The paper "Mystery Shopping, Marketing and Managerial Ethics" is a great example of business coursework. Mystery shopping is defined as a tool used by watchdog organizations or applied by market research organizations to investigate or source for information regarding the quality of services delivered by employees in a particular organization (Van der Wiele, Hesselink and Van Iwaarden, 2005). This tool can also be applied by companies internally to measure compliance to regulations as well as measuring the quality of services delivered to the customers. Mystery shopping is also used widely by companies to gather particular and specific information required by the organization about the quality of their services and products (Shing & Spence, 2002).
Business ethics refers to the behaviour or conduct of the business when dealing not only with the external world but also on the way the business interacts or deal with individual customers (Hooker, 2003). Even though mystery shopping has become a widespread phenomenon used by organizations to measure the quality of services delivered to the customers, the issue of ethics in mystery shopping has come to the limelight. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to investigate whether mystery shopping is ethical or not. BUSINESS ETHICS Business ethics is viewed as the standard upon which ethical or moral problems that arise in the company can be measured.
Business ethics touches on the conduct of the organization as well as the conduct of individuals in the organization. Business ethics is also defined as the philosophy that guides the operations of the business (Murphey & Laczniak et al 2007). From this angle, business ethics is seen as one way of determining the fundamental aims, purposes and goals of the company. Positive business ethics should form the foundation of every business.
This means that appropriate behaviour and conduct should be exercised when making money. For instance, exploiting customers through unjustifiable price hikes in order to make a profit is not positive business ethics (Schneider, Hanges, Smith and Salvaggio, 2003). In order to achieve wider ethical compliance, many organizations formulate internal policies regarding their employee's conduct. Such policies range from generalized language or ethics statement to detailed policies that spell out the specific behaviours required to be exercised in the organization or the company’ s code of ethics.
These internal policies help to identify the expectation of the company towards its employees and to provide guidance on how ethical problems originating from business activities should be handled (Watson, 2003). It is believed that internal policies will lead to application consistency, greater awareness about ethics in business and that internal policy will help in avoiding ethical disasters. VIEWS ABOUT BUSINESS ETHICS Different views have been postulated relating to business ethics. From the deontological perspective, business ethics is viewed as a way of recognizing duties and undertaking business activities based on that which is moral.
This means that an action can either be wrong or right (Market Research Society, 2003). From Bentham (utilitarianism) view ethics is viewed as a way of bringing about the most common good for the community (Jesson, 2004). This means that business activity can be regarded to be ethical when it increases the happiness of those affected as well as increasing the happiness of the greatest number of people. For instance, if the company seeks to increase the shareholder's return by not engaging in earnings management, this can be regarded as ethical behaviour in business because the aim is to increase the happiness of the greatest number of people (Miller, 2006).
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