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Critique – Virgin Group

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  1. Introduction
  2. Analysis
    1. Virgin Group
    2. Ethics and morals
  3. Findings and Conclusions

The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy describes business ethics as an applied discipline in which the moral attributes of commercial activities are addressed within the fabric of the firm. Recently academic business ethics are founded particularly on the concept of corporate social responsibility. It addresses issues across the wide functional aspects of business operations by firms. Thereby, leading to the origin of specialized business ethics relating to the particular operative areas of business e.g. accounting ethics, marketing ethics, human resource ethics and so on, so forth.

Business ethics broadly postulate that the conduct of business in the pursuit of capitalism must not supersede the greater interest of the society where the business operates. This constitutes the fundamental unit of commerce today (Solomon). Kant, a renowned theorist in business ethics argued in the defense of the principle of respect for persons that any commercial practice that puts money at an equal with people was immoral (Bowie). Several theories advance the individual's business ethical obligations including the stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, social contract theory, and the utilitarian theory. These normative theories more or less argue about the question of what needs to be done such as to produce the best possible consequences for all involved.

[...] However, this theory fails to distinguish more specifically about the nature of the action. It instead proposes that the values enjoyed are universal (common) and that they are equally distributed. Therefore, it fails to make cognizance of the fact that there are differences between groups as much as there are differences amongst individuals. Virgin Group's ethical and moral role is coined in its objective of providing unique, enjoyable and quality customer service at most affordable pricing. To this end, the group ?refuses to follow the industry leaders.? Sir Branson, as well as the Virgin Group, do not necessarily venture into business to make profits. [...]

[...] However, what exactly is it in a decision or policy that is moral and, by extension, ethical? How does one ascertain the nature of an action before its resultant effects have occurred thus providing a basis for assessing the given action? Can ethical practices by one group of stakeholders negatively affect the needs of another group of stakeholders? The Deontological theory is a class of ethical theories involving moral rules. It adopts two approaches: a non-consequential approach where the results of an action are not considered in determining the decision i.e. [...]

[...] Therefore, it implies that the firm has social obligations to the firm's stakeholders and does not view the firm as a conduit for increasing stakeholders' financial earnings but as a mechanism for minimizing conflicts between these interest groups. The stakeholder theory emphasizes that the primary and essential role of management is not to maximize the financial returns to the firm but ensure its ?going concern? through a balance of conflicting and emerging claims by its various shareholders. This constitutes the moral fabric of the firm where the stakeholders serve as moral agents (Ferrel, Fraedrich and Ferrel). [...]

[...] Works Cited Complaintsboard. Manta Media,Columbus,Ohio Complaints & Reviews-Unethical Business Practice March 2010. Web March Ferrel, O. C., John Fraedrich and Ferrel. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. South-Western College Pub Print. Goodall, Sandra, H. L. Goodall and Jill Jr. Schiefelbein. Business and Professional Communication in the Global Workplace. [...]

[...] The growth of the Virgin Group can be pegged alongside the personal growth of the founder. The desire for the group to remain predominantly privately owned points to the direction of the firm to build the largest global empire founded on an undefeatable policy of unique customer satisfaction. Due to its international operations in 29 countries, learning about other people's cultures especially in areas of operations serves as an excellent way in building a repertoire of cross-cultural and intercultural skills. [...]

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