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Business Ethics Assignment: Discrimination & Inequality at Starbucks



Choose a relevant case issue (either using relevant sources or from your workplace experience). Analyze the case issue using relevant literature (apply case precedents if necessary). Prepare the report on business ethics assignment in relevant format ranging between 1500- 2000 words, with proper Academic referencing.


This business law assignment talk about the workplace morals and ethics that are said to be those moral values and other rules that are part of a person’s behaviour or set of values that help in forming proper behaviour at workplace. They are expected to project one of the highestlevel of ethical behaviour while they are at work. Ethical motives while a person is working refer to taking the option that is highly determined by the right choice (Alyammahi et al. 2020).This present paper shall take into consideration an ethical case study and shall present different literature reviews on the same topic. Moreover, the paper shall also discuss the appropriate recommendations as to what should be done to control the given behaviour leading to unethical behaviour at workplace. In the present issue, the ethical issue that will be discussed in related to workplace discrimination and workplace inequality and the chosen organisation to whom recommendations shall be made based on the issue is Starbucks.

Case Study:
For the present assignment the case study that has been chosen is employment discrimination and inequality between employees at the chosen organisation based on Malaysian Law. The proposed law that is based on anti discrimination in Malaysia is offered by the MOHR and several other acts such as the following:

  • Industrial Relations Act 1967
  • Employment Act 1955
  • Sabah Labour Ordinance 1950
  • Sarawak Labour Ordinance 1952.

The meaning of discrimination as per the Industrial Relations Act, 1967 has been explained in section 20 A of the Act in which it has been clearly said that no employer should discriminate against other employee based on grounds such as religion, region, sex, creed etc. Thus, the present act expressly prohibits employer and employee discrimination in a clear manner. As per the Employment Act, 1955 prohibition has been made against discrimination in terms of gender, marital status, pregnancy and disability. This means that the employers should not set preferences for any given characteristics or any other preference. The provision that has been laid in section 17 B of the Employment Act and section 20 A of the Industrial Relation Act it can be said that both the act expressly shows a negative affirmation towards any type of discrimination while at workplace. The Sabah Labour Organisations have a similar view to that of Employment Act. The Sarawak Labour Ordinance has covered both the employee as well as the employee to protect employees and the employers against any type of discrimination. The manner as to how any discrimination will be filed is stated in the Employment Act.

For the present paper, the chosen organisation is Starbucks and the case study is related to the employee’s ethical behaviour and discrimination at workplace. Starbucks has been one of those organisations who have always been proud of its ethical manners and ways. They, with the help of the entire community have made successful sourcing about their diversity, health issues and diversity program. Starbucks has always been very committed to being socially responsible in wanting their clients to know how they have been operating and how they have been working (Uddin et al. 2020).

With the aim of the company, it is very clear that the company has always focused in protecting their civilisation and their reputation by giving the relevant resources helping their employees to make better ethical decisions while they are at work. Many studies that are received by the Business Ethics and Compliance team shows that the dealings of employee providing for an alternate mechanism shows in a great deal the problems in their conformity plan and other moral values. Thus, a change in the present conformity plan has been suggested. The plan shows the level of awareness amongst the employees along with a certain level of business behaviour and conduct (Uddin et al 2020)..The standard of business conduct, from the perspective of society is something that the company takes care as to how the issue of conduct is to be addressed and the same is possible only with the help of the company’s aims and missions. In Starbucks, the company has been divided into three sectors of employment. The first is the planter human rights and their commitment towards the basic human rights as the main matter and the manner as to how they engage and deal with each other. The second is equal employment and equal division of work that is non discriminatory in nature as this would allow the employees to continue their work in a steady and proper manner. The final is the health and wellness care and the organisation’s interest in ensuring that the company has proper health care reforms allowing them to go on low cost offer coverage for their employees (Hashmi et al. 2019).

The statement in the ethical viewpoint can be broken down to four important rules:

First, ethical sourcing in the services so offered, which means intending to mix the beverage in a very high quality and roasting and packing the same in the best way possible so that it is available to the customers in its best way possible. Second, is treatment of the employees with respect, self care and esteem so that the same is safeguarded with proper coverage and wellness. Finally, maintaining an environment of ethics so that the employees work for maintaining of the same with the help of the resources available (Mityagina and Naumova2019)..

The commitment of Starbucks in maintaining ethics at their workplace can be clearly seen while setting up the standard of conducts for the employees. The most important ethical issue that is seen in Starbucks is maintenance of proper behaviour that is not ethically sound and the same can be very loosely divided as commitment towards each other to maintain a proper service to the customers as well as also maintain quality to the clients. When there is proper regulation of ethics in any workplace the customers and the employees both stay happy and satisfied and the business very soon sees prosperity (Mityagina and Naumova2019).

The employees should be committed in maintaining a hassle free service of supply to the clients so that they protect the interests of the customers. The employees can also do the same by following a safety program by having proper wellness access for the customers. This aim can be achieved by managing, supplying and storing the merchandise of Starbucks

The next thing that the employees can do with the help of the management is to have an conducive work environment. First, ethical sourcing of beverage, which means intending to mix the beverage in a very high quality and roasting and packing the same in the best way possible so that it is available to the customers in its best way possible. Second, is treatment of the employees with respect, self care and esteem so that the same is safeguarded with proper coverage and wellness. Finally, maintaining an environment of ethics so that the employees work for maintaining of the same with the help of the resources available (Uddin et al. 2020).

The partner of Starbucks should also maintain and respect each other respect. All of them should have the right to work in an environment that is free from any conflict, favouritism or any type of discrimination. A team of managers having skilled leadership qualities have been assigned to make sure that the rules and patterns relating to workplace properly implemented in a safe and proper manner. Starbucks has also believed in rewarding its employees whenever they have achieved something good in the workplace and the company strongly believes that they should be compensated as and when it is needed (Gaillard and DeCorte2020).

The company also has additional college programs for its employees especially those who are not yet married namely Starbuck College Achiever Plan so that they could get full reimbursement of their college fees. Moreover, the employees should be committed to work in a reasonable manner and also in a concise and clear manner with the authorities as and when needed. The employees should be straightforward and clear in their dealings with the relevant authority so that they fall in a better legal and ethical criterion. The sales of merchandise and other advertisement of the same should be done with the clients based on true and accurate information. The employees should be committed to fair and open competition and they should not use any type of unethical way to remove rivalry between their competitions in the market. The employees have been strictly prohibited from giving, taking or begging any type of incentive of payoffs. The company should ensure that the employees work in a truthful and united manner so that all correct information is available to the authority. This can be ensured both by the authority and by the employees (Hauser 2020).

After making proper analysis of the issue mentioned above, it has been noted that many type of ethical patterns have been followed by the employers so that the employees stay happy and content with their job. Since the given case study is related to the workplace discrimination and workplace inequality thus the following recommendations can be followed. The very first suggestion is that Starbucks can make their policies relating to workplace discrimination and workplace inequality better and effective by implementing training sessions and other meetings so that the employees learn the importance of workplace equality. By conducting interviews, the interviewers other than only taking the interview, should also make the candidate well aware of the ethical policies related to workplace discrimination that is followed within the organisation. Moreover, the company can also make their new employees aware of the moral values of the company and other ethical determination of the company with particular reference to workplace intolerance and inequality. The organisation can make better ethical values and policies by supplying the same in different workshops.

Thus, conclusively it can be said with the introduction of anti discrimination laws for the workplace is laudable and is mostly welcomed by all the employees, employers and trade unions operating in Malaysia and for the society in general. But the legal framework is very effective to solve the issues and problems of biasness and other unfair treatment as well. The recommendations that are provided above shall help the organisation to improve workplace discrimination and it shall also help in removing or rather eradicating the workplace inequality completely. It is very important that organisations address the problem of workplace inequality so that the action does not lead to differential assignments of work and create disparity in pay and other benefits. This shall lead to biasness in performance evaluations. Thus, the present paper clearly evaluates the workplace discrimination issue in Starbucks that is based in Malaysia and based on workplace discrimination laws the recommendation is provided.

Ahmad, S.S.S., 2019. Section 59 Industrial Relations Act 1967. Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law, 23, pp.95-106.

Alyammahi, A., Alshurideh, M., Al Kurdi, B. and Salloum, S.A., 2020, October. The impacts of communication ethics on workplace decision making and productivity. In International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Systems and Informatics (pp. 488-500).Springer, Cham.

Gaillard, M. and DeCorte, M.J., 2020.Ethics and Workplace Productivity. The Journal of Government Financial Management, 68(4), pp.50-52.

Hashmi, S.D., Khan, K., Ullah, I., Gulzar, S. and Haider, A., 2019.Religion can Change Intentions: Interactive Effect of Abusive Supervision and Islamic Work Ethics on Workplace Gossip. Journal of Islamic Business and Management (JIBM), 9(1).

Hassan, H., 1986. Strike, under the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

Hauser, C., 2020. From preaching to behavioral change: Fostering ethics and compliance learning in the workplace. Journal of business ethics, 162(4), pp.835-855.

Ismail, S., 2018. UNFAIR DISMISSAL OR UNLAWFUL TERMINATION: A REVIEW OF SECTION 20, INDUSTRIAL RELATION ACT 1967. Journal of Law and Governance, 1(1), pp.15-24.

Mityagina, V.A. and Naumova, A.P., 2019. Professional translators’ ethics in workplace communication. MS&E, 483(1), p.012010.

Mohamed, A.A., 2004. A critical appraisal of the adjudication process of dismissal under the Industrial Relations Act 1967. INSAF (Journal of the Malaysian Bar), p.31.

Uddin, M.J., Hossain, F., Fujimoto, Y. and Ahmed, J.U., 2020. Do public sector organizations ensure labor ethics? Perspectives from ethics and workplace spirituality in Bangladesh's garment sector. Public Administration and Development, 40(3), pp.168-178.


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