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Business Ethics Assignment: Accusations of Age Discrimination in Woolworths


Task: Prepare a business ethics assignment addressing the issue of Accusations of age discrimination.

In your Essay you will:
Clearly describe your chosen example of questionable ethical behaviour by a business organisation.

Clearly explain one of the three ethical standards discussed in class (i.e. either ethics-as-consequences or ethics-as-categorical-rules or the Mauri Model)

Use that ethical standard to assess whether the behaviour described by your chosen news story is ethically acceptable or not. Your conclusions must be supported by clear and logical reasoning. Explain what the business organisation would need to do differently in order to act ethically in this situation.


The concept of business ethics examined in the present context of business ethics assignment is referred to the study that helps to understand the business ethics for maintains the ethical environment. The different ethical practices influence the work practices regarding discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and various other business ethics that maintain the organisation's ethical environment.

This report is going to focus on the ethical practices in Woolworths, New Zealand. It will highlight the questionable ethical behaviour of accused stations of age discrimination in the business organisation.

This report is going to focus on a clear explanation of three ethical standards discussed in the class.

This task will also evaluate the moral standard to assess the behaviour described through the chosen news story and it will be focused on better ethical practices for acting ethically in adverse situations.

The ethical issue regarding accusations of age discrimination
Woolworths is facing different problems for operating their business in New Zealand because of age discrimination in the workplace. The chosen organisation faces different issues regarding to the consequences of Age discrimination in their work related practices (De Gooyert et al., 2017).

The organizational authority of Woolworth also firing different old aged individuals because they want to hire younger employeesthat bring out the ethical issues regarding ageism(Krekula, Nikander&Wili?ska, 2018). The organisation is facing various problems regarding the mentioned factors of discrimination.

Direct discrimination
Direct discrimination happens when an individual treat a people discriminately for their age (Krishna, Kim & Shim, 2021). It directly impacted the mindsets of the aged peoples in the working environment.

For example, the employer of Woolworth refuses to allow any employee to do a training course because of the age gap.

Indirect discrimination
The factors of indirect discrimination are introduced because the chosen organisation focuses on the particular policies for operating their business that thatcan be applied to every employees (Phillipson et al., 2019). Sometimes the new policies or the new work related practices can come up as a problem for the aged peoples if they failed to fit into the new work related practices. The organization has to consider each and every need of the employees before constructing any policies or work related practices.

Ethics as categorical rules
The categorical imperatives can be considered as the most important ethical standards that are needed to be focused on by the organisation of Woolworth to prove it a better path to evaluate appropriate actions to get the better model judgments for maintaining the ethical environment(Ferrell et al., 2019). Approaches to the moral standard according to the categorical imperative are mentioned below.

• The approaches of universalizability help to focus on the concepts of different apps that are acceptable for each and every employee in the organisation without any discrimination.

• The formula of autonomy expresses the better idea to follow the categorical imperative because it helps the organisational authorities of Woolworths motivate their employees without creating any discrimination based on their age(Kooij et al., 2020).

News story
According to the chosen news story, it is clear that the owner has advertised for workers between the ages of 18 to 27 because they think that young people are best as the workers. The cafe owner clearly stated that it was illegal to include age in the advertisement, but it was not his intention to discriminate against anyone (Loo, 2021).

From the perspectives of different moral considerations, the pattern and the message that is proposed in advertisement of the cafe are not acceptable ethically. Because the owners of the advertisers do not have the right to mention the age in their advertisements, after all, it breaks the loss of discrimination in New Zealand. The chosen news story can be acceptable if it is seen through the lenses of indirect discrimination. According to the approaches of indirect discrimination, it is clear that the organisation's policies can discriminate the ages according to their policies (Loo, 2021). As the cafe owner feel that the younger peoples are the best fits according to the work practices in the cafe, it can be ethically acceptable.

Although the different ethical standards are essential to be focused on, the different perspectives to the ethical approaches of the advertisement are not acceptable. Under the human rights act 1993, discrimination against any individuals based on their age is illegal (Loo, 2021). Displaying the advertising material that demonstrates the intentions to discriminate is not acceptable, and it is unlawful recording to the law.

Age-based discrimination has flown under the radar. Still, the cafe owner does not have the authority to advertise and introduce this type of discrimination regarding age groups (Loo, 2021). The whole discussion depicts that the news story is unacceptable because the cafe owner of New Zealand advertised illegally, and it does not maintain the ethical standards regarding the work environment (Ballard &Easteal, 2018).

The chosen organisation is facing different issues regarding the consequences of discrimination. Just focus on the better approaches that can be helpful for them to behave ethically in adverse situations.

  • The proposed organisation has to maintain a diverse workforce and hiring managers of the organisation have to focus on better recruitment process to hire the people by understanding their skill sets and it can allow the organization to mitigate the issues of discrimination(Ng & Sears, 2020).
  • The business enterprise is facing different problems regarding the unethical standards of the job descriptions, so they have to focus on better job descriptions by not breaking any laws regarding ageism (Hosain, 2019).
  • It can easily maintain its ethical standards by avoiding the blatant mistakes in its job advertisements. It can use a variety of recruiting tools to get diverse applications of different ages.
  • The business entity has to ensure the standards of anti-discrimination and they have to construct the better to mitigate the problems that increase the issues of harassment.
  • The anti-harassment policies can help the organisation to implicit discrimination and harassment learning that is incredibly helpful for preventing inappropriate behavior regarding ageism(Ali et al., 2021).

From the above discussion on business ethics assignment, it can be concluded that the cafe owners are advertising illegally to fulfil their vacant position. They discriminate the people according to their age. The Chosen organisation has to maintain ethical standards to help them retain their moral responsibilities to work with the diverse workforce.

The company has to understand the categorical imperatives that will help them maintain its ethical standards. It helps the organisation generate workplace ethics to maintain their appropriate work environment to fulfil the honest needs of each and every individual in the workplace.

Ali, H. N., Sheffield, S. L., Bauer, J. E., Caballero-Gill, R. P., Gasparini, N. M., Libarkin, J., ...& Schneider, B. (2021). An actionable anti-racism plan for geoscience organizations. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-6.

Ballard, A. J., &Easteal, P. (2018). The secret silent spaces of workplace violence: focus on bullying (and harassment). Laws, 7(4), 35.

De Gooyert, V., Rouwette, E., Van Kranenburg, H., & Freeman, E. (2017).Reviewing the role of stakeholders in operational research: A stakeholder theory perspective. European Journal of Operational Research, 262(2), 402-410.

Ferrell, O. C., Harrison, D. E., Ferrell, L., & Hair, J. F. (2019). Business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and brand attitudes: An exploratory study. Journal of Business Research, 95, 491-501.

Hosain, M. S. (2019). Unethical pro-organisationalbehaviour: Concepts, motives and unintended consequences. Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation, 15(4), 133-137.

Kooij, D. T., Zacher, H., Wang, M., &Heckhausen, J. (2020). Successful aging at work: A process model to guide future research and practice.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 13(3), 345-365.

Krekula, C., Nikander, P., &Wili?ska, M. (2018). Multiple marginalizations based on age: Gendered ageism and beyond.Business ethics assignment In Contemporary perspectives on ageism (pp. 33-50).Springer, Cham.

Krishna, A., Kim, S., & Shim, K. (2021).Unpacking the effects of alleged gender discrimination in the corporate workplace on consumers’ affective responses and relational perceptions. Communication Research, 48(3), 426-453.

Loo, A. (2021). Cafe owner advertises for younger staff, ignores discrimination laws. Retrieved 11 August 2021, from

Ng, E. S., & Sears, G. J. (2020).Walking the talk on diversity: CEO beliefs, moral values, and the implementation of workplace diversity practices. Journal of Business Ethics, 164(3), 437-450.

Phillipson, C., Shepherd, S., Robinson, M., &Vickerstaff, S. (2019). Uncertain futures: Organisational influences on the transition from work to retirement. Social Policy and Society, 18(3), 335-350.


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