Good Example Of Research Paper On Ethics And Corporate Responsibility In The Workplace And The World

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Ethics, Medicine, Corporation, Company, World, Business, Environment, Sociology

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/11/23


At this modern moment in human history, it is little wonder why an exploratory research investigation should begin with the concept of one of the world most affluent, and triumphant pharmaceutical companies, PharmaCARE. In terms of general management theory and practice, it is no secret that an open system implements a viewpoint in which organizations act beyond the modes and confines of their de jure protocols. For example, if the law states one thing and a corporation’s policy conflicts then – given the situation in which a dispute arises pertaining to harm having resulted towards individuals, the ethical reaction would be for that entity to adaptively respond in mitigating the pain of the person (or persons) so involved. However, given the global realities of the modern, competitive environment pharmaceutical companies as well as others, are watching their bottom line in terms of profits. Conflicts shall arise. This is normal. The dynamic perspective given herein for analysis involves PharmaCARE’s living up to its dual motto: (a) We CARE about YOUR health, and (b) We CARE about YOUR world.
The problem determined a need for a cogent analysis because, apparently the corporate medicine manufacturer giant has pledged to support environmental standards of protection while also making billions of dollars from the activities of their plant-factory in Colberia, Africa wherein the indigenous folk are essentially treated like slaves. We learned that the elegantly appointed, and upscale living conditions of executives having golf course access and other perks, are a blinding and hypocritical contrast to the hut-dwelling people being paid a mere pittance, to engage in back-breaking fifty-pound loads carried daily for miles. Essentially, this research paper looks at five basic areas: (1) Description of key stakeholder characteristics, (2) Analysis of human rights issues given PharmaCARE’s background, (3) Recommendation of three alternative initiatives to mitigate the injustice, (4) Assessment of PharmaCARE’s environmental initiative as it contradicts its de facto anti-environmental lobbying efforts, and finally (5) Instituting a decision regarding PharmaCARE’s actions in terms of directing an opinion towards its treatment of the indigenous Colberians.


First of all, the issues and dichotomy of corporations trying to find a balance between maximizing revenues and conducting operational protocol within an ethical format is nothing new. What is new is the level of their profits, and the unbelievably enormous disparities that oftentimes exist between the benefits of corporate executives and any group of indigenous workers so involved with their manufacturing process. The pharmaceutical industry is perhaps more rife with these kind of egregious practices more so than many industries. For example, one fairly recently reported real-life situation involved a particularly huge settlement from the pharmaceutical behemoth GlaxoSmithKline, for $3 billion dollars over an issue of unethical and irresponsible social behavior. At this point, it should be quickly noted and interjected that corporate responsibility lays at the heart of the overall issue herein, with the twofold connection of accountability in workplace and the world at large. In the report, Thomas and Schmidt (2012) state that GlaxoSmithKline agreed with the criminal charges against them as the fines represent promotion of its “best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug” (“Glaxo Agrees to Pay,” 2012). The drugs involved diabetics’ medication, antiseizsure, and anti-psychotic meds. What is wrong with this picture?
How much, or how intensely, can one decry the heinous nature of the true damages that GlaxoSmithKline caused to hurt myriad individuals in this case? The associated article relayed that many critics feel the pharmaceutical company got off easy, and that the huge sums of money involved when corporations violate ethical behavior is not enough – because they earn such outrageous sums of capital that these types of monetary punitive actions, do not actually dissuade or “deter” other drug companies from engagement in similar underhanded practices (“Glaxo Agrees to Pay,” 2012). Obviously, then, this leads to the importance of stakeholders in the first place.
How might one describe the key characteristics of a stakeholder? The prime controllers of a product or manufacturing process in a corporate structure represent the power-broker level stakeholders. In other words, the company owners and major stockholders who are privy to financially benefitting from the sale of its goods, products, and any correlated services. In this case of PharmaCARE, under scrutiny in this research paper discussion, the top-tier executives display an example of one of the stakeholders. All stakeholders (including doctors within, and outside of PharmaCARE payroll) have a connection to any stage of development in any corporate activity. The medical research scientists so hired, manufacturing plant workers, and any public participants – such as future or present customers/users. The scenario is quite cogently clear, in the case of any pharmaceutical company, but especially in the case of PharmaCARE. Since the company recently had added a motto of ‘We CARE about YOUR world’ it has effectively by implication if not by design, embraced the entire global population and marketplace, as potential users of its products. Therefore, the responsibility mingles and even greater need for social responsibility and awareness endeavors.
In terms of an analysis of human rights, which PharmaCARE disregarded in the case of the Colberian workers, the ridiculous gaps between wealth and standards of living when compared to its corporate execs reflects an extreme instance of abusive irresponsibility. The situation shows that people are nearly being worked to death with little financial or proper infrastructural surrounding to support their efforts. In the modern world, it makes no sense for the indigenous population of Colberia to carry fifty-pound loads and walk for distances of five miles daily while executives enjoy the civil infrastructural surrounding of a normal, modern luxurious environment. When companies are successful, they should share the profits with their employees or contract workers, as well as offer discounts to the public in terms of affordability of their products. While it is true, that PharmaCARE has been able to deliver and produce its high-quality products to customers at reasonably discounted prices to lower-income customers, at the same time, it should pass along those financial rewards and benefits to make sure the living conditions of the people in Colberia are handled with ethical principles. After all, the company would not be as successful without the labors of these indigenous peoples.

Keys to Decision-Making Regarding PharmaCARE’s Environmental Initiative

The pertinent core of assessment, in terms of evaluating PharmaCARE’s environmental initiative given the backdrop of its de facto (and contradictory) anti-environmental lobbying efforts and actions with respect to Colberia, demands a cogent evaluation in accordance with several ethical theories. These include the concepts of: (1) Utilitarianism, (2) Deontology, (3) Virtue Ethics, (4) Ethics of Care, and (5) Your personal moral and ethical compass. Suffice it to say that PharmaCARE appears to have had the prescience to realize that as a corporation it might garner maintenance of its public image of commitment to environmental protections, while also advancing efforts to derail the regulatory laws which was created by the “Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in the first place. So, how can they ‘pledge’ allegiance to green initiatives and recycling movements and simultaneously lobby against any protections that the Superfund would impose? The environmental issue at stake exhibits one aspect, but PharmaCARE’s actions with respect to the indigenous people of Colberia shall serve as a rubric from which to review each of the aforementioned ethical theories.
As far as justification in rules of moral principles, how PharmaCARE acted towards the indigenous people under the auspices of utilitarianism could be deemed as outside of any rightness or wrongness. In other words, under the utilitarian theoretical concept “moral duty is instrumental, not intrinsic” nor a use of morality as “an end in itself” (“Ethics Theories Utilitarianism vs. Deontological,” 2015). So, in a way, PharmaCARE’s actions in utilitarianism the situation concerning the Colberians simply deems the outcome of (wealth, health, satisfaction, or other factors) as mere consequences that were produced. Also, the utilitarian decision might be motivated to improve Colberians’ status if maximizes their well-being. But the organization’s overarching goals might be most prominently driven to its own well-being. We must also keep in mind to be especially cognizant that utilitarian doctrine has several schools of thought. Nevertheless, the deontology-based assessment would view their actions, in pertaining to ethical theory, as something of a moral outrage or wrongdoing. Stemming from the Greek roots, linguistically, the word ‘deontological’ means “binding duty,” and embraces the factor of an intrinsic compelling to adhere to rightness for ‘rightness’ sake, so to speak. In other words, the deontological perspective in ethics theory, would pronounce PharmaCARE’s actions as wrong, and investigate principles that render relationships between humans (treatment of other human beings) as one requiring a universal kind of understanding that humans have intrinsic value (“Ethics Theories Utilitarianism vs. Deontological,” 2015). Virtue Ethics is not as simple or prosaically unremarkable as it may seem at first glance.
Under Virtue Ethics, stemming from Plato historically (and Aristotelian aspects philosophically) their actions towards the Colberians oddly enough would not necessarily be considered immoral or unethical, in terms of a one-track dimension. For example, the Stanford University Encyclopedia renders judgment under Virtue Ethics theory as a “multi-track disposition” wherein its possession comes in a matter of degrees. Under this understanding, PharmaCARE might opt to – let’s say – increase the rations of powdered milk to the Colberians, or not. It has more to do with a rational recognition of the situation, using “reasons for actions” (“Virtue Ethics,” 2015). Ethics of Care, as a theoretical ethical treatise, dominates the notion of viewing persons (Colberians) as “interdependent, relational” beings which does emphasize an emotional cultivation of feelings of “benevolence, mercy, care, friendship, reconciliation, and sensitivity” (“Ethics of care,” 2015). This strain of ethical theories may be the one to underpin an all-out reconstruction of the Colberian village, because this type really values the family as the chief intersection where morality should operate, in building character. Undoubtedly, PharmaCARE’s actions were remiss towards the Colberians under this idea because they were not valued as families deserving of better care. So, their actions would be unethical under this principle. Finally, my own moral code and ethical compass would most align with the Ethics of Care style, and also go the extra mile to help mitigate the situation. Johns Hopkins has done a great job of integrating ethical principles into their organization, along with building bridges of collaboration that increase accountability.
Three recommendations for PharmaCARE include: (a) Immediately instituting a review of their legal department policy and compliance standards concerning the corporation, (b) Immediately provide decent basic living standard brick homes for the people, and their families free of charge, (c) Engage a retraction of its lobbying support that hurt the environment, as a result of their hypocritical confusion. One way to help the PharmaCARE Corporation to learn to instill and practice better ethical methods, in terms of social responsibility, is to learn and observe from others in similar fields who have done a great job. In this case, the exemplary standards of Johns Hopkins Hospital reflects an enviable set of standards and ethics that PharmaCARE can learn from, and perhaps model to its own company – applying the concepts and theories that fit.
Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States is a premier hospital and medical institution of a fine, world-class reputation. Recently named as among the top examples, in the entire world planet, as one of the most ethical organizations pharmaceutical companies in particular can learn from them. At this juncture, it is imperative to note that common knowledge among the populace has challenged the value of many pharmaceutical companies indiscriminately marketing psychotropic drugs that many deem as much more dangerously impactful than beneficial. In addition to this reality, the issue dramatizes a serious conflict of interest and heated debate in the public forum, because the pharmaceutical companies have such powerful financial and political influence over both government and politics. For this reason alone, along with the great example of Johns Hopkins, PharmaCARE must realize it has a wonderful opportunity to follow some of the practical implementations that Johns Hopkins practices. In this way, they can realize that it is not a matter of practicing something on one hand, and theorizing about it on the other. This is where PharmaCARE ran into trouble by their de jure avocational policy of supporting ‘green’ environmental benefits, while hypocritically pro-actively engaging in lobbying against the environment in terms of its political stances.
Johns Hopkins was so named by the Ethisphere Institute in New York, which is a think tank group. A press release indicated the following: “The Johns Hopkins Hospital was one of 100 organizations selected from among hundreds of nominees representing 33 industries. Criteria for selection include corporate citizenship and responsibility, corporate governance, innovation that contributes to public well-being, industry leadership, executive leadership, legal and regulatory performance, and solid ethics-compliance programs” (“Johns Hopkins Hospital,” 2010). Social responsibility does not merely extend to employees’ fair treatment and adequate benefits, but reaches out healing tentacles for the worldwide community, operating its programs in such a manner that corporate oversight and accountability engage a meeting of the minds, and purposes. See how it works? Of course no institution is perfect, nor as complicated as one dealing with the sick, as in the case of hospitals or medicine manufacturers, yet Johns Hopkins has not demonstrated the insalubrious corporate standards and hypocritical practices implemented by PharmaCARE. Johns Hopkins admirably stands as a healthcare institution, furthermore having been recognized by the FSG organization. Who are the FSG organization? FSG, formerly stood for “Foundation Strategy Group” according to one of its spokesperson which I contacted this morning. FSG competes in utilization of resources to advance social progress, and change for the better on a large-global scale, embracing its mission through “strategy, evaluation, and research” by involving a unique and internationally diverse group of stakeholders (actors), both “individually and collectively” to implement teams working “across all sectors by partnering with leading foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments in every region of the globe” (“About Us”). They also seek to, in their words, to ‘reimagine’ social change by identification of how to maximize advancement and impact to help. The reason why FSG is mentioned herein is because recently last year, in 2014, FSG Managing Director served as guest speaker at Johns Hopkins in a workshop in which the Johns Hopkins Institute allows professionals to earn certificates in Social Responsibility.
The details by which PharmaCARE must be guided to implement better working conditions for the indigenous people who are serving their corporate cause in Colberia, are fairly straightforward and simple. Recommendations demand that PharmaCARE immediately set aside a specified budget to construct adequate roads, and erect livable housing with properly implemented sanitation, cooking, and sleeping quarters. Furthermore, PharmaCARE needs to step up the plate and deliver an educational program for the children of these indigenous people – not just for their direct employees, but for the entire village. Instituting a small, yet effective elementary educational schoolhouse or tutorial establishment dedicated to improving the literacy standards of the indigenous would greatly enhance the company’s social responsibility, and reputation in the eyes of the world. Also, PharmaCARE must not forget to implement better corporate policy, and perhaps provide better ways for the indigenous people to do their work more efficiently.
A key recommendation for PharmaCARE to correct its unethical anti-environmental lobbying efforts and practices, is that the newly constructed infrastructure of the village (its transports, housing, and learning centers) must be compliant with advanced green technology of the latest state-of-the-art components. See the beauty? When a corporation adopts fair principles of ethics in the workplace in terms of safety issues, financial ‘loss’ does not always necessarily have to be a result. If PharmaCARE justified its mistreatment of the indigenous people to hang onto full financial-profits gain, they must choose a more ethical avenue of achievement. Also, the contemporary concept, idea, and theory of sustainability in the world today is not merely an empty mantra. The fact of the matter is that we have only one planet on which to live, and furthermore despite the disparities in food distribution and social inequalities – we are all on this planet together. Once the upper management corporate execs at PharmaCARE can wrap their heads around this new, and more benevolent way of business practice, they will discover they can not only prosper financially (without being so damned greedy) while doing some good in the world. Once the corporation has taken note from under the theoretical auspices of the Johns Hopkins Hospital organization, so to speak, it may realistically render plan developments to occur in rectifying its past mistakes and debacles.
The analysis is quite clear. One can easily visualize the similarities and differences between PharmaCARE and the Johns Hopkins medical-group corporation. Obviously, being situated within the same industry does not necessarily equate similarities in practice. The differences amount to a distinction and dedication to social awareness, coupled with actual pro-active measures to achieve a greater balance of social-corporate responsibility in the world. A firm decision says “no,” PharmaCARE did not initially act in a humane manner with respect towards the indigenous peoples of Colberia, but the recommendations aforementioned have clearly demonstrated alternative methods might be successfully employed. In approaching a close, researchers Bickerstaffe et al. (2006) in commenting about the ethics of pharmaceutical companies, noted a very crucial point stating “It is unethical to supply unlicensed or unproven interventions for commercial gain” (p. 251). This is exactly what got GlaxoSmithKline into exposed trouble. Therefore, public awareness, stakeholder responsibility, and financial greed of corporations, demand a re-examination of principles and practices for management guidelines of ethical delivery of goods and services, within the proper boundaries of corporate social responsibility.


Bickerstaffe, R., Brock, P., Husson, J., Rubin, I., Bragman, K., Paterson, K., & Sommerville, A. (2006). Ethics and pharmaceutical medicine -- the full report of the Ethical Issues Committee of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 60(2), 242-252.
FSG. (2015). Institute of corporate social responsibility at Johns Hopkins [Data file]. Retrieved
FSG. (2015). About us [Data file]. Retrieve from
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2015). The Johns Hopkins Hospital named one of the world’s most
ethical organizations [Data file]. Retrieved from
Thomas, K., & Schmidt, M.S. (2012, July 2). Glaxo agrees to pay $3 billion in fraud settlement.
The New York Times. Retrieved from

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