Burns Meat Ltd. Case Study
Holmes In private and professional lives, people can and, unfortunately do, go against their moral and ethical values. Ethics in business is fundamentally the study of what institutes the right and wrong behavior in the office atmosphere. The moral Challenges that these men and women face each day along with a whole range of problems that could occur, including environmental matters, health issues, and product malfunctions, are why ethics plays such an important role in business.
By thoroughly examining the case of “Union vs..
Burns Meats Ltd”, it is evident that it was unethical for the company to pay the employees four dollars more than average to begin with, as the money could have been used to upgrade the packaging plant, their technology, and improving the labor-management relations within the company Cohen, Grace, and Holmes 78). This can by proven by identifying all the ethical issues present, viewing the situation from many different perspectives, and digging deeper onto what constitutes being ethical. To begin, we can use The Accounting Association Model to examine and define the ethical issues present in this situation (Cohen,
Grace, and Holmes 302-303).
The two main stakeholders in this case, the employees and the owners of the company, had varying views and definitions of success. The employees were concerned with Job security, rates of pay, compensation, respect, and truthful communication. The average owners of a business are concerned with profitability, market share, longevity, raising capital, growth of the company, and reaching social goals; however, the owners of Burns Meats Ltd were concerned with almost the exact opposite values.
The main ethical issue shown in this case is that hey had no concern for the well-being of the company as they neglected to improve the basic infrastructure needed for a successful business. Knowing they needed to improve the old buildings, technology, and labor-management relations, they failed to resolve the problem addressed and started to pay their workers ten to twenty percent more than competitors.
This main issue of neglecting the basic necessities of prosperous business led to another ethical issue within this case: the possible lowering of employee wages to pay for the lack of contemporary infrastructure.
The ajar principles, rules, and values involved in unraveling these ethical issues include quality, integrity, fairness, and respect. The overall quality and integrity of the management of Burns Meats Ltd was insufficient as they failed to improve the quality of the building, technology, and social programs after recognizing and establishing the company needed these enhancements to survive in the industry. Arguably, the company did have some form of respect for the employees by asking them if it was acceptable to cut their wages in order to save the company.
Although they were hinging in the short-term interest of the employees, they were not respecting the company as a whole. Everything was outdated and obsolete.
If they had any ounce of respect for the future of their business or the long-term interests of their employees, the owners of Burns Meats Ltd would have spent money on improvements instead of above-average pay for workers. I fully blame the owners of Burns Meats Ltd for the crumbling of their meat packaging empire. They should have improved their company in order to stay afloat in the business compared to competition.
I cannot hint to any logical reason why the company would not nave improved t infrastructure of their company and granted their employees twenty percent more income than competitor’s workers. From a utilitarianism perspective, the company should have upgraded the company and paid the workers less so they would be able to keep their Jobs. Also, it was unethical of them to ask the workers for a decrease in pay.
They were going to cut the wages of innocent workers who had no part in the downfall and incorporation of the corporation.
It is not Just to go to people who have come accustomed to abnormally high wages and ask them to lose forty percent each paycheck; they will not oblige. By observing the situation more carefully, I believe there could have been a variety of alternatives the company could have taken to avoid encountering ethical dilemmas. The first and most apparent alternative Mould be the company sufficiently allocating their finances into departments of the company, including re-building and improving their infrastructure, instead of paying their workers an above-average wage.
This alternative would result in the success of he company in both the short and long term as their technology would increase productivity and keep the company competing with fellow meat packaging companies.
I believe this option is the most fair to everyone involved. Another alternative to this situation would have been to accept their mistake and not ask the Markers at all for a wage cut and Just accept the fate of their diminishing company.
This would lead to the closure of the company in the short run, causing the workers to lose their Jobs, loyal customers with no products to buy, and existing supplies and reduces going to waste. In the long run, employees face the loss of income they could have earned while working at the plant and similarly the company loses profit it could have been generating. The third alternative that could have been taken into consideration would be for the company to cut the wages of the workers without asking.
This decision to cut wages could lead to the workers appealing this decision and deciding to go on strike or quitting regardless.
In this circumstance, everyone Mould lose. Businesses would lose because fixed expenses must still be paid even Nee no actual work is being produced. Also, workers lose as in many cases the rise in wages they lose by not working are extremely detrimental to the survival of themselves and their family members. Without working, they lack the resources and means of accessing basic necessities to live comfortably.
The final alternative to this ethical situation would be for the workers to accept the wage cut and continue Morning unhappily for Burns Meats Ltd. This would lead to further problems internally within the company as relations between management and employees Mould be hostile and uneasy.
I believe the most favorable alternative would be the decision to have improved infrastructure before the company ran into turmoil and had to result in the unfair cut of workers’ wages. However, one’s opinion may differ depending on the individual’s moral perspective.
From the company’s perspective, Burns Meats Ltd could argue that it was an intelligent choice to reduce wages of Markers to save the company. They could debate that they were being honest, fair and Just by involving their employees in the overall decision of the wage cut. Also, Burns Meats Ltd could also claim that they were being generous in the beginning by giving workers an average of twenty percent more than average workers in the industry make, and it would be the least the workers could do in order to revive the company.
They would view the workers as greedy and ungrateful.
From the moral perspectives of the workers, the owners of Burns Meats Ltd were incompetent that failed to manage their business. The employers would have thought the correct alternative to this situation would have been to have dealt with the poor substructure tuition long before it had gotten to the point of mooching off their workers.
To conclude, I believe that Burns Meats Ltd is at fault for failing to improve the quality of Infrastructure, ignoring poor labor-management programs, and unethically asking Markers to give up a portion of their pay to rejuvenate the company financially. After lining the situation from many moral perspectives, considering all of the alternatives and consequences, and deciding what is truly fair, I have come to the conclusion that the company failed ethically and led to their own demise.