Shared Flashcard Set


Business Ethics Final
Perspectives and Arguments
Undergraduate 4

Additional Business Flashcards





Cultural Globalization:

Americanization Perspective

Definition and How it Impacts (P.Zachary)


Big American companies and American products are having a negative impact on cultures and the world


  • Monoculture – we all become the same
  • Identity in values – people change their values e.g. people become more individualistic e.g. individualism, inequality, consumerism
  • Health - e.g. weight could become a worldwide problem
  • Environment - What happens when everyone starts eating hamburgers? We need more cows, more methane, more climate change.
  • Loss of languages - more people speaking English
  • Backlash and resistance (Singapore, France, Canada, etc.)

Cultural Globalization:

Cultural Exchange Perspective (P. LeGrain)

Definition and How it Impacts


American influence is overstated

  • Many countries are prevelant in American media, apparel, food – e.g. Levis are French, not American.
  • Brands are superficial vs. cultural. - e.g. you can wear Nike and eat McDonald’s and still not change your culture.
  • Adaptation is required. Businesses have to adapt to the culture.
  • Change is constant and mixing is good, not damaging
    • English is being learned not as a replacement for but along with native language
    • The real influencers are not so much media or cultural products as much as they are liberalism, science, immigration, and technology (all good things)
    • What people really want is the right to choose, change, and define themselves

Globalization and Trade:

Arguments for Keeping Trade Local (Protectionism)

(W. Berry)


There is a fear of Corporate Dominance:

Absentee corporation vs local business – people in a boardroom won’t make decisions as well as the farmer who shakes your hand and looks you in the eye because they don’t have to live with the consequences

Artificial wealth by means of destruction of real wealth (e.g. local livlihoods)

Believes that Globalization will:

- Damage to local livelihoods – e.g. if the tariffs don’t happen, the New Balance factory employees will be in trouble
- Influence (ignorance) on global working conditions – if we don’t know, we’re ignorant, and if we’re ignorant, we lose influence in how things are produced around the world
- Environment – it can’t be good to ship stuff all over the world
- Vulnerability – if a country only specializes in one thing (e.g. timber) and doesn’t focus on the other things they need (e.g. food), then they face famine

Jobs: There is no impact

  • Wages: increase on average because higher paying jobs replace low paying jobs
  • The distribution is skewed however, there is a hollowing out of the middle class, and it’s a problem



Local “subsistence” and “Protectionism” -Let’s take care of ourselves first, then help the world


Globalization and Trade:

Arguments for Globalization

(D. Irwin)


It’s a race to the top. Every country makes something their good and then we trade. Everyone benefits.

- Efficient wealth creation

- Local self sufficiency? Is it possible? Where do we draw the “local” lines?


It's not corporatization – not supporting any individual corporation to give them an unfair advantage


There are more winners than losers

- Domestic: Visible harms vs. invisible benefits

- Consumers benefit (lower prices)

- Global: Economic Development (I.e. many people in China have been lifted out of poverty)


Environmental Issues:


It's more complicated than “food miles”

-Transport does not make the biggest environmental impact

- Wealth = Improvement as countries develop, they pollute more, but as wealth increases, pollution decreases


Remedy: Creative Destruction/ Free Trade

- This allows us to progress in technological innovation


Import Restrictions (Protectionism) = not good

  • If you make imports more expensive, you’ll reduce your exports as a result
  • There is also a downstream impact – e.g. buying sugar from Canada rather than US because they can trade with whomever and the price is way lower

Globalization and Trade:

Christian Perspective

(B. Wydick)


God cares about the poor and about how the rich respond to the poor among them.


  • Christians cannot support social and economic structures that degrade the poor
  • Interdependence between people is a community ideal.
  • God wants his church to function as distinct individuals, each endowed with different gifts to offer the larger community
  • God is not a patriot. - He loves all people equally, not just Americans for example


Suggested action:

  • Directly purchase products from their poor creators
  • Support efforts to protect the environment during the process of globalization
  • Support efforts to empower entrepreneurs
  • Sponsor a child through a Christian NGO
  • Write your senators and reps urging them to oppose US domestic agriculture subsidies
  • Reflect on the teachings of scripture about God’s love for all people of the world
  • Pray for a globalization that yields equal aces to markets for the poor


Arguments for Pay Disparities


·         Good pay is necessary to attract good candidates

·         The thought is that if we give executives lots of stock options, they are motivated to increase the stock price, and therefore motivated to serve shareholders

·         Wages are set by the market

o   It’s simply supply and demand
o   Contribution based – they “deserve it”

·         Merit based (they deserve it)

o   This rewards achievement Incentives to “move up”
o   Encourages personal choice and responsibility
o   This is the most fair because if we allow the market to work, it minimizes the govt. role in re-distribution

·         Unequal is not the same as unfair – just because people don’t get paid equally, doesn’t mean it’s not fair



Arguments Against Pay Disparities


·         Is pay alone to attract candidates – if we do this, will they just leave if a better paying opportunity comes along?

·         This could create short term opportunism – e.g. doing something to buff the stock price in the short term and then go on to do something else afterwards

·         Is this really because of a competitive market? If so, they why are pay ratios so different in other countries? The market should be a ubiquitous force like gravity so it should be the same everywhere, but this is not the case for pay ratios

o   Cronyism? – compensation companies go around and ask CEO’s what they would want to be paid, which incentivises them to say a higher amount

·         Merit? – Are they the sole cause of rise in profit and share price? Noooo.

o   Distributive justice: it undervalues other contributors

§  Other workers have flat wages despite higher productivity and corp. profits, while CEO’s wages raise

·         Egalitarian and needs based justice and govt. needed to protect the vulnerable etc.

o   Even though merit based is great, what about those (like people with disabilities) who are unable to climb the latter? Should they be marginalized as a result? No.

·         There is a possible link with growing social inequality

·         None of this would matter if we had higher social mobility (meaning you could move up the ladder easily), but we don’t

·         Purchasing Power has not gone up

·         Wages have not grown, but household income has increased (dual working couples vs. just one person working) 

Why does inequality matter?
·         Correlations with social outcomes – it is directly linked to a country’s social outcomes (e.g. life expectancy, math and literacy, obesity, mental illness) 




Pay Disparities - Christian Response


Christian Ethics

·         Justice – “how” people are paid

o   Impartiality – our system should not tilted toward the wealthy
o   Rendering what is due – certain things that are owed to people should be received
o   Proportionality – People should be paid according to their long term contribution
o   Normativity – what we pay people should be tied to God’s character and will

·         The bible’s guidance here is fairly abstract. “How much” is less clear.

·         The bible warns of the dangers of wealth 



Pay Disparity Proposed Solution


Higher wages: investment at the bottom (paying bottom employees higher wages)


Costco has a higher wage, but is more profitable than its competitors. Because employees receive higher compensation, Costco is able to attract and retain better employees who become more engaged in their work.

As a result, Costco’s service quality is better, turnover of goods on the floor is faster, sales per square foot are higher, and the company is able to attract customers willing to buy luxury goods as well as essentials and to pay membership fees—a substantial source of the company’s earnings.



A Skeptical View

(J. Kilbourne)

  • The problem with advertising isn’t that creates some sort of artificial need, but that it uses the human needs that already exist in most of us (e.g. finding a relationship that lasts) and promises us that it can be found in something like cereal.
  • There is no way to “tune out” advertising, we are all influenced by it. You’d have to live outside of culture to do that and most of us don’t.
  • Advertising causes us to not only objectify each other, but to feel passion for products, not our partners. This can be especially bad if it’s an addictive substance like cigarettes or alcohol. 


A Positive View

(R. Clapp)


People used to be very self-sufficient and therefore didn’t spend much. A boom in technological advances enabled more efficient production and soon the amount of goods far outweighed the amount of customer demand for those goods. Sometimes creating demand meant shifting culture, or teaching consumers to consume.

  •  An example of this is when Quaker Oats began most Americans were eating meat and potatoes for breakfast, not cereal.

Advertisers do not only cater to preexisting needs, but create new needs as well.

People aren’t just buying products anymore however. They are buying what human wants/needs are associated with the physical product, therefore it has come to be believed that beauty, sex, love, style, etc. can be bought and sampled at will. 


Modernity looks to the future that would eliminate not just the practical but the moral and spiritual problems of humanity. For instance, material scarcity and the resulting conflict over precious resources were seen as the sources of human sinfulness. So economic progress and the building of consumer societies has represented the route of salvation to a new heaven on earth. 



A Positive View

(D. Hagenbuch)

  • Marketing > Advertising
  • Marketing starts with the consumer. It meets rather than creates needs.
  • How powerful are misdirected ads anyways?
    • We see 3,000 ads on average daily, doesn't mean we respond to all of them
    • The majority of emotional or spiritual branding fails
  • Marketing should be mutually beneficial, not perpetuate disproportionate exchange


A Christian Approach

(Flow Motors)

  • Authentic relationships are key
    • Service is the goal
    • Transparency
    • Empowering customers with knowledge and giving them the ability to choose (rather than capitalizing on ignorance)
  • Producing products/services that enhance life
  • Engage the whole person

Marketing Science:

Ethical Concerns and Potential Benefits

  • Does it empower or undermind our decison making?
    • Calo argued that it may "trigger irrationality and exploit vunerabilities" e.g. showing ads for food at night when they have observed your more likely to order pizza
    • Possibility of price discrimination: e.g. knowing your anniversary is tomorrow so showing ad for higher price of flowers
  • There's a lack of transparency - consumers are ignorant

Possible Benefits:

  • Free content, customized web and store design, targeted discounts

Argument for it:

  • Users willingly give out a LOT of data. Whos fault is it really??

Environmental Stewardship:



o   Nature serves human interests

o   Says humans have dominion over the Earth

o   Long term (“Conservationist”)

§  Would say yes, we can do these things (e.g. cut down trees), but we need to preserve things for future generations

o   Markets and technology tend to solve problems 



Enivironment Stewardship:



o   Anthropocentrism (“Dominion”) = Arrogant

§  Perpetuates short term self interest

o   Markets and technology tend to create problems

o   Moral considerations for nature

o   Nature as a locus of value

§  Intrinsic value


Enivironment Stewardship:



o   Is Christianity alone to blame? No.

o   Value is given / imbued (vs. intrinsic) - e.g. a mosquito is not valuable in itself. Its value lies in the fact that it's food for spiders for example.

o   Nature is amoral – there is no consistent ethic within it

§  Yea, some natural things can be just considered beautiful for what they do

·         But what about the intrinsic beauty of a tornado or the ability of the cancer cell to reproduce

o   Practical difficulties of “rights”

o   Indifferent to human destiny – in extremes, there are people who would say, let’s not cure diseases

o   It can be anthropocentric in spite of itself – humans need to take responsibility, but doesn’t that assume that we’re better or higher because we are expected to take more responsibility? Debatable.


Enivironment Stewardship:

Christian Perspective


·         Nature

o   When God created the Earth, he called it good

o   God made a covenant with Noah and all living things

o   Possibly included in Redemption

·         Humans

o   Are central to the biblical drama

o   Dominion and stewardship are both mandated. You can’t just have dominion without stewardship

§  Genesis – Adam is told to work and keep the garden (work=abad=serve)










Environmental Stewardship:

Pros of Carbon Credit Trading


It's an incentive based vs heavy handed regulations deciding what you have to do
If you can do this right, it can encourage innovation, fund projects and efficiencies


Environmental Stewardship:

Carbon Credit Trading Limitations and Questions


·         Potentially Deceptive (“Greenwashing?”)

·         Removes the stigma from polluting (Sandel’s “fee vs. fine” argument) is it just a cost of doing business now

·         It’s like allowing people to purchase their way out of sin (much like indulgences)

·         Undermines the obligation for shared sacrifice (e.g. the rich person in the neighborhood can purchase bonfires, which makes them unable to understand or participate in the sacrifices of the poorer households)

·         Should Avoided deforestation count?

o   It was a forest before and it will be a forest after


Environmental Stewardship:

Carbon Credit Trading Business Case


·         Some win wins

o   Anticipates regulations – any business that gets ahead of the curve will be ahead of the game
o   Energy savings – You help the environment, you save money
o   Supply Chain (e.g. Starbucks is concerned because they need the land to make coffee)

·         Challenges

o   Consumer preferences e.g. Sunchips’ loud bags or the phosphate free dishsoap
o   Measurement – when do you start measuring? When the supplier makes it, or when we receive it? Also, how do you label it?
o   Competition – FedEx couldn’t subsidize a technology for all their competitors.
o   Limited Capital / Return on Investment (ROI)

·         Consumer and Govt Roles (C. Mather)

o Self-interest is more compelling than social conscience. There should be a price on carbon because that would send signals to the market. Govt needs to implement incentives, prizes, etc.


Environmental Stewardship:

Cradel to Cradel Design


·         Eco Effective rather than eco-efficient

o   Front end design – let’s design everything to be effective from the beginning rather than trying to catch it all at the end
o   Triple top line
o   How do we make products that create a positive footprint rather than reducing the footprint or making things less bad (less bad e.g. low calorie food)

·         Eliminate Waste (waste turns into food)

o   Renewable assets (upcycling vs. down cycling)

§  How do we make carpet carpet again
§  How do we avoid the chemicals involved

·         Examples

o   Nike
o   Herman Miller


·         Challenges

o   Availability and expense of technology / materials


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