I have chosen the ethic – Selling products that the company knows are harmful or addictive to consumers. A real world example of selling products that addict consumers or are harmful holds good for the cigarette manufactures. A warning-smoking is injurious to health is inscribed on the pack, both the consumer and the seller ignore. The seller is oriented towards minting money from the sale from the cigarette and the consumer being addicted to it cannot stop smoking. According to Surgeon General smoking cigarette causes Cancer, cardio-vascular, Lungs and Heart Diseases and emphysema. When expecting women smoke it complicates their pregnancy and it results in stillbirths. The new borns are most affected by smoking expecting women. Placing myself in the role of the Vice President of Marketing of Philip Morris USA in the 1960s, the general public was not aware of the harmful effects of the cigarettes; the company is aggressively marketing cigarettes, conducting advertising campaigns in both print and electronic media to boost sales. Today’s youth are influenced with the fashion and consider smoking to be the modern sign, the acceptance within their peer groups led the youth to get addicted to cigarettes. Revenue generation is the primary motive of both the government and Big Tobacco companies.
A common practice is to downplay the facts, in spite of knowing the harmful effects of smoking. Philip Morris USA Inc. has many stakeholders, some are directly involved with the organization at supplier, financer, employee and consumer level as primary stakeholders. The secondary stakeholders are not directly involved in the business they are the media, government, special interest groups-WHO and their market competitors; they influence the organization and primary stake holders to some extent. According to the Carroll’s pyramid of CSR-Corporate Social Responsibility any business to be successful, it should fulfill all the four elements into its business strategy. Philip Morris Inc. USA implements- it is generating profits, adhering to the law and regulations, trying to exhibit ethics in spite of selling harmful product, today it is involved in social activity with its stakeholders in anti-smoking programs and it donates contributions to communities. According to Freeman R.Edward (2010) it is important for managers to create value for any group or individual affected or can affect the business. Thus it fulfills the responsibility to return to the society where it operates. Today consumers expect the manufactures to behave in a socially responsible way.
1) http://www.qt.com.au/news/ive-smoked-since-i-was-14but-its-time-to-just-ban-/1966955/ 2) http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-shocking-ingredients-in-cigarettes.html 3) http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n4/marlboro.html 4) http://www.pmi.com/eng/research_and_development/r_and_d_at_pmi/pages/assessing_risk_reduction_potential.aspx 5) Carroll, Archie B. (2009). Business Ethics: Brief Readings on Vital Topics. Routledge, New York and London. Chapter one. 6) Freeman R. Edward (2010). Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art. Cambridge University Press, New York. (Appendix E, page 24, printed on 2 May 2012)