Test-takers are given instructions regarding length and content.
(A)“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” – Peter Drucker
Does successful leadership rely more on personality or other skills?
(B) “Being good is good business.” – Anita Roddick
Should ethics and morality be applied to business? If so, to what extent should they be applied?
You have 30 minutes to write your answer. You should write more than 200 words; if you write less, your score will be less.
Your essay should:
- Clearly present your ideas about the topic and be well organised.
- Use appropriate examples or details to support your opinion.
- Make accurate use of a suitable range of grammar and vocabulary.
Your score will be based on these aspects.
Give reasons and examples to explain your opinions.
Write your answer in the box below.
Nowadays, companies are under increasing scrutiny regarding their ethical behaviour. We have seen the scandal of phone hacking in the media, corrupt banking practices resulting in a worldwide banking crisis, and companies which cause terrible damage to the environment. I fully agree that ethics and morality should be applied to business and at every level, from the most humble worker to the boardroom.
The first argument I would make is that being ‘bad’ is obviously bad for business, and the best example of this can be seen in the fairly recent phone hacking scandal, as a result of which a prestigious and hugely successful newspaper was forced out of business due to the ensuing negative public perception. The same fate has befallen some retail outlets which were shown to be exploiting third world labour, and especially child labour, in the clothes manufacturing industry.
The problem for many organisations is that the opportunity to prove to consumers that they are good rather than bad is limited. However, it can be done, and Anita Roddick’s Body Shop is a good example of a company which succeeded in creating a public perception of a highly moral organisation which avoided animal cruelty, while managing to make healthy profits in spite of being more expensive than many of its competitors. Another success story is that some stores have recently gone plastic-free to help the environment and they have seen a positive response from their customers. So, although it may be difficult, ethical behaviour can have a positive impact on business.
To sum up, it seems clear to me that nowadays every company needs a responsible and moral mission statement which is strongly communicated to every employee as well as their consumer base and which is open to the closest scrutiny.