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Section 1.4 - How are People Influenced at Work. Topics: Environmental Issues Social Ethical Issues Legal and Self Regulation Issues Relevant Case Studies. Objectives: Understand the impact of pollution, recycling and global warming on businesses

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section 1 4 how are people influenced at work

Section 1.4 - How are People Influenced at Work


Environmental Issues

Social Ethical Issues

Legal and Self Regulation Issues

Relevant Case Studies


  • Understand the impact of pollution, recycling and global warming on businesses
  • Identify relevant codes of practice, stakeholders and pressure groups concerned with business ethics
  • Be able to evaluate ‘Cause related marketing’
what are business ethics
What are Business Ethics?

‘’A code of behaviour considered morally correct’’

‘’Rules or standards governing the conduct of a business’’

‘’Moral code – what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’?’’

What do businesses use to demonstrate their business ethics?

  • Aims and objectives
  • Mission statements
  • Corporate social responsibility reports (CSR)
  • Business culture
environmental issues
Environmental Issues

Every business is obliged to meet legal requirements designed to protect the environment.

  • Urban blight – excessive development, inappropriate development, use of greenbelt land
  • Waste – land-fill? re-cycling? burning?
  • Energy use – renewable energy, non-renewable resources
  • Global Warming – fact or fiction?
  • Pollution:
      • Noise, Air, Land, Sea, Water
environmental issues global warming
Environmental Issues –Global Warming

International Protocol

  • First agreed change was the Rio Protocol in 1992. 184 countries signed up to the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2000
  • Kyoto protocol was agreed in 1997. Developed countries agreed to lower their emission levels by 5.2% lower than 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012


  • The EU met Kyoto agreements by sharing out their emission targets between member states to reflect national circumstances. The UK agreed to lower current emissions by 12.5%, Germany 21% and Denmark 6%
social and ethical issues
Social and Ethical Issues

Ethics in business and CSR are fast moving up the agenda – 89% of marketing directors believe social issues of the day must be addressed by businesses

Reasons for this:

  • Consumers are becoming increasingly restless and can lead to protests, eg. Human rights, global warming, third world debt
  • Consumers are becoming increasingly powerful and vocal which has led to the focus on the way brands operate ethically
social and ethical issues1
Social and Ethical Issues

Legislation is developing to maintain ethical standards – The Turnball Report (1999 for listed companies on stock exchange) and recent pensions act

Consumers however have the most power. They have the option to:

  • Purchase
  • Boycott
  • Protest
social and ethical issues pressure groups
Social and Ethical Issues – Pressure Groups
  • Pressure groups can affect all types of business and most aspects of their behaviour
  • Usually use the media to demonstrate a company’s unethical behaviour
  • High profile pressure groups are multi-cause and operate internationally


  • Greenpeace lobbies to restrict business behaviour that might adversely affect the environment
  • Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

oppose the production of tobacco

  • Compassion in World Farming is a UK based

group that campaigns to stop animal suffering in

intensive farms

social and ethical issues what can businesses do
Social and Ethical Issues – What can businesses do?

Cause Related Marketing – ‘’Who cares wins’’

‘’ A commercial activity by which businesses and charities or causes form a partnership with each other to market an image, product or service for mutual benefit’’

  • Benefits: Financial, CSR, Consumer engagement, Health of wider community
  • If price and quality of a product are equal, 81% would switch brands if they were trying to benefit society
  • Cause related marketing appeals to consumers emotional engagement as well as the rational
  • Example – Tesco’s Computers for schools, Ford’s drive towards a cure
legal and self regulation constraint issues
Legal and Self Regulation Constraint/ Issues

Competition Law

  • Good for businesses and consumers
  • If market shares of less than 25% in EU and 10% in England, rules do not apply
  • Risks of not complying with competition law can be fines (up to 10% of turnover)

2 Forms of anti-competitive behaviour

  • Between business (price fixing, limiting controlling production)
  • Abuse of Market position (Price fixing
legal and self regulation constraint issues1
Legal and Self Regulation Constraint/ Issues

Consumer Protection

Relevant acts:

- Trade Descriptions Act 1968. Prevents retailers or service industry providers from misleading consumers as to what they are spending their money on

- Sale of Goods Act 1979. Regulates contracts in which goods are bought

trade unions
Trade Unions

‘’An organization run by and for workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas and working conditions’’

  • Negotiates labour contracts (wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies)
  • Aims to improve working conditions
  • Collective bargaining and strike power
employment legislation in groups identify how these acts affect i the business and ii the employee
Employment Legislation – In groups identify how these acts affect: i)the business and ii) the employee

There are 9 affecting the operations of the Human Resources department:

  • The employment relations bill, 1999
  • The employment rights act, 1996
  • The public interest disclosure act, 1998
  • The health and safety at work act, 1974
  • The national minimum wage act, 1999
  • The equal pay act, 1970
  • The sex discrimination act, 1975
  • The race relations act, 1976
  • The disability discrimination act, 1995