Q. Discuss the role of business in environment protection. (5marks) (2015/2018)
-> Since the quality of the environment is important for all of us, we have a collective responsibility to protect it from being spoiled. Whether it is the government, business enterprises, consumers, workers, or other members of society, each one can do something to stop polluting the environment. Government can enact laws to ban hazardous products. Consumers, workers and the members of society can avoid using certain products and doing things that are not environment friendly. The business enterprises should, however, take the lead in providing their own solutions to environmental problems. It is the social responsibility of every business to take steps not only to check all sorts of pollution but also to protect environmental resources. Business enterprises are leading creators of wealth, employment, trade and technology. Some of the specific steps which can be taken by business enterprises for environmental protection are as stated below:-
- A sincere commitment by the top management of the business to cultivate, maintain and develop work culture for environmental protection and pollution prevention.
- To ensure that the commitment towards environmental protection is shared by all the employees of all the divisions of the business.
- Developing clear-cut policies and programmes for purchasing good quality raw material, using latest technology, using scientific techniques of disposal and waste management and to develop the skills of the employees for the purpose of pollution control.
- To adapt to the laws and regulations passes by the government for the prevention of pollution.
- Participation in government programmes relating to the management of hazardous substances, clearing up of polluted water bodies, plantation of trees and to reduce deforestation.
- Assessment of pollution control programmes in terms of costs and benefits to increase the progress with respect to environmental protection.
- Also businesses can arrange workshops and give training material and share technical information and experience with suppliers and customers to get them involved in pollution control programmes.
- Promoting green energy that reduces the use of fossil fuels.
Q. Discuss the arguments in favor and against social responsibilities of business. (4+4=8) (2016)
-> Arguments in favour of social responsibilities:-
1) Business is a creation of society and it uses society’s resources. So business is responsible to the society.
2) It is in the long-term self interest of the business to assume social responsibilities.
3) Scope for government interference in business will get reduced if the business follows socially responsible policies.
4) There is moral justification to fulfil social obligations of the business.
5) Public image of the business would improve if it fulfils its social obligations.
Arguments against the social responsibilities:-
1) Violation of maximization of profit motive- According to this argument, business exists only for profit maximisation. Therefore, any talk of social responsibility is against this objective.
2) Burden on consumers- It is argued that social responsibilities like pollution control and environmental protection are very costly and often require huge financial investments.
3) Lack of social skills- All social problems cannot be solved the way business problems are solved. In fact, businessmen do not have the necessary understanding and training to solve social problems.
4) Lack of broad public support- Here the argument is that the public in general does not like business involvement or interference in social programmes. Therefore, businesses cannot operate successfully because of lack of public confidence and cooperation in solving social problems.
Q. Explain the elements of business ethics. (5marks) (2017/2019)
-> Business ethics means the business practices which are desirable from the point of view of the society. Business ethics behaviour is good for both the business enterprise and society; it makes sense to discuss how the enterprises can foster ethics in their day-to-day working.
The elements of business ethics:-
1) Top Management commitment- Higher level managers need to be openly and strongly committed to ethical conduct.
2) Publication of a ‘code’- ‘Code’ refers to the written ethical programs followed by a particular business or industry, adherence to laws, product’s safety and quality and fairness in all dealings.
3) Establishment of Compliance Mechanism- Simply having a written ‘Code of Ethics’ effective implementation at all levels & throughout the life of the business.
4) Involving employees at all levels- To make ethical business a reality, employees at all levels must be involved.
5) Measuring Results- Measuring the results of ethics programs may be difficult but can have an audit at regular intervals to monitor compliance with ethical standards and decide about further course of action.