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Qantas Case Study: A General Focus on the Ethical Problems

Question

Task: The aim of this assessment is to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical content taught during the first weeks of the unit to a practical setting. You will be assessed on how well you can identify the ethical problems or dimensions of the given case, apply the normative theories of ethics and other ideas discussed in class, and use relevant academic sources.

Case Study questions:

  • What is your evaluation of the actions in the case described below?

Your answer should cover the following components:

  • Briefly explain the ethical problems and the most significant ethical elements in the case.
  • What is the role of self-interest, if any, in this case study?
  • What would the normative ethical theories as identified by Shaw et al (2016) (your text book) say about the actions of Qantas, of the executives, and of the union in this case?

Answer

There are various ethical problems that can be faced by a business corporation; these issues can be related to accounting, health, safety and privacy of the employees or the customers, harassment and discrimination .1

Introduction: Business ethics is the term that refers to the morality of the business organization or the moral principles followed by the firm. These moral principles act as the guidelines towards the way a business is expected to behave. Being ethical means characterizing between right and wrong and then making choice of right2 . Moreover, ethics can be considered as the concept or a philosophy which seeks in extracting answers concerning some moral concepts such as good, bad, right, wrong evil and so on. In the same manner business ethics can be referred as the study of certain business situations, programs or decisions under which the issues of right and wrong are addressed. The presented qantas case study is focused on the ethical problems and the main components of ethical elements presented in the case study.

There are various ethical problems that can be faced by a business corporation; these issues can be related to accounting, health, safety and privacy of the employees or the customers, harassment and discrimination3 . The below presented case study on qantas is focused on the “wage theft” and “unfair working conditions” for the staff on Christmas. Moreover the research is executed in describing the ethical issues in brief and also the role of self interest is determined.

Ethical problems and ethical elements in the case
Ethical problems: On the basis of the research conducted on the qantas case study it is observed and noted that the employees are facing problems due to the un-ethical means used by Qantas Airways. As given in the case study the airlines sent an email to the workforce asking them to work and volunteer time at the airport during the peak season and busiest period during Christmas. This was purely an un-ethical conduct over the employees or the staff as they were asked to work for extra hours on free basis. After analyzing the case study on qantas the ethical problem raised and faced by the staff of Qantas was of “wage theft”.

Wage theft is the term under which the employee is denied the salary, wages or the other benefits that they are expected and entitled as per the law. Under this violation, the employer or the party that is responsible for paying the employee is held liable4 . This type of theft can occur in number of ways. Wage theft can also occur if a deduction is made in the wages of the employee and that is against the contract between the employee and employer. Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) has been considered as the prime concerned governing law that works in the favour of any case related to wage payments and wage safeguarding. Wage theft can once in a while incorporate deliberate acts where a colleague or supervisor takes the wages planned for another worker5 . These kinds of cases are progressively criminal in nature and might be documented under an alternate arrangement of laws.

On the basis of the case study on qantas, a mail was sent by the airlines to the staff asking them to work for extra hours and volunteer at the airport during the Christmas which was considered as the busiest period of the season. In this mail Qantas is asking the staff for volunteering and to “lend a hand” during their holidays. The business organization wants the staff members to provide support to the airport teams at Sydney over the 2018 pinnacle Christmas travel period, Qantas were trialling another volunteer program for the Campus-based individuals who'd like to for the durations of peak help out the frontline in the months of December and January,". "They expect volunteers to help at oneself administration registration and auto pack drop zone, transporting doors, concourse entries lobby and at the exchange work area. The jobs allotted to volunteers will rely upon their inclinations, range of abilities and security prerequisites." The business entity was denying that the program was focused towards cost cutting, but it was concerned or about “spreading a bit of Christmas cheer during such a hectic period”6 . Qantas claimed that they hire and scale up with the required additional staffs which is also paid fairly during the peak holidays.

Moreover, it is also observed that Qantas posted a profit of $1.6bn this year, and the organization is charging the special Christmas rates to the travellers and also has an impudence of asking the staff and to its lowest paid employees to work for free at Christmas. And after analyzing the case study it has been concluded that such an act of Qantas cannot be considered as volunteering, this wage theft.

Ethical elements: There numerous business specialists treat morals like a lesson on the mount. In spite of the fact that it's hard not to lecture a bit with regards to morals and ethics 7. According to the research discussed in this case study of qantas airlines the great business organizations are that consider the eight elements of ethics. These ethical elements comprise of the ethical bedrock and that builds a great business. As per given in the case scenario Qantas is making use of un-ethical means for the business operations.

The first ethical element is respect, the business organizations is required and expected to develop respect for itself and also should also have respect for its employees. No assumptions can be made towards the employees that the staff will work as they can. No, they do require training and development, coaching and direction8 . But after analyzing the case study it was observed that this ethical element was violated by the business organization. According to the case scenario the airlines was totally into cost cutting and for which they were asking the staff to work for extra hours in the busiest period of Christmas that to for free. No respect towards the staff was observed by this Grinch act of the business corporation.

The second element that can be considered in this case study of qantas airlines is under the present case scenario is integrity. Not to lie, cheat or steal are the basic components of this ethical element9 . The business entities are required to make their word their bond and should also stand for their words. But as noted down from the given scenario Qantas was not on their words. The business organization was asking the employees to work for extra hours that to on free basis which were against the contract between the staff and the company.

Role of self-interest: The term self-interest can be defined or described as the actions that educe the extreme level of persona benefit. According to the father of modern economics, Adam Smith, the best monetary advantage for all can ordinarily be cultivated when people keep their best interests in mind. His clarification of the imperceptible hand uncovers that when handfuls or even thousands keep their best interests in mind, products and enterprises are made that advantage buyers and makers. As given in the present case scenario it is clearly can be observed that motive behind the Grinch Act of Qantas was merely self-interest10 . The business organization was totally involved into cost cutting and hence asked the staff to work for extra hours on busiest period of Christmas for free. As the business entity will have to hire additional staff for helping and supporting the teams at airport at the time of Christmas.

Action of normative ethical theories
The concept of normative ethics can be considered as one of the three main component areas of inquiry of philosophical ethics, the two other being Meta ethics and applied ethics11 . Regulating morals has likewise been alluded as regularizing hypotheses or the ethical speculations that are considered as the discovering machines, which activities aren't right and right or the highlights of identity are positive or negative12 . Regulating morals is standardizing in that they consider moral standards as their models of right activities or the ideals as the benchmarks of a decent characteristic in methods for which right activity can be known in the long run. According to the normative theory the actions of the business firm are considered as un-ethical and wrong, whereas the actions of executives were considered as ethically right13 .

Conclusion
On the basis of the above analyzed qantas case study it is inferred that Qantas was involved and supported ethical problems and due to which suffered lots of negative consequences. The staffs were not treated in an ethical manner and case of wage theft was reported. Moreover, the whole act of the business organization was totally based on self-interest as they were into cost cutting. Furthermore the analysis is also focused on the normative theories of ethics under which the actions of business organization, executives and of the unions are considered. Qantas case study assignments are being prepared by our business experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help online service.

References
1. Trevino, Linda K., and Katherine A. Nelson. Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

2. Crane, Andrew, and Dirk Matten. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, 2016.

3. Crane, Andrew, and Dirk Matten. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, 2016.

4. Weil, David. "Creating a strategic enforcement approach to address wage theft: One academic’s journey in organizational change." Journal of Industrial Relations 60, no. 3 (2018): 437-460.

5. Weil, David. "Creating a strategic enforcement approach to address wage theft: One academic’s journey in organizational change." Journal of Industrial Relations 60, no. 3 (2018): 437-460.

6. Davies, Peter WF. Current issues in business ethics. Routledge, 2016.

7. Barry, Norman. Business ethics. Springer, 2016.

8. Dierksmeier, Claus, Wolfgang Amann, Ernst Von Kimakowitz, Heiko Spitzeck, Michael Pirson, and Ernst Von Kimakowitz, eds. Humanistic ethics in the age of globality. Springer, 2016.

9. Kagan, Shelly. Normative ethics. Routledge, 2018.

10. Westermarck, Edward. Ethical relativity. Routledge, 2017.

11. Murphy, Patrick E., Gene R. Laczniak, and Fiona Harris. Ethics in marketing: International cases and perspectives. Taylor & Francis, 2016.

12. Vaughn, Lewis. Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company, 2015.

13. Bosse, Douglas A., and Robert A. Phillips. "Agency theory and bounded self-interest." Academy of Management Review 41, no. 2 (2016): 276-297.

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