Business Ethics in Haute Couture Inc.’s Case
CEO (Utilitarian): The scandal that occurred is related to Haute Couture, Inc. though we claimed to bear social responsibility in our subsidiaries. Public relations are an important section of our company aimed at making people aware of our activities with regard to those activities. In the wake of new allegations that Haute Couture’s manufacturing factories in Asian Markets are sweatshops, the company is ethically responsible to take a measure that would ensure that it either proves the critics wrong or accept their mistakes and take corrective measures.
Activist shareholder (Libertarian): However, all actions should be guided by a free market. Because a free market remains to be the only just approach to business and the free market is the most beneficial environment for effective performance with regard to the situation that emerged around the associated company. Though suppliers work as independent businesses, we should take care of the laws that enable us to receive low-cost supplies. We should question the cost of those supplies with regard to the ways of reducing the price of labor and other factors that may influence it. It goes without saying that briberies are not the alternative to the free market.
General Manager (Market Critique): The associated company is not actually responsible for the actions of managers that made a decision to reduce the price of the labor in such a way. Everything happened because the associated company has entered into a contractual relationship with the managers of the subsidiary to run the affairs of the subsidiary. Thus, the hired managers are ethically responsible to ensure that they deliver to the company by engaging their local workers in an ethical manner. It should be the responsibility of the Indonesian subsidiary managers to monitor their worker’s conditions as opposed to shifting the blame to the associated company.
CEO (Utilitarian): The company should take the ethical responsibility of ensuring that our global subsidiaries adhere to the internationally recognized work standards or should it be the prerogative of managers of the subsidiary to manage the work conditions according to the set host country’s labor laws. The overall effectiveness of the company with regard to the legal side of the case and social responsibility beard by all stakeholders including suppliers and subsidiaries should be the essential principle of making business. Allegations brought forth by the sweatshop watchdog should be taken into account, regardless of whether the allegation per se did or did not actually take place related to the associated company.
Activist shareholder (Libertarian): Those people were free until our subsidiary managers took control over the way business is made in Indonesia. We do not even know how far those people can go to make the subsidiary profitable and reduce costs. It is urgent to monitor their activities with regard to the costs spent on salaries. Human resource management is the main concern for the Indonesian subsidiary as people should be motivated and empowered rather than humiliated.
CEO (Utilitarian): Those workers did not even know what labor is until we came into the market. It is essential for us to make a profit while those workers have a good job in an international company. The associated company should not bear responsibility for subsidiaries; neither should it control the bribery rates in Indonesia.
CEO (Utilitarian): Historical facts should not be the basis of how people ought to be treated, but it is inherently agreeable that an action should be judged depending on the outcome that it brings to the people. Managers are ethically responsible to ensure that the allegations leveled against their Indonesian subsidiary need to be addressed amicably as this may destroy the public image of the firm. Thus, to ensure that the company retains its positive image, we must investigate the allegations brought forth by Sweatshopping Watch International concerning the working conditions in Indonesia. The managers must bow to this criticism and ensure that the image of the firm is not dented as this may be detrimental to the overall performance of the firm.
Sandel, J. Michael. Justice: A Reader. New York, NW: Cambridge University Press. 2007. Print.
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. 2nd ed. New York, NW: Cambridge University Press. 1998. Print