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UNIVERSITY OF

TECHNOLOGY
Business Ethics
Module 5 b

ETHICAL PROBLEMS IN
ORGANIZATIONS

colour. the disadvantaged and women. conditions of employment and discharge.Discrimination  Discrimination practices in employer-employee relationships include unequal or disparate treatment of individuals and groups. race. promotion. termination. Systematic and systemic discrimination is based on historical or institutionally ingrained unequal or disparate treatment against minorities.Yanike Harrison . Business Ethics. Unequal or preferential treatment is based on irrelevant criteria. national origin or disability. Examples of contemporary and systemic discrimination are found in practices such as recruitment. such as gender. there can be quite a gulf between where corporate policy leaves off and reality begins. religion. These practices are attributed to closed employment and practices resulting from seniority systems “old boy networks. screening.”  Unfortunately.

In 1987. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 revised in 1978 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based on their age (between 40 – 70) in hiring. Business Ethics. terminations and other employment practices. can take many forms. Younger employees can be tempted to ignore advice from older workers. promotions. usually unfavourable. ADEA again was amended when the US Congress banned any fixed retirement age.Yanike Harrison . Unequal treatment.  Older workers who suddenly find themselves reporting to younger ones can be resentful since they feel younger workers lack experience.Discrimination and the Workplace  Discrimination occurs whenever something other than qualifications affects how an employee is treated. who they feel are out of touch.

then do not ask it. for example ”do you intend to get married and have children?.Yanike Harrison . The firm found that some applicants were asked questions that clearly violated antidiscrimination laws. some scheduled to receive masters and doctoral degrees. Hanigan Consulting Group of New York surveyed 170 recent graduates. What will your boyfriend think of you working long hours” The basic guideline is “if the question is not businessrelated and there is no legitimate business reason for asking it.Discrimination and the Workplace Age discrimination also applies to younger people individuals.” Business Ethics.

3 cents on the dollar during the last decade. referring. amended in 1972. retraining.Yanike Harrison . The reality however is that women still on average make 76 cents on the dollar for comparable work compared with men. the ratio of women’s annual pay to men’s for full-time employment was 83. firing and dispensing wages and fringe benefits. Title V11 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes discrimination on the basis of gender. prohibits discriminatory payment of wages and overtime pay based on gender. The law prohibits discrimination in hiring. religion. training. colour.Discrimination and the Workplace Comparable Worth and Equal Pay The Equal Pay Act of 1963. race. conducting apprenticeships. or national origin in any term privilege of employment illegal. According to Weiss. assigning. classifying. Business Ethics. promoting.

Yanike Harrison .Class Discussion Point What forms of discrimination are experienced in the workplace in Jamaica? Is discrimination illegal in Jamaica? Remember there is a fine line between discrimination policies both in law and on the workplace and in real life! Business Ethics.

hiring etc….Other Forms of Discrimination 1) Intentional discrimination is conscious and deliberate discrimination.Yanike Harrison . For example contemporary or systemic discrimination in recruiting. but is brought about by stereotypes or as an unintended outcome. 3) Individual discrimination is the discrimination of one or a few individuals acting on their own 4)Institutional discrimination is discrimination that is the result of the actions of all or many of the people in an institution and of their routine processes and policies.see previous slides. 2) Unintentional discrimination is discrimination that is not consciously or deliberately sought. Business Ethics.

separate from her husband. Bradwell v Illinois a woman had “no legal existence.Yanike Harrison . In 1873 Supreme Court decision. women in America could not vote.Discrimination. issue lawsuits in their own name or initiate legal contracts if they list their property to their husbands. Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action It is difficult to imagine that throughout most of the 19th century. serve on juries. who was regarded as her head and representative in the social state” Business Ethics.

Business Ethics. one of the opinions of the Supreme Court considered blacks as “being of an inferior order…and so far inferior that they had no rights that the white man was bound to respect” Weiss. an African American. In the Dred Scott case. Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action It is also difficult to imagine the legal status of African American’s in the United States in 1857.Discrimination. Business Ethics p372 In 2008.Yanike Harrison . was elected as President of the United States.

or simulating well-known brand names. quoting misleading prices. For example bait advertisements announce the sale of good that later prove not to be available or to be defective. more expensive item. inserting the word guarantee. where nothing is guaranteed.Yanike Harrison . misleadingly disparaging a competitor’s goods. Once consumers are lured into the store they are pressured to purchase another. Business Ethics. Some deceptive forms of advertising involve more complex schemes.DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING Deceptive advertising can take several forms. using untrue paid testimonials. An advertisement can misrepresent the nature of the product by using deceptive mock-ups. failing to disclose defects in a product.

1) Velasquez p 329 Business Ethics. 2) Media or intermediaries who communicate the false message of the advertisement and so are responsible for the deceptive effects. 3) An audience who is vulnerable to the deception and who lacks the capacity to recognize the deceptive nature of the advertisement.DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING Deceptive advertising requires the following: An author who unethically intends to make the audience believe what he or she knows is false by means of an intentional act or utterance.Yanike Harrison .

and buyers purchase it with that understanding. for example.Yanike Harrison . questions of safety are essentially questions of acceptable and known levels of risk. This implies that sellers comply with their part of a free agreement if the sellers provides a product that involves only those risks they say it involves. That is the product is safe of its attendants risks are known and judged to be “acceptable” or “reasonable” by the buyer in view of the benefits the buyer expects to derive from using the product. The National Commission on Product Safety. has characterized “reasonable risk” in these terms: Business Ethics.PRODUCT SAFETY Product Safety is the implied or expressed degree of risk associated with using a product. Because the use of virtually any product involves some degree of risk.

or those the seller implicitly communicates by the implicit claims made when marketing the product for a use whose normal risk level is well known. can appraise their probability and severity.” Thus the seller of a product(according to the contractual theory) has a moral duty to provide a product whose use involves no greater risks that those the seller expressly communicate to the buyer. Business Ethics. know how to cope with them.Yanike Harrison . and voluntarily accept them to get benefits they could not obtain in less risky ways…. If a label on a bottle indicates that the contents are highly toxic (“Danger: Poison”) the product should not include additional risks of inflammability.PRODUCT SAFETY “Risk of bodily harm to users are not reasonable when consumers understand that risk exist. For eg.

Business Ethics. has awakened an international awareness of the need to protect the environment. in terms of public awareness and increasing legislative control.POLLUTION CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT There was a time when corporations used the environment as a free and unlimited resource. issues management approach. The magnitude of environmental abuse not only by industries but also by human activities and nature processes. That time is ending. The ethical implications and issues resulting from the various types pollution are far-reaching and significant for key constituencies from a stakeholders.Yanike Harrison .

3) Urbanization 4) Population explosion 5) New and uncontrolled technologies 6) Industrial activities Business Ethics. “me first” and a throwaway ethic. consumption and waste 2) Materialistic cultural values: Values have evolved to emphasize consumption over conservation-a mentality that believes in bigger is better.POLLUTION Causes of environmental pollution Some of the most pervasive factors that have contributed to the depletion of resources and damage to the environment are as follows: 1) Consumer affluence: Increased wealth has led to increased spending.Yanike Harrison .

POLLUTION The ethics of ecology Advocates of a new environmentalism argue that when the stakes approach the damage of the earth itself and the health and survival. Business Ethics. the utilitarian ethic alone is an insufficient logic to justify continuing negligence and abuse of the earth.Yanike Harrison . For example Sagoff argues that costbenefit analysis can measure only desires and not beliefs.

POLLUTION The ethics of ecology There are five (5) arguments from those who advocate corporate social responsibility from an ecology based organizational ethic include the following: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Organizations responsibilities go beyond the production of goods and services at a profit Those responsibilities involve helping to solve important social problems. Corporations serve a wider range of human values than just economics. especially those they have helped create. Corporations have a broader constituency than stakeholders alone Corporations have impacts that go beyond simple marketplace transactions. Business Ethics.Yanike Harrison .