In today’s modern business world, each and every organization has its exclusive role, characteristics and processes. Companies develop its organizational culture and behaviour by taking into consideration different ethics and values. Maintaining the business ethical issues is a trait which is found in a company and it creates the more ethical dilemmas in the working of the business. At the workplace, the ethical issues and dilemmas lead its people to make the wrong decision due to the availability of the different complexities in the business. Ethical issues arise when the people are not able to differentiate between the moral and immoral activities (CSO, 2018).
For this essay, various article and blogs have been taken into consideration. This essay shows the problem faced by the World’s largest social media network i.e. Facebook. The organization is found with the subject of various controversies and goodwill issues. The company is found with unethical scandals which include the issues relates to the privacy of data, trust of the public and personal sharing of the information. Facebook is confronting ethical issues and is facing costly public relation disaster in its business after the reveal of the fact that Cambridge Analytica may have misused the information from 50 million users to try to influence elections (Net, 2014).
The essay includes the discussion related to the unethical practices that are performed by Facebook. It defines the arguments and issues along with the unethical and ethical decision. To maintain the goodwill and reputation in the market companies tries to have a deal in which they try to have a balance between the ethical decision and business profit. This is made to achieve the balance in the organization (News Fox, 2018).
An ethical issue can be defined as the problem, situation that facilitates the individual or group of the organization to choose from several actions that must be evaluated as right or wrong, ethical or unethical action. The business gets affected by the unethical decision taken by the management level. The external pressure is faced by the stakeholders of the company. These stakeholders include the customers, suppliers, government, community, and society as a whole. It is the responsibility of the stakeholders to apply to their values and standards to many different issues such as consumer rights, investor protection from fraudulent activities, working conditions, proper information, the disclosure of facts and environmental protection. All these issues are considered by the stakeholders to have the proper working in the business. Other ethical issues which are taken into the consideration include remuneration, complexity in the business, customer service (Huffpost, 2017).
Following ethics in the business is very important as it makes the image and reputation of the company in the market. The company found not following the ethical practices is considered to be the defaulter by the stakeholders of the company. The companies have to maintain the ethical consideration in their business activities and working. If ethical issues are not taken into consideration various problem company has to face which includes the problem of integrity among the stakeholders, trust factor by the user, conflicts of interest, feeling of fraud among users, discrimination and inverse use of the updated technology (Linkdin, 2014).
Facebook is considered an American social media and social networking service company. The company is started in the year 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. The company was able to earn the good amount of profits and doing the work while maintaining the ethics in its business operations. the company has made the settings in Facebook that users have the right to opt for their own privacy and choose specifically who see their profile due to the reason of personal reasons, of not sharing each and everything to the users and others organization at large. Instead of putting more privacy and security for the data of the users, the companies has shared the data with the other institution and country and earn a large amount from this. This activity is considered to be unethical in nature which ultimately results in the spoil if the company’s image (Shattock, 2013).
Facebook has used the data of the public. The personal information has been shared by Facebook to the other institution to know the pattern of the consumer purchasing behaviour. The work done by Facebook is illegal and unethical as the company has not taken the consent which is required from the Federal Law. Facebook has used the strategy from which experiment the users get harmed (Burke, 2016).
This is not the first time Facebook has come into the unethical practice but the company is practicing this habits from their initial years. The company is indulging in participating in the study and sharing the data which results in the sell of data for a huge amount. The company to survive for a long time has to make a balance between the ethical consideration and maximizing business profit (Bagus, Gabriel and Howden, 2016). But the company has found performing the unethical practices in the business which affects not only the working of employees as well as of it outside investors (Bailey, 2014).
All these measures make the users not to trust Facebook and users stop using the sites which are reflected in the share prices of the company. The reasons Facebook found some unethical practices which include:
- Privacy issues
- The company has tampered with the emotional well-being of 689,003 unknowing users.
- Trust by the users
The company is giving the free services to its users. Facebook does not care about the privacy of the users, well-being or vague concept of human rights. If the users sign up for free then the company will use their information in any way that makes profits in the corporations. There is an ethical alternative in mass social media (Dove, 2016).
Concern for public
The company is doing the unethical practice which affects their lives and amount of earning a profit. The company is practicing the unethical behaviour in its business which affects the working of the business and its stakeholders too. The public got affected by the unethical practice done by Facebook. It has been found that company has been more affected by the media and the public relation in the market. Another reason comes into existence is the fear faced by the bank from maintaining the relations with the public (Martin, Borah and Palmatier, 2017).
The public trust Facebook that their personal information will not share with anyone. Some users do not want to disclose each and everything to the public at large, they want to share the pictures and other moments with their friends only. But after the data breach by Facebook, it made its user not to have access to their accounts as they have shared all their personal details which they do not want to share. This made the public to not to use and even some users have deleted their accounts from Facebook to remain their data confidential (Zimmer, 2010).
The company not only breaks the trust among the users but also dishonored the legal rules under the Data Protection Law. The legal system of the country depicts the efficacy of the ethical concern in the governance system. The follow of clear and transparent formulated law should be there in the organization like Facebook in which there is a fair conduct and honesty should be there (Martin and Murphy, 2017).
Impact on the company
The company has to face various issues in relation to unethical practices done by Facebook. The impact on the company is that company has to face the legal issues, the problem faced in maintaining the relationship with the employee and their performance too get affected as they feel management is not doing their duties well; the trust and loyalty among the users also get affected (Trevino and Nelson, 2016).
The company has to face the penalty due to a breach of contract rather than a technical breach in which accompany gets hacked or shared to another person. Considering the Federal Trade Commission, this is the primary agency that regulates and controls the internet companies. FTC imposed the penalty on Facebook due to the violation of the agreement with the agency. Following problems are faced by Facebook which is as follows:
The company has faced the many legal issues in the environment. The company has faced the issues to harmful practices related to the penalties and other fines in relation to cheating the innocent users. Breaking of laws and engage in the unethical behaviour leads to harmful practices for employee and customers find themselves facing the criminal charges (Helbing and Balietti, 2011).
Employee Performance and relations
The effect of the unethical work done by Facebook is reflected in the performance of employees. Unethical behaviour in the organization brings the negative effect in the working of the employees. The relation between the company and its employees also gets affected by the unethical practices in the business. The company and its top-level management get losing the respect of its employees by following unethical decision making in the organization.
The company also loses its credibility in the market as they do not have reliable users and investors which trust them and give their money to get invested. If a lack of ethics in the business comes to the knowledge of the public then business loses credibility (Chron, 2018).
Effect on the marketplace if Facebook changed its practice
The act of unethical behaviour and practices adopted by Facebook has affected the market and its stakeholders. The bank has faced a downfall in stock prices of the company due to the break of trust in its employees and other related persons. Other changes that can be faced by Facebook is that for the initial years they will face the problem that people will not rely on them. But to maintain the trust they have to build the policies and strategies to have the trust in the bank by the customers (Liu, Musen and Chou, 2015).
For this measure, Facebook and other companies like Apple, has made the provision of providing more security and data protection to its users. The Apple has made in its model of smartphone that more safety is given so that the leakage of the data can be secured. Facebook has made the most appropriate ethical decision by introducing the new privacy principles and limiting the application to access the user’s personal information. In the future, the company has made assurances to comply with the rules of Privacy act 1988 and European Data Protection Law (Gil, Zuniga and Diehl, 2017).
Compliance with these laws and rules made the image and decision of the company in the right direction. It is reasonable to impose these laws and safety measures which the company has used. To deal with ethical issues, Facebook has imposed different safety measures to protect itself from the data protection issues.
Measures to prevent the problem
Facebook can take the measures to prevent the problem of distrust among the stakeholders. This problem can be prevented through by using the following practices in the business which is as follows:
Create Policies and practices
The company must build up such plans and policies which defines, identifies and report about all the ethical concepts which should be followed in the organization. These policies should be articulated in the employee handbook so that employees and other members of the company can come to know that what are the protections and safety measures have to be taken at the time of unethical practices and decision making by the company to secure the data and privacy of its users (Hassan, Wright and Yuklz, 2014).
Develops people Understanding
Understanding the surroundings and people working in the environment is considered essential to know the opportunities and threats present in the market. Most HR professionals in the company trained their employees to behave and act ethically. Facebook should try to develop the process for reporting the ethics violations and building the staff understanding about ethics and the expectations (Giacalone and Promislo, 2014).
Put control in place
In this company tries to put the overall control on the practices followed in the organization. Managing all the risks in the management is done by the top management professional so that the overall staff and process can be managed and maintained. This measure helps the user to have the trust and faith in the company that company will not share their data.
Build a culture of transparency and communication
The policies and procedures are made in such a way that is transparent to each and every stakeholder and related members of the business should get satisfied. The proper channels of communication should be maintained in the organization so that if there is unethical practice in any level of organization, it can be reported to the authorized department. The openness in the channel and communication should be maintained (Wheatley, Maillart and Sornette, 2016).
There is a need to hire the right person for the job and quality should be maintained. The company should always opt for the right, responsible and ethical individual to be the part of the business so that the ethics maintain in the organization.
Unethical practice by other Companies
There are some companies who are doing the same unethical practices as done by Facebook. These practices affect the workings of the company and its users too. This unethical practice makes the users of these sites less in the environment. After sharing of the data with other party and having the lost faith among the users. The following are the companies who have done the same breach of data which are as follows:
Yahoo has also done the activity of the data breach. A data breach of Yahoo has impacted 3 billion user accounts. In this breach of data, the personal information related to the email address, passwords, dates of birth, and telephone numbers of 500 million users are shared. This breach accounts for an estimate of $350 million of Yahoo’s sale price. This sharing of data by this authentic and reliable sites made the users feel distrust and lose their faith in the company and switch to other companies (News Fox, 2018).
Adult Friend Finder
This is the company which is dealing in the casual hook-ups and adult content websites. These companies also do the unethical practice by sharing the personal data of the users. Around 420 million accounts got affected by this breach of data in the year 2016. Hackers get collected 20 years of data on six databases that included names, email addresses and passwords.
Some companies are finding to do the same practice as done by Facebook. But the whole industry is not performing the same unethical decision-making procedures in their activities. Various media is the evidence that the other service industry is also performing the same unethical practices which are done by Facebook (Xu, Loi and Ngo, 2016). It has been found from the research that if any company found with the problem of data breach or sharing of information with the other organization, it will lose their customers and users.
Other details and Ethical consideration by Facebook
Facebook has implemented various sustainable policies and practices to make the goodwill and showing the ethics followed by the company. The company is performing the ethical activity to show the public and its stakeholders at large that they are working while maintaining the ethics in the business. The company is trying to have the ethical image in the minds of public and using the strategies in which the social welfare is the main aim. Facebook has made many campaign and program in which the social welfare is the goal of the company. All these measures are taken by Facebook to implement the ethics in the business. The responsibility towards society is performed by Facebook (Voegtlin, 2016).
Following measures are taken by Facebook to implement the sustainability policy in the business:
- The company has revised the group environment policy to ensure the protection of the environment.
- Increasing focus on carbon emission disclosure.
- There is the introduction of new human Rights Statements.
- Privacy measures.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the practicing the unethical decision in the business operations make the survival and existence of the business difficult. Facebook is surviving from the problem of unethical practice by some of its members which make the reputation of the business bad in front of the public. The organization is found doing the various unethical works in the environment in which defrauding and cheating with the customer is one of them. The breach of data is meant to be the unethical practice in nature. The company lost their customers and trust in them too by not giving proper transparency and accountability of their details accounts.
Other unethical practices are found with Facebook from which the loyalty among the customer is lost because of the privacy of the data and sharing of the confidential information. To maintain its image in the market again, Facebook comes up with the strategy and policies in which they tried to work for the welfare of the society, environment and community as a whole. For this, they introduced the data protection policy, the safety of data measures, new Human Rights and management policies. Other measures are also taken by the company which includes giving more focus to the carbon emission disclosure.
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