GHL6016 Contemporary & International Issues in Business

Contemporary & International Issues in Business Ethics

Question 1: Choose a contemporary business issue (e.g., environmental sustainability, data privacy) and apply ethical reasoning to analyse the ethical dimensions of this issue. How do your personal values and beliefs influence your viewpoint on this matter?

Question 2: Critically examine two different ethical theories (e.g., utilitarianism, deontology) and explain how they can be applied to ethical dilemmas in business. Use real-world examples to demonstrate the application of these theories.

Section B. Case Study
Ethical Challenges in Global Tech Corporation

You are provided with a case study of Global Tech Corporation, a multinational technology company facing various ethical challenges. These challenges include issues related to data privacy, labour practices in different countries, and environmental sustainability. The case study will detail specific scenarios that the company is facing, such as allegations of data misuse, poor working conditions in manufacturing plants in developing countries, and the environmental impact of its operations.

The case:

Global Tech Corporation, a leading multinational technology company, has recently faced a series of ethical challenges that have raised concerns among stakeholders and the public. With its vast global operations spanning across continents, the company is at the forefront of innovation in the tech industry. However, its practices in data privacy, labour, and environmental sustainability have come under scrutiny.

Data Privacy Concerns
Global Tech Corporation's data handling practices have been a point of contention. A whistle-blower revealed that the company allegedly sold user data to third-party advertisers without explicit consent from users. This data included sensitive personal information, which was used to target political advertisements during election periods. The issue raises significant ethical concerns regarding user privacy, consent, and the manipulation of information.

Labour Practices in Developing Countries
The company's manufacturing plants in developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, have been criticized for poor working conditions. Reports suggest that workers are subjected to long hours, low wages, and unsafe working environments. Furthermore, there have been allegations of child labour in some of the company's supply chain partners. These practices not only violate basic human rights but also contradict the company's publicly stated commitment to ethical labour standards.

Environmental Sustainability
Global Tech Corporation's environmental impact is another area of ethical concern. Despite claims of commitment to sustainability, investigative reports have uncovered that some of the company's operations contribute significantly to environmental degradation. This includes excessive carbon emissions, improper disposal of technological waste, and exploitation of natural resources in ways that harm local ecosystems.

Response and Public Backlash
The revelation of these issues has led to a public backlash against Global Tech Corporation. Consumers and activists have called for greater accountability and transparency. The company's stock prices have suffered, and there is a growing demand for immediate action to address these ethical challenges.

Global Tech Corporation's ethical challenges are a reflection of the broader issues faced by multinational companies in the contemporary globalized world. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach that includes policy changes, ethical commitment, and a willingness to prioritize ethical considerations alongside business objectives. The company's response to these challenges will not only determine its future reputation but also set a precedent for ethical practices in the technology industry.
Required tasks: Answer the following questions.

Task 1: Identifying Ethical Issues [LO1, LO2]

Analyse the case study to identify key ethical issues Global Tech Corporation is facing. These should include issues related to corruption, human rights, social responsibility, etc.

Discuss the implications and effects of these issues on the business, considering both national and international perspectives.

Task 2: Applying Ethical Reasoning [LO2, LO3, LO4]

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