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Ethics and Values in Not- and For-Profit Organizations Essay

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Updated: Apr 26th, 2021

Abstract

In the following work different ethical dilemmas that nonprofit and for-profit organizations face in their work are described. Moreover, an analysis of the steps made by these organizations to solve this problem is given. Different ethical theories that can be applied to the activity of different companies are taken into account and investigated. Cogitations about the ethical principles of for-profit and nonprofit companies are shown.

Introduction

Throughout all history, humanity recognized children to be the future of the planet. That is why people tried to create better conditions for their living. However, in some regions, it is very difficult to do it because of a set of problems. In such cases, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) tries to help children in these areas and guarantee their living under good conditions. The organization was created in 1946 as a part of the United Nations and now it is one of the members of the United Nations Development Group. The main duty of the organization is to protect children’s rights and life throughout the world, guaranteeing education and health protection for them. It appreciates the life of a child and his mother most of all. The greater part of the money which is used by this fund to help children comes from unsolicited contributions of different organizations and persons who want to support the activity of this Fund.

The headquarter of the organization is situated in New York. However, there is a great number of different offices all over the world which regulate the activity of the company and promote its prompt response to any need. Nowadays, UNICEF is one of the most widespread organizations which has its representatives in the great number of different countries all over the world. There are regional offices in, Panama City, Geneva, Bangkok, Nairobi, Amman, Kathmandu and Dakar (Millennium Development goals, n.d.). Great number of offices in main regions of the world underlines organisations power and influence.

UNICEF exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors (Our Finances: Efficient and Verified, n.d.). The reason for it lies in the character of its activity as UNICEF is usually associated with charity and some other functions which help people all over the world. Moreover, nowadays, after 60 years of its work, UNICEF supplies 7000 people with work places in 157 countries (Millennium Development goals, n.d.). It is a great achievement for a nonprofit organization which tries to make the world better. However, sometimes the company can meet some obstacles usually connected with the complexity of delivery of some humanitarian or other help to certain regions. However, being rather powerful and respectful organization, UNICEF has its own mechanisms of influence. Diplomatic steps made by this organization usually are effective enough to guarantee success and find solution to the problem. Being neutral, very often this organization is able to obtain admittance to war struck regions in order to help people to survive.

Nevertheless, obstacles which are created by some governments or other officials are not the only difficulties in the work of UICEF. Very often, in its work this organization faces some ethical dilemmas. The thing is that working with people in different countries it is impossible not to face problems of this kind (Bell & Carens, 2004). The whole process of human communication and interaction depends on the level of mutual understanding of different ethnic peculiarities of people who want to find a compromise or some common solution. Very often, it is difficult to understand an interlocutor because of the differences in definitions which depend on the mentality and ethic of a person. In its work, UNICEF has to find a common ground with a great number of different people who have their own culture and peculiarities of ethics. That is shy, sometimes it is very difficult to understand accordance of a person, situation or an organization to some ethic norms. Being the main organization which now struggles for the observance of children rights in different regions, first of all UNICEF has to determine whether these norms are infringed or not.

Nowadays, it is one of the main ethic dilemmas which this Fund faces in its work. There are several main points in this issue which show complexity of the question. First of all, there are different approaches to the question of child rearing. Different peoples have their own approach to this question. That is why, some phenomena which are quite common for representatives of one nationality are absolutely inacceptable for people who appreciate another values. Resting on this fact, one of the main dilemmas for the UNICEF is to determine those fine line between the child abuse and peculiarities of the culture (Case 17: The Case of the Damaged Baby, n.d.). To do it better, this Funds promotes development and spread of some universal rules which should be observed in all countries and regulate the life and upbringing of a child. Having created some general laws and rules which are clear and understandable for representatives of different cultures and take into account different existing points of view on the process of child rearing, UNICEF has managed to achieve a great success as now it has a great number of different possibilities for its activity. Moreover, rules and laws suggested by this Fund are accepted by the majority of states in the world as UNICEF is a part of United Nations which promotes further development of the fund and its more efficient work.

Main body

Modern age is characterized by blistering development of digital technologies. Being very popular nowadays, different digital devices promote development of market which suggests all kinds of new technologies to satisfy customers demands. That is why, there is a great number of different companies which try to create their own devices and services in order to take on the market. Apple is one of them. Founded in the middle of the 1970s, the company at fist was called Apple Computers and tried to sell personal computers. However, having realized main peculiarities of the market and customers demands, the company changed its priority and concentrated on mobile devices which allow high level of creativity. Now, it produces mobile phones, tablets, notebooks, media players and different kind of software. The company values creativity. unusual design, ultimately high reliability and unique technical capacity. These values make Apple one of the most outstanding companies nowadays in the world.

Being founded in the USA, nowadays its main office is situated in Cupertino, California. However, it is obvious that the company has a lot of offices and facilities in great number of different countries all over the world as it is impossible to guarantee existence of such a powerful organization without hundreds of its branches. Nowadays, Apple has more than 400 hundred official stores all over the world. Moreover, it creates 98000 work places (A Message from Tim Cook, 2014). This fact leads to increase of the role of this organization. Quite obvious that the result of such popularity is high profitableness of the company. It reports about “revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share” (Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results, n.d.). These results are unique for the company and the whole market. Sales of its production beat all records. It is obvious, that Apple continues its blistering development as its benefits are much higher if to compare with the previous year. Moreover, the company is winning the rivalry as it has become one of the most expensive organizations in the world with the highest capitalization rate.

Analyzing current situation on the market, it is possible to say that the company does not have direct competitors. All the rest of manufacturers of devices of this sort cannot suggest the same services and quality of their production. Moreover, trademark Apple has become something like a cult which signalizes about a special status of the owner of its production. Having difficult times connected with Steve Jobs death, the company managed to overcome all obstacles creating new products and continuing its development.

However, there are still some problems which occur with the development of the company. Being gigantic international company, Apple, of course, has a great number of workers which guarantee its development and existence as one of the main leaders of the digital technologies manufacturers. Great number of people always means existence of some possibility of ethnic conflicts (Brown, n.d.). That is why, it is quite obvious that Apple can face different obstacles which can prevent its efficient functioning. That is why, officials should find solution to these problems as quick as it is possible (Business Ethics, n.d.). The example of ethnic problems which appear in the process of work of any company is the situation connected with the suppliers company situated in Wuhan and called Foxcon. Being one of the greatest electronics contract manufacturing companies, it supplies a great number of different corporations in the world with its production (Hinks, n.d.). However, it is often criticized for terrible conditions of work. However, the company still does not change its policy or improve conditions for its workers.

The situation became desperate and a great number of workers of the company threatened suicide as the protest against horrible working conditions. Foxcon is one of the main Apple suppliers, that is why this situation cannot be ignored by the officials of the company. It should be said, that Apple has already checked the situation with working conditions at Foxcon plants, however, no violations were found. Nevertheless, the situation became even worse as low wages, long working shifts and horrible conditions lead to attenuation of workers and as a result they committed suicide trying to draw attention to their problem. This ethic problem show complexity and ambiguousness of relation between and within for profit organization (Ethical Dilemmas, Cases, and Case Studies, n.d.). There is no doubt in financial might of Apple, however, its position on ethic norms and issues causes a great interest. It should be said, that sometimes not only financial help can be needed (Resolving an Ethical Dilemma, n.d.). Being very influential company, Apple could do a lot to improve current state of affairs for protesting workers. However, Apple was silent and no support for protesting workers was given. Moreover, Apple continued its relations with Foxcon making new contracts. The result of these actions can be seen in the shift of attitude towards Apple from positive to alert. Despite its officials statement that money is not the main thing, the company does not appreciate ethic issues very much at the moment.

Personal reflections

Having outlined the main ethical dilemmas which UNICEF fades in its work and the way this organization finds solution to these problems, it is possible to come so certain conclusion. The main function of the UNICEF is to watch the rights and children to be observed. Sometimes it is difficult to do because of the existing difference in legal systems of different countries. It is jut difficult to prove that the rights of a child or an adult were violated. That is why, UNICEFs intention to create distinct and effective tool for solving this problem is very reasonable and important. It is possible to say, that there is the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of a Child which is one of the main documents which serves as a guide for UNICEF.

Moreover, it should be admitted that this fund influenced its creation, trying to obtain a remedy with the help of which it will be able to work more efficient and control violations of the rights of children. Moreover, Convention on the Rights of the child can be taken as another step in UNICEFs struggle for the rights of children. The thing is, that this convention determines conditions of living and upbringing of children. This document gives more possibilities for UNICEF to control the observation of children rights in the world as this document was ratified by almost all countries in the world. This fact means, that it obtained the power of a law and UNICEF got a powerful remedy. Being very important from the point of view of ethical issues, this way of solving problems seem to be very tolerant and modern as it takes into account all tendencies and peculiarities of culture.

Another ethical dilemma and another solution to it we can observe in the case connected with the for profit organization Apple. Being a company, which main aim is to earn money, Apple has, of course, another approach to ethnical issues. On the one hand, it is difficult to except for profit organization to be very concerned about ethical issues and give a lot of attention to it. However, on the other hand, Apple is a huge international company which should take care about its reputation. The level of its popularity can influence the sale level. That is why, it is very important for organizations of this kind to deal a lot of attention to ethic issues.

However, in the situation connected with workers of the corporation Foxcon, Apple company acted not according to some moral principles, ignoring existing situation and continuing collaboration with the company, workers of which suffered from horrible conditions of work. Facing very important and difficult ethic problem Apple preferred to ignore it, choosing to stay aside while the owners of Foxcon were trying to imply some harsh treatment to its protesting workers. Though Apple has not created this dilemma, moral and ethic principles demanded its interference in this case as Foxcom is known as one of the main Apples supplier and is associated with its work. Inactivity of Apple in current situation can be taken as the desire to save important partner without deterioration of relations with it. Money matters were preferred to some ethic issues. This case can serve as the evidence to underline the difference in approach to ethic issues which exists in non and for profit organizations.

Conclusion

Analyzing the ethical dilemma which UNICEF faced in its work, it is possible to cogitate about the main ethical theory which could be applied to way in which the problem was solved. It is possible to say, that the whole work of this fund is subordinated to strict moral norms. The reason for it lies in the character of the mission of this organization. UNICEF should be an example for the rest of the world, that is why all its actions should meet the highest ethic standards. With this in mind, it is possible to say that in its wok UNICEF takes into account the principle of utilitarianism.

The main idea of the organization coincides with the main sense of this principle. Utilitarianism states the fact that every action should lead to creation of some good for another person or a group of people (Driver, 2014). However, it should be said that very often it is impossible to take into account all peculiarities of some decision and whether it will promote improvement of the situation for some other people. That is why, UNICEF should also take into account the principle of moral relativism. Being international organization, it is absolutely vital for UNICEF to understand that there are different approaches to understanding of the issue of goods and evil (Gowans, 2012). What is good for one person is bad for another. The same problem can appear in the work of this fund. It goes without saying, that it is very difficult to be a great international organization and try to act within the framework of the main ethic values. However, UNICEF should be very scrupulous in these questions.

Another situation could be observed while talking about the activity of the for profit organization. It is obvious, that one of the main aims of the companies of this sort is to earn money and guarantee its further prosperity. That is why, the ethical principle of egoism is the obvious choice for these companies including Apple. The situation with the workers of Foxcon proves it. The officials of Apple preferred to ignore the situation, taking care about its incomes as the company depends on the relations with Foxcon. Being able to interfere, Apple remained passive. Having analyzed this conflict and situation, it is possible to say that application of another ethical theory would be better in this very situation. The principles of virtue ethics (Hursthouse, 2013) seem to be better choice in those conflict.

This theory states the fact that actions of a person show his moral principles and main values (Virtue Ethics, n.d.). With this in mind, it is possible to suppose that Apples interference in the situation connected with the mass protests would improve the image of the company. This action could show high moral standards of the company and promote increase of its popularity. However, the nature of the for profit organization does not allow Apple to make this step as there would be a theoretical possibility of losing a good partner and material looses. It is possible to conclude, that it is difficult to run an ethnical business within the framework of a gigantic international company as the main aim of it is to survive and guaranty benefits, ignoring some other important issues.

References

A Message from Tim Cook.(2014). Web.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results. (n.d.). Apple Press Info. Web.

Bell, D. & Carens, J. (2004). The Ethical Dilemmas of International Human Rights and Humanitarian NGOs: Relections on a Dialogue Between Practitioners and Theorists. Human Rights Quarterly, 26(2), 300-329.

Brown, M. (n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). Web.

Driver, J. (2014). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.

Ethical Dilemmas, Cases, and Case Studies. (n.d.). Web.

Gowans, C. (2012). , The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.

Hinks, P. (n.d.).Web.

Hursthouse, R.(2013), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.

Millennium Development goals. (n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). UNICEF. Web.

Resolving an Ethical Dilemma. (n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Ethics and Values in Not- and For-Profit Organizations." April 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethics-and-values-in-not-and-for-profit-organizations/.


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IvyPanda. "Ethics and Values in Not- and For-Profit Organizations." April 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethics-and-values-in-not-and-for-profit-organizations/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ethics and Values in Not- and For-Profit Organizations." April 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethics-and-values-in-not-and-for-profit-organizations/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ethics and Values in Not- and For-Profit Organizations'. 26 April.

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