7 Jul 2022


Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace

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Academic level: Master’s

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The business ethics and social responsibility are important in the workplace in ensuring that a company is running smoothly. The success of a company is affected directly by this as it has an impact on the managers, consumer, employees, shareholders, investors and the environment. 

Characteristics of a stakeholder 

A stakeholder can be defined as an individual or a party that has an interest in the institution or company. They either affect or are affected by the dealings and business of the company. In a typical or “normal” establishment, the primary stakeholders are customers, employees and investors. In the contemporary theory of stakeholders, the government, trade associations and the community are added to the fray (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). 

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There are different level and classes of stakeholders who are involved in this case. There are primary stakeholders who are the direct beneficiaries of this effort. These beneficiaries stand to gain from Pharma CARE and are the millions of people in the world who make use of their drugs. The people of Colberia will be able to get access to free or cheap drugs. This effort also stands to have a positive impact on the people of Colberia who will get jobs, economic development and possibly improved healthcare that would help in dealing with highly infectious diseases. The directors and maybe the owners of the company may need to live in the country. This will bring result in better infrastructure and living conditions. There will be a need to construct airports, railways and roads that will be used to transport these raw materials and manufactured drugs. These buildings and transport agents that are constructed will directly benefit the people of Colberia. Development of infrastructure causes a domino effect that eventually leads to schools, hospitals, police and other government agencies that are initially to be used to ensure the smooth running of the Pharma CARE franchise. 

There will be an opportunity for the people of Colberia to earn a living and integrate this new lifestyle with some of their traditional ways that will bring about an enriched mortality rate. Since this company will be using particular areas for the harvesting of the herbs, it will lead to zoning of areas which brings about good use of available environmental resources that will lead to less pollution and environmental degradation. This will bring about the need for proper education in that society and literacy that will enable this country to communicate with the rest of the world. Pharma CARE will make scholarships available to any of the individuals who prove to perform best during the training activities for employees who will work on the ground as a middle man between the workers and the executives. Medical professionals will come up and lead to an improved outlook on life that will help Colberians have a different and better view of life. 

The key stakeholders that will be involved include the government officials and policy makers (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). They are the ones who will negotiate with Pharma CARE on the laws, rules and regulations that will have to be followed during the course of this venture. Failure to which, the deal or arrangement is to be canceled out. These policy makers are the individuals in Colberia who do not have written or “lawful” power but may have a pull in what goes through to the overall leader. They are considered advisers and wise men are the right-hand men and their ideas are taken seriously. It is important for the Pharma CARE executives to have them on their side by ensuring that the community will benefit from this venture. Some companies opt to bribe these individuals to ensure that the deal goes through and the cost is transferred to the poor population. 

Human rights issues presented by Pharma CARE 

Issues raised 

There are human rights issues that crop up during this venture. Due to the fact, the people of Colberia are poor; Pharma CARE has taken full advantage of them. They pay these workers $1 a day. This is grossly unfair as the minimum wage requirement in the United States is about $10 a day. The Colberians live in exclusion and are therefore not exposed to the possibility or opportunity to fight for better pay. The amount of money that they are paid does not allow them to be able to develop in any way or encourage them to learn more, earn more and eventually become independent. This method of suppression is archaic and inhuman. It puts and keeps these Colberians squarely in a vicious cycle of poverty that ensures that they will always need Pharma CARE even if they do not pay adequately because they are the only option. 

The workers have to walk five miles or more to harvest these herbs. This distance is too long and tumultuous for these Colberians. The jungle is full of dangerous animals and poisonous plants that put these workers in constant danger. They may go long distances and get injured on the way to or from the harvesting site. The life of the workers is in constant danger as they travel within the jungle. The weight of the herbs also may affect the bodies of the workers who are not strong enough to carry the baskets. This also reduces the span of time that a worker can be employed. This is hazardous to the community as a whole as fathers will start working with younger children, thereby effectively reducing the mortality rate of the community as a whole. This cancels out the positives that the company was supposed to bring out to the people of Colberia. 

The living conditions of the Colberians are terrible and create an unconducive environment for them to work in an effective way. These workers and the community as a whole must have good living conditions so that they will be able to produce quality work. They live in a society without running water and electricity which should be classified as basic human needs. There is a huge contrast in how the executives live. They live lavishly right beside these poor workers who are made to believe that only the executives deserve this lifestyle because they are the ones who are bringing about a better life and money for the community. This huge gap between the rich and the poor brings about a bad attitude towards the company in this area. Crime and sabotage could be birthed from this injustice and this could reduce the profitability and effectiveness of this company in providing positives for the community. 


These social injustices can be dealt with by increasing the minimum wage of these employees. The pay that they receive must directly correlate to the amount of hard labor that they put in. Good pay will reduce the need for these employees to be involved in any form of crime or sabotage. Pharma CARE should also have an organized structure that will allow and accommodate any promotions and salary increases from within the organization. That is, the company should provide a system that will allow an individual of Colberian descent to grow from a casual laborer to a management position. 

Pharma CARE should and must provide transport in and out of the harvesting site. Not only will these reduce the time taken to obtain these herbs, it will also ensure that the valuable manpower that the Colberians avail can be put into better use. They will not have to get injuries and will be able to work longer within the company. This will push and increase loyalty within the company. The heavy baskets can be loaded into the trucks and transported back to the factory for processing. 

Provision of low-cost housing is also an important step towards making the lives of the Colberians better. These can be constructed in a separate area but not too far away from the site. This will reduce the cost and need to provide transport for the workers from their homes to the jungle. If there is a situation where this cannot be implemented then housing can be provided and rented out for a small fee for future maintenance or renovations. This can be done in conjunction with the native governing bodies that will collect and maintain these housing units. This general improvement of the living conditions of the population will motivate them to work harder, and create a spark that will force them to learn more and climb the ranks leading to a better-educated people. 

Pharma CARE environmental initiative 

Pharma CARE has put up environmental initiatives like recycling, packaging changes, and green initiatives despite the fact that they were able to beat various laws that were put up to increase taxes in particular chemicals used. I support this position taken by PharmaCARE as a positive move as they will put in the money that would be charged by the Superfund Tax directly into the environment that is affected by their activities. The government agencies have collected a list of money amounting to about 2 billion US dollars from various companies and we do not know how this money is distributed. In most cases, the money takes a while to be processed and taken to the areas that are in need. 

PharamaCARE removes the middleman and deals directly with the environment by recycling materials where possible and using packages that easily degrade without any harm to the Colberian jungles. The government agencies would take too long in the bureaucracy and may end up politicizing this process. It would be too slow and will just deal with the rehabilitation of the area while PharmaCARE also put forward preventive measures which will be more effective rhapsody trying to fix the environment after the damage is done. Long arbitrations to find out perpetrators will hinder the process of saving the environment and more often than not, they act when it is too late. 

Ethical theories that affect Pharma CARE activities 


The theory of utilitarianism is concerned with the results of the actions. The validity of the actions is measured by the results. It is a form of consequentialism that is not concerned with the morality of the actions is not as important as the results of the actions (Rupp, Wright, Aryee & Luo, 2015). In the case of Pharma CARE, the consequences of the company's presence are better than its actions, and this makes its operations ethically justifiable. For instance, Pharma CARE is providing drugs for free or on the cheap. The company also provides jobs and brings about development in the country. The company affects the environment by stripping the country of its natural resources in a way that is not replaceable. In this case, it can be said that the end justifies the means. This applies to oil companies like Tullow Oil that go into African countries like Kenya to speculate for oil reserves. They are forced to displace the natives so that they can drill for oil. These Kenyans are displaced from their original homeland and in some cases their ancestral land. This action, though, is overridden by the fact that it provides an opportunity to provide for the economy of the country that it will, in turn, improve the living conditions of the citizens. 


On the other hand, deontology is concerned with the rightness or the wrongness of the particular actions and not the positive value of the consequences or results. It is somewhat related to moral absolutism. As far as deontological ethics is concerned, it is wrong for Pharma CARE to destroy the environment even though this may provide a living and a home for a larger population. This branch of ethics does not provide a gray area that will allow the company to walk in. The destruction of the natural habitats of animals and causing forced migration, affecting the quality of air in the country is not forgivable. 

Virtue Ethics 

Virtue ethics emphasizes the moral character of the company or individual in performing a particular action. This view peers into the reason behind which the company is guided as it takes its business into Colberia. Is the company being charitable? Is Pharma CARE really putting the needs of the citizens first before their own selfish needs as they find lasting medical solutions? These are some of the questions that have to be asked when dealing with the actions of this company. Their primary goal is charity and benevolence, which is to provide free and low-cost drugs to the poor. This initiative is noble and should be viewed this way. The importance of giving to the community cannot be over-emphasized for the sake of global development (Rupp, Wright, Aryee & Luo, 2015). 

Ethics of Care 

The ethics of care lays importance to the significance of care and caring labor as a whole. The main concern of this theory is the alteration of the structures of an institution, company or nation to align with a non-oppressive view. Pharma CARE as a company does not cater for their employees and fall short in a heavy way. They pay their workers $1 a day which is peanuts. They are not able to cater for themselves with that small amount of money. The company should seriously consider the welfare of its workers. This low pay will just sink them as a nation and keep them poor, angry and feel tyrannized (Rupp, Wright, Aryee & Luo, 2015). They should be cared for as a group; this will work well towards motivating them to work harder. These workers have to work miles with heavy baskets on their person while delivering the herbs from deep within the jungle. Pharma CARE must make it their business to make the lives of the employees by providing transportation for the employees to carry the herbs from the source to the manufacturing site. Their housing situation should be catered for by providing low-cost housing that has running water and electricity. This development will bring about mental and physical development within the country and a happier, motivated workforce. 

Your own moral/ethical compass 

My views on the goings on at Colberia are mixed. It is always a good thing for a huge multinational company to be involved in charitable activities. This helps the poor and also the developing country in which they decide to break ground. The positives are numerous: jobs, proper infrastructure and development. This is an important venture for the economical development of Colberia. On the other hand, the employees are not paid well enough with regards to the amount of work that they do. The amount of work they have to do in the jungle is too heavy and they receive no support from the Pharma CARE management. In this case, I believe that the good results outweigh the bad actions that are taken during this process. I support the efforts that Pharma CARE makes in Colberia to provide drugs for the less fortunate and impact development in this third world nation. 

A comparison of Pharma CARE and another real world company 

British Petroleum (BP) is an example of a company that has been knee-deep in scandals that have led to harm to the environment. The company put their own gains and profits ahead of the needs of the environment. They played a part in the largest oil spill in the history of the United States; the Gulf Spill. This issue has greatly indicated the problem that companies have held onto the stakeholder theory of management. In this theory, companies prioritize the stakeholder needs and this leaves several loopholes that they can use to further their own cause. The environment can be considered part of the group of stakeholders but for BP, this was not a priority. Hence, the environment can be greatly affected by economic and corporate activities. BP glossed over how they put the environment first in their reports but fail to show this on the ground (Brenan, 2013). 

The Gulf Spill was caused by acute failures by preventive equipment. The extent to which BP knew information concerning this failure was not clarified properly in any of the reports submitted. The evidence showed that the company had prioritized profit over the safety of the workers and environment by not maintaining the equipment as many times as required and not putting proper mechanisms to stop an oil spill because it would cost more money than they were willing to spend. There were no real ethical laws, rules and regulations that governed how the company as a whole worked. This is an important aspect when catering for all the stakeholders (Brenan, 2013). 

Pharma CARE, also, does not seem very concerned as to how the environment will be affected by how they are stripping the jungle of the herbs. There are no regulations or laws that are set up that would ensure that the company would write up and implement policies that ensure the safety and balance of the jungle ecosystem. It is important for the company to prioritize the environment as a whole as the lasting effects of a damaged ecosystem will affect those who are living in the area. The commonly required permits by United States government must be kept constant in Colberia by Pharma CARE. These permits include: Endangered Species permits, Clean Air Act permits, Wetlands permits and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permits. 

The differences between the two is that BP states that they are a clean company but privately prioritize profit over the safety of the environment and the community while Pharma CARE strive to care for the environment while trying their level best to have a very small carbon footprint by launching an initiative that is designed to protect the environment from corporate institutions including themselves. This initiative is designed to fight this war against all companies and not just a front to fly under the radar and sabotage the community for personal gain. 


Brennan, L. C. (2013).  Gulf Oil Spill . ABDO Publishing Company.

Carroll, A., & Buchholtz, A. (2014).  Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management . Nelson Education.

Rupp, D. E., Wright, P. M., Aryee, S., & Luo, Y. (2015). Organizational justice, behavioral ethics, and corporate social responsibility: Finally the three shall merge.  Management and Organization Review 11 (01), 15-24.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace.


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