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COMPETITION IN THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM

LEARNING ACTIVITY 1

COMPETITION IN THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM

Provide an example to illustrate one of the four types of competition in a free market system: perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly. Did this competition result in any type of government intervention? Project how this type of competition, if widespread, would impact the overall health of the economy. 

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Determining ethical boundaries can sometimes be a challenge, since ethics is both based on individual beliefs as well as societal standards.

Would receiving a holiday gift from a client be considered bribery?  Would it be wrong for a person in a position of power, like a mayor, to ask a bank manager friend for a personal loan?  On a more practical level, is it unethical for a cashier to provide a coupon to a customer who did not have one at the register? Is it unethical for someone to complete a timesheet recording eight hours of work, when they left 45 minutes early?

Select a case study of an ethical dilemma in the workplace.  You may use an example from this week’s readings, your professional experience, or a website.

Please answer the following questions:

1.       What is the ethical dilemma? Describe the individuals involved in the scenario.

2.       Who benefitted from this situation?

3.       Who was disadvantaged or hurt?

4.       What are the benefits of the decision?

5.       What are the problems of the decision?

6.       Will the decision survive the test of time?

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LEARNING ACTIVITY 3

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)

Consumers increasingly demand more from the businesses they support.  They are pleased to purchase goods and services but expect that these organizations will earn their revenue in not just a legal, but also ethical, manner.  Not every consumer feels this way, but the number of consumers that do has risen to the extent that businesses have taken notice and responded accordingly.  Clothing apparel stores wish to avoid negative publicity associated with migrating their production chain to a developing country and employing staff in sweatshops with terrible pay and poor working conditions. Even if the employment of children under these conditions is not illegal in a particular developing state, it would certainly be unethical.

Yet, beyond the issues of legality and ethics, consumers have demanded more.  Corporate social responsibility (CSR) seeks to advance a social good that does not directly benefit the company’s profit margins.  The activity benefits the company’s employees, customers, and communities and builds greater support for the company brand, which in principle can also help build brand loyalty.

CSR is based on six principles (see Fig.2 CSR Principles chart in the Instructor Notes area). Consumers increasingly demand more from the businesses they support.  They are pleased to purchase goods and services but expect that these organizations will earn their revenue in not just a legal, but also ethical, manner.  Not every consumer feels this way, but the number of consumers that do has risen to the extent that businesses have taken notice and responded accordingly.  No clothing apparel store would want negative publicity of having migrated their production chain to a developing country and employed people in sweatshops with terrible pay and working conditions. Even if the employment of children under these conditions were not illegal in a particular developing state, it would certainly be unethical.

Yet, beyond the issues of legality and ethics, consumers have demanded more.  Corporate social responsibility (CSR) seeks to advance a social good that does not directly benefit the company’s profit margins.  The activity benefits the company’s employees, customers, and communities and builds greater support for the company brand, which in principle can also help build brand loyalty.

Please respond to the following points:

1.   Select a business of your choice and describe how the organization conducts CSR, highlighting which principle in the Fig 2. CSR Principles chart (found in Instructor Notes area for this week) addressed.

2.   Design your own CSR program for the same business.   What more could your selected business be doing for employees, customers, and communities?

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