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It is agreeable that companies are viewed differently by the public. This kind of perception arises from the diverse business models and unethical products associated with different firms. Business ethicists argue that every industry has an obligation to provide superior services and products that can meet the needs of the customers (Henderson & Ramanna, 2013). The undeniable fact is that corporations have an ethical obligation to consider and protect the needs of their customers. Using the case of the soda industry, this discussion explains why the needs and rights of the consumer should guide a firm’s business model and products.
Advocating for the Consumer
Many companies in the soda industry have been known to produce and market unhealthy carbonated drinks. These beverages are widely associated with obesity, poor health, and diabetes. This issue has raised numerous questions thereby forcing many companies in the industry to produce healthier products that do not contain sugar. This analysis shows conclusively that the most ethical approach should begin with the company. This practice is necessary because a company that produces superior and healthy products will eventually protect targeted consumers (Henderson & Ramanna, 2013). The most important thing is to empower people and make it easier for them to make a choice from the healthy products available in the market. The move to advocate for the rights and needs of the consumer will definitely encourage more companies to engage in ethical business practices (Astroulakis, 2014). This means that many industries have not been targeted unfairly. The outstanding reason is that they engage in unethical practices in an attempt to maximize their gains.
Capitalism and Decision-Making
The term “capitalism” is used to describe the manner in which individuals or corporations own resources and come up with specific decisions that can support their interests (Astroulakis, 2014). Capitalism, therefore, plays a critical role whenever companies are making their business decisions. Whenever making such decisions, corporations will be required to consider the existing regulations and policies. The involvement of the government is usually minimal (Henderson & Ramanna, 2013). That being the case, capitalism will create a flexible environment whereby companies come up with the best decisions to promote business performance. However, such decisions should be informed by the existing legal frameworks.
From this understanding, it is undeniable that a company can cater to both its interest and that of the consumer conjointly. This is true because the existing laws dictate the manner in which the company delivers its products to the final user or customer. The issue of ethics also explains why more companies have been able to focus on their business goals while at the same time adding value to the consumer (Norman, 2013). This argument can be supported by the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Many firms in the soda industry such as The Coca-Cola Company have implemented powerful CSR strategies in order to meet the needs of the customers.
Unfortunately, some firms have decided to identify the existing loopholes in their respective industries in an attempt to make unethical decisions. The main driving force is to cater to their self-interests. Companies that engage in such malpractices lose their consumers and eventually become less profitable. This analysis, therefore, shows conclusively that firms that make sustainable and ethical corporate decisions in capitalistic economies will strike a balance between their interests and those of the targeted customers (Astroulakis, 2014). The corporations will become profitable and competitive in their respective industries.
Astroulakis, N. (2014). An ethical analysis of neoliberal capitalism: Alternative perspectives from development ethics. Ethics and Economics, 11(2), 94-108. Web.
Henderson, R., & Ramanna, K. (2013). Managers and market capitalism. Harvard Business School, 1(1), 1-32. Web.
Norman, W. (2013). Business ethics. Harvard Business Review, 1(1), 1-17. Web.