Ethical Business in UK Ethical Business in UK Success in business is based on how well a business can adapt to the environment and expand its presence and sales. For centuries, this success has been linked directly to how a business strategize to take opportunities and manipulate the environment for their own benefit. With globalization, the need to focus on larger and more complex markets have influenced many businesses to seek rapid success through new strategies. Some of these strategies do not fall under what is recognized as ethical in business (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007).
In the recent years, the focus on ethical practices in business has been intensified around the world. Through consumer ratings and regulatory audit, success in business has been found in many cases to be directly linked to unethical practice. In the UK, this has been observed in more than one incidences making it arguable that ethical business are not as successful as less ethical business. In business, ethics can be said to refer to those practices that are in line with what the society served by the business regards as right or wrong.
An ethical business practice is, therefore, a practice that is in line with the ‘right’ of the society. In UK, many businesses have been termed as unethical, only focusing on profits and making as much as possible from the customers. In 2011, for instance, Heraldscotland, a Scottish business paper named Starbucks as the most unethical café in UK (heraldscotland. com). This followed an ethical analysis of the most successful café in UK. These negative results were in relation to strict stance that Starbucks has on its workers as well as its political activities.
Less popular and less successful businesses in this category, such as AMT Coffee were labelled the most ethical based on their transparency in business and customer service (Watt 2011). A similar relationship between ethics and success is seen in the case of Shell. Shell is a leader in the oil and petrochemical industry. It has its presence in more than 90 countries worldwide and an employee population of close to 100000. By 2010, the company had already sold more than 145 billion litres of fuel.
Shell is, therefore, undoubtedly one of the most successful oil companies not only in Wales and England but all over the world. However, this success had a shadow cast on it. In the same year, 2010, the company was accused of indulgence in bribery practices with one of Africa’s most important oil producer, Nigeria. Shell allegedly bribed Nigerian customs officials with the aim of having easier and cheaper access into the market and hence increase its profits. In addition, Shell hoped to gain a competitive advantage over other companies in the oil market in Nigeria (Thomson 2009).
When compared to ConocoPhilips, an oil company based in America but with businesses in UK, Shell is a giant in the market. It controls a larger market share and has wings spread over wide geographical and economic environments. However, ConocoPhilips is more transparent and ethical in its practices. This makes its level of business quite predictable, and the company can manage a peaceful existence with no lawsuits. However, its success is apparently limited by its ethical behaviour. The utter disregard of ethics in business is observed from a recent study conducted among managers of various businesses in UK.
According to these results, released by a business magazine ft. com in September 2013, up to 29% of the managers surveyed admitted having at one time worked in ways that they believe were unethical. The most interesting part of these results is that 41% of the managers indicated that they would choose progress and profits over moral practices (Groom 2013). This is an implication that the modern business management considers success as a focus that not even ethical regulations can deter.
The cases of Starbucks and Shell are just a few among many successful businesses in the UK whose success has utterly disregarded ethical behaviour. According to Bob Worcester, an ethical business is likely to produce a success story in the long run (Worcester 2007). However, it is worth noting that the competitiveness of the business in the present does not wait for the long-term benefits of ethical practices. The success of a company or business in the contemporary society is measured by how well and fast the business moves from one standard to another (Treviño & Weaver 2003). .
Such movements are mostly out of unethical practice that later come to haunt the success of the company and are likely to destroy the business’ reputation. However, with surveys indicating that most managers are focused on success as determined by the profits and not on ethics, less ethical businesses are found to be more successful that the ethical businesses. References Groom Brian. Almost third of UK managers admit to working unethically. Ft. com September 26, 2013. Accessed from: http: //www. ft. com/cms/s/0/7f4997b4-25d1-11e3-8ef6-00144feab7de. html#axzz3K1GBiY9H (November 24, 2014) Jeurissen, R., & Rijst, M.
W. V. D. (2007). Ethics in business. Assen, The Netherlands, Van Gorcum. Thomson, N. (2009). Strategy in Context. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell. Treviño, L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2003). Managing ethics in business organizations: social scientific perspectives. Stanford, Calif, Stanford University Press. Watt Chris. Starbucks named most unethical cafe in UK. Herald Scotland. February 2011 Accessed from: http: //www. heraldscotland. com/news/home-news/starbucks-named-most-unethical-cafe-in-uk-1.1087515. (November 24, 2014) Worcester Bob. Why an ethical business is more likely to produce a success story. Telegraph Finance. May 2007. Accessed from: http: //www. telegraph. co. uk/finance/2809088/Why-an-ethical-business-is-more-likely-to-produce-a-success-story. html. (November 24, 2014).