Maintaining an ethical stance in business decision-making is an excessively challenging task used to the pressure of multiple factors, including high competition rates, the presence of organizations that bend ethical standards, and other adverse influences. However, adhering to principal ethical values and practices is central to running a successful business due to the chance to avoid numerous repercussions. As the case of Monsanto has shown, a refusal to foster an ethical culture in a company leads to questionable decisions and the propensity to neglect ethical concerns, which will ultimately coalescence into a massive corporate failure.
Efficacy of Monsanto’s Ethical Culture
The present effects of Monsanto’s ethical culture are debatable given the multiple facets of the implications. On the one hand, the organization has been thriving by increasing its production and growing the plants that are subjected to damage to a lesser degree. Indeed, according to the case details, the crops that the organization has been growing in Africa are less prone to the same range of diseases and are more resistant to insects than those grown without pesticides (van der Burg et al., 2019).
Therefore, utilizing pesticides, while being admittedly unethical, constitutes an important element of Monsanto’s competitive advantage. On the other hand, the effects of Monsanto’s ethical culture affect the organization’s public relations adversely by painting the organization as a company willing to sacrifice the well-being of its consumers to the increased amount of crops and financial gain.
In addition, the detrimental effects of the pesticides manufactured by the organization have also been documented and proven to have fatal effects. Thus, the ethical culture of Monsanto, where the decisions to continue the current approach toward production are taken unanimously, is admittedly flawed, to say the least. Consequently, its effects are abysmal in the long term, affecting people’s health, quality of life, and the company’s public relations highly
negatively (Krimsky & Gillam, 2018). Therefore, it is safety to say that Monsanto does not have the ethical culture that allows the company to respond to ethical concerns promptly and adequately.
Costs and Benefits of Growing GMO Seed
As emphasized above, Monsanto owes a significant part of its success to the use of GMO-based approaches toward agriculture. Namely, by producing GMO plants, the firm has been saving a massive amount of time and gathering impressive crops that have not ben affected by insects and other harmful factors as non-GMO plants would be. Therefore, the immediate profits can be considered one of the few benefits of growing GMO seed, as the case of Monsanto shows.
The costs of the specified solution are, in their turn, much more numerous and severe. Monsanto has demonstrated how easy it is to lose a reputation of a trustworthy company in the present-day business context. However, from a global perspective, the implications are much more severe since the consumption of GMO products may cause severely adverse health effects. Therefore, the costs of growing GMO seeds may become global, affecting not only Monsanto, but also a massive number of people consuming the products made from GMO seeds (Ashe, 2017). Therefore, apart from ruining Monsanto’s reputation, the use of GMO crops will lead to a devastating health outcome that could potentially reach global proportions. For the reasons outlined above, Monsanto must change its current production strategy and code of ethics.
Management of Harm to Plants and Animals
Monsanto is currently facing a very difficult ethical dilemma since the organization must adhere to the existing environmental regulations while maintaining its competitive advantage. Given the fact that the two conflict with each other due to the company’s use of GMO and the decision to ignore the effects that its policy has on the well-being of farmers, the problem might seem unsolvable. However, there are alternatives to the current policy followed by Monsanto. Specifically, the firm needs to clear its public record by acknowledging the ethical problems in its approach toward agriculture and manufacturing (Busscher et al., 2020).
The next step should represent a shift toward more sustainable practices, namely, the refusal to use harmful pesticides in the process of growing crops. By eliminating illegal pesticides from the range of tools that Monsanto uses to boost its production process, the company will reduce the harm done to plants and animals.
Thus, the products such as Roundup must be excluded from Monsanto’s instruments for keeping the production process consistent. The specified change will demand corresponding alterations to other elements of the corporate system so that Monsanto would not lose its profits and could rebuild its competitive advantage on a more sustainable platform. Specifically, it is advisable that the company should seek additional options for improving the quality of soil and install new water purification systems (Yang & Chen, 2016). The proposed strategies will help the company to change its course and ensure that its performance does not harm the ecosystem.
However, by far the most important aspect of making change in Monsanto’s’ case requires redesigning the firm’s approach to corporate ethics. Only by prioritizing the needs of key stakeholders, namely, customers and the global community, can Monsanto redeem itself and enter the global economic environment. Until the organization shows the signs of ethical change in its philosophy, it is unlikely to be accepted in the global business community.
For this reason, the introduction of Christian principles of ethics into Monsanto’s’ corporate philosophy will be recommended. Due to the focus on the concepts such as justice, love, and hope (Micah 6:8 New International Version). Although the concepts listed above are very broad, they will serve as the support for the company’s recovery form the string of bad decisions made due to its greed and focus on making easy money. Moreover, introducing God into the organization, its core values, and practices will allow prioritizing the needs of people and focus on the effects that the organization’s choices have on the community. As a result, Monsanto will be able to abandon harmful practices such as using GMO in enhancing the growth of crops, refusal to acknowledge the needs of farmers, and the introduction of pollutants into groundwater, thus creating a global contamination threat.
By focusing on adherence to environmental policies and compliance with the set standards for managing organizational misconduct, Monsanto will be able to restore its reputation as a company that respects the global need for sustainable production. Despite Monsanto’s numerous flaws, the company has a massive potential due to the advanced technological solutions and innovative ideas that it promotes in agriculture. Therefore, after revisiting its policy on genetically modified products, as well as its approach toward using the resources of the third-world countries, Monsanto will be able to thrive. Moreover, the company will be able to improve the agricultural industry as a whole with its groundbreaking solutions.
Ashe, C. (2017). Ethical awareness: Genetic modification and economic development? Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 14(4), 45-51. Web.
Busscher, N., Colombo, E. L., van der Ploeg, L., Gabella, J. I., & Leguizamón, A. (2020). Civil society challenges the global food system: the International Monsanto Tribunal. Globalizations, 17(1), 16-30. Web.
Krimsky, S., & Gillam, C. (2018). Roundup litigation discovery documents: implications for public health and journal ethics. Journal of Public Health Policy, 39(3), 318-326. Web.
van der Burg, S., Bogaardt, M. J., & Wolfert, S. (2019). Ethics of smart farming: Current questions and directions for responsible innovation towards the future. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90, 1-9. Web.
Yang, Y. T., & Chen, B. (2016). Governing GMOs in the USA: Science, law and public health. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96(6), 1851-1855. Web.