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Organizations have to enforce the compliance guidelines in order to ensure that their funds are not used in the bribing and other corrupt undertakings with the view to increasing the business that the organization receives. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 issues the guidelines on the processes that have to be enforced. Due diligence ought to be enforced in all the processes.
Four broad policies are implemented to ensure that the multinational companies adhere to the requirements. The first policy touches on the adoption of a risk-based approach to the assessment of the risk of any activity leading to criminal conduct. Secondly, a high level personal is placed in charge of the reporting of any problem to the governing authority in the country of operations (Gavai, 2010). The high-ranking personnel is equipped and empowered to ensure that they can conduct their duties smoothly (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). The third policy is the requirement for the periodic assessment of the risk of exposure to criminal conduct and constant revision of the compliance policies according to the new risk assessment. Finally, organizations ought to respond appropriately to any detection of criminal conduct (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). The four strategies ought to be incorporated into the business strategy. Integration of the strategies ought to be according to organizational structure such that they are at every level of the business.
Any foreign subsidiary located in the United States has to conduct extensive corporate social responsibility. Foreign subsidiaries can improve on their social responsibility by conducting their business activities in the most ethical manner (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). Foreign subsidiaries ought to focus their efforts towards the immediate community in their respective areas of operation. The support entails development of standard business ethics and other governance programs. Structured business ethics ensures that the companies are adherent to the SEC’s compliance stipulations (Gavai, 2010). Additionally, subsidiaries ought to support the values and customs of the local communities.
With the increase in the number of foreign subsidiaries locating in the United States, corporate social responsibility is gaining importance in the United States. This development has emerged out of the need for the government to control and regulate its environment as well as the value systems that are in place (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). The adoption of the corporate social responsibility will increase in order to enhance the address of the social and other concerns. The government is increasingly placing more value on the resources that it has. The government and consumer groups will play a vital role in the promotion of the adoption of formal corporate social responsibility. The increased focus on the importance of the social responsibility is primarily motivated by the need for the government to protect its resources from the exploitation by the foreign companies. The second motivating factor is the need for the promotion of business practices that protect the customers.
Multinational organizations ought to engage in corporate social responsibility since it helps in the increment of the rate of integration in the global community. Corporate social responsibility is important since it give the business the legitimacy of operating in a certain business environment (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). Corporate social responsibility differs according to the context of business operation. The ways through which it manifests are also different. Corporate social responsibility may be manifested in direct involvement of the organization in the affairs of the community irrespective of whether the activities relate to the organization’s core business. It could also be linked to the business purpose of the organization.
High level and proactive involvement in social responsibility entail the diverse involvement of a company in the activities of the community (Gavai, 2010). The company is involved in all aspects and activities of the community regardless of whether they are related to the core business. It entails the involvement in the direct interactions between the company and the community in the course of conducting their business and other activities of the community that do not necessarily relate to its business orientation. Low-level involvement is limited to the community members and activities that are involved in the process of value creation (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). Controversies in social responsibility include the sincerity and adequacy of the involvement compared to the benefits that the companies get from the community.
Questionable payments in the business environment include kickbacks and gifts to the people in power in order to influence their decisions. The questionable modes of payment are not direct and explicit. On the contrary, they have a connotation of the required course of action to the organization or the person being paid. Questionability of a mode of payment is highly subjective. In some markets, it is okay for the corporations to pay some stipend to the person in political authority for the smooth running of the company. Payment of the kickbacks could be tolerated or even extolled in the context (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). How the society perceives, a questionable mode of payment should not be the influencing aspect of the organizational tolerance or adoption. The organization is controlled by the standards of the parent company. It should ensure that the standards are adhered to in all subsidiaries despite the traditions and perceptions of the local culture towards the practices. There should be conscious efforts to avoid any form of conforming behavior.
A bribe is the payment to a person or groups of people in the position of power in order to influence their decision in favor of the person making the payment. Bribes are explicitly known to be the payment from of favor. A gift is an appreciation of a certain service rendered. Gifts come after the performance of a task while bribes are the predicting factors to performance. The role of a gift is to extol performance (Jeurissen & Rijst 2007). However, some gifts could be bribes if the issuer of the gift requires the performance of a certain task in order for him or her to advance the gifts.
Gavai, A. (2010). Business ethics. Mumbai [India]: Himalaya Pub. House.
Jeurissen, R. and Rijst, M. (2007). Ethics & business. Assen: Koninklijke Van Gorcum.
Ethics in the business environment refer to the acceptable code of conduct within an organization/ company. Both the leaders and employees are expected to observe the code of conduct in all their endeavors including relations with clients and their colleagues. In addition to being investors in the company, stakeholders possess voting power. As a result, they have great influence on the financial and social engagements of the organization. Today, corporate social responsibility has become a common feature in the field of business. Social responsibility incorporates all the activities that an organization invests in without any intentions of making profits.
Such activities are meant to improve the lives of the consumers living within the locality of the company. Stakeholders in majority of the companies demonstrate particular interest on social responsibility and ethics (Sinclair, 2011). These two elements build the reputation of the organization. Since stakeholders are key role players in the organization, they benefit from the reputation of the company considerably. In the recent past, ethics and social responsibility have become a significant consideration during strategic planning in order to meet stakeholder’s needs.
As stated earlier, corporate social responsibility has become a central part of strategic planning in major business organizations. Over the years, social responsibility has been used to improve the corporate value of an organization. Through social responsibility, the company can establish strong corporate communication which is an important resource for any successful organization. Under corporate social responsibility , business organizations focus on improving stakeholder’s engagement, social risk management and opening channels for community consultation (Sinclair, 2011).
Today, a viable strategic plan must include some element of social responsibility. Business owners are using the idea of corporate social responsibility to popularize their products and win the trust of the consumers. Precisely, a company that engages in immense societal projects becomes a preference for the people hence greater profitability. Although corporate social responsibility is an expense on the company, several companies are using the idea to gain competitiveness as well as meet the need of the stakeholders.
Ethical behavior in an organization relies on what is viewed as morally right. The interpretation of ethics is highly dependent on a person’s upbringing and his/her beliefs on morality. Emphasis on ethical behavior has become a major priority in the entire business vicinity today. As a result, ethics has become a relevant component in strategic business planning. Ethics relates closely to the culture of an organization.
Similarly, the culture of a certain organization determines how consumers perceive the company and its products. If an organization has a culture of neglecting ethics, the consumers develop negativity towards it as well as its products. Since stakeholder’s greatest intent is to create a positive image of the company, they adopt strategies that correspond to the ethical requirements. Strategic plans that compromise the ethical integrity of the organizations are abandoned to safeguard the interests of stakeholders.
The Pinto Case on Ethics
The ford pinto provides a clear insight of how well established company can be caught between the chains of upholding ethics and meeting the needs of the stakeholders. Briefly, the pinto was a car manufactured by Ford Company with a strategic mission of meeting the needs of the consumers perfectly. During the time of its production, consumers had a higher preference for small cheap cars, a category in which pinto fitted perfectly (Matteson & Metivier, 2014). Critical analysis of the idea behind the production of pinto indicates that by making this decision the stakeholders would reap high profitability. In the company’s point of view, the consumers expressed themselves through the market trends and the company was out to give them what they wanted.
The ultimate condition to produce a cheap automobile was to reduce the cost of production. In producing the pinto, the company failed to observe the safety guidelines and hence introducing an unnecessary risk factor. While releasing a product that did not meet the safety guidelines was unethical, the company argued that changing the design would adversely raise the cost. The company went further and conducted a risk-benefit analysis of the car.
Potentially, changing the design of the fuel system in pinto would reduce the death associated with the brand by 180. However, the new design also attracted 11% increase of the unit cost of the brand (Leggett, 1999). The company released the car on the argument that the cost involved in changing the design presented a higher cost than the actual society benefit. Following the earlier insight on stakeholder’s commitment to social responsibility, this case is directly linked to the need to meet stakeholder’s requirements. Clearly, the company overstepped ethical boundaries by releasing a brand that did not meet the safety requirements even after realizing that there was a better alternative (Matteson & Metivier, 2014)
There are several situations in the business vicinity that would compel businesses to overstep ethical boundaries with the aim of securing stakeholder’s interests. However, if an organization develops a culture that is built on the basis of ethical principles, ethics become a priority. A case as that of the production and release of Pinto could be prevented if sets ethics as the ultimate test for every strategic plan. From time to time, judging a strategy on the basis of its profitability blinds people from the harm that it would cause. Furthermore, choosing what is ethical only affects the monetary gain but does not pose a threat to people’s lives.
Sinclair, L.M. (2011). Developing a model for effective stakeholder engagement management. Retrieve on 20th July 2014 from: http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/apprj/articles/12-sinclair.pdf
Matteson, M. & Metivier, C.(2014). Business ethics: Returning to the Pinto case. Retrieved on 2oth July 2014 from: http://philosophia.uncg.edu/phi361-matteson/module-1-why-does-business-n...
Leggett, C. (1999). The ford pinto case: the evaluation of life as it applies to the negligence-efficiency argument. Retrieved from: https://users.wfu.edu/palmitar/Law&Valuation/Papers/1999/Leggett-pinto.html
Over the past decade, wage disputes appear as typical grievances facing different organizations. Wage disputes, an unethical organization practice, often arise when an employee gets an incorrect amount of his or her compensation or barely gets the pay. In such an occurrence, if the employee files an appeal over the unethical practice by the employer, he, or she has an entitlement of receiving a compensation due, compensation interest or an accrued attorney's fee. Underpayment, a common situation that faces workers in the private sector, arises when an employer fails to meet the minimum wage requirements by the federal law. An example of minimum wage requirement is in New York. Throughout the state, employees have an entitlement of not receiving a compensation less than $7.25 per hour. The paper is an analysis of a wage dispute faced by Papa John (Robinson, Oct 18, 2013).
Summary of Papa John's wage-and-hour Disputes
Papa John, an international company, is facing a federal investigation following wage disputes faced by its employees. Reports indicate that the company’s employees received an hourly compensation less than the stipulated $7.25 per hour. Despite the company reporting that its employees have a fair and just compensation scheme, the New York Attorney General faced complaints from the company’s workers leading to the investigation pursuit. In an attempt to defend its franchises, Papa John states that its chatter neither has rights of firing nor hiring workers to the company. Thus, the wage-and-hour dispute faced by the management ought not to be subject to the company’s franchises (Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC, October 31, 2013. ).
In addition to the wage dispute highlighted, Papa John is as well facing an investigation based on an appeal that some of its franchises are using delivery employees to perform additional chores such as cleaning the floor and during preparation of pizza boxes. Additional tasks carried out by the workers contribute to the dispute as the company fails to meet the minimum pay of $5.65 and an additional $1.60 per hour (Robinson, Oct 18, 2013).
Employee and management view towards the wage dispute
At Papa John, employee affected by the dispute views the situation as an ‘overwork.’ Considering that these workers have their daily tasks of delivering pizzas, additional tasks of cleaning and preparing pizza boxes without additional compensation is an overwork to them. Similarly, their hourly compensation is lower than the minimum wage requirement by the New York government (Robinson, Oct 18, 2013).
On the other hand, the management has a different approach and attitude towards the situation. They defend themselves over the dispute stating that they barely have the right of controlling the employee compensation scheme. Conversely, quoted from the company’s mission, the company believes in fair compensation for all workers in accordance to the federal and market requirements.
Poor employee compensation is an unethical business practice. Worker wage contributes to their satisfaction and motivation. Conversely, it contributes to the overall organizational success. Additionally, as stated by federal laws protecting employees, employers should meet the minimum wage requirement for their workers failure of which contributes to interests and Attorney General’s fee (Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC, October 31, 2013.).
Regarding Papa John wage dispute, the company faces several ethical issues. In addition to overworking and employee underpayment, the company as well faces an issue regarding the quality of services rendered by the employees. While delivery workers engage in preparation of pizza boxes, the public raises concerns on the quality standards of these boxes (Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC, October 31, 2013. ).
Based on the Papa John’s dispute, my opinion would focus more on the wage-and-hour dispute. It is an unethical practice in business where employees continue having a discriminating attitude towards their tasks. I thereby agree on the wage dispute since employees face a compensation less than the federal minimum scheme.
Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC. (October 31, 2013. ). Papa John's involved in wage-and-hour disputes. Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC.
Robinson, A. (Oct 18, 2013). Papa John’s franchisees investigated over wage dispute. LOUISVILLE BUSINESS FIRST.
1.Arguments of both sides of the debate
This section will present arguments on both sides of the debate. It will give points that justify why some companies feel they should engage in planned obsolescence, while also give reasons why the companies are not ethically justified to do the same.
2.Connection between Planned obsolescence and environmental degradation
This section will show how environmental degradation comes about as a result of planned obsolescence. It will show the negative impacts that the trend has on the environment, and how this could affect future generations.
3.Ethical debate against planned obsolescence
This section is critical in that it will give a strong position against planned obsolescence. It will show just how much concern this trend has caused, and how it is a rip-off for clients who have always been loyal
This paper is going to argue with the ethics of planned obsolescence by first providing evidence that it exists and then arguing why it is perhaps "wrong". The American society does not view planned obsolescence kindly. This is an issue that has faced mixed reactions from different quarters of the society. Planned obsolescence has been billed by researchers as the ultimate economic inefficiency. It has been suggested that most companies possess the technology to ensure their products are more long-lasting, but for some reason elect not to use it. The biggest losers in this trend that is ever growing remain the environment and consumers (Fitzpatrick 78). Planned obsolescence is in direct opposition to sustainability, and as such, should not be tolerated. It goes against the code of conduct in societies that puts sustainability among the key sections of proper professional behavior. This paper will discuss the different opinions of planned ethics, and how the issue is misunderstood and misrepresented in the society.
The American society today is one that is marked by numerous ethical issues, all of which are significant to our culture. When the longevity of the product is intentionally sabotaged, it becomes unquestionably wrong, and this explains why such processes should be criticized heavily by the society. Although some products like batteries have justifications that are seemingly valid to blatantly plan obsolescence, especially for safety purposes, no rationalizations can be given for this act (Polonsky 79). From a utilitarian perspective, not only is planned obsolescence wasteful, it is also unsafe and disreputable for companies, and this is a concern that the society has always aired. It fails to promote the publics' general good, and as such, it normally creates unneeded risks (Kurtz 67). Both present and future generations must be considered with regards to this, especially since this is an issue that touches on the environment. Both the future and the public should have the right to a planet that is inhabitable and safe. This can be achieved by ensuring that it has not been bungled by overstretching of resources as a result of overproduction that planned obsolescence causes. Today, the topic of environmental protection is a sensitive one, and no company should compromise on the durability or life of the product.
There is a strong connection between this tendency and environmental challenges. This increased consumption greatly threatens the climate and the ecosystem through hazardous greenhouse and waste emissions. This trend, it must be noted, is significantly straining resources that are already finite and scarce. Although it might be argued that even these resources are created using material, it is a known fact that more and more is being extracted. As the latest gizmo continues to grow in demand, more resources are being depleted. Although innovation is something that should be encouraged, it should not come at the expense of environmental conservation. If an innovation is deceiving, there is no way that it can be good, and as such, it should not be embraced (Fitzpatrick 69). Questions have been raised if a good level of development would be achieved if companies did not engage in this destructive vice of planned obsolescence. A good innovation should not only be measured in terms of economic gains. There are certain virtues that should be held dear by all such as environmental conservation. Companies should, therefore, embrace responsible innovation in light of the ever mounting pressure for environmentally sustainable and ethically sound innovations (Puleio 71).
The other view that has been put across by people who support planned obsolescence is that wasteful ways immensely benefit the economy. The economy today is one that is enormously productive. It demands that consumers make consumption their way to life (Polonsky 54). Through planned obsolescence ; therefore, consumers are given the chance to achieve both ego and spiritual satisfaction. It is through consumption that the economy thrives. This way, companies maintain a cash flow that is constant, while also maximizing their profits. A closer look at perceived obsolescence, for example, reveals that companies do not necessarily push consumers all the time to purchase new products. In their search for updated and trendier products, consumers, out of their will, choose to go for those products. An example is the flared jeans that were once popular with children. As clothing items, those jeans are still perfectly functional. However, most consumers no longer consider them to be acceptable or stylish (Polonsky 102).
Planned obsolescence is an issue that puts our lives at stake. It compromises on quality because of a few selfish needs of companies that are out to rip supernormal profits. Most individuals are currently living in hard economic times, and this goes to show just how the little that they make is critical for their daily sustenance. These companies will stop at nothing to ensure that they achieve their goals, and the unfortunate thing is that they do this at the expense of customer satisfaction. It has been suggested that planned obsolescence represents a phase of business and social evolution. However, a lot of encouragement can be drawn from the fact that most industries are going away from the practice by gradually phasing it out (Mohan 93).
Most members of the society are affected by this issue, and this underlines its importance to the community. Most people have had to return their phones to the stores where they purchased them after only a short while because the phones had become obsolescence and could not work properly anymore (Fitzpatrick 98). People are being forced to spend heavily on devices and the resources that they use could have been used elsewhere for other development projects. Planned obsolescence is an issue that continues to draw varied debate from different quarters, especially in marketing circles. Increased emphasis has been put on continuous product development, and this is something that promotes shorter disposal cycles and durable replacement (Polonsky 74). Consequently this brings about troublesome environmental consequences. Even the assurance that goods will be durable is not a guarantee anymore that goods will not be obsolescence.
Most goods have a death date, and it is sad to note that most of those products such as nylon stockings and light bulbs have been re-engineered in such a way that they become inferior products (Fitzpatrick 86). This gives them a life cycle that is much shorter. All of this is done with the intention of selling more. The market has a habit of revitalizing itself through selection, and this is done by shifting resources from businesses that are failing to those that are more productive and newer. It has become the new trend that whenever a new technology is introduced, it leaves in its wake a landslide of products that are obsolete (Puleio 96). Companies are afraid to be on the losing side of any creative destruction, and this is what incentive's them to invest heavily in such technology. This is what safeguards their survival.
The debate on planned obsolescence is one that makes a very interesting conclusion. From the arguments presented on both sides, it becomes evident that companies have an ethical responsibility to provide their clients with durable products that give value for money. Although there are rare cases of this trend that can be justified as being ethically correct, such cases are very uncommon (Mohan 102). Planned obsolescence does nothing for the general good, at least from a utilitarian perspective, and future generations will be the biggest losers with regards to this. It is, therefore, unethical.
Planned obsolescence is one of the forces driving the high consumption levels. This process, it must be appreciated, can be spontaneous one where genuinely innovate technologies emerge victorious in the market place. The process is therefore not entirely unethical, and this explains why there has been a change in public opinion on the issue. Not all planned obsolescence constitutes deliberately building products of inferior quality. Some products simply require regular changes, and this is something that most consumers, especially the more enlightened ones, have come to appreciate. Spontaneous obsolescence cannot be faulted as it is represents a positive process which seeks to ensure genuine innovation wins (Cooper 67). Classic examples of spontaneous obsolescence include the move to replace the typewriters with computers, or even the buggy being replaced by the automobile.
Public opinion continues to change on this trend considerably. One type of planned obsolescence that is being viewed in positive light in recent times is obsolescence of desirability. A keen analysis reveals that home appliances are always evolving, and this further explains why public opinion continues to change. Most people like to move with trends, and this is something that home sellers and buyers have been keen to satisfy. To stimulate interest, style has to be changed frequently, and this is not necessarily a bad thing since it is the consumers who want it that way (Fitzpatrick 45). Most clients have therefore softened their opinion on what they deem as undesirable planned obsolescence.
In such instances, the companies should not be blamed. Rather, it is the changing perceptions of the society that should be blamed. This also explains why public opinion should change on the same (Slade 56). The consumer economy is greatly driven by trends. Consumers like to be kept abreast with the latest fads and they only probably blame the companies because of the guilt that they feel afterwards. They spend too much on technological items at the expense of basic necessities. Even before their current gadgets loose their functionality, most consumers will feel the need to replace them. It is this view that has changed opinions about planned obsolescence. It is not necessarily a negative trend in all cases. Companies only bring to the market improved and more “acceptable” versions of products and consumers choose to buy them. The automobile industry presents another good example (Slade 102). When the car companies make minor changes in their car designs, the previous models will obviously look outdated. This, however, does not imply that the previous model ceases to function. Most often, it is the consumers themselves who will feel the need to upgrade their clothing styles and technological needs before the older products become obsolete.
Planned obsolescence might there be a disguised blessing, and this is a point that most consumers have come to appreciate. It has further helped them change their opinions. From an economic viewpoint, demand is greatly stimulated by planned obsolescence, and this greatly drives the economy. What would happen if people still used the same light bulbs that their grandparents used? The economy would most definitely stall, and the resulting consequences would be too dire. It must be understood that a certain level of revenue has to be maintained for the smooth running of the economy, and one way to realize this is through this technique (Fitzpatrick 78). In a free society, technological and competitive forces have to work, and it is these forces that produce services and goods that are ever improving.
Planned obsolescence, it has been argued, is a driving force that comes in handy in driving economic growth and innovation. It not only adds to material well-being, it is also critical in driving technological advances, and this explains why a major change in perception has been witnessed on the issue in recent times. Supporters of planned obsolescence have always maintained that market structures of such systems coupled by rapid innovation are more preferable to slow innovation and products that last longer (Cooper 69). The industry market is currently very competitive, and this justifies the trend of making goods obsolete so that replacements can be developed actively. With regards to this, it becomes evident that a dilemma will always occur. Whereas this trend improves consumers’ well being, and accelerates economic growth and innovation, it also harms the environment, thus creating social costs. This will therefore always remain a delicate balancing act which requires immense sobriety in addressing. No quick judgment should be given as most consumers have always done, as a more critical analysis reveals the numerous pros of planned obsolescence.
Consumers have considerably changed perception, especially when it comes to mocking new products as being a rip off. Even the notion that planned obsolescence leads to unnecessary usage of resources is not entirely true. It must be noted that this trend uses cheaper resources, and those that are readily available. Some consumers have come to appreciate that this makes perfect sense, and it also explains why there has been a considerable change of heart when it comes to the trend. Materials that are found commonly such as metals and iron are easily recycled and this implies that hey are more sustainable as opposed to what most consumers had been deceived to believe. If the debate on planned obsolescence is to be fair, a balance must be provided between consumer rights and economic sustainability (Leonard 59). A significant portion of planned obsolescence is actually carried with the intention of ensuring consumer safety. Some products become dangerous after a period of time, and for consumers to be protected against such harm, the products have to be changed regularly. It is these realizations that have resulted in changing perceptions.
Planned obsolescence such as that of replacing outdated computers is not necessarily a bad thing. It is simply a means that is used by producers of the device to ensure that the ever changing technological consumer demands are satisfied. For economic growth and innovation to be embraced technological devices like computers have to be changed regularly. When planned obsolescence is used in computers revolution, it ensures that little material is used in delivering computers that have an acceptable lifespan. In the case of computers, it must be noted that functional obsolescence is common. This is a situation whereby genuinely superior computers are introduced, and this automatically makes the older versions comparatively less desirable. As far as computers are concerned, this is a positive move that is aimed at improving both performance and utility (Morley 78). This paper will argue specifically why computers as part of planned obsolescence are justified in their frequent developments and transformation.
This brings about the issue of value engineering. Although there are computers that have lasted for over 20 years, most consumers would not go for such options despite their apparent low prices. Most computers have a useful life that is only limited to a few years. This is because computers exist in a field that is subject to rapid technological advancements, and as such, it is imperative that changes be made frequently (Nordquist 98). This justifies the argument that computers should be changed regularly. It would therefore be wasteful to build a computer which has a useful life that is shorter than its physical lifespan. It is sensible that computers are made out of parts that are inexpensive, as this further ensures that the product is more affordable. If value engineering was not used in the manufacture of computers, the product would use more resources, cost more and last longer than is necessary. Therefore, it must be appreciated that when some products like computers are made less durable, it is actually to ensure that resources are conserved and the product itself is more affordable (Savall 102).
Although there is some level of waste that is created by planned obsolescence of computers, there is a trade-off involved which ensures that consumers end up with products that are superior. The improvement of computers through the newer versions also ensures that industry standards are promoted. The gadgets that people value are bound to wear. Examples include computer keyboards. After some time, plating falls off, scratches appear, abrasions occur and colors fade. It therefore makes sense that such keyboards have to be replaced as they cannot last forever. There is also the question of compatibility (Shelly 52). These come in the form of full replacements or upgrades, and their importance cannot be underscored. A good example is the file formats that are found in computer word documents. As noted earlier, consumers’ demands keep changing, and this calls for the upgrade of features that are necessary in completing a professional word document. There is also the issue of computer batteries. This is particularly so for laptops. There was need to replace the short-life batteries with new longer lasting ones that have come about as a result of the improving technology.
Computer drivers need to be changed regularly. When the drivers are frequently updated, it comes in handy in resolving any problems that could be slowing down the system. This consequently helps improve the overall stability and performance of the computers’ hardware devices (Vermaat 102). It is therefore necessary that individuals embrace these new computer technologies because not all of them are intended for financial purposes. Examples of such drivers include display drivers, scanner drivers, keyboard drivers, network card drivers and printer drivers. There is no perfection when it comes to computer software. The software will mature over time, and this will call for the installation of critical updates. Most of the computers available might not be able to handle the needed updates, and it might be prudent to manufacture other computers that bear that capacity. Updates represent additions to software which are meant to fix or prevent problems, while also improving and enhancing the functionality of computers.
There are various reasons that justify the move to frequently improve the computer technology by outdating previous models. Improved security is one such reason. The ever evolving technology has meant that individuals today are surrounded by numerous security concerns (Morley 68). Terrorist attacks have for instance transformed tremendously, and this calls for the latest security updates if such concerns are to be addressed conclusively. It is important to come up with new computer versions that can keep abreast with any security concerns. This can be ensured through manufacturing computers with updated software, as this can guard from harmful exploits, viruses as well as programs. The improved software versions ensure that intruders cannot gain access to any personal or classified information that is considered delicate. There is also the question of new features. Over time, creators come up with new and refreshing ideas that keep up with consumer preferences. These features not only improve the program functionality, but also ensure easy task execution. Consequently, this enhances the computers’ overall performance, with both the consumers and producers being winners (Savall 92). The means that manufacturers use to produce updated computer versions are less resource intensive, and this discounts the myth that production of new computers frequently is degrading to the environment. the current windows operating system, for instance, comes with a windows update interface that is pre-installed, and this further demystifies the misconception that producers are only out to rip from consumers.
In conclusion, it becomes evident that although some aspect of planned obsolescence is intentionally meant to sabotage a products’ life span, the same cannot be said of computing devices. It has been proven that as far as computer devices are concerned, planned obsolescence is a critical tool that ensures users stay abreast with any latest development, and this consequently guarantees their improved experience (Nordquist 65). The frequent upgrades in technology come with increased innovation, and this is what most consumers are seeking. Informed computer users will therefore realize that this does little to harm the reputation of the brand, as it is the wish of the producers to ensure maximized consumer experience. Planned obsolescence, it must be accepted, largely seeks to ensure financial advantage, but this does not apply in the area of computing.
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. New York: NYU Press, 2011. Print.
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Pulejo, Salomone. Moving from the Crisis to Sustainability. Emerging Issues in the International Context. Rome: FrancoAngeli, 2009. Print.
The issue of planned obsolescence remains vital to the American society. Numerous ethical concerns have been elicited by its practical implementation. Through the action of manufacturers electing to use planned obsolescence, the American society has suffered considerably. This is because their products have been sabotaged, something that renders them prematurely dysfunctional. What has particularly been causing concern is the realization that through planned obsolescence, innovation is greatly restricted through the frequent product cycles. Frequent marketing will also be required to ensure the existing products are belittled so as to encourage the purchase of the new ones. This will consequently reduce consumer satisfaction. Although there is little doubt that planned obsolescence is of great service to the survival and profit of organization, what has been causing uproar among the American society is the conduct that employees have been engaging in so as to achieve this end. This is what the society see as vital.
Concern has also been aired by the public regarding the impact of environmental degradation that comes about due to the habit. The disposal of dysfunctional, undesirable and old products has numerous environmental consequences, and this contributes to various toxic and dangerous landfills. Among corporations have formed the habit of frequently disposing of obsolete goods without trying to establish the effects of their actions to the environment. The habit also encourages conspicuous consumption, and this is something that anti-consumerism is against. Simply put, it encourages consumption levels that are unacceptable because, and which greatly stretch the American society. There have fears among the American society that if the trend is not discouraged, it will eventually take the country’s economy into depression. The consequence of this would be massive unemployment being witnessed on a great scale. This is something that the American public is obviously wary about, and explains why the issue of planned obsolescence remains vital and sensitive in the country. Although planned obsolescence was previously hailed as the most appropriate means to overcome the 1930s Great Depression, it has since proved otherwise.
The biting issue of sustainability is one that has always been raised by the American society, and this further explains why most are against planned obsolescence. It is something that has to be faced urgently, because postponing it will only make it spiral out of control. Although this is a problem that is widely recognized in America, not much action has been put to address it conclusively. Even for the proponents of planned obsolescence, attention has to be paid to environmental concerns that the issue brings. Sustainable solutions should be sought to ensure that both sides, the consumers and manufacturers, benefit. Enlightened Americans have always maintained that durability and ingenuity should be given priority, not disposability.
Planned obsolescence remains a ubiquitous element, especially in the contemporary society. Firms widely apply it in a bid to ensure repeat consumption so as to gain the much needed competitive edge. However, they fail to realize that planned obsolescence is rooted deeply in the American society for it to be removed painlessly. It is a practice that is ethically questionable, and as such, the American public cannot afford to dismiss simply or ignore it. Consumers today are not only concerned; they are also informed, and as such, they will be looking for producers who are forward-thinking and responsible. The future has to be sustainable, and this is something that most Americans will not compromise on.
Manufacturers in American who push consumers with their products have in recent times received a backlash, and some have even had campaigns started against their products. Anecdotes of displeasure have frequently filled online chat rooms, and this goes to show that the American society is concerned with the growing trend of planned obsolescence. They see planned obsolescence as deplorable, especially from a sustainability perspective because it deliberately wastes new resources. Most often, the outdated materials are rarely recycled or reused, a fact that has not gone down well with most Americans. They feel that they are being forced to pay highly for things that could easily be reproduced cheaply.
Landfills end up clogged and ecosystems are polluted, and it is evident that the welfare and well-being of consumers are rarely in a priority list of most manufacturers. It is the American society that gives the manufacturers the mandate to exist, and as such, the manufacturers should feel obliged to manufacture goods the serve the interest of consumers. The negative consequences of planned obsolescence are, therefore, numerous. It is a practice that encourages resource depletion, waste generation, as well as huge water and electricity bills. This is because more energy is needed to manufacture further; this is a habit that encourages a wrong mentality. The idea that products are made with the intention of deliberately sabotaging them so as to increase sales cultivates a wrong mentality and culture in future generations.
The past decades have seen a shift in organizational ethics, especially with regards to planned obsolescence. From the writing this semester, vital insights have been gained on how the corporate world engages in fraudulent and unethical practices in a bid to take advantage on unsuspecting clients. Although some of these practices have been uncovered, it is consumers who remain to be exploited by unscrupulous firms. Currently, there are numerous organizations that are synonymous with corporate fraud, and the writing therefore served as a timely eye opener on the issue of planned ethics that has always proved controversial. It is evident that ethical responsibility has changed considerable within most organizations, and firms will stop at nothing to gain the much needed competitive edge.
Through reflection of the coursework writing, various conclusions can be made. For instance, ethics refers to something that can be regarded as morally right or good. However, for most firms, ethics does not have to be procedural or legally right. Interestingly, the coursework also points to a trend whereby businesses that engage in these planned ethical behavior such as planned obsolescence tend to suffer in the long run. It is evident that ethical behavior has changed significantly in contemporary society, and this is largely due to the stiff competition that businesses have to put up with. The business environment is rapidly changing, and most firms view planned ethics as the best strategy to remain relevant in the uncertain business environment. The writing was therefore a timely eye opener on how consumers can be educated to make better judgments on issues of planned ethics.
Although the issue of replacing outdated products is not necessarily a bad thing, it has been received differently by different Americans. This is a question that different age groups continue to have varying views about. For instance, the younger populations are likely to be excited at the prospect of having the latest technological gadgets, whereas the older population is much less receptive. The older population in the American society views this as an unnecessary upgrade because the manufacturers do not live to the expectations of the warranties that they advertise. For the younger population in America, the changing technological demands bring satisfaction, and it is something that they actually look forward to. There is also a section of the American society that believe that planned obsolescence should be embraced because it encourages innovation and economic growth. They also believe that some gadgets have to b changed regularly for the common good of the consumers, and as such, it should not be discouraged.
With planned obsolescence, superior gadgets can be produced, and this is something that a section of the American society has come to appreciate. It not only improves utility, it is also instrumental in ensuring that performance is increased. Obsolescence of desirability is an example of planned ethics that the American society has readily embraced, especially the younger generations. Certain gadgets, it must be noted, are always evolving. Most individuals are addicted to trends, and this is something that producers have always been keen to exploit. However, the older Americans feel that their children are being deliberately exploited because their interest is being stimulated by the frequent change in the designs of their favorite gadgets.
Although some sections have softened their stand regarding the issue of planned obsolescence, there are those who still refuse to see the positives. The economy today is one that is immensely productive, and this is something that is being frustrated significantly by the issue of planned obsolescence. Through the practice, consumers are being forced to purchase the latest gadgets, and consumers have deliberately devised ways of ensuring that outdated ones lose their significance. The perceptions of the American society are frequently changing, and most of them are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that producers are out to exploit them. This consequently means that so much is being spent on technological items and basic necessities are being ignored.
Even before the gadgets that they are currently using have completely lost their functionality, the market is being flooded with new ones, and the others are rendered outdated. This view has obviously changed perceptions among most Americans regarding the question of planned obsolescence. However, there are those who maintain that it is not always a negative trend. It has been suggested that the new products that are being brought into the markets are more acceptable because they are more improved. However, large sections of the American society continue to view planned obsolescence as being a rip off, and that resources are being used unnecessarily. The resources that are being used might not be readily available, and this has also raised numerous questions. Some opponents of planned obsolescence have suggested that for the issue to be discussed fairly, consumer rights have to be given more weight as economic sustainability.
To most Americans, planned obsolescence remain an issue that is significant to their culture. Even experts have at times suggested that it represents the ultimate economic inefficiency, and as such, should be discouraged. Not all organizations engage in the habit of planned obsolescence and they still survive. Therefore, the argument that organizations have often put forth to justify this unethical behavior has not persuaded most Americans. It is consumers and the environment who remain the biggest losers in this issue. Presently, more consumers are enlightened and they would not tolerate any attempts to rob them of their resources. In the view of most Americans, planned obsolescence directly opposes sustainability, and this further explains why the issues continues to be of importance to them.
For proper professional behavior to be ensured, it is necessary that sustainability be ensured, and this is something that planned obsolescence does not guarantee. The longevity of any product should not be intentionally interfere with as this is unquestionably wrong. Such processes should therefore be met with heavy criticism. Although some products could be justified for engaging in this habit, blatantly planned obsolescence is something that most Americans would not necessarily encourage.
The American society regard the issue as not only being disreputable, but also being unsafe and wasteful. The general good of the public is not promoted, and this is something that most individuals have come to realize. The public deserves a planet that is both inhabitable and safe, and this probably explains why most Americans have criticized the issue of planned obsolescence. Resources should therefore not be overstretched due to overproduction because such habits will only hurt future generations. The topic therefore remains very sensitive, and deliberately compromising a products durability will continue to be met by great resistance. As companies continue to rip profits that are supernormal, they should not do that at the expense of consumers well-being. Most consumers are forced to return products only shortly after purchasing them and this obviously angers them. Overall, the issue of planned obsolescence continues to elicit mixed emotions among the American population. However, what remains certain is the fact that the consumers today are very knowledgeable, and they know exactly what they expect from producers. Most of them have stood firm, and not even the deliberately sabotaging products’ longevity will make them yield.
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