✎✎✎ Ethical Issues In Social Work

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Ethical Issues In Social Work

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Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work: Do The Right Thing

In the United States, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits US companies from paying bribes to foreign government officials to gain business favors and advantages. Other developed countries don't have similar restrictive laws, and their companies are perfectly free to pay such bribes, putting US companies at a disadvantage. Germany, for example, recognizes bribes paid to foreign government officials and allows these payments as tax deductions.

As a result, managers of US corporations, who are under pressure to produce profits, sometimes resort to other means, maybe unethical, to influence foreign government officials. They may not directly violate the Corrupt Practices Act, but they might come close to it. If they do pay bribes, they have to find ways to hide the payments in the financial statements. The pressure to produce profits strains the ethics codes of these managers to get results and keep their jobs. Most US corporations have standard written policies regarding the acceptance and amount allowable of gifts. Managers of foreign operations would like to have clear guidelines, but, unfortunately, no such standard can be created that crosses the culture and accepted practices of all foreign countries.

Each nation is different. Gift-giving is acceptable in most cultures, but in others, it may be considered unethical. In most European countries and Canada, giving a gift gets attention because it isn't expected. A German colleague will be particularly appreciative of a small, well-selected gift. On the other hand, Asian counterparts do expect to receive a gift and will examine it closely for appropriateness.

Certain colors of wrapping should be avoided, and, if a reciprocal gift is presented, it should never be opened in front of everyone. That's considered as greedy. A Japanese businessman expects to be impressed with a gift that reflects the level of his position. Understanding the local customs of gift-giving is important to doing the right thing instead of being embarrassed with an inappropriate offer.

According to data from UNICEF, over million underage children in the world are working long hours in hazardous conditions. Because they live in highly impoverished countries, these children are forced to work to provide income for their families. Large garment manufacturers are some of the largest users of child labor because many of the tasks in the supply chain are better done by children rather than adults. Therefore, the large corporations have an economic incentive to use child labor, and they pretend they are unaware that the foreign suppliers and subcontractors are employing underage children. Garment retailers put pressure on suppliers to keep costs down and improve shipping dates.

Suppliers respond by paying low wages to the children and making them work excessive overtime hours. Unlike the United States, many foreign countries deny their citizens the right to assembly, collective bargaining, strike and even to negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Many of these countries have weak or no laws for enforcing employee rights, and workers have few avenues in which to address their grievances for unsafe work conditions. International businesses face the dilemma of complying with work standards of their home country versus the lack of such rights in the host countries.

Does a corporation try to impose its own human rights policies on the host country or accept the deplorable conditions? In an attempt to establish global standards for human rights related to business activities, the United Nations created the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. An absence of human rights policies can lead to difficulty in imposing work standards and creating acceptable work conditions. Performance and quality standards that are well-defined and expected in the US can be difficult to apply in foreign countries. Incentives for better performance may not exist in places where employees have little or no hope for receiving higher wages or achieving better living conditions. Even though much progress has been made in the US in creating a more diverse workforce and equal opportunity, the same is not true in foreign countries.

Attention has been paid in the United States to create workforces made up of different races, genders and backgrounds. Corporations work with local schools and colleges to educate and develop students with the skills needed to fill the jobs demanded in the workplace. A relationship of trust between you and your customers may be a key factor in your company's success. Your current and potential employees are a diverse pool of people who deserve to have their differences respected when they choose to work at your business. An ethical response to diversity begins with recruiting a diverse workforce, enforces equal opportunity in all training programs and is fulfilled when every employee is able to enjoy a respectful workplace environment that values their contributions.

Maximizing the value of each employees' contribution is a key element in your business's success. A useful method for exploring ethical dilemmas and identifying ethical courses of action includes collecting the facts, evaluating any alternative actions, making a decision, testing the decision for fairness and reflecting on the outcome. Ethical decision-making processes should center on protecting employee and customer rights, making sure all business operations are fair and just, protecting the common good, and making sure the individual values and beliefs of workers are protected.

Sexuality is a major point of discussion when ethical issues in advertising content are considered. Violence is also an important ethical issue in advertising, especially where children should not be affected by the content. Some select types of advertising may strongly offend some groups of people even when they are of strong interest to others. Female hygiene products as well as haemorrhoid and constipation medication are good examples.

The advertisements of condoms are important in the interest of AIDS-prevention, but are sometimes seen by some as a method of promoting promiscuity that is undesirable and strongly condemned in various societies. Such policies are rampant in political advertising. Direct marketing is one of the most controversial methods of advertising channels, especially when the approaches included are unsolicited. Some common examples include TV and Telephonic commercials and the direct mail. Electronic spam and telemarketing also push the limits of ethical standards and legality in a strong manner. Fake reviews can be published on Amazon. Shills are primarily for message-delivery, but they can also be used to drive up prices in auctions, such as EBay auctions. Deceptive marketing policies are not contained in a specific limit or to one target market, and it can sometimes go unseen by the public.

There are numerous methods of deceptive marketing. It can be presented to consumers in various forms; one of the methods is one that is accomplished via the use of humor.

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