Essay: Business Ethics Does Business Have a Role

Pages: 3 (1280 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

Business Ethics

Does business have a role in putting a value on a human life? Should it take the lead from government agencies or an individual's own spending preferences? If people tend to act recklessly (speeding, amateur body piercing, using over the counter medications to excess, or misusing products, like using a lawnmower to trim a hedge) should the government step in? Should business be held liable?

Past a certain point, there is only so much liability that a corporation can be expected to bear for the misuse of its products. After all, if every car company were held liable for every incident that an individual got into an accident when speeding, we would all have to return to the days of horses and buggies -- or walking on foot, given that some liability would occur even under those low-tech circumstances! Consumers can sue if they do not misuse the product yet are injured by the product even when using it under normal circumstances. For example, if someone is simply riding in a car, and the car, if lightly bumped from behind explodes into a fire bomb, killing the driver and several innocent bystanders, clearly the car manufacturer is in error. However, if the car manufacturer produces a sound car, but a young teen is killed while drag-racing down a highway at 120 mph, some judgment and observation of the laws is demanded -- the teen's parents cannot ask for money simply because the car reached such speeds.

All products can be misused. Anyone who has a bottle of Tylenol in the medicine cabinet at this moment could use it for harmful purposes. There is no way the government can create a 'safe space' for all adults, without severely hampering both consumer's and businesses' freedoms. However, the government should strive to strike a balance. A good example of this is how the government now requires drug stores to keep track of how much Sudafed individuals buy, because in small doses the cold medication is effective, but in large doses can be used to make crystal 'meth,' an illegal drug. The business is not held liable for the misuse of Sudafed, given it is not used according to directions or manufacturer's intentions when used for illegal purposes, but a retail business will be liable if it deviates from the new law which regulates the amount a consumer can purchase at one time.

Question

As head of the student activities committee you have arranged a campus visit of a singing group. You had signed them before their latest release became a surprise hit, so you have paid relatively little for the gig. Tickets could get very high prices, especially if students buy them at face value and then resell them. How would you set the pricing policy? Would you ban reselling of tickets? How would you react if a group offered $300 a ticket for a block of 50? Would it affect your decision if they said the money could go anywhere you wished - the college, the charity of your choice, or an 'off the books' transaction that would cure your college loan problem?

The use of the money is irrelevant -- instead, the means by which the money is obtained is the ethical issue. Limiting the reselling of tickets seems ethical under all instances, as no one benefits from 'scalpers' -- only the individual buying the tickets and charging prohibitive prices. Limiting students to only one or two tickets per person seems reasonable.

Given the group's surprise popularity and the ability to generate more revenue for the student activities committee, some premium tickets could be offered. However, since the booking is for a student venture it is essential that the majority of the ticket prices are reasonable enough so students can attend. Discounts for students, or 'regular price' tickets for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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