Write an essay on the "Business Society And Planet".
Ethical dilemma, in my view is one of the critical areas to be addressed by a corporate leader. I have been noticing that social responsibility is being recognized and adopted by enterprises It is the ethical dilemmas, which leaders need to ponder on. They could follow the moral codes and conduct and earn less income or could go against these codes of conduct and earn more. It is something we all could ponder on
A recent episode of social reporting issue came to my notice. The company under the spotlight was Volkswagen. Volkswagen is a reputed manufacturing company in Germany. The company’s operation revolves around manufacturing automobiles. The company enjoys high turnover and high profitability. The company has adopted the policy of extensive diversification of location and intends on extending the business across the geographical boundaries. This seemed perfectly normal to me as any business organization aims for expansion and growth. Matthias Muller, the CEO of the company had a lengthy discussion with Thorstein Eilers the production manager of Volkswagen regarding the establishment of a new factory in Harare, Zimbabwe along with new model cars and trucks. Matthias Muller seemed pleased with the initiative and plan of Thorstein. One could definitely see the twinkle in his eyes. The project seemed lucrative and possessed high scope of profitability and growth of Volkswagen in the future for the company. Apart from the profitability aspect, the project had promising scope of future investment and also showed promising scope for the development of Zimbabwe. This project could certainly escalate the growth of Volkswagen and also create economic development for Zimbabwe. There would be new job opportunities for the people of Zimbabwe. The research and development department was headed by Frank Whittal. Frank Whittal put forth his assertion that the in lieu with the requirements of the environmental and social reporting and emission acts, the company needed to control carbon emissions from the automobiles that pays a contributing role in pollution control. It was put forth that the use of the innovative technology like analysis technology and the application of limit value curve would be appropriate. Controlling the emission value of the heavy engine vehicles was required, as suggested by Frank. Matthias Muller and Thorstein Eilers were caught in a dilemma. They seemed to be torn between the fact of observing standard corporate social responsibility and filling their pockets with increased surplus.
The factory of Volkswagen was in the vicinity of local habitat and agricultural lands, which was a significant primary sector for Zimbabwe. The pollution emitted from the factory would have adverse effect on the health of the local people as well as the agricultural productivity. Frank Whittal stated, “Matthias and Thorstein, we need to apply limit value curve and control the carbon emission quotient of the car. It is necessary from our side that we observe the environmental and emission policies to control the negative and hazardous effect on the environment and social community.” Matthias and Thorstein were left pondering as to what they should do. They definitely seemed hesitant, juggling with options and probable outcomes of each option. Thorstein said, “Matthias, if we limit our production and indulge in the analysis technology and limit value curve, we are definitely going to lose out on a significant amount of profit; $150 million to be precise.” The obligation of the company was to follow the standard requirements but the alternative would expose the local community and the agriculture practice to the peril of environmental pollution. This could fill the pocket of the company. This was a major ethical dilemma for Matthias and Thorstein and both of them were wondering of which solution to use. If you ask me, I would not jeopardize my future scope of growth and success by saving a few million in the present time. Plus, isn’t it ethical to follow the code of conduct? This is just not expenditure, it is rather an investment.
According to my view, this was a critical decision. It was staggering scene in the cabin of Matthias Muller. A lot was at stake with this decision. The agriculture sector had high stake in this project of Zimbabwe. The decisions taken by Volkswagen could have enormous effect on the industry. The environmental pollution could cause global warming, which has a direct impact on the climate and subsequently affect agriculture productivity. This would heavily weigh on environment and also disrupt the economic factors for the industry.
The social community would be exposed to the hazards of the pollution emitted in the environment. One can see the high magnitude risk the ethical dilemma possessed. One wrong decision and it could shed catastrophic effect on the surrounding. The investors and shareholders had a lot of stake with this decision. In my view, the shareholders would benefit from this decision in the short run as the profitability generated would reflect on the return on the shareholders. However, if seen on the larger picture, the negative image could decrease the profitability of the company in the long run and this would hamper the returns to the shareholders. The employees were the ones who could exposed to the hazardous environment at work and around and the health and safety measures would be tossed off. Thus, it is evident that these key stakeholders had a lot at stake regarding this ethical dilemma. So as everyone can see, ethical dilemma affects Volkswagen or any organization as a matter of fact.
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