The following exercise contains is a list of questions facing particular industries, where there is increasing expectations on them to move to a more socially responsible position. Identify the arguments for and against – what would you recommend in each case?
- Should car manufacturers only produce vehicles that have maximum speed of the legal speed limit, as speeding is dangerous?
- Should supermarket chain cease selling cigarettes, as they are harmful to consumers?
- Should mobile phone companies restrict young people (under 25 years) from entering phone contracts, so that these customers do not get into financial difficulties?
- Should banks remove their ATMs from clubs and casinos so that problem gamblers cannot access cash on the premises?
- Should fast-food chains decide NOT to market products to children (via advertising and merchandised toys with meals), particularly after they have invested millions in kid-friendly premises, menu items and in-store playgrounds?
- Should telephone directory pages continue to be produced physically? They both use enormous quantities of paper and many people utilize the internet to find firms and phone numbers.
- Should pet stores be allowed to sell live animals, as the animals are sometimes kept in poor conditions?
- Should department stores, car dealers, ad other retailers required to disclose how much commission their sales people earn on sales?
- Which of the above statements do you agree with (that is, the firm should move in this direction)?
- What are the for/against arguments, from a firm’s perspective, of implementing some of these actions?
- If you were the CEO of one of the above firms, what would you actually do?