Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World

1: Describe the key characteristics of a stakeholder and determine all the stakeholders within the PharmaCARE scenario.

Stakeholders of a typical organization might include employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and managers (Phillips, 2003). There are several characteristics of a stakeholder of a company, among which include the following. First is that a stakeholder characteristic of a stakeholder is that he/she in one way or the other funds the organization through investing in it. He/she is thus affected by the outcomes or results of the company’s progress or the success or failures of the organization’s projects. Another key characteristic of a stakeholder is that he/she is in the company’s chain of accountability. Decisions made by the company’s officials may affect them directly or indirectly (Phillips, 2003). He/she is also responsible for the company’s good name. He/she is thus responsible for maintaining the company’s good reputation. Among the stakeholders of the PharmaCARE are the CEO, rest of the PharmaCARE’s executives and its Shareholders/stockholders of the enterprise. Others include the healers of the company in Colberia, the Colberians that work for PharmaCARE, the state government of New Jersey, the US Federal government and the communities affected by the lobbying of PharmaCARE.

The following is a justification of why some of the agencies or groups are considered stakeholders of PharmaCARE. One example is the state government in New Jersey. This is a stakeholder since its interested with PharmaCARE describing the state laws are regulations that PharmaCARE is required to comply with, e.g. paying taxes. Similarly, the federal government relates in the same way with PharmaCARE.The healers in Colberia can be considered close stakeholders with PharmaCARE since the facility obtains local remedies from them and possibly markets them. PharmaCARE has also been involved actively in lobbying against many environmental laws. This action has in many ways adversely affected the environment of the United States. It is from this perspective that every citizen of the United States and the federal government of the US become stakeholders of PharmaCARE (Phillips, 2003).

Q2: Analyze the human rights issues presented by PharmaCARE’s treatment of the Colberia’s indigenous population versus that of its executives. Recommend at least three (3) changes PharmaCARE can make to be more ethical going forward.

Various human rights issues arise as regards the running of corporations in the world. It has been determined that many corporations today are expanding their business enterprises. However, they are doing so by erecting branches at less regulated poorer countries where they have the power and audacity of violating human rights in many ways such as polluting the environment through harmful emissions and cutting down trees (Ingulli, 2010). To aggravate the situation, they do so with the cooperation of that countries government, by bribing the top officials. In any case, these corporations’ branches are set up businesses places where the local indigenous people are poor and living in less than standard conditions. The corporations will thus earn labor from less resistance indigenous people who they pay meager wages, another violation of human rights.

An assessment of PharmaCARE case shows prudently that the human rights of the people of Colberia’s have been violated, as regards the United Nations stipulation. This UN disclaimer applied, in this case, says that Transnational Corporations, as well as business Enterprises, have a general obligation to the indigenous people of Colberia. Along with it is the right to equal opportunity and non-discriminatory treatment of the local people (Brenker, 2010). In black and white, it’s evident that PharmaCARE has exploited the people of Colberia in the bid to further its own agenda. For instance, they have taken advantage of the local healers who have been lured into sharing their knowledge about indigenous cures just for free. In another dimension, the workers are reported to be paid meager wages ($1 per day), which make them live in substandard conditions as compared to PharmCARE staff who live lavishly at the expense of local people. These poor people reside in huts which have neither electricity nor clean water. Conversely, their ‘employers’ the executives of PharmaCARE, are living luxuriously in compounds which have access to all essential amenities requires to live a good life and added prestigious amenities such as swimming pools, golf course, and tennis courts (Cory, 2001).

Going forward, I would recommend that PharmaCARE provides transportation means for the benefit of workers. These transportation means will help workers who live far from the premises and also aid in bringing harvested goods from the jungle to the processing area of the organization. That will increase efficiency and remove the burden and tire/exhaustion of employees. Secondly, I recommend that PharmaCARE increases the wages workers. Rather than a dollar per day, it’s ethical that they pay them the same amount hourly. That will help them better their living standards. Lastly, I would recommend that PharmCARE involves itself with corporate social responsibility. For instance, they could reinvest a little of their profits in enhancing Colberia’s current infrastructure. They could also create housing for the workers within the manufacturing plant to better their lives as some may never be able to erect better housing (Brenker, 2010).

Q3: Assess PharmCARE’s environmental initiative against the backdrop of its anti-environmental lobbying efforts and Colberian activities. Support the position

PharmaCARE instigated an initiative by the name We CARE about YOUR world®. This initiative pledges PharmaCARE commitment to the environment but ironically, the company’s lobbying efforts have successfully demeaned the environmental laws and regulations and that of the Superfund tax by CERCLA (Ingulli, 2010). This law imposed heavy taxes and fines on chemical and petroleum firms particularly those that release hazardous substances that jeopardize people and environmental health (Cory, 2001)Apparently, the activities of PharmaCARE in Colberia are seen to contradict their initiative staunchly. We CARE about YOUR world®. Obviously, the company does not care about Colberia and its people. The company distorts the previously fresh environmental and deplorably treats Colberian people. As a matter of fact, PharmaCARE has done nothing good for the benefit of the indigenous people. It has taken advantage of them without caring.

Q4: Decide whether or not PharmaCARE’s actions with respect to the indigenous people of Colberia would be ethical in accordance with each of the following ethical theories:

Utilitarianism
As defined by Shapiro (2011) as a normative ethical theory that distinguishes the right from the wrong solely by judging from the outcomes (consequences). Under this theory, PharmCARE’s activities are not ethical. If so, PharmaCARE actions would have caused happiness to the local people. However, dread is what Colberians suffer.

Deontology
This theory obligates people to do as it obligates them when faced with an ethical dilemma. As such, a person ought to follow his/her obligation to another individual as doing this is what is considered ethically correct (Rainbow, 2002). Following this theory, PharmaCARE actions to the Colberia’s indigenous people cannot be regarded as morally right. The company exploits the indigenous people by paying them meager wages making them lead substandard lives (Cory, 2001).

Virtue Ethics
Virtue ethics are those actions that one does for the good of another by following his/her instincts rather than laws, customs or culture. PharmaCARE officials are short of these virtues and as such, their actions are not ethically correct. Executives have no mercy to the poor people and does nothing keep them motivated for the job. They treat the employees like slaves. Lack of virtual ethics denies the company to be ranked an ethically run organization.

Ethics of care
Ethics of care requires that both parties in play gain something from common activities. However, PharmCARE takes advantage of everything to profit themselves (Brenker, 2010). Indigenous people sacrifice their efforts but end up on the losing side. They earn low wages, and their environment is destroyed (Cory, 2001).

My own moral/ethical compass

After examining the case, I am of the free opinion that PharmaCARE violates the civil rights of the people. They have taken the environment into their hands and made people their working objects. They have no respect for human life and expose them to danger through polluting the environment. They pay meager dues to these people just they are poor and have no power to demand fairness. PharmCARE has to reconsider their CRS status. The executives should understand that caring for the employees is for the best of it too. Employees are like engines of the company and motivating them is the same as re-energizing the engine which makes the vehicle move more swiftly to accomplish the desires of the owner (Brenker, 2010).

Q5: Compare PharmaCARE’s actions with those of at least one (1) real-world company, whose corporate activities led to ethical, environmental, or workplace safety issues and financial loss. Analyze the similarities and differences between PharmaCARE and the company that you chose.

The activities of PharmCARE are likened to those of British Petroleum Company BP sometimes back. British Petroleum was involved in a serious issue which involved spillage of over 30 gallons of crude oil, a situation that has come to be known as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. In this case scenario, 11 lives were lost and some injured. The company had at the time not installed a back-up acoustic switch claiming that it was not cost-effective at the time. The oil spillage made the environment dangerous as people lived in fear of explosions. More so, the environment was polluted. Apparently, poor people had no means to pull out of the area, and BP did nothing about it. The same case applies to PharmaCARE scenario. They built a large manufacturing plant in Africa took away the land, polluted the environment and exploited the indigenous people just because they were poor, desperate and short of knowledge of their human rights. They work for a large company but under dangerous conditions. They work long hours yet receive unfair wages. They, however, are not aware of ways to demand their rights. Similarly, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill led to the damage of countless miles of shoreline which made fishing impossible. Fish processors had to shut down meaning that the local people were left without means of securing the daily bread (Rainbow, 2002).

British Petroleum redesigned its corporate insignia of going green that suggested that “the company was looking past oil and gas toward an eco-friendly future of renewable energy.” That is just similar with what PharmaCARE initiated through erecting a logo which said “WE CARE about YOUR health®. These two logos of the two companies stated that they wanted to change and in future enjoy the reputation as caring, ethical and well-run companies through producing high-quality products that save lives and through environmental friendly ways (Ingulli, 2010). Comparing BP and PharmaCARE, it can be found that both ended up devolved into unethical practices. BP, for instance, failed to acquire equipment that would have doubled safety for the oil rig. Instead, BP officials claimed they did not need such equipment. They claimed that the cost of it was too much and following the fact that this was not a required by the government, they did not purchase it. The same case applies to PharmaCARE, which does not want to feel the cost of social responsibility. They use their large company status to acquire land in Africa to set up a plant at the expense of the little power of the indigenous people.

Whistleblowing and Sarbanes-Oxley

Key characteristics of a whistleblower
The verb whistle-blowing refers to revealing the hidden actions of another individual or groups of people (mostly executives) of a company for wrong actions they perpetrate in the dark. A whistleblower is thus any person who exposes any information regarding illegal activity dishonesty, or correct activities within an organization. In many cases, whistleblowers are employees or ex-employee of a company (Green, 2004).. Among the essential characteristics of whistleblowers is that they are altruistically motivated. They do their actions to expose the truth so that a person suffering unfairly may get saved. Secondly, they are utilitarian. They serve to be useful rather than attractive. Thirdly, they are not interested in altering their behavior. They do what they do because they believe it’s the appropriate course. They, therefore, allow their attitudes and beliefs to drive them. In many cases, whistleblowers are well educated as only people with such wisdom can manage what they do. They are also aware that what they do is prone to danger and severe retaliation (Green, 2004).

Instance of whistleblowing
On the 11th of March 2016, two former students of Bard College revealed that the college officials were violating the False Claims Act that regards the federal grants and that which stipulates the use of Title IV student aid funds. These two whistleblowers had researched and found that Bard has for long received funds through the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program though they the college has not yet complied with the conditions of such grant. Bard was also allegedly reported to be awarding, disbursing and receiving Title IV student loan funds at campus locations though such were not yet recognized. They also did so without providing notice of the locations to the Department of Education. Such actions showed an infringement of applicable regulations and agreement with the Department of Education. The case is still not solved and until the Court decides the fate of the culprits, the effect of the whistle-blowing to the whistleblower and the institution’s heads may not be determined. However, the prospective effects might be the jailing or fining of the Bard College heads. More so, the court might decide to demote them. The whistleblower might face threats from those persons that they exposed (Newman 2016).

Justification of the whistleblowers’ reporting

In any case, the actions of the whistleblowers were justified. Any publically traded company or any government institution represents is there to serve the people rather than inflict pain or take the public’s money without their consent. The government takes a lot of taxes from the public which it uses to pay for the services of workers of public institutions. It is thus wrong for these few individuals to grab or siphon the money once more from the public funds. As a matter of facts, it’s only the whistleblowers who might find out such actions as perpetrators do it hidden. Their actions were thus justified as they saved the public from continued fraudulence (Green, 2004).

Extent to which the whistleblower would be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was developed and passed by the U.S. Congress to guard shareholders as well as the general public from such things like accounting errors and fraudulent practices. It was also aimed at improving the accuracy of commercial disclosures (Green, 2004). Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act would protect the whistleblowers against harm by the Bard’s heads for providing information about financial fraud. However, the two had to show that an actual violation occurred. It would then protect them against retaliatory actions such as threats or discrimination.

Current Event (Border Security, Immigration, or Intelligence)

Gap Still Left Unchecked In the US Border Security
The U.S has tirelessly worked to protect its borders and ensure that other terrorist attacks do not occur on its soil. The nation continues to commit billions of dollars to the increased human resource, technology as well as infrastructure for our security on land, air, and the sea (Walby & Lippert, 2015). Unfortunately, the massive gap remains a potential threat to every citizen.

Currently, thousands of packages from overseas enter the U S annually. Most of them range from large boxes to small later. They are usually gifts, online purchase, or business exchange. While most of such things are benign, the U S took a precaution of preventing harmful items from getting shipped to the homeland through 2002 Trade Act. Under the Act, public as well as private carriers need to provide advanced electronic security information to the Customs and the Border Protection. Conversely, despite this Act, every day millions of packages enter U.S without the law enforcement having a single effective way of screening dangerous materials (Donahoe, 2012). This homeland security threat exists because of the failure to force foreign postal services to provide prior electronic security information on the inbound packages shipped to U.S. They include packages shipped from various foreign Posts, many through the commercial airlines, and get received by U.S. Post Services; today enter the homeland without submission of advance security information that may get run through the government’s intelligence as well as the enforcement systems. Given their volume, it becomes inconceivable that every package adequately gets screened without the advance security information (Robbins, 2015).

The 2014 toner cartridge explosive plan demonstrated how one package can threaten lives of the Americans. If it were successful, the attack would have ended damaging U.S global supply system as well as the economic security. Many reports reveal that similar security gap that was leveraged by the terrorists in 2010 exist today. Recently U.S Inspector General discovered that U.S. Postal Services do not comply with laws. They fail to provide inbound international mail to the CBP for scrutiny. Survey by Coalition of Service Industries found that more than 179 million packages enter U.S. through foreign Posts but the U.S. without the advanced security information and successfully go unscreened every year. Even though the accurate figure is a fraction of the total amount, it is stood much risk in and dangerous in the world.

Under the Trade Act, CBP continues to work with the private express carriers who use Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot. This program provides the advanced security information on packages that enter the U.S. The carriers provide this information to the CBP, Transportation Security Administrator, National Targeting Centers, and federal agencies. Contrary, our U.S. Postal Service never does this. Why? The measures announced by the DHS, U.S. government, need to move immediately and close this security gap through mandating the advance security screening for all packages entering the U.S. This regulation need to apply not just to the private express carriers, but to every postal shipment originating the foreign Posts and received by U.S. Postal Services. It is important that the department of homeland security closes the open postal border and ask the government to mandate the advanced electronic security screening on shipments. Ahern as a principal at Chertoff Group as well as the former acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs as well as Border Protection in DHS knows this and need to work with those in position to remove this gap.