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Different Ethical Issues Relating To Unilever

Unilever is employed 2, 27,000 people in approximately 150 countries. This company always tries to maintain their employee rights and responsibilities. To focus some employee rights of Unilever in below:

To protect the health and safety of employees at work

To must respect employees’ fundamental rights

To encourage personal development of employees

To provide training facilities on chemicals or dangerous job

To inform employees about serious workplace hazards

To assure the employees’ job security

To evaluate the employees’ on the basis of their working performance

Conflicts

Most of the conflicts happen on local or national level. Generally, plant closures and opposition of employees are involved in conflicts. In Europe, the management of Unilever is promoted to attract new investors and securing the employees’ jobs. But in other regions, conflicts increase when Unilever rejects to build up the freely-elected unions as the courier of the employees and turns to threatening employees to shock away from the unions and attempts to make a company-friendly manager-made union. In India, conflicts occur when the employees decrease due to the shift of production to other sites. For example- Garden Reach detergents factory at Calcutta in India reduces employees due to move production to new areas.

Responsibilities

Manufacturing Department

Unilever is mainly engaged in manufacturing its food and home & personal care products in 150 countries around the world. The main responsibilities of this department are:

Increasing production with no additional manufacturing cost.

To invest in local manufacturing firms and contribute to local trade and industry development.

To improve the eco-efficiency to the manufacturing sites.

Distribution Department

The main aim of distribution department is to be the supplier of choice for their potential customer and to ensure that consumers use their product through different distribution channel. To show some responsibilities of distribution department are given below:

To work in joint venture with retailers on sustainability issues.

To support retailers in educating consumers on health.

Reducing environmental impacts resulting from distribution of the Products.

To ensure consumers everywhere have right to use to products.

To use and promote environmentally-friendly refrigeration technology.

Marketing Department

The marketing department of Unilever communicates responsibly with their consumers through advertising and marketing strategy. This department focuses on some responsibilities:

To take a responsible approach to marketing and advertising.

To help consumers make healthier choices for their diet.

To ensure consumer self-confidence in chemicals used in home and personal care products.

To help consumers to reduce their environmental impacts and to dispose of their products responsibly.

Branding Department

Recently, Unilever is owned approximately 2000 different brands worldwide. It is acquired many local or national companies which legacy continued for a long time. The branding department’s responsibilities are furnished under:

To create brand awareness of Unilever’s products.

To built preference and loyalty of brands.

To maintain the branding quality.

Research & Development Department

Through the investment in research and development, Unilever meets the diverse and changing needs of consumers in all the markets. Some responsibilities of this department are also shown below:

To enhance the nutritional quality of foods.

To minimize the difficult environmental impacts of the products.

Integrating social, economic and environmental factors into brand development plans.

To research and promote alternatives to animal testing.

Marketing

Unilever’s marketing strategies are tightly aligned to focus on deployment and brand building through their products. The company ensures that their products are high-quality and maintain the standard product line too. On the whole, Unilever’s marketing strategies are divided into three categories- target marketing, market segmentation and market positioning.

Target Marketing

Unilever has launched over 2000 brands still now. Consequently, they are followed different target marketing strategies according to variation of products & brands. For example, Lipton tea is a popular branded product of Unilever and this company uses niche marketing strategy for this product. On the other hand, they also support mass marketing strategy for some common world-wide products such as Lux, All Clear, Sunsilk, Dove, Heartbrand ice creams and so on.

Market Segmentation

Unilever’s market segments basically depends on four business categories-Personal Care; Home Care; Savoury, Dressings & Spreads; and Ice Cream & Beverages. By going after segments instead of the whole market, Unilever can distribute just the right value scheme to each sector served and capture more value in return. Its market segmentation is very effective because the purchasing power of Unilever’s product and profiles of segment can be measured, its product can easily be reached to the potential customers.

Market Positioning

Unilever is one of the well-known market leaders that capture the global market positioning by their core-product activities. Their main aim is to be confined the market positioning through the following:

1) The purchase national companies

2) To invest in a green field site in that country

3) To import (when possible and profitable) from outside sources.

The market positioning of Unilever’s world-wide products are listed below:

Items

World

Europe

N.America

L.America

Asia Pacific

Middle East

Tea

1

1

1

1

1

1

Culinary prod.

1

1

1

1

2

2

Ice Cream

1

1

1

1

1

1

Speads &c.p.

1

1

1

1

1

1

Frozen Foods

n.a

1

3/4

n.a

n.a

n.a

Laundry det.

1

2

2

1

1

1

Household care

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

Hair care

2

3

2

1

1

1

Oral care

2

2

2

2

2

2

Skin care

2

2

1

2

2

2

Deodorants

1

1

2

1

1

1

Fragrances

1

2

1

n.a

n.a

n.a

Table 1: Market position of Unilever products

Professionalism

Figure 1: The 5 years turnover of Unilever

Year

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

Turnover

(€ million)

40,523

40,187

39,642

38,401

40,366

42,942

48,760

Table 2: Five year turnover of Unilever

From the bar diagram we see that Unilever’s turnover was highest in 2002. So, their sales growth also rises during that year. But the following year, their turnover is decreasing day by day. And in 2005, due to “Halal Soap” concept, their turnover take the lowest position that means their sales growth is few. We also see that their turnover is increasing from 2005 to 2008. As a result company’s sales growth also enlarges. At last, Unilever are trying to achieve the highest position again & also trying to hold the global market successfully.

Information technology

The innovative employees of Unilever use a common information system to share best practices and abruptly introduce new products around the global. They think that information technology is the best equipment to finish their job successfully. In general they are made the OSBC benchmarking process because of tracking its innovative rate, underlying volume growth and spending on Research & Development. Unilever’s information technology designs on the basis of information structure, setting policies for sourcing, compliance and data protection.

Communication

Communication is any kind of connection. It may be internal or external. Unilever’s communication system is very good and this company follows a effective communication procedures. The employees in Unilever are interrelated by communicating their daily activities such as preparing accounting report, attending organization’s cultural program, creating friendly environment with their colleague etc. Unilever tackles complaints from external stakeholders such as consumers, suppliers, wholesalers, and stockholder and so on. Still there is no recognized policy to conduct external complaints handling. They have a third party handle external enquiries made via the website, email and letters. Basically, this company’s success depends on good relationship with large group of people and organization who have stake in its business.

Freedom of action

The board of Unilever is responsible to practice an active process for compliance, monitoring and reporting to the high level about employee performance. They are ensured that employees can put the strategy into action. Unilever argue that the freedom of association and rights of employees to engage in constructive collective bargaining within the host country law. Basically, Unilever gives their employees moderate freedom of action. This organization values depends on their workers on basis of action performance and also provide rewards for better presentation. Unilever always try to motivating their employees by different types of activities like workshop, recreational activities, and also bestow huge liberty to their stroke. Additionally, all employees of Unilever have had access to a toll-free 24-hour ethics telephone hotline worldwide from 2004. This hotline allows employees to raise any concerns in absolute confidence.

Censorship on the internet

Unilever’s censorship is rigorously controlled to protect the accessing information on the internet. All other multinational companies like Unilever is also involved with internet and give the company information and its growth on internet. But recently securing their information, they are increased e-mail monitoring to the retention of Web logs and communication data. At the same time, Governments have happen to more secretive about the company’s activities, dropping information that was before available and declining to adhere to policies on freedom of information. Besides that, Unilever would appreciate and follow the ethics of the internet.

Computer and work

Computer has grasped every side of activities of the modern universe and that is why present world is called computer world. At present time, any organization does not finish their work efficiently without using the computer. Accordingly, Unilever are controlled their all working activities by computerized system such as using computerized machines, equipments for production and research & development. Similarly, they also use modern technology which is made by computers to access in global communication process, increasing global marketing and so on.

Law

When Unilever starts business in a country, this company must obey that country’s federal and provincial legislation as it is enacted and also applicable legislation in jurisdictions. Unilever operations in commands with less strict privacy laws are anticipated to construct all rational efforts to meet the requirements. Unilever or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or representatives should be loyal for maintaining the every country’s law procedures.

Security

Unilever is applied fire and burglar detection as well as inspection solutions for the warehouse. This company provides 400 brands spanning 14 sorts of home, personal care and foods products. They are strictly observed to grant an access control, fire & burglar detection and inspection solution method for securing their warehouse. They also set up the close-circuit camera to make a decision on-site based on practical revelations of the field of sight and the preferred result. At present, Unilever drives an audit system on trail of loading, off loading, weighing procedures, visitor movement, health and safety compliance, compliance with other internal controls and procedures from an accounting point of view.

Answer to the Assignment Question No. 2

Country overview

The kingdom of Bhutan is renowned as a landlocked nation in South Asia and is situated at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains. It is alienated from the close by state of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim and from Bangladesh to the south by West Bengal. Bhutan is also a lonely country in the world. But now, Bhutan is developed in their different sectors including direct international flights, the internet, mobile phone networks and even cable television have increased to modernize the urban areas of this country.

The legal system

The legal system of Bhutan is determined mainly by Royal High Court of Bhutan, which is selected by the sovereign. This legal system primarily based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ (International Court of justice) jurisdiction. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal broadcasted the first set of Bhutanese laws and this law was completed in 1652 during the reign of Deb Umzed Tenzin Drugyel who is the first temporal ruler. It was footed closely on Buddhist principles and tackled the violation of both temporal and spiritual laws. These laws include ten pious acts, known as Lhachoe Gyewa Chu and the sixteen virtuous acts of social piety, referred to as Michoe Tsangma Chudrug. The 10th Desi, Mipham Wangp o merged and adjusted the certain parts of the code of Zhabdrung. The 13th Desi, Chogyal Sherub Wangchuk, ready certain amendments of the Code in the mid 18th century. Afterwards, the first and the second Druk Gyalpo also made extra amendments. During the reign of the Third Druk Gyalpo, the national assembly endorsed the first comprehensive codified law known as the Thrimzhung Chhenmo. After that, some amendments and legislations are added to the changing needs of him Bhutanese nation.

Sources of law

The sources of law on which the jurists have put on their consensus are as follows:

Custom

Custom is described as the twilight of law in Bhutan which resides in habitual practice and usages. To acquire force of law, the Bhutanese custom must have the following ingredients: a) Antiquity b) reasonableness c) conformity with statutory law d) observation as a right e) consistency with morality and public policy.

Religion

Religion is also an important source of law. Bhutanese law provides for freedom of religion, thought and conscience. The Bhutanese people support both Kagyupa and Nyingmapa Buddhist monasteries. The noble family follows a combination of Nyingmapa and Kagyupa Buddhism. On the other hand, the government are restricting the celebration of some non-Buddhist religious festivals and limiting construction of non-Buddhist religious buildings, although many people openly practice Hinduism in the southern areas of Bhutan.

Equity

Equity means natural justice. In Bhutan there are three main courts I) The High Court II) the Supreme Court III) The Dzongkhag Court. The High Court made up 7 to 9 Judges, which is controlled by the Chief Justice of Bhutan. A Dzongkhag court that means District court includes of a minimum of single judge and a maximum of three judges. A Dungkhag court that means Sub-district court involves of one judge. The justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the chief justice and seal on the proposal of the National Judicial Commission from among persons of high honesty & who are acknowledged authorities on the laws of Bhutan. The interested person should at least work as a High Justice for seven years to be appointed as the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Precedent

Precedent means the judge-made law. It is an essential source of law. Circumstances of Bhutanese law which destroy or weaken the binding force of precedent are: a) abrogated decision b) reversal on a different ground c) ignorance of status d) inconsistency with earlier decision of Higher Court e) inconsistency between earlier decisions of the same rank f) decisions of equally divided Courts g) erroneous decisions and so on.

Legislation

Legislation is the biggest sources of law. In National Assembly of Bhutan practices a large volume of legislation law. At present, the current issues such as drug abuse, terrorism problems etc. affecting the legislation process. The Bhutanese government tries to develop their legislation policy and implement that effectively.

Court structure

The courts in Bhutan consist of the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Dzongkhag Courts, the Dungkhag Courts, and any other Courts that may be established from time to time. At present, the Bhutanese legal system has maintained three types of court system:

Figure 2: The Court Structure of Bhutan

The High Court:

The High Court is the highest court of law in Bhutan. It was established in 1968 is the apex Court presided by the Chief Justice of Bhutan. It has three Benches and a minimum of two judges encompass a Bench. The High Court exercises original jurisdiction as well as appellate and extra-territorial jurisdiction. The High Court possesses intrinsic powers and exercises extra-territorial jurisdiction on the basis of international law principles as with the Supreme Court. At the moment, it places at the apex of the Bhutanese judicial system and is controlled over by the Chief Justice of Bhutan.

The Dzongkhag Court:

Bhutan is geographically divided into twenty districts and each district has a District Court. The first Dzongkhag (District) Court of Bhutan was established in 1960/61. The District Court is made up of one Bench & some District Courts have division Benches too. The District Court exercises unique jurisdiction in all cases in its defensive jurisdiction. The District Court system of Bhutan is leaded by a Dzongkhag drangpon. Every Dzongkhag drangpon is aided by one or more drangpon rabjams.

The Dungkhag Court:

The Dungkhag Court that means the Sub-District Court is the lowest formal court in Bhutan. It was established in 1978. The Dungkhag Court practices creative jurisdiction in all cases in their territorial jurisdiction. It is supervised by a Dungkhag Drangpon.

Different forms of business allowed to operate and the laws governing them

Banking business:

The banking business in Bhutan is increasing slowly as the country has practiced in modernization. Every bank in Bhutan is established by following Financial Institution Act of Bhutan and The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan Act, 1982. The Royal Monetary Authority is responsible to issue the currency, implement the monetary policy, organize financial institution activities, and hold the government's foreign exchange earnings. Non-banking financial institution also set up to contribute country’s economic growth.

Telecom business:

Bhutan telecom industry is growing day by day. The government of Bhutan is giving the excusive opportunities to develop this sector. Every company who is related to telecom business must be practiced the Bhutan Telecom Act. The renowned companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel and Tellabs are doing their business successfully & effectively in Bhutan.

Medical & health care business:

Bhutan’s medical & health care systems are urbanized in the early 1960s. In that time, a department of public health and the opening of new medical hospital are established to serve the Bhutanese people but have no medical law. At present time, all medical hospitals and health care centre are pursued cite as Medical and Health Council Act, 2002 & Medical Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Postal Business: The Bhutan postal system is facing to alarming change in the 1990. The national postal network consists of 90 channels which is included by 2 General Post Offices, 43 Post Offices, 3 Agency Post Offices and 42 Community Mail Offices. And it is followed cite as Bhutan Postal Corporation Act, 1999. At present fax, Internet, e-mail or electronic bill payments is the core postal business in Bhutan.

Information & Media Business: The Infocomm and media authority in Bhutan are doing hard job to develop this sector. A law is passed on information & media sector and it refer to Bhutan Information, Communication & Media Act, 2006. The Bhutanese government make easy to increase speed growth of the ICT and media markets and pick up delivery of services.

Transport Services: The Road Safety & Transport Authority (RSTA) has begun to provide transport services in Bhutan in an organized way. The government of Bhutan made up a law for maintaining the transportation services & mention as “The Road Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2004 and Road safety & Transportation Act, 1999. At present condition, the numbers of transports are increased rapidly during the last decades.

Year

No. of Vehicles

Increase

% Increase(year to year)

1997

13,584

1998

15,629

2,045

15

1999

18,288

2,659

17

2000

19,463

1,175

6

2001

22,494

3,031

15

2002

24,430

1,936

9

2003

25,003

573

2

2004

26,740

1,737

7

2005

29,914

3,174

12

2006

33,241

3,327

11

Table 3: Trend in Motor Vehicle Growth, 1997 – 2006

Source: Information, Communications & Transport Sectors in Bhutan: A Special Report

Dispute resolution procedures/options available and their effectiveness

The dispute resolution procedures/options available are accomplished in the place designed by The Royal Government of Bhutan. Its main function is to deal with complex matters & facts and find out a effective solution as soon as possible. For example, Royal Government of Bhutan is formed a hydropower projects to account for the relevant legal, technical, environmental, social and financial issues.

Laws relating to

Copyrights: The copyright act of Bhutan was cited as “The Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001”. This law has become especially relevant because of tremendous growth of the use of internet. The rights under copyright are encouraged to the authors and artists by securing their works and derive income from them.

Trademarks: Bhutan is a tiny country moving the northern border of India and adjourning Nepal. The trademarks law has made recently in Bhutan in 1997 that is followed by the Industrial Property Regulation 1997. The registration of trademarks create great value to a business- the owner of the registered trademark can use in many ways, he/she can earn the exclusive legal rights to use and licensing or selling it within Bhutan for his products or services.

Patents: A patent is a contract between the government of Bhutan and an inventor. It provides protection for the creation to the owner of the patent. Generally, it is followed by Industrial property Regulation 1997 and it is granted for a restricted time such as 20 years in Bhutan. Actually, Patents present incentives to persons by offering them to acknowledgment for their creative work and material reward for their saleable inventions. These incentives persuade innovation which declares that the quality of human life needs continuously improvement.

Designs: In general design means a product’s overall form and functions. The designs law is controlled by the Industrial Property Regulation 1997. Truly, designs are applied in individually crafted products like technical and medical instrument and luxury items, electrical appliances, cars, architectural structures, textile designs, furniture, toys, household products, sports equipment, product packaging and containers etc.

Answer to the Assignment Question No. 3

Globalization

Unilever is the leading united global foods and home and personal care Company in the world. It is rising powerfully in developing and emerging markets to fight with other competitors. In an age of globalization, Unilever's neighboring bosses are becoming kings who take vital strategic decisions separately. There are replication and even triplication of corporate formations, generating needless complications. The effects of globalization are influenced strongly to Unilever’s worldwide businesses. When Unilever starts operations in Indonesia and South Africa and more newly in Vietnam, have specified them a more exhaustively understanding of their crashes on the local economy. In 1995, Unilever had started its operations in Vietnam and this company maintained close relationship with its suppliers because they were accounting because the company’s production volume was 40 per cent, its raw materials were 20 per cent and 87 per cent of its packaging materials. Unilever Company-the supplier relationship was meaningful because both parties needed one another to be succeeded. Unilever roped its suppliers through training and technology transfers. It also proposed them such kind of financial support to raise their equipment. In turn, the suppliers were supplied to Unilever with sophisticated packaging facilities. This relationship are encouraged Unilever to set up their business globally and they are also learned how treat to global suppliers & competitor for establishing their position in the peak. However, Unilever also faces negative effects that changes it global strategy. Recession in America will contain unplanned effects in the rest of the world. On the other hand, prices for food merchandise and energy will stay inflexibly sky-scraping. Like most of its opponents, Unilever will include to enlarge its prices for food as well as household and personal-care products. As a result, it hits sales of Unilever products especially in emerging economies.

 

Developments in information, Communications and Technology (including internet)

Unilever has done its informational activities through an automation process by using the internet. At present, Unilever’s automation systems are so much developed. They collect and distribute their all information by a computerization system which is involved with internet. As a result, the customers of Unilever get easily its company information, about new brands, its research project news and so on in their global website.

The Communication strategy of Unilever are residential tied into the points of the project such as awareness, understanding, buy in, commitment and post go-live with precise materials and explicit messages urbanized for each segment and targeted at various viewers clusters. Unilever’s communication process is too easy to understand for their employees. Hues innovative technologies which fulfill different audience group’s demand.

Unilever are deployed a completely new technology infrastructure using Microsoft Premier Support. Unilever IT department handles E-mail, Active Directory, and other services distributed globally to the entire Unilever personnel. Its older technology was missed key capabilities, lost huge productive time because of unexpected outages. But now Unilever’s new technology named active directory to assist control the identities and relationships that formulate the Unilever network environment. Unilever diminishes the hazard of method downtime and break to business users by using the new technology. The progress in e-mail and system accessibility permits employees to continue productive.

Culture

Corporate Culture

Unilever managers are specified extensive training, and their career development is timepiece over carefully. A well-built corporate culture are facilitated to turn Unilever's management into the middle binding compel of the company and avoiding it from becoming a "conglomerate" still at its most branched out. There are little "weird" people in the upper ranks of Unilever and contrasted to most companies. Moreover, Unilever are eminent worldwide by capable and qualified management.

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance changes the compliance costs involvement for Unilever’s international businesses to get together different regulatory needs in other jurisdictions. The accounting standards are one instant prospect for faster co-operation. Both parts of Atlantic are expensive and incompetent to assemble different standards. So, the recent opportunities are moved with time to greater union. The settlements are unquestionable in terms of amplified Unilever’s cross-border investment, its deeper international capital markets and lower costs for this company.

Power

Unilever Already has a global power based in England & Netherlands and this renowned company is trading with virtually all parts of the word. After establishing a year, Unilever easily capture the global market through their attractive brand products and stand a strong position from their competitors. Now, Unilever has over 2000 brand products in whole world and this company are influenced most of the country’s economy. Moreover, this company with no trouble enters any country and established its business quickly rather than other competitors through using free trade agreement facilities. No governments are pressured this company by their political power because Unilever is an associate of a number of powerful lobby groups on the national, European, regional and the global level.

Politics

Since 1960s the political risks of promising countries are rising day by day. A figure of countries are nationalized to Unilever businesses. Foreign organizations are subject to compound controls on prices, imports, production, dividends, borrowings, remittances, expatriate employment and salaries. The governments are limited to the payment of dividends & service fees that is a rush of demand for local fairness contribution. Consequently, many large US firms such as IBM and Coca Cola both left India in 1970. But Unilever are developed into a master at delaying tactics. They are also using its widespread contacts and trying to make goodwill in numerous countries to adapt regulations and good dealing with governments. Sometimes, the most important market corruptions of Unilever are increased in corporate and public life. However, Unilever’s strong policy and exclusive decision are helped to overcome that situation.

Law

Unilever and its employees are required to obey with the laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate. As a multinational company Unilever are spreading their businesses worldwide and but every countries legislation system is vary from country to country. So, according to various countries’ legislation procedures, Unilever also changes their legal system, creating different law policies for different countries. And they try to treat with their employees, customers, suppliers and competitors in a legal way which country they operate. But lack of conscious they are facing trouble such in India, Unilever violated the Indian labor Law. Due to these reasons they lost their market position.

Choice

Unilever is one of the world's largest consumer products companies that are marketing a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. The Unilever products including skincare products are shaped based on elevated safety and physical condition standards and are all permitted by BPOM as evident in the BPOM registration number printed on the packaging of each product. At present time, most of the consumers in global market choice Unilever products because of ensuring safety and high quality. Consumers to be more careful when purchasing the products such as giving attention to the following selling price, checking the BPOM registration number, also checking name of manufacturer which are printed on the packaging and finally observing the packaging quality. Without doubt Unilever are succeeding to fill up the consumers all expectation in an organized way. Thus, Unilever detain its position in the consumer’s mind easily.

Conclusion:

Before we finish this assignment, we are focused on Unilever’s product extension and the enhancement of its quality to combine perfectly with the ethical issues. This business organization is being extended to force growth in the long run even though short-term success may be impacted in the asset stage & successfully establish its position in the global market. Moreover, Bhutan also pursues a well-organized legal system. Its laws & regulations are relevant to business oriented and it helps to create new business opportunities.

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