Business / Using Any Company With Which You Are Familiar With, Identify Some Of The Social, Cultural And Ethical Issues Relevant To Its Operation. Comment On How It Has, Or Might, Adapt Its Policies To Deal With These Issues

Using Any Company With Which You Are Familiar With, Identify Some Of The Social, Cultural And Ethical Issues Relevant To Its Operation. Comment On How It Has, Or Might, Adapt Its Policies To Deal With These Issues

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Autor:  anton  01 December 2010
Tags:  Company,  Familiar
Words: 1475   |   Pages: 6
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Using any company with which you are familiar with, identify some of the social, cultural and ethical issues relevant to its operation. Comment on how it has, or might, adapt its policies to deal with these issues

There are many different factors which affect the way companies operate and the policies they adopt. This essay will investigate and outline some of the different social, cultural and ethical issues which are relevant to Tesco Plc’s operation. This essay will begin by investigating into social attitudes of the customers and also the social trends of customers which affect the company’s social policies. It will explain why there was or is a problem, how it could be solved by adopting a particular policy. It will then investigate into cultural tastes and preferences of the customers, as well as the low unemployment of UK culture which affect the company’s cultural policies. It will explain why these cause cultural issues and suggest polices which provide a solution. Finally it will analyse the waste creation and disposal of the company and also their farming supplies which are two ethical problems the company has faced and explain the policies that were used to solve the problems.

Social attitudes of today’s society have changed the way people live, people now are working longer hours to sustain the financial demand that is needed in-order to keep up a higher standard of living, “One quarter of working men and 11% of working women in the UK now work more than 50 hours per week” . This is a social problem because it encourages people to eat �fast food’ type products such as pasties, sausage rolls, pre-packaged sandwiches and microwavable take-away items such as burgers & hot dogs etc, which all have high percentages of saturated fats, sugars and salts. These �fast foods’ are eaten because of their convenience and due to time shortages from working longer hours these food are the easy option. This implicates less healthy diets and obesity in the UK population. Tesco’s have and still currently sell these items but to combat this problem in 2000 Tesco launched their �Healthy Living’ brand of foods which are lower in fat, no added sugar and low in sodium, and in 2004 launched their �Healthy Living Club’, which has over 350, 000 members and offer over 500 �Healthy Living’ Products. The club offers customers information on diets, weight loss and other health issues. To re-enforce this, Tesco’s policy on healthy living states “We aim to be a retailer that customers trust to meet all their healthy living needs. We believe in healthy living for all, ensuring that a healthy lifestyle is accessible, affordable, and appeals to our customers.”

Social trends are another issue in today’s society and supermarket customers. They encourage people to follow these trends in a number of areas. More recently there has a great demand for strictly organic food products in Tesco’s and other supermarkets, because there are growing concerns about genetically modified (GM) foods. GM foods impact on the environment as well as customer health, when transporting GM products it creates high carbon emissions and the effects ecosystems. “Recently it has become impossible for supermarkets to continue without announcing some kind of policy on genetically modified (GM) ingredients and organic food.” , so with out policies on the lowering of GM foods and ingredients and offering an organic choice which is what the social trend follows Tesco’s would find it near to impossible to continue trading, creating losses in company. To meet this social trend and demand of the customers and solve the problem, Tesco’s have researched into this and formed a policy on genetic modification to combat these concerns and follow these trends, “Tesco has removed GM ingredients from all own brand food products. We also have an extensive range of over 1200 Organic products and are the leading UK supermarket for Organic food.”

The difference in cultural taste and preferences of customers in supermarkets today poses as a problem, this is due to the expansion of multi-cultural societies in the UK today, it has become necessary to provide different selections of foods, and an example of this would be the increase of British supermarkets now supplying Halal meat for cultures like Muslims. The growth of multi-cultural societies creates an issue because a high percentage of the customers will be from a different culture than British. Tesco’s have adapted to this by offering a wide selection of food ranges from different cultures such as, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Halal meats. Tesco’s have a policy on the variety of different cultural foods to meet demands and the personal tastes and preferences of customers, “We at Tesco are committed to satisfaction of the customer’s demands and that we offer a wide range of multi-cultural products to the customers tastes”

Low unemployment in UK can cause companies to employ out of the country, “In areas of low unemployment and skill shortages, it has become increasingly difficult for many UK businesses to find local people” , but this can also cause a big cultural issue within the workplace in the form of language barriers of the different cultures. Recently in a newspaper article Tesco’s had announced that they would be employing people from Poland. By employing these Polish people it would create a language barrier between both customers and employees, this effecting the performance and efficiency of the employees. Tesco’s have a policy on diversity,

“We are committed to ensuring that at all times and in every aspect of employment, including recruitment, training and development, everybody receives the same treatment. Both internal and external applicants are considered on individual ability, regardless of factors such as gender, age, colour, creed, race, ethnic origin, disability, marital status, religion or belief, trade union membership or sexual preference and orientation.”

This policy shows that all different types of people are welcome at Tesco’s and that they are treated equally, but this policy could be adapted in a way to provide a form of a language school teaching International employees English. This would break language barriers and improve the performance and efficiency of employees.

Waste packaging from supermarkets creates an environmental issue that turns into an ethical, this is because Tesco’s are opening more and more stores across the country but this also means that the packaging waste from the products rises also. This can be seen to be acting in an unethical manner in the customer’s and the community’s eyes for the well being off the environment. Tesco’s have formed a variety of policies to tackle these issues by introducing bio-degradable packaging, re-cycling schemes “Tesco is committed to minimising the amount of waste produced and to recycle it wherever possible.”

And their award winning, �Green Tray Scheme’ these policies will show that Tesco’s are acting in an ethical way to overcome previous problems of increasing waste packaging.

The way that farming supplies are supplied to supermarkets can cause ethical issues. If the standards of the farm in which the product is supplied from, are not abiding by common laws of animal cruelty and hygiene factors, it can be seen for the company who uses them for supplies are unethical in their method of supplies. A main supplier of Tesco’s, Bowes Group, which supply all of Tesco’s, pork bacon and other meats, was video taped inside their Cherry Tree Farm in Attlesborough. It was found that the animals were suffering in cages that were too small for them and animals sharing pens with rotten maggot infested corpses. This will show that Tesco are acting unethically regarding were they gain their farming supplies from and give a bad impression to the public, which could then result in sale losses. Tesco now have a policy to ensure that this will not be repeated, in the policy it states, “The code sets demanding but achievable standards of production, incorporating the requirement to the farm being in an environmentally friendly state” it was also said by Tesco’s that “We expect the highest standards from our suppliers and they are audited regularly to ensure these are met.” With these policies in place that will provide a solution to this issue.

This essay has shown how different social. Cultural and ethical issues have affected Tesco’s operation. It has shown how Tesco’s has adopted its �Healthy Living’, �Genetically Modified’, �Product Variety’, �Diversity’, �Reducing packaging waste’ and �Supply Chain’ policies to provide solutions for the social attitudes of customers, the social trends of customers, the cultural tastes and preferences, low unemployment, waste packaging and farming supplies issues and has suggested possible solutions for the problems Tesco’s still face.

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