Next Step Herbal Health might not be entirely responsible for the bankruptcy of several distributors; the company engaged in somewhat shady practices, such as the forced purchase tie-in agreements with its distributors. Although these practices might not be illegal, they are still unethical. These distributing companies should have more clearly understood the business contract with Next Step Herbal Health, but Next Step seemingly took advantage of the situation solely based on increasing their profits. They could have had a more honest and mutually beneficial agreement with their distributors, in order to foster and maintain these business relationships in a healthy way: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (English Standard Version, Luke 16:9). Furthermore, as the Bible says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (English Standard Version, Matthew 7:12).
Another issue with Next Step’s ethics program is the question of whether Next Step actually sends researchers all over the globe. The recruiter did not confirm or deny it when Ramona asked about these opportunities, “We have the greatest P.R. people in the corporate world. Our P.R. people do make a habit of taking promotional photos in exotic locations, but of course most of our products are actually developed in our laboratories right here in Seattle”. This information is misleading and slightly dishonest; it led Ramona to believe that if she were an employee of the company, she would have that opportunity. Finally, to enter into the company thinking she might have the small possibility of changing the company’s culture even if a new company bought Next Step is a little unrealistic. Change is nearly impossible, unless top management endorses the change: “When left to their own devices, cultural change is painful and people don’t want to do it.
They’re comfortable with […] getting ahead by doing things the old way. This comfort with the old way of doing things is why CEOs, not human resources people, are driving corporate culture changes” (Flanagan, 1995). Even though Ramona would not necessarily have to partake in unethical behavior if she joined Next Step, the detrimental corporate culture of Next Step is not conducive to furthering her career and happiness because of her differing ethical beliefs. Next Step embodies the type of company that “adopt[s] an ethical posture because they see it as a good strategic move or as a smart marketing maneuver” (MacDonald, 2010). Overall, Ramona should not accept the job offer with Next Step because of its unethical culture, despite the impressive salary and flashy promotional items.
Crossway. (2001-2014). English Standard Version Bible. Retrieved from http://www.esvbible.org MacDonald, Chris. (2010). Ethics as Strategy and Marketing. Retrieved from http://businessethicsblog.com/2010/12/02/ethics-as-strategy-and-marketing/ Flanagan, P. (1995). The ABCs of changing corporate culture. Management Review, 84(7), 57.Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/206681097?accountid=12085