Office of Fair Trading, but it’s reluctant to use this deterrent.

Promoting consumerism: Unilever spends a lot of energy and money on marketing and commercialization of consumer products all over the world (‘Paint the World Yellow’ – the Lipton marketing campaign which provide everything with the Lipton Logo, from surfboards to Chevrolets—was a tremendous success, according to Unilever. It created a much bigger Lipton Logo awareness amongst consumers.) Since the Northern consumer market is saturated (so not much room left for expansion of market shares) Unilever aims at maximizing the processing of food, which means adding value to ‘improve’ products and then charge more for these products. Unilever changes the product only slightly (e.g. strawberry toothpaste), or just changes the visual language in order to sell exactly the same product. Naturally this process involves heavy advertising. Many of the ‘improved’ products are basically useless, and there is no demand for them (the demand is being manufactured by the multinationals themselves). In short, Unilever tries to bring as many products as possible to the market without asking itself the question ‘is there a real need for the products we produce? ‘Flooding the world with ever more (useless) products is a pretty immoral sales strategy. Only think of the ecological costs that come along with it (processing of products, packaging, waste processing, transport, etc. all involve high ecological costs). If people in the South start consuming the same amount of products and services as people in the North, the natural environment will definitely not survive. The only real and sustainable solution to environmental problems is less production and less consumption. Unilever and other multinationals are main actors being responsible for the ongoing trend in the opposite direction!! Besides, heavy advertising generates psychological effects like feelings of inadequacy, disorientation, mood disorders, and cynicism. In effect, advertising involves tremendous non-value added costs, in other words, a tremendous waste of resource.

Reports of cost department: Cost department looks into the yield and performance of the factory with the help of various reports. These are following: 1) Daily stock report 2) Production accounts 3) Daily production report 4) Power and stream production report. Daily stock report: This report tells that how raw material is transferred to plant, what the weight of activated earth used is, how much fats are spooned fed, soap cleaned, lye transfer to glycerin section, and lye treated and refined glycerin affected into drums. Production accounts of the products: Cost department make production accounts of all products with the help of followings: Raw material cost Chemicals Packing material Variable direct material

Daily production report: This report helps in watching what the production of certain product on certain day, and how many transferred to ware house and what is the present balance on department floor. Power and stream production report: Weekly steam production report is received and from these quarter reports are prepare.

Swot analysis
Strengths: o o o o Weakness: o o o o High rates of skin care products. Ratio of success of new product is low. Huge inventory stocks of raw material and finished goods. Few new products are introduced in the market unethically. Largest producing company of consumer products in Pakistan. Enjoying economies of scale. Strong financial position. Dalda ghee becomes the generic name of brand product.

Opportunities: o Capturing food industry by acquiring raffan best foods. o Proper use of wastage of raw material to save the environment. o Do some social work to get more customers. Threats: o Facing tough competition in ice cream. o Facing tough competition in ghee and cooking oil. o Global warming maybe affect the production of unilever.

Conclusion: In the end of research, I can say that unilever can get award in most ethically performing company. It’s some unethically work may destroy the environment and cause of global warming. Anyhow unilever do some social work and fulfill their responsibility on ethics.

Recommendation:
 Proper use of wastage of finished goods can convert into electricity.  Do more social work to get attraction from customer.  Try to control the global warming from their products.

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