Over the years, the global society has developed standards that must be followed by companies operating in different parts of the world regarding ethical conduct. The concept of globalization has particularly influenced companies to act ethically through the development of corporate social responsibility programs aimed at ensuring that the local communities around their production zones experience positive changes in their livelihood.
PharmaCARE has demonstrated the willingness to enhance the quality of life for the global community through the development of free and affordable pharmaceutical products. However, the commitment to enhance the quality of life for the global community is questionable in the case of PharmaCARE. The company seems to be looking into enhancing the quality of life for the society while exploiting the Colberian people.
It is apparent that the ethical considerations expected from the company regarding the compensation of the Colberian workers and the enhancement of the quality of life for their efforts has been ignored by the company. Additionally, PharmaCARE has instigated an extensive destruction of the environment in Colberia, which contradicts the company’s mission to conserve the environment.
Different companies such as the Coca-Cola Company and Wal-Mart have found themselves in a similar situation, whereby their claims on ethical considerations have been negated by the discovery that they have been operating unethically in different parts of the world. It is imperative for PharmaCARE to rectify the current situation by enhancing the quality of life for the people of Colberia, and ensuring the environmental conservation initiative is extended to Colberia.
There are internal and external stakeholders at the PharmaCARE Company. The external stakeholders include the end consumers of the free and fair-priced commodities produced by the company. These stakeholders are located across the globe, and they are mainly the poor communities. The community living around PharmaCARE’s manufacturing facility is also part of the external stakeholders because they are directly affected by the activities of the company.
The internal stakeholders are the affiliates of the company, including the human assets and executives in all facilities run by the company. The Colberian workers in the company are of particular interest in this case because they have been oppressed without their knowledge. Additionally, the healers in the nation are internal stakeholders because they provide the formula to develop different drugs for free. It is apparent that PharmaCARE is taking advantage of the fact that the healers are not educated; hence, they do not know they have a right to be compensated for their intellectual property.
Human Rights Issues
It is apparent that the PharmaCARE Company has been treating its internal stakeholders differently. There are numerous unethical issues that arise from a critical view of the conduct of the company regarding the state of wellness of the Colberian stakeholders against the executives. For instance, despite the hard work of the Colberian workers, their compensation is $1 per day. This is quite inhumane on the part of the company because the formulas of the pharmaceutical products are provided by the local healer for free.
Additionally, the company does not incur any cost in attaining the required raw materials. Despite this huge savings, the company has ignored the fact that the workers and the community around the manufacturing facility live in primitive huts, and they lack basic needs like fresh drinking water. Contrastingly, the executives living in the facilities enjoy various luxuries. In it highly unethical for the company to ignore its humanitarian responsibility to enhance the quality of life for the Colberian people.
In a modern, educated society, the Colberian people would be represented by a union that compels the PharmaCARE Company to give the workers fair pay and welfare benefits. However, since this community is associated with primitiveness, the company has taken advantage of the situation by exploiting their energy and environment at a minimal financial cost. The exploitation of the poor and illiterate Colberians is a violation of their human rights, especially when the quality of life of the executives in Colberia is concerned.
The company has violated corporate human rights by observing as the Colberians destroy their environment to supply PharmaCARE with raw materials to develop products under the formulas that the Colberian healers developed and provided for free to the company. It is apparent that the executives in Colberia have assumed activities that not only involve the destruction of the indigenous flora, but it also endangers the fauna in the region.
The PharmaCARE Company has ignored the basic worker human rights like the provision of safe working environments by failing to provide the relevant transportation tools for the raw materials. The workers carry as much as 50 pounds of harvested plants on their backs, which is a hazard to physical injury in case of an accidental fall. The working environment is not quite safe for the Colberian workers because it is apparent that the company does not have any safety program for the workers.
The company also demonstrates the lack of willingness to uphold reforms in the wages provided to the workers despite their poor living conditions. PharmaCARE seems to be counting on the fact that there are many unemployed people in the nation willing to work at the rate of $1 on a daily basis despite the hard work involved.
PharmaCARE should ensure that the Colberian workers are educated about their rights. It is apparent that the company is exploiting the talents of the local healers without compensating them. In the civilized world, possessing the knowledge on the development of drugs to treat various illnesses is associated with high levels of financial compensation. Researchers in the pharmaceutical industry conduct studies for years to come up with a potent formula to treat diseases, and they patent the formulas to ensure their companies make sufficient profits from the drugs.
PharmaCARE should be obliged to help the healers in Colberia to patent their intellectual property for financial benefit. The company should also look into increasing the wages for the workers despite the high demand for employment opportunities. It is ethical for the company to help the workers to attain economic liberation. The company should partner with a labor union to represent the needs of the employees in Colberia.
PharmaCARE should also extend its environmental conservation initiative to Colberia. It is apparent that the company has adopted a strong approach toward enforcing environmental conservation laws in New Jersey and the rest of the U.S., but it is yet to consider the development of sustainable production in Colberia. The associate executives should be compelled to foster environmental sustainability in the manufacturing facility.
For instance, the company should be actively engaged in planting trees and conserving the indigenous plants and animals. Lastly, the company should develop a corporate social responsibility program aimed at enhancing the quality of life for the Colberian community. For instance, the company should promote the development of better housing for the people. The company may also promote the access to education for the Colberians by building schools and other social amenities such as hospitals. Additionally, the company may also facilitate the access to basic needs for the community by providing fresh water and food to the impoverished Colberians.
Evaluation of Environmental Initiative
PharmaCARE has committed itself to the development of sustainable business activities through embracing recycling efforts and a change in the packaging material to assume a greener approach to business. However, the company has failed to extend this commitment to sustainability to the manufacturing zone in Colberia. It is clear that the executives of the company have been involved in the extensive destruction of the environment in Colberia, which negates its commitment to environmental sustainability (Morelli, 2013). The company has created an image of sustainability to the global market, but it is clear that it is far from attaining the status of a company that is ultimately committed to assuming environmental sustainability as far as the manufacturing facility in Colberia is concerned.
From a utilitarian perspective, the actions of the company in Colberia are ethical because the end justifies the means. This is because according to utilitarianism, an action is considered ethical if the result meets the interests of the greater society (McGee, 2013). By running the manufacturing at a low cost, many people across the world can access the pharmaceutical products at a fair price, and most of the commodities can even be distributed to the poor communities for free. Additionally, the healers have helped in the provision of various potent formulations of medications without increasing the cost of production.
The availability of free raw materials also facilitates a utilitarian approach to the business. From a deontological perspective, the actions of the company are unethical because they are exploitative in nature (Hoover & Pepper, 2015). The company has managed to develop a sustainable supply chain from Colberia, but it is oppressing the Colberian people through low wages and stealing the intellectual property of the healers without compensation.
Just like the PharmaCARE Company, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart have faced ethical issues in their production units in the developing markets. Coca-Cola was accused of polluting the only source of fresh drinking water in an Indian village located near its production unit. The people in the affected community claimed that they had been competing for water with the Coca-Cola Company plant in the village, and the company had not taken any initiative to facilitate more water to the community (Hoekstra, 2013).
Wal-Mart, on the other hand, was accused of running sweatshops in India in the quest to develop a supply chain associated with the least financial liabilities. Wal-Mart had been partnering with suppliers operating in India, and they sourced cheap labor among the locals, forcing them to work long hours in the production facilities while failing to develop a welfare program to enhance the quality of their lives (Klikauer, 2015).
PharmaCARE, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart should be compelled to ensure their business activities in the future are associated with ethical consideration, especially regarding their respective supply chains. Additionally, the companies should ensure that their corporate social responsibility programs are characterized promoting the wellness of communities living around their manufacturing facilities, as well as environmental sustainability.
Hoekstra, A. Y. (2013). Reducing the water footprint in India. SustaiNuance, 2(3), 26-27.
Hoover, K. F., & Pepper, M. B. (2015). How did They Say That? Ethics Statements and Normative Frameworks at Best Companies to Work For. Journal of Business Ethics, 131(3), 605-617.
Klikauer, T. (2015). Morality, Competition, and the Firm: the Market Failure Approach to Business Ethics. Philosophy of Management, 14(3), 223-228.
McGee, R. W. (2013). Property Rights Versus Utilitarian Ethics. Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics, 1(1), 1263-1274.
Morelli, J. (2013). Environmental sustainability: A definition for environmental professionals. Journal of Environmental Sustainability, 1(1), 2.