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Business Ethics and Technology - Tesco

Introduction to Ethical Dilemmas

The main purpose of this essay is to discuss ethical conditions in commercial activities and technological development. In this essay, the analysis will be done about the statement that if the society is impaired by the society or not. This analysis will be done on the basis of the Tesco company and the problems that were posed to the organization in relation to the ethical consideration of technology (Glueckauf et al., 2018) . Also, due amount of consideration would be given to the impact of such impairment on different individuals and the influence it will have on the business of the concerned organization.

Issue and Argument on Ethical Dilemmas

Yes, the society in the current times is impaired by the use of technology. This statement is very much true and also there are many individuals living in the society who are conscious about the same. But still they avoid making any efforts to get rid of the impairment caused by it (Harris, et al., 2015). The key reason for this impairment is that technology is isolating individuals from one another as well as creating an impact on the cultural background and their endowment.

The application of conventional mobile-based technologies has resulted in the reduction of interaction level and the connection among various individuals (Assasi et al., 2016). Also, technology has the potential to reduce the private time of an individual that is time a person requires for himself. The key reason for the reduction of private time is that due to the boons of technology an individual is communicating with some or the other person at some point of time, hence not getting time for himself.

Ethics -Based Problems of Technology in Business

Any science related development enables an organization to apply technologies with an attempt to reach the objectives of their business (Nath et al., 2015). Through the use of technology, a business can successfully achieve its objectives in a more simple manner and also in a way that has never been implemented before. In many fields, when any technology is incorporated then automatically it starts breaking the code of conduct of that particular organization, in terms of the activities of their employees which might not be considered to be ethical. Government-based companies as well as morally-based organizations have an understanding of such disadvantages. Also, the governing bodies have taken an initiative to provide norms and principles related to the personal life of an individual. Furthermore, they have even taken an initiative to regulate the networking organizations. There are several companies that has established a self-privacy law and have even executed intrinsic strategies with an attempt to restrict the happening of certain immoral activities. Hence, any organization who is required to appear behavioural is required to evaluate if the technology they are going to use has the potential to create a negative influence on its people (Biglu et al., 2016). Thereby, they should restrict the application of these technologies to only essential work of the organization.

Impact on Tesco

Tesco is considered to be the greatest retail organization of the british world and it is also counted among the leading ten retail companies specializing in grocery products in the United Kingdom (Nalliveettil, et al., 2016). The concerned organization was developed by Jack Cohen when he started to trade extra groceries from a shop towards the eastern part of London in the year 1919. Tesco deals with food products, beverages, outfits as well as electric gadgets along with many other commodities.

Tesco is adequately making use of IT ( Information Technology) in terms of executing its commercial activities, that is handling the information base of their consumers, particulars about their commodities and also to keep the information updated in the data system of the organization. Also, the concerned organization has taken the initiative to manage the profile of their consumers along with the record of the deals made by them in the past. The company has also taken a significant step to create a membership card that will serve their customers with a significant level of discounts in their future ventures. Such a membership card that was developed by Tesco is a technology that is required to gather information about the consumers, like their name, location, date of birth, grocery needs, regular needs and how often these customers buy products from Tesco.

The clubcard also requires them to explore the past record of their consumers. Though this is serving to be an advantage for the Tesco company but again the process of gathering the personal information about the customers is not considered to be ethical (Madary et al., 2017). But Tesco, performed well in terms of developing its information system, aiming at consumers with significant advertisement schemes and through the application of particular coupons. But still the process of achieving the same is not considered to be ethical as it over rules the privacy of its customers. Hence, the people involved in the business of the Tesco company are unable to see the darker side of technology that interferes with the privacy concerns of their customers.

Ethical Implication of Cell Phones and Text Messages

The use of mobile phones has made the process of communication very much simple as it enables the workforce of an organization to attend significant phone calls from any place and they have to be near their office table every time to attend these phone calls (Kuss et al., 2018). Mobile phones are considered to be very much beneficial in terms of staying connected with the marketing division of a particular organization or any other members of the workforce who tends to spend a major portion of their time outside the premises of the office.

However, the use of mobile phones also has the potential to create a negative impact on the functioning of an organization which will discussed in the points below:

  • The use of mobile phones interferes with the flow of work of an organization. There is a high chance that an employee would be required to attend their private calls during their office hours or even official calls that might create a disturbance for them in terms of executing their functions (Glueckauf et al., 2018). Also, this contributes towards enhancing the viewpoint that the workforce of an organization is always ready to attend phone calls.
  • The use of mobile phones also has the potential to reduce the work-life balance of an individual (Chartrand, 2016). There are some employees who are required to attend phone calls even beyond their working hours, which tends to create a negative impact on the stability between their professional life as well as personal life. This is considered to be the greatest drawback of communication through mobile phones. It is intruding into the privacy of an individual beyond their office hours. This makes it really complicated for an individual to even relax beyond their office hours and enjoy their private life. Furthermore it creates a negative impact on the social life of an individual as well. This exposes an individual to an immense level of pressure.

Impact on Text Messages

It has been determined that the workforce of an organization only does use the process of voice calls but they make use of various channels to pave way for their communication to execute in an adequate manner. Due to the improved level of technology, people can communicate by sending and receiving messages on their cell phones, through the sharing of images and videos, email technology as well as through the process of spontaneous texting.

But still mobile phones also have the potential to be misused by different individuals. In the case of an organization, if the workforce has each other's phone numbers it is not necessary that they will use it for only appropriate needs, but it can also be misused. Moreover, it can be used to transmit inadequate images, messages as well as mail to other employees of the organization (Bauer et al., 2017). This is considered to be an unethical factor in terms of the use of technologies. There might be instances when an employee can receive a picture or even a video which they might find to be inadequate and even beyond the purpose of their official requirement. It means it creates harassment on the part of the employees by interfering with their privacy. Such kind of unethical behaviour is deemed to create a conflict among the employees of an organization. In order to resolve the same, a higher level of discipline would be required on the part of the organization and the organization will also be required to pay attention to its norms and strategies in relation to the harassment of its employees.

Conclusion on Business Ethics and Technology

Through this essay, it has been determined that technological development has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Technology has contributed to a great extent towards making the work of an individual easier and also in terms of enhancing the efficiency of particular business. For example, the use of Club Cards by Tesco has provided various provisions for their customers but it has also intruded into the privacy of their customers. Furthermore, it has been determined that mobile phones and text messages has proved to be beneficial in terms of connecting the employees of an organization but it has disrupted the private life of these employees.

References for Business Ethics and Technology

Harris, B., & Birnbaum, R. (2015). Ethical and legal implications on the use of technology in counselling. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(2), 133-141. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10615-014-0515-0

Assasi, N., Tarride, J. E., O’Reilly, D., & Schwartz, L. (2016). Steps toward improving ethical evaluation in health technology assessment: a proposed framework. BMC Medical Ethics, 17(1), 34. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12910-016-0118-0

Madary, M., & Metzinger, T. K. (2016). Real virtuality: a code of ethical conduct. Recommendations for good scientific practice and the consumers of VR-technology.

Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3, 3. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frobt.2016.00003/full?source=post_page

Glueckauf, R. L., Maheu, M. M., Drude, K. P., Wells, B. A., Wang, Y., Gustafson, D. J., & Nelson, E. L. (2018). Survey of psychologists’ telebehavioral health practices: Technology use, ethical issues, and training needs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49(3), 205. Retrieved from https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-28691-004

Bauer, M., Glenn, T., Monteith, S., Bauer, R., Whybrow, P. C., & Geddes, J. (2017). Ethical perspectives on recommending digital technology for patients with mental illness. International journal of bipolar disorders, 5(1), 1-14. Retrieved from https://journalbipolardisorders.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40345-017-0073-9

Chartrand, R. (2016). Advantages and disadvantages of using mobile devices in a university language classroom. Bulletin of the Institute of Foreign Language Education Kurume University, 23, 1-13. Retrieved from https://swsu.ru/sbornik-statey/pdf/gaiken23_1-13.pdf

Nalliveettil, G. M., & Alenazi, T. H. K. (2016). The impact of mobile phones on English language learning: Perceptions of EFL undergraduates. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 7(2), 264-272. Retrieved from www.academypublication.com/ojs/index.php/jltr/article/view/jltr0702264272

Nath, A., & Mukherjee, S. (2015). Impact of Mobile Phone/Smartphone: A pilot study on positive and negative effects. International Journal, 3(5), 294-302. 

Biglu, M. H., & Ghavami, M. (2016). Factors influencing dependence on mobile phone. Journal of Research in Clinical Medicine, 4(3), 158-162. Retrieved from https://jrcm.tbzmed.ac.ir/Article/JARCM_1358_20160608174916

Kuss, D. J., Kanjo, E., Crook-Rumsey, M., Kibowski, F., Wang, G. Y., & Sumich, A. (2018). Problematic mobile phone use and addiction across generations: The roles of psychopathological symptoms and smartphone use. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 3(3), 141-149. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41347-017-0041-3

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