In present world, everything changes very rapidly. People adopting those changes to run their business successfully. Enhance growth rate, or to sustain in the competitive market, it's become essential to adopt with change optimistically. In business lots of new idea, new way, are being introduced every day to help the business to get their optimum profit level. Profit can be considered as a measure of success. On the other hand ethics is another term, which always has opposite position against profit. Get extra profit is more likely lead to unethical activities. Profit and ethics these two facts are different in sense of their acceptance, to people. It can vary people to people, organisation to organisation. But it might be balanced in order to get fare decision. This can be more understandable after going through practical case study what mentions as follows.
Profit means "The positive gain from an investment or business operation after subtracting for all expense" [www.investorword.com]. On the hand it can be considered as a positive feedback of all effort been done in order to run business. it works as a motivation factor. It helps to get the satisfaction and enlarge the business area. When profit comes as a issue it comes with another fact called, Ethics. It might be identified as a judgement tool which tells us, what is right and what is wrong. If it is right, then till what extent it is right, and if it's wrong then till what extent it can consider as wrong. In other way ethics is " the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy"[www.yourdictionary.com]. In business, ethics is addressed by owner's moral justification. It talks about right or wrong, should do or shouldn't do in sense of founder or director. Sometime it can change depending on situation. "Moral principles concerning acceptable and unacceptable behaviour by business people. Executives are supposed to maintain a high sense of values and conduct honest and fair practices with the public"[www.allbusiness.com]. Business ethics is very important for any company which determine the activities and objectives. It can create methodology to help organisation in order to take right decision with having ethical value. "Ethics is concerned with the study of morality and the application of reason to elucidate specific rules and principles that determine right and wrong for a given situation." [Crane & Matten 2nd ED]. According to [collin1994] "ethics considered is an oxymoron" [Crane & Matten 2nd ED]. In every business organisation, some situation comes where both side seems like right, in that case ethics helps to choose the right one. As an example, in car business, good money worth good cars, it might be with up to date feature and luxury. It doesn't necessarily have to have environment friendly co2 emission system. However all car manufacturer still spending lots of time and money to minimize co2 emission form their car. It can be a good marketing stand for them. One side company earns money by giving something extra, on the other hand that "extra" seems like more ethical to have less co2 emission rather than having L.C.D television in car. Same thing happen to all fair trade product. In that case all product are same in their taste and quality. When somebody come up and say my product is fair trade product and all party who worked behind the success of this product are paid well or fairly, than it's more ethical to buy that product isn't it? Fair trade tea can be a good example. Shell, Volvo, and Deutsche bank has high profile of ethical issues. [ Crane & Matten 2nd ED]
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Therefore it can be easily considered that, people as a customer or a businessman wants to be ethical. Most of them like to be ethical until they face loss in their business, but some people also have who like only money they don't care about corporate social responsibility[C.S.R]. "Business for social responsibility is a leading non profit global organisation providing business with information, tools, training and advisory service related to integrating corporate social responsibility in their business operations and strategies.[Kotler & Lee 2005]. Sometime their irresponsibility become social issue make the whole mankind stand against them. Lots of cases, journal being published to stop unethical activities in business. In that case we can talk about child labour practice in Southeast Asia. To meet demand for first world country huge amount of children were used as a worker in third world country by lots of multinational company which become an issue in 1990[Fisher & Lovell 2006]. According to united nation 1989, I.L.O's announcement on fundamental principle and rights at work disagreed, denied child labour [Fisher & Lovell 2006]. Nike a famous sportswear manufacturer company came in controversy because of using child labour. Adidas-Salomon was another sportswear retailer and Manufacturer Company came in controversy because of operating child labour in their factory in Southeast Asia particularly in Vietnam. It was become an international issue for Adidas in 1998 football world cup. When for the first time people knew that all the football are stitched by children in Sialkot, Pakistan.[ Fisher & Lovell 2006] Different reaction was coming from all over the world. All the big manufacturer company in south East Asia had to take it very seriously. Though they had lots of other basic facility available for all workers, problem was about the age. In one particular factory in Vietnam, it was found that 12 girls out of 3500 employees were aged between 14 to15 and 130 staff was between 16 and 17 years. Where the law was saying that, any Vietnamese companies are not allow to recruit anybody as a fulltime worker who is under 15 or 16 and not finish their compulsory education. Companies came up with defence saying that the entire underage worker got their job by showing some false document which belongs to their aunt and sister, which was not easy for the company to find out. Finally they brought a solution which was, make all staff [under 15 ] involve with 2 years fulltime education process continuing their basic payment and elder batch [under16 and 17] were given part time educational opportunity. All the education process was operated by a US based NGO and cost borne by local Vietnamese factory management. It also helped the company to get value with big business organisation like Adidas, Nike. It was said that all Vietnamese company used to get 80 percent order out of whole 100 percent from Adidas[Fisher & Lovell 2006]. Therefore it was a good ethical stance for all. As well as they made a balance of their profit and ethics.
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In analytical point of view it can be said that child labour used to be a most common problem in Southeast Asia. All the company was taking the advantage of children, because of their lack knowledge, un consciousness. Company should not only think about their profit but also think about their social responsibility. What can make them excellent. According to William clay ford "there is a difference between a good company and a great company. good company offers excellent products and service and a great company also offers excellent products and service but also strives to make the world a better place" [Kotler & Lee 2005]. In case of big organisation like Adidas and Nike where they outsource their resource to get more profit. It's completely fine as long as they monitor all the activity and social responsibility of their associated company established anywhere in the world. In Vietnam, they use to have big order from Adidas and other big company to make sportswear and footwear.
Depending on local situation lots of underage children start working in that factory. They been working there for one year or more. And there was a law as well to protect the child from these types of job but nobody was really careful about what's happening and what's going to happen in future. What will be those children's future? Because of that working tendency, lots of other children may stop their study on the way and find alternative way to join the workforce. In time of study they was doing work what could lead to uneducated next generation. The factory owners of Vietnam let all the problem happen until they got the negative opinion from the whole world. They was just concentrating on profit not in other social responsibility. It was more likely that they didn't have any proper S.O.E [standards of engagement]. Therefore all the candidate without age qualification use alternative way to get in, which create a huge problem for factories, and in their goodwill. Finally the problem was sorted out by giving an ethical example to all the other company who still involve with child labour. They just hired an US based N.G.O to operate the study purpose of those underage children. They had option to get them rid from factory, but they thought that if they do so than they will find their employment in some other factory which wasn't a proper solution, they arrange a classroom for study and another one for studying in private. For little batch they came up with 2 years fulltime study with basic payment. On the other hand elder batch get the part time study opportunity. This was really appreciable. And a lesson as well for other new comer, not to take false attempt. Most probably all of those multinational companies will understand that they are here to make profit but not being in unethical way. Therefore their motto will, earn money and do respect with responsibility. In [Larmer 2002] "ethical claims describe not how in-fact people act but rather how people should act".
After a long analysis it can be said ethics is a moral philosophy. It's completely depends on individual. Something right for someone could be wrong for someone else. It doesn't come under law. "business ethics can be said to begin where the law ends"[Crane & Matten 2nd Ed] From very beginning ethics and profit had their opposite stand and it's proved once again in last case study. It is important to be ethical, especially in business. at present a huge number of population make themselves busy in business and business related activities. So it can be easily understandable that, if everybody or half of the population follow the unethical way. Nothing will be left for future, people will lose their morality and the environment will be polluted. Ethics is a different thing what can't be taught by any one, it has to come from inside. Every individual has to feel which is right which is wrong and make their own decision on the basis of ethics. In last case, big organisation like Adidas and Nike outsource their business in different developing country. They distribute the power of manufacture their product. All the reason behind outsourcing was profit and the local manufacturer recruit lots employees including children. It's not the problem of Vietnam it's happening all over the world especially in developing country like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and so on. The government doesn't interfere because of foreign investment. Unemployment, lack of knowledge, adverse social impact, and poverty can cause child labour in developing country. If all the big company want they can put a emphasis like that "if we find any involvement of child labour we will cancel our order" or they can motivate the local manufacturer not to use child labour by giving some extra money.
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Unfortunately the truth is something else. Big organisation want their outsource at cheapest price even they getting more and more cheaper than their own price, still they have profit they want more profit which lead them to unethical way. On the other hand big companies this attitude make the local manufacturer unethical. To get the order, they put a price quotation low, therefore they recruit someone whom they can pay less, first choice comes their mind is children. Not only children, lots of women become the victim of this profit policy which is completely unethical. Big companies as well as local manufacturer are responsible for what happening all over the world. In that case big companies have more power to control that unethical issue. They are the one who move the economy wheel of developing country if they want it not to happen it might be possible.
It's not good at all to use the child as a labour. Labour cost shouldn't considerable here. One side those children are not ready or good enough to join workforce. On the other side we all losing our future skilled, effective and efficient workforce who can take successful part in future economy rather than earning few money now. They should have enough academic knowledge to understand their activities and job role as well as their human right which is very unwanted by local manufacturer. Finally it can be said profit and ethics cannot be balanced against each other. Ethics and profit can be balanced, it is quite possible in saying but not in practice. All the small company have no capability to lose their profit to have some ethical stand because of huge market competition. Other hand the big company who coming up with some ethical example. In that case their example is not enough big as big as their profit itself. Therefore profit and ethics cannot be balanced against each other equally. Only certain steps can be taken to make the world more ethical and acceptable for all.