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Business Ethics ­MGT610
VU
LESSON 30
COST AND BENEFITS
The problems involved in getting accurate measurements of the benefits and costs of pollution
control are also illustrated by the difficulties businesses have encountered in trying to construct
a social audit (a report of the social costs and social benefits of the firm's activities). This can
be difficult, however. How do we measure the costs and benefits of pollution control when they
involve damages to human life or health? Measurement itself is also difficult when the effects
of pollution are uncertain and therefore hard to predict. In fact, getting accurate pollution
measurements is sometimes nearly impossible, and the problem only is multiplied when there
are a number of polluters in a single area. Measuring benefits is likewise difficult, which poses
significant technical problems for utilitarian approaches to pollution.
Even where measurement is not a problem, another problem remains for the utilitarian
approach. Is it morally permissible to impose costs on unwilling or unknowing citizens? Can
some unilaterally impose costs on others without their consent? Even getting consent is tricky,
because many pollution problems involve information and risks that are extremely technical
and difficult to understand. It is perhaps impossible in principle to get informed consent from a
segment of the public on some complicated issues.
Because of these problems, some contend that utilitarianism cannot lead our pollution control
policy. Perhaps absolute bans on pollution are more adequate. Some writers even suggest that
when risk cannot be reliably estimated, it is best to steer clear of such projects. Others maintain
that we should identify those who will bear the risks and take steps to protect them.
It holds that until those patterns of hierarchy and domination are changed, we will be unable to
deal with environmental crises. In a system of hierarchy, one group holds power over another
and members of the superior group are able to dominate those of the inferior group and get
them to serve their Many thinkers have argued that the environmental crises we face are rooted
in the social systems of hierarchy and domination that characterize our society. This view, now
referred to as social ecology, ends.
Until these systems (such as racism, sexism, and social classes) are changed, we will be unable
to deal adequately with the environment. Eco-feminists, a related group of thinkers, see the key
form of hierarchy connected to the destruction of the environment as the domination of women
by men. They believe that there are important connections between the domination of women
and the domination of nature­patterns of thinking, which justify and perpetuate the
subordination. This logic of domination sets up dualisms (artificial and natural, male and
female) where one of the pair is seen as stronger and more important. To solve our ecological
problems, we must first change these destructive modes of thinking.
According to the ethics of caring, the destruction of nature that has accompanied male
domination must be replaced with caring for and nurturing our relationships with nature and
other living things. Nature must be seen as an "other" that must be cared for, not tamed or
dominated. Thought-provoking as these approaches are, they are still too new and undeveloped
to give us specific direction.
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Business Ethics ­MGT610
VU
Basis of social audit
Social audit as a term was used as far back as the 1950s. There has been a flurry of activity and
interest in the last seven to eight years in India and neighboring countries. Voluntary
development organizations are also actively concerned.
Social audit is based on the principle that democratic local governance should be carried out, as
far as possible, with the consent and understanding of all concerned. It is thus a process and not
an event.
What is a social audit?
A social audit is a way of measuring, understanding, reporting and ultimately improving an
organization's social and ethical performance. A social audit helps to narrow gaps between
vision/goal and reality, between efficiency and effectiveness. It is a technique to understand,
measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of the organization.
Social auditing creates an impact upon governance. It values the voice of stakeholders,
including marginalized/poor groups whose voices are rarely heard. Social auditing is taken up
for the purpose of enhancing local governance, particularly for strengthening accountability and
transparency in local bodies.
The key difference between development and social audit is that a social audit focuses on the
neglected issue of social impacts, while a development audit has a broader focus including
environment and economic issues, such as the efficiency of a project or program.
Objectives of social audit
1. Assessing the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for
local development.
2. Creating awareness among beneficiaries and providers of local social and productive
services.
3. Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programs.
4. Scrutiny of various policy decisions, keeping in view stakeholder interests and
priorities, particularly of rural poor.
5. Estimation of the opportunity cost for stakeholders of not getting timely access to public
services.
Advantages of social audit
(a)
Trains the community on participatory local planning.
(b)
Encourages local democracy.
(c)
Encourages community participation.
(d)
Benefits disadvantaged groups.
(e)
Promotes collective decision making and sharing responsibilities.
(f)
Develops human resources and social capital
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Business Issues
  2. INTRODUCTION (CONTD.)
  3. THEORY OF ETHICAL RELATIVISM
  4. MORAL DEVELOPMENTS AND MORAL REASONING
  5. MORAL REASONING:Arguments For and Against Business Ethics
  6. MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAME
  7. UTILITARIANISM:Utilitarianism: Weighing Social Costs and Benefits
  8. UTILITARIANISM (CONTD.):rule utilitarianism, Rights and Duties
  9. UNIVERSALIZABILITY & REVERSIBILITY:Justice and Fairness
  10. EGALITARIANS’ VIEW
  11. JOHN RAWLS' THEORY OF JUSTICE:The Ethics of Care
  12. THE ETHICS OF CARE:Integrating Utility, Rights, Justice, and Caring
  13. THE ETHICS OF CARE (CONTD.):Morality in International Contexts
  14. MORALITY IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS:Free Markets and Rights: John Locke
  15. FREE MARKET & PLANNED ECONOMY:FREE TRADE THEORIES
  16. LAW OF NATURE:Theory of Absolute Advantage, Comparative Advantage
  17. FREE MARKETS AND UTILITY: ADAM SMITH:Free Trade and Utility: David Ricardo
  18. RICARDO & GLOBALIZATION:Ricardo’s Assumptions, Conclusion
  19. FREE MARKET ECONOMY:Mixed Economy, Bottom Line for Business
  20. COMPETITION AND THE MARKET:Perfect Competition
  21. PERFECT COMPETITION
  22. MONOPOLY COMPETITION:Oligopolistic Competition
  23. OLIGOPOLISTIC COMPETITION:Crowded and Mature Market
  24. OLIGOPOLIES AND PUBLIC POLICY:Ethic & Environment, Ozone depletion
  25. WORLDWATCH FIGURES:Population Year, Agriculture, Food and Land Use
  26. FORESTS AND BIODIVERSITY:The Ethics of Pollution Control
  27. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL:Toxic Chemicals in Teflon
  28. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL
  29. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL:Recommendations to Managers
  30. COST AND BENEFITS:Basis of social audit, Objectives of social audit
  31. COST AND BENEFITS:The Ethics of Conserving Depletable Resources
  32. COST AND BENEFITS:The Club of Rome
  33. THE ETHICS OF CONSUMER PRODUCTION AND MARKETING:DSA Comments
  34. THE ETHICS OF CONSUMER PRODUCTION AND MARKETING:Should Consumers Bear More Responsibility?
  35. THE CONTRACT VIEW OF BUSINESS' DUTIES TO CONSUMERS
  36. THE CONTRACT VIEW OF BUSINESS' DUTIES TO CONSUMERS:The Due Care Theory
  37. THE SOCIAL COSTS VIEW OF THE MANUFACTURER’S DUTIES
  38. ADVERTISING ETHICS:The Benefits of Advertising, The harm done by advertising
  39. ADVERTISING ETHICS:Basic Principles, Evidence, Remedies, Puffery
  40. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Psychological tricks
  41. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Criticism of Galbraith's Work
  42. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Medal of Freedom
  43. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:GENERAL RULES, Substantiation
  44. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Consumer Privacy, Accuracy
  45. THE ETHICS OF JOB DISCRIMINATION:Job Discrimination: Its Nature