Review of the company's activities

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As part of BellwayPlc's request, I am a consultant from Greenleaf, a company that specializes in ethical and CSR issues, and I am here to review your company's activities and reactions related to having a responsible human resource. The emphasis is on utilitarian and feminist ethics in terms of gender inequity. The oppression of any group of people, especially women, has been addressed by women through the development of a number of gender-centered ethical systems (Iceland 2014, p.70). Although women's participation is rarely presented because of social advancement, utilitarian considerations would often support negotiations. Only human rights laws would be strict on the contracts and mention gender though with little explanation. According to the findings at BellwayPlc, the number of female staffs is less compared to the male staff. Female should be absorbed into the profession that traditionally has been a male-oriented job (Sooyong 2007, p.230). The idea here goes beyond offering equal jobs due to the existence of skills gap in the construction industry.

The gap continues to get wider due to the inadequacy of skilled labour as the industry booms and population advances. If we take only one gender into consideration, then it means that we are taking advantage of half the population. Therefore, there is the need to draw more women into the construction industry to bridge the gap of unskilled labourers before the skill shortage worsens over the coming decades. Females and mostly girls at school leaving age should take advantage of the construction industries jobs and consider it as a career (Arora 2012, p.152). The inclusion of both genders in the firm will come along with the principle of diversity as many of the employees may differ in many ways.

The principle of diversity by the employees is important to ensure overall talents from them. Diversity also helps in the continuity of the firms challenge to connect the principles and their corporate performance. When both genders are incorporated, it is likely that some people may be talented in a better way than the others, therefore, increasing the output of the firm. When an employer appreciates diversity as a result of equality, then, there is a likelihood of an increased market which would translate to satisfying the diverse client. Gender balance in a construction company brings about the business profitability as well as the contribution to the wider society (Lemieux and Möhle 2002).

Bellway homes believe in the fair and responsible treatment of its contractors and employees. To facilitate the above treatments the firm has policies and procedures for all staffs to have equal opportunities. The policies and procedures are applied to both the prospective and existing employees irrespective of their diverse status (Dwyer 2013, p.352).The aspect of equality in the company is contained in the policies though it does not address the issue of gender balance of its employees. Policies on offering equal opportunities have been covered but the issue of gender inequality is neglected. From policies analysis, the approach towards their values is not clearly stated leaving some room for doubt. Therefore, the CSR approach based on equality at Bellway is not satisfactory. The argument tackles more of business-oriented decisions and the contribution to the society at large but leaves out the balance ethical part of the view (Janelliand Yim 2002).

Responsible Management and CSR

Firms should manage the benefits of CSR as well as the responsibility. CSR is defined as the business view which results in sustainable development through offering social, economic and environmental benefits to its beneficiaries or stakeholders.CSR involves the influence of volunteering staff, doing charity contributions, placing value at the heart of the business which in turn contributes to the enhancement of business. The major role in business should be observing responsibility and acting in an ethical manner so as to create a positive influence on communities. Responsibility and ethics should be observed in regards to human rights as businesses are judged due to their attitude towards the rights and how well they observe and respect them. According to Crane and Matten, “The entire notion of human rights is one of the most common and most important theoretical approaches to business ethics on a practical level. Corporations, especially multinationals, are increasingly judged with altitude to human rights and how far they respect and protect them” (Crane and Matten 2016, p.105). Therefore, Crane and Matten argument about the human rights is against CRS as the social licence to operate a firm should be grounded in the ability to understand and control social and environmental risks within the company.

Application of CRS goes beyond the required regulators or environmental protection bodies (Kane 2012, p.317). The benefits include the following: excellent recognition in branding, a good reputation of the firm, sales increase, clients’ loyalty and saving on the operational costs. Others are improved financial performance, retaining of workers due to their different talents for various tasks, company’s growth and easy access to capital (Milkman 2016, p.60). CSR in a company results in added costs where in cases of individuals or groups in a firm, stakeholders can either be affected or affect the organizations’ achievements. As Friedman stated, there is one and only one social responsibility of business to use its resources and involve in activities that contribute to profit increase so long as it stays within the rules. Considering a responsible firm, managing the stakeholders in order to supply enough to their demands and look out for their rights translates too little use of CSR (Freeman 2007, p.78). Friedman also argued that businesses should focus on profits then let the government and the protection firms’ deal with the social and environmental issues. Another critique was that firms are meant to create products and offer services and not deal with the welfare activities. The point was that the CRS did not have the adequate knowledge required to handle social arising matters hence not fit for application in business.

The other critique was that if managers had paid more attention to the social responsibility then it means that they would not be giving their best to their primary obligation in the company (Bem 2009, p.140). High costs of CRS is also experienced due to the cleaning up of the environment and donating money for the same or even having their staffs volunteer for certain tasks resulting in opportunity costs. Since the high cost by the CSR must be passed on to the clients involved in the final pricing then, it may put the company at a high risk of losing some of those targeted clients. You also find that some of the clients may not be willing to pay more for the product or services that are socially responsible. It also leads to diverts of attention from the main issues and is also a way of avoiding regulations (Swanson 2015, p.103).

Values Underpinned by Ethics

Ethical theory helps in solving primary challenges in a creative way. Considering the academic views helps the management in creative problem solving of any arising challenges. The management should, therefore, be divided into four major roles: planning, organizing, leading and controlling (Cooey 2009, p.171). The inclusion of theories in problem-solving can help a firm make responsible decisions by acting properly as individuals, forming responsible firms, government and contributing ethically to the society at large. A document is designed as an agreement to making ethical decisions and recognizes the decision to be either right or wrong. The information contained in the document provides a summary for main sources of ethics and gives an outline for decision making (England 2010, p.150).

Feminist ethics and utilitarianism are the theories of choice where we focus on the need to increase female in the construction profession which in the past years was dominated by the male (Bettenhausen 2013, p.170). Feminist ethics helps in building on beliefs of traditional ethics that undervalued female’s moral by reimagining ethics in a holistic way to bring change. Subsequently, there are some legal matters that support the feminist decision of ethics called the feminist philosophy law. The law outlines the effects of masculinity norms on legal matters and demonstrates the effect of the states of females and those that do not adhere to the gender norms. The law also takes care of the problems of sexuality and guidelines, therefore, creating the change for gender injustice and exploitation. Legal decisions on females are drawn from the diverse scholarly perspective and its role is to promote freedom and equality for females which is a change from inequality to equality of the sexes (Bruce 2006, p.168). Feminist critiques of rights assert that rights should be based on equality that deliberately assumes the needs of women and should be equal in the sense that they must apportion on a more equitable basis. Understanding of these rights while working to commence a foundation where women can exercise right would bring more meaning to their lives making the decision of feminist ethics to be a fair one.

The different approaches in connection to harm are highly experienced due to the difficulty in understanding of the action in the society. Feminist jurisprudence responds to the harm problems as a double standard and issues of equality or rights to both men and women so that none of them is hurt. The idea of feminist ethics application is an honest view regarding those affected as it helps in focusing on those affected more to bring out the aspect of equality for all. Where equality is promoted then the experience of discriminations is dealt with to enhance the lives of the gender in question. Therefore, the decision of feminist ethics is a good decision to apply in our societies and especially in workplaces to promote equality for all to bring out a productive society at large (Kittay 2001, p.530). The decision is well designed to help all hence worth living with.

Utilitarianism is the effort to provide an answer to the practical questions while focusing on the outcomes. Rights or wrongs actions are understood in term of consequences produced. In this, everyone’s happiness counts hence there is need to promote goodness for all. The utilitarian theory helps in enforcing of law in moral dilemmas by making exigent decisions without the ability to consult the senior's departments or procedure document. The philosophical and economical part of view depicts that it does most good for the larger number of people. The consideration here is the happiness of most people for the greater good (Smith 2011, p.74). Sometimes the use of utilitarian principles maybe harmful to various people or individuals due to its inability to address all ethical dilemmas faced. The utilitarian consequentialist ethics involves the following. There include measuring happiness, concern about the consequences of our actions regardless of if they are right or wrong, happiness for ethical dilemmas and consequences of our actions which do not happen immediately. The recommendations with time have been implemented unless abandoned by the reformers. Besides, the utilitarian arguments are now being used to advocate institutional or procedure policy making those affected to enjoy happiness (Rosenfeld 2009, p.101). Thus, the utilitarian decision is an honest one and one can live with its decision.

The managers should apply the above theories in their respective construction firm to ensure that everyone is accommodated and the working motivation is highly facilitated. Roles should be respected and always be up to everything that would steer a positive impact towards the society. The end results will translate to the production of quality products that create a better market for the firm. The need to follow the general will of the people is also necessary as it translates to excellent products best for the people as a whole. The approach in ethics overcomes the aspects of society and insists on respect and compassion for others (Doyle 2001, p.50).

Exploring the Issue

A person who practices ethical theory would advocate for the aspect of equality and influence the colleagues to give their best in what they do. Construction companies should wipe out the view that people working there would get their hands dirty (Harris 2014, p.225). In the modern days, they do not involve a lot of physical force but more of mechanical expertise is required thus any gender can properly fit in. Income from the industries is a bit higher and a wide range of career development is involved. Promotion of the gender equality leads to increased growth rate and enhances the minimization of gender stereotypes. Egoism here is promoted where individual hands morally accept as the market hand creates benefits to all. Egoism relies on free competition and information and is not selfish (Jones 2003, p.349). The evidence is that the firm would expand the market and its growth. A shoe company by the name Clarks shoes is one of those firms that have had problems with the gender equality but has managed to overcome the stereotype.

The firm had some controversy in the school range shoes that sparked sexism rule that girls’ shoes were named dolly babe and boys’ shoes named the leader. The issue was discriminating against the girl child and reinforcing gender inequality. After complaints by some parents, the company has since apologized for any offence caused and has removed the removed the dolly babe from their websites. The act of incorporating gender balance has since attracted more clients into the shop having a better approach to the risks that may arise. The stakeholders that were affected by the issue are those that set up the business as well as those work in them. We should know that corporations exist separately since they operate on contracts (Ransome 2010, p.280). Consequently, the firm may stand as a result of many decisions from many people at different positions therefore not one person who is answerable. In addition, the view of a firm having a culture determines what it does. Then, the companies may present itself on individual’s basis.

A company with a responsible human resource should go a step forward to find out how they can better their employees for quality products and services. It was noted that the firm has been active at developing the society at large. Hence, it is necessary that some of the resources that are given to help the society be channelled to the issues that have a connection with the profession. Donations to charity works are one of the common ways to help build the society (Lombardo 2007, p.100). The money used for donation can be related to assisting in training and offering scholarships to the interested female students who are taking courses like engineering, survey, and architect which will benefit the industry to greater levels. The company should also consider having some code of conduct to guide the employees that they do not act against what is required of them. In the case of management, policies should be set to guide them on how to respect the human rights when dealing with the clients or suppliers (Radcliffe, Laurie, and Andolina 2004). The act would result in attracting more suppliers to work with since everyone would be willing to work with people who respect and treat them well. Sales and services provided by the company would also attract more market as the number of clients would be increasing due to good customer care services.

The human resource of the company should also have some policy guide for them due to the process of hiring and terminating of the staffs. The process would help tame the employees who would otherwise portray some acts that may not be pleasing to the people they deal with at the workplace (Bateman and Valentine 2010). Existing staff and perspective will be motivated and feel at peace even when they are working due to the fair and responsible treatment that they are being given. The chief executive should ensure that the policies are well adhered to and the report sent to the board and the external stakeholders about the performance and progress (Libby and Agnello 2000).

Conclusively, at Bellway, the issue of gender balance is not considered in an ethical part of view rather it is related more to business objectives. Having analyzed the policies in the firm, they look more into bettering their services and contribute to the society at large rather than talking on how to improve on the ethical issues. Ethical business decisions relate more to the role the company plays as a people than to itself. Therefore, acquiring of ethical issues is important in any company that has a responsible management given that it helps improve the firm’s productivity and increase its market (Smith 2013, p.60).


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