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    Business Ethics and Responsible Management - Vodafone

    University: University of Roehampton London

    • Unit No: 3
    • Level: Post Graduate/University
    • Pages: 14 / Words 3388
    • Paper Type: Essay
    • Course Code: BUS020X601A
    • Downloads: 308
    Question :

    This assessment will cover the following questions:

    • Identify the key stakeholders and their impact on them and examples of how ethical choices have benefited and provided disadvantages to other businesses.
    • Generate the nature of the ethical issue and the role of business in society.
    • Vodafone is a technology communication company. What are ethical leadership and the creation of an ethical organization?
    • What are the organizational values in ethical organization practices?
    Answer :


    Gender pay gap can be defined as a difference between the wages of staff members on the basis of their gender. In other words, it can be defined as the variation in the remuneration of male and female staff members who are working on the same job profile. There are various factors which are promoting it and these are demographics such as race, age, educational level, regional difference between belief and attitude about gender and work (Akama-kisseh, 2016). It results in lower moral of women workers as they are getting lower salaries than men for the same work. This project is based upon this issue and for better understanding on this concept the organisation selected is Vodafone. It is one of the largest multinational telecommunications sector company which having headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire and London. It operates business all around the world including Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa etc. It was founded by Gerry Whent and Ernest Harrison. Present essay covers various topics such as ethical issues, role of business in society, five stakeholders, example of good and bad ethics along with recommendations to the company for the purpose of dealing with the problems. Additionally, some theories are discussed and applied with criticism and recommendations and a reflection for own experience is also provided in this project.

    PART 1 A

    1. Ethical issue or issues

    One of the common ethical issue which is affecting all the business entities such as Vodafone is gender pay gap. It is very important for the company to look at this problem from an ethical perspective of ethics as it may affect the staff engagement in future and also result in lack of skilled and experienced female staff. The gender pay gap in Vodafone is very high and the women employees are getting lower salaries as compared to the men workforce. At the upper level of the company proportion of pay bad for male staff is 72.2% on the other hand the percentage for the same in context of women is only 27.8% which is very low. It shows that there is a huge gender pay gap in the company which is discriminating between the employees in the basis of their gender (Gender pay gap in Vodafone, 2019). 88.8% of the male staff members are getting bonus from the enterprise but only 87.8% women are receiving bonus from the side of the company. The management is required to pay attention towards these element and reduce the discrimination. Due to this issue the public image of the company is getting affected because of the gender pay gap within the enterprise. It is affecting the mind set of skilled women who are looking for job in telecommunication sector as they think that they will also get lower compensation. It is creating a negative image of the organisation in the market and may also affect its profitability in future (Camillus, 2014).

    2. Role of business in society

    Vodafone plays a vital role in the society as it is one of the largest companies which are running business in telecommunication sector. The main aim of the company is to connect the people with a better future for which the enterprise render different services to the clients so that they can stay in touch with their friends and families living in various corners of world. There are various digital facilities which are developed by it and it sparks in the development of them which is leading the world towards digital transformation. It shows that the enterprise is playing a major role in the society by awaking the individuals about different kinds of services which could be used by them to stay connected with people from various locations. The company believes that maintaining healthy balance is possible with the help of a digital life which will reduce the time spent by them to perform daily life activities (Role of Vodafone in society, 2019).

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    3. Five Stakeholders

    The individuals or external as well as internal parties who are having power or interest within the organisation are known as stakeholders. In order to maintain their interest it is very important for all the companies to make sure that all their requirements are fulfilled properly. Some of the stakeholders of Vodafone are being impacted due to the gender pay gap of the enterprise. These are employees, managers, investors, customers and government.

    Staff members are affected because they are not getting right amount of compensation and due to this their work quality is also decreased. Managers are also suffering because of gender pay gap because they have to face conflicts with female employees as their salaries are very low in comparison of men workforce (Cohen, 2017). As the level of discrimination in the workforce is high in Vodafone in the basis of their salaries therefore it is affecting the productivity of the company and resulting in lower profits. It is impacting investors because low profitability is affecting their returns on the money invested by them in the company. Customers are also getting impacted due to gender pay gap in Vodafone because it is creating a bad image of the enterprise in the market which affect their interest in the organisation. Lastly, government is also getting impacted due to the problem of the entity because it is very important for all the companies to ignore discrimination among staff members on the basis of compensation. It is resulting in increased efforts of governmental authorities to form new policies for the ignorance of such issues.

    4. Examples of good and bad ethics

    There are various businesses which are acting responsibly and some of them are not doing the same. One of the organisations for good ethics is Unilever in which women earn 9% higher than the men employees. It shows that the gender pay gap within the enterprise is very low which helps to establish a good market image. Another example of the business which is acting responsibly is online supermarket Ocado in which females are paid 1.4% higher as compared to males. One of the good ethics example is British Museum in which all the men and women staff members get the same payment for their services (Companies with no gender pay gap, 2019).

    One of the example of businesses which are not behaving responsibly is Vodafone which is having a huge rate of gender pay gap and female staff members are not paid the same amount for their services as compared to the male employees (Spicer, 2018). It is the major example of unethical behaviour and the company is facing various challenges due to this. These are lower employee engagement, bad public image etc.

    5. Recommendations

    For all the companies which are having gender pay gap issue it is very important to take appropriate steps so that it could be resolved and all the employees get right compensation for their work. There are various suggestions which could be provided to Vodafone as it is having the issue at a higher level. The management can take following steps to respond the problem properly:

    • The human resource managers of the company are suggested to conduct the assessment for salary increment on the basis of skills as it will help to reduce the possibility of discrimination on the basis of salaries.
    • Vodafone is recommended to conduct structured interview for recruitment and promotions as it helps to ignore the biased and unfair decisions (Easton and Boyle, 2016).
    • The managers of the enterprise can encourage the salary negotiation by showing the ranges for salary as most of the companies do not allow women to negotiate their wage. It will help to reduce the possibility of gender pay gap if they will be allowed to negotiate it.

    PART 1 B

    1. Description of theories

    There are various types of theories which could be implemented within the organisations for the purpose of analysing the level of unethical behaviour and convert it in to ethical one. The description of major of them is as follows:

    Normative ethical theory: This theory guides the managers and leaders to study the ethical actions which could be taken by them for the purpose of finding appropriate solutions for the problems faced by their organisation. It helps them to analyse the level of rightness and wrongness of the steps which were taken by them in past or will be taken in upcoming period. It helps to conduct an empirical assessment of moral beliefs of individuals (Mothobi, 2019).

    Descriptive ethical theory: It is a type of theory which helps to conduct a research of attitudes of individuals or a group of them. It helps to uncover the belief, values and attitudes of individuals and then analyse that what was wrong and what is right to do. It is highly focused with the study of morality so that it can be analysed that the steps which are taken previously were adverse or favourable (McElhaney and Smith, 2017).

    2. Application of theories

    In order to find the right solutions for the problem of gender pay gap the managers of Vodafone can apply different theories. All of them are discussed below in context of the organisation:

     Normative ethical theory: In order to analyse the steps which are taken by the top level executives of Vodafone they can apply this theory which will be beneficial to analyse that these are right or wrong. As the the level of gender pay gap is very high therefore the management can find the causes of the issue with the help of this theory as it will guide them to examine rightness and wrongness of actions which are taken by them (Frempong, 2015).

    Descriptive ethical theory: This theory will be beneficial for the managers of Vodafone to analyse the level of morality which is shown by them towards their subordinates. For the purpose of assessing the factors causing or results of gender pay gap it will be implemented by the management. With the help of this theory the response of employees on the salary policies could be determined by the top level authority and then appropriate solutions could be figured out for business issues.

    3. Criticism of theories

    There are various advantages and disadvantages of normative and descriptive ethical theories. Both of them in the context of these theories are as follows:

    Advantages and disadvantages of normative ethical theory:

    • Advantages: With the help of this theory most ideal decision and highest expected value outcome could be generated which provides higher level of accuracy in the judgements which are made by the managers.
    • Disadvantages: It is based upon perspective approach in which true decision making is required and for the purpose higher involvement of management is required. Due to this their attention from the other activities could be diverted (Criticism of normative and descriptive ethical theories, 2019).

    Advantages and disadvantages of descriptive ethical theory:

    • Advantages: It helps the managers to analyse the events which will occur in future so that effective decision for the betterment of the organisation could be formulated. It helps to be prepare for the uncertainties which may take place in upcoming period.
    • Disadvantages: All the external factors which may change due to outsider's forces are considered by this theory therefore the decisions which are formed with the help of it cannot be considered as accurate (Khushalani, 2017).

    4. Recommendations

    On the basis of the two theories which are applied in Vodafone following recommendations are provided to the management of Vodafone for the purpose of resolution of the Gender pay gap:

    • The managers are required to analyse the rightness and wrongness of the actions which are taken by them as it may result in conflicts with the staff members.
    • Management of Vodafone can implement the descriptive theory which will help them to analyse behaviour of staff members against the policies implemented by them (Schneider, Iseke and Pull, 2019).

    PART 2

    1. Ethical leadership management in an un/ethical organisational culture

    The leadership which is based upon ethical values and beliefs is known as ethical leadership. There are various qualities which are required to manage it, which are fairness, honesty, trust, charisma, consideration etc. therefore for all the leaders it is very important to make sure that they are having such characteristics as it can help them in proper management. While working in an organisation it is very important for a leader to make sure that ethical behaviour followed by him as it can help to enhance motivation level of all the staff members working within the company (Lawton and Páez, 2015). The main responsibility of him is to ensure that the business entity is ethical and for this purpose he is required to make sure that all the needs and expectations of employees are fulfilled and their interests are met properly. In an ethical organisational culture ethical leadership management is the behaviour of a leader which is shown by him against the employees working under him.

    2. Analysis of the way in which integrity and compliance in an un/ethical business environment can be maintained

    Integrity and compliance are two major ethical codes which are required to be focused by all the leaders who are willing to enhance productivity of staff members. Both are aligned with the mission, values and vision of the organisation. In an ethical business environment it could be maintain by leaders by paying attention towards fulfilment of employee's requirements. There are various steps which could be taken by leader. These are taking about importance of ethics, keeping employees aware of all the issues which may leave negative impact upon them, upholding all the commitments and promises that are made with employees and stakeholders. Along with this, ethical conduct could be acknowledged and rewarded by the leaders for the purpose of maintaining integrity and compliance (Ng and Feldman, 2015). By paying attention towards all these points the managers in the companies can make an ethical working environment for all the staff members so that they can work productively and effectively.

    3. Reflection on the own experience and knowledge

    I believe that all the leaders must behave ethically with all the subordinates as it can help to motivate them to work properly. In my knowledge the main qualities for him are proper communication, sticking to the commitments, honesty, justice for all, highly focused on team building, encouraging initiatives of employees etc. When I was working in a company I was paying attention towards fulfilment of all the requirements of staff members as it will be beneficial for becoming their choice of employers. For example, while trying to attain the target of higher employee engagement I tried to communicate with all the subordinates properly so that I can motivate them to work effectively with higher involvement. I promised them that if they will work hard then I will talk to upper management to provide them raise on the basis of their efforts. I done the same and fulfilled all my promises which helped me to be the ethical leaders. If would not have worked according to my commitment then it would have affected the staff engagement because they will not work properly of they are not having any motivation whether it is monetary or non monetary.

    4. Conclusion

    On the basis of this part of the essay I can conclude that for all the organisations it is very important to promote ethical behaviour at workplace as it can help to reach the long term business goals. I believe that if a leader is having different characteristics such as proper communication, supportive nature, commitment, honesty, focus on team building etc. then it can help to build a ethical working and business environment for all the employees. With the help of it goals such as higher employee engagement could be achieved. If all the promises which are made by the leaders are fulfilled then it will be beneficial for the organisation to reach its main objectives such as higher profitability (Sharif and Scandura, 2014). For the same purpose, the leaders are also required to maintain integrity and compliance. There are various activities which are required to be performed for maintaining these two major elements. Some of them are talking to staff about importance of ethical behaviour, informing employees about the issues which may affect them, upholding all the promises and commitments, acknowledging the ethical conduct of workforce. By paying attention towards all these processes an organisation will be able to manage the staff members and their productivity in effective manner.

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    From the above project report it has been concluded that gender pay gap is one of the major problem which is faced by most of the companies now a days. It is the issue which results in lower payment to the female employees as compared to the male staff members. Most of the large business entities are having it as they are paying lower salaries to the women in comparison of men. Due to this other problems such as lower staff engagement, bad public image etc. are also faced by the organisations. It affects stakeholders such as employees, managers, customers, government and investors. There are various ethical theories such as normative and descriptive which may help to find the best suitable solutions for the problems faced by the enterprises. For all the entities it is very important to maintain integrity and compliance at workplace for the purpose of becoming an ethical organisations.

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    Camillus, J. C., 2014. The Business Case for Humanity in Strategic Decision Making. Vilakshan: The XIMB Journal of Management. 11(2).

    Cohen, E., 2017. Employee training and development. In CSR for HR (pp. 153-162). Routledge.

    Easton, F. and Boyle, P., 2016. Frontier’s Conversation with the Vice-Chancellor. Frontier. (2). pp.12-13.

    Frempong, A. A., 2015. Brand Quality Perceptions and Preferences in the Telecoms Industry in Ghana Insights from Mtn, Vodafone and Tigo (Doctoral dissertation, University of Ghana).

    Khushalani, B., 2017. An investigation on the role of sponsorship on rugby and its brand perception on consumers-case of Vodafone, Ireland (Doctoral dissertation, Dublin Business School).

    Lawton, A. and Páez, I., 2015. Developing a framework for ethical leadership. Journal of Business Ethics. 130(3). pp.639-649.

    McElhaney, K. and Smith, G., 2017. Eliminating the gender pay gap: Gap Inc. leads the way. The Berkeley-Haas Case Series. University of California, Berkeley. Haas School of Business.

    Mothobi, O., 2019. Zambian Data Prices Fall by More than 70% but Internet Use Remains below 20%.

    Ng, T. W. and Feldman, D. C., 2015. Ethical leadership: Meta-analytic evidence of criterion-related and incremental validity. Journal of Applied Psychology. 100(3). p.948.

    Schneider, M. R., Iseke, A. and Pull, K., 2019. The gender pay gap in European executive boards: the role of executives’ pathway into the board. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, pp.1-23.

    Sharif, M. M. and Scandura, T. A., 2014. Do perceptions of ethical conduct matter during organizational change? Ethical leadership and employee involvement. Journal of Business Ethics. 124(2). pp.185-196.

    Spicer, T., 2018. 100 days for change. Training & Development. 45(2). p.18.

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