Irresponsible business practices are far reaching and wide and it can be very difficult to cover all these aspects at one attempt. However, as mentioned above, greater emphasis shall be given to environmental aspects and treatment of one’s employees or workers.
The American public argues that there is indeed a new face of irresponsible business practices that companies have to embrace during their operations and this revolves around their human resources. Americans are right in wanting to protect the needs of their respective citizenry so as to ascertain that businesses are responsive to them.
One of the methods in which employers are showing irresponsible business practices is through the act of outsourcing and off shoring. Corporations usually opt to outsource their business functions so as to maximize their business returns. For instance, one may opt to transfer production of commodities into Asian countries where labor costs are much cheaper. In other scenarios, outsourcing assists companies in concentrating on their core business functions so that companies who have perfected other business functions can do the rest. Outsourcing also offers a series of benefits to these businesses by working on projects at different time zones thus complementing the businesses that are affected by them. (Habisch, 2005)
There are certain instances in which outsourcing can be treated as an unfair business practice. This normally occurs when the parties under consideration merely engage in it in order to evade laws and regulations that may be applicable within their respective countries. An example of one particular law that employers may be trying to avoid is the environmental one. There is considerable evidence to indicate that a number of businesses are concerned about the environment when they know that the government is watching or that laws are very stringent. However, when the concern is transferred to another country through the process of outsourcing, then most companies disregard this fact yet their level of pollution may be considerable high in the countries chosen for outsourcing. What this shows is that there is a need for external intervention when it comes to these matters.
The government needs to introduce a cap on outsourcing after the realization that the company under consideration might cause more pollution upon transfer into other countries. The latter assertion supports the view by the American public about the need for greater government intervention in curbing irresponsible business practices.
Additionally, the latter view also supports the view of the American public that the environment is still a very important aspect in shaping business practices. As asserted in the 2006 consumer study, most people felt that they would feel more obliged to purchase commodities made by a company that had respect for its environment. While a number of avenues have already been exploited by companies in this arena, there is a need for minimization of excessive transference of work into other countries without due consideration of the kind of effect that it may exert upon the environment. (Cohen, 2005)
Aside from creation of a cap on excessive outsourcing, the latter study also indicated that there was a need to redefine irresponsible business practices. Most of the American Public believes that employee practices are just as important as other responsible business practices. They explain that in order for a company to demonstrate that it is responsible, then that company needs to offer decent wages to their jobs or it should not engage in excessive downsizing and the like.
This is a concept that is highly valid. However, it calls for greater attention from the following parties
- Federal agencies
- Local agencies
- Governmental agencies
- International agencies
These agencies have a great responsibility before them owing to the fact that privatization has been viewed as an aspect that eliminates them from assessment of other corporation’s business practices. However, this view has caused more harm than good since more corporations disregard the welfare of their consumers once they have privatized.
There are a number of industries that are affected by these sorts of perceptions. In fact, almost all commodity industries fall victim to this. Since the latter industries are not under heavy scrutiny by any external bodies, then most of them rarely take the time to deal with employee or consumer rights for that matter. In order to eliminate such perceptions, it would be essential for local, federal, international and government agencies to analyze the privatization of industries. (Korschun & Sankar, 2008)
It should be noted that the latter argument does not recommend minimizing privatization; on the contrary, it supports privatization but the only thing that needs to be done is to ensure that there are carried out in a responsible manner. Usually, this may necessitate institution of rules and regulations that require a respect for employee and worker’s rights.
In line with this argument is an assertion that has been put forward by a series of companies in these respective arenas. There is considerable evidence to show that corporate social responsibility is placing a lot of emphasis on the role that independent mediators play in curbing irresponsible business practices. The government is one of the chief mediators for ensuring that this occurs.
Most experts claim that government have the ability to prevent companies form harming the environment, people and social good through the institution of laws and regulations. They also put forward the fact that the government needs to set the agenda for responsible business practices through a number of avenues. (Grayson & Hodges, 2004)
First of all, the government can deal with infringement of consumer rights by clarifying the law so as to eliminate some of the grey areas that the law is currently presenting to a number of companies. An illustration of how this kind of regulation is badly needed is with the example of General Electric. The latter company had contaminated the Hudson River with toxic wastes that were organic in nature.
Instead of taking up blame and cleaning up this River, the latter company kept dodging their responsibilities by looking for loophole is within the law. GE claimed that the law does not assign responsibility to them and the company was therefore not obliged to carry out this kind of issue.
Another converse argument to increased government involvement is the fact that the latter party is already involved in the process of ensuring that the latter companies adhere to sound business practices by collecting their taxes and then using them to enact laws and regulations to protect employees and consumers as well. However, holding on to such thoughts could be rather misleading owing to the fact that direct involvement is always a precedence to success in the latter matter. (Williams, 2008)
Lastly, as it has been seen earlier, some people believe that engaging in irresponsible business practices can continue without due consideration of the effects because their primary responsibility is with their shareholders rather than with other sociable causes. However, adhering to such a school of thought is like going back to the olden days where employee and human rights were not respected by companies. Since corporations are part of the community in which they operate, then they need to demonstrate their respect for that community by respecting the rights of the people living in it.
The essay has examined some of issues surrounding irresponsible business practices. First of all, it has been shown that the public is more interested in the protection of employee and citizen’s rights. Additionally, they believe that the government should be more involved in ensuring that businesses engage in responsible business practices.
It has been affirmed that this is definitely a desirable act owing to the fact that it could lead to greater scrutiny and hence greater respect by privatized companies that would curb irresponsible business practices.
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