Mar 23, 2010

Business Ethics Day 1 - Production Ethics

Today was a great start to our conversation about business ethics and how it effects both our consumerism and the United States economy. The first thing we did was try to come up with an answer to what working in business actually entails. Here are some of the things we came up with:

"Making money, consumerism, environmentalism, interacting with people on a daily basis, spending a company's money the right way ethically and morally as well as trying to make the most profit, new ideas to help a business flourish, marketing, money management, banking, wearing a suite, being cost effective, buying and selling, having a self sufficient company, and becoming entrepreneur."

After thinking about what it actually means to work in business, we came to the conclusion that money is one of the key components to every aspect of the business world. Having that in mind, we went to an exhibit at the Museum of Science titled, "By The Numbers". The exhibit demonstrated how wasteful we are as a society and how detrimental it is to our environment as a whole. Therefore, we had a debate over how consumerism and sustainability go hand in hand. First, we all agreed that if every manufacturing company in the world was willing to spend extra money in order to produce products, our environment would be much better off. However, we ran right back into the issue of companies trying to be cost effective in order to make the most MONEY. As a result, companies are faced with a decision that tests both morals and ethics when it comes to production. Overall, we decided that most companies are more concerned not about the environment and the well being of society, but rather they are most concerned with making the largest profit. Furthermore, we realized that if companies were to spend more on their production it would increase the cost of each item. For example, we talked about whether or not every time you went and bought a bottle of water, would you pay 50 cents more for something that was environmentally safe. The answer was that a majority of society would not have the money to do so, and over time that would result in a lot of money spent on something that may not be entirely necessary. Furthermore, we briefly discussed Hybrid cars for example. If every company produced Hybrids cars at a cheap price, then more people would be able to afford them and be willing to by them. However, that is not the case. It costs more to produce them and therefore, car companies need to charge more in order to make a profit, one again bring us back to MONEY. In conclusion, we realized that if ever company in the world was willing to do what was ethically right for the environment, then we would be more likely to afford these products. One interesting point that was brought up was that environmentally safe products are beginning to be a status symbol in the United States because only people with money can afford things like Hybrid vehicles. Tomorrow we will meet with the Vice President of CitiGroup Global Markets and explore the greed and corruption side of business ethics. Down below are some photos and facts from the exhibit we explored today, amazing stuff!!

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