There are some ethical issues involved. Firstly, Firebombed and Fitch (A&F) practices subtle racism through selective labor hiring based on their looks rather than their abilities and qualifications. On most occasions, A&F finds models or great looking people to represent their sales force. There were numerous complains whereby A&F managers maintains an “all-white” workforce, forcing non- Caucasian employees to be hired for nightshirts and backroom storage away from the eyes of the public.
While such hiring practices abide to the federal law, it is unethical as it violates basic human rights. While such acts intend to build a classy and stronger brand image so as to promote sales as well as value add to their products, deliberate misrepresentation tends to affect many stakeholders. Consumers may be more willing to purchase from A&F at a higher price due to the advertising rather than for the quality of the clothes itself. There is also conflict of interest between management and employees where A&F benefits from commanding a higher price premium which in turn generates a larger revenue.
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Non-advantaged employees tends to work with few career advancement opportunities and is treated unfairly against “white” employees. Secondly, A&F targets their marketing efforts only to only the slim and fit people. They do not offer large size clothes to women. Furthermore, in an interview in 2006 A&If’s CEO Mike Jiffies out rightly claimed that they do not want big sized people to wear their clothes in an effort to preserve their brand image. Such enacted values will have a great influence on existing and future employees which are important stakeholders.
Employees whose values are misaligned with A;F may quit. For the first ethical issue, the risk mainly revolves around the fact that in today’s regressing society, unethical business practices do not go unnoticed. Consumers may deemed A&F as unethical and unacceptable and in turn boycott its products, resulting in a damaged reputation and drive down its sales. The benefits would involve a high end brand image and the chance to reap more revenue from it. I think for this ethical conflict A&F should have adopted utilitarianism.
Being one of the leading fashion retail shops in the USA, many other smaller retailers are looking at their actions as a guide and this can implicate many people and even the entire fashion retailing industry. Therefore, they have the moral obligation to act in the greatest good for the greatest number’. If they have evaluated the risk and consequences of their actions on their stakeholders namely the employees, management and customers, minimal selective hiring would be performed whereby the least harm is done on its employees without affecting its customers and management.
However, it was possible that if they had adopted this approach benefits to its management and customers in terms of income and customer experience would outweigh the risk and hence Justify their actions. A better approach would be the fairness of Justice approach in which it emphasize distributing benefits and harm among its shareholder in a fair, equitable and impartial manner. The employees have the basic right to be treated fairly and managers whom use tens approach would not nave arc EAI t ten Dalliance AT unarm Ana benefits distributed among the employees.
For the second ethical issue, whereby the do not produce large clothing and display a strong sense of negativity towards the unfit and ugly looking people. I feel that they should have adopted the conventional approach. Comparing their actions to societal norms, many clothes retailers often makes specific efforts to certain segment of the market. However A;If’s outright and strong sense of negativity towards ugly looking people brings up a major issue of ethics, bad business and poor marketing.
Even though their target marketing will raise brand awareness and image in the short run, as the world of fashion broadens its view and becomes more accepting to what is beautiful or cool, large size people have become more common and respected and if they do not change their position as the leading retailers might be shaken. In addition for both ethical issues, upon the virtue ethics, moral employees can demonstrate their own personal virtues and go beyond societal moral standards. In this case, employees with virtues such as fairness and integrity will not approve of its company’s actions as they infringe on many personal rights.
A;F is a large company with many employees, If all of them had protested together, their strength in numbers would be strong enough for the top management to listen . Furthermore, under the moral rights approach, employees could have brought the issue to the media and appropriate authorities as he employees had the right to freedom of speech and managers whom follow this approach would not have interfered with their individual rights. There are 2 key reasons to why such unethical behavior persists. Firstly it is the difficulties faced when it comes to reporting unethical behaviors.
Most of the time, employees make ethical decisions based on relativism, where the notion of right and wrong depends on the prevailing norms of the company. When the top management condones such unethical acts, few middle and frontline mangers would question about it. Hence session of selective hiring were made based on the assumption of expected and accepted behavior in the company. There is also a strong pressure towards the ethical individuals of being labeled as whistle blower and lose their Jobs because of that. Hence some virtue people may not necessary follow their virtue ethics.
Furthermore, following Utilitarian approach, employees may consider the greater good for the company as the fact that A;F had taken up such a debatable position made it such a trap that anyone who tries to change its image would kill the brand image it had built on for so many years. Hence a dilemma between sustaining a brand at the cost of ethics is faced. Ironically, it is also because employees know of the negative effects that A;F will suffer from if they try to change their practices that they continue to tolerate unethical acts.
Secondly, people’s unethical behaviors are often motivated by their economic self interest and guided by egoism. Their actions aim to produce greatest good for themselves instead for the whole corporation and its stakeholders. Managers are responsible towards their shareholders and if A&F unprofitable they are accused of incompetence and ay lose their Job. Hence this influences them to continue cutting cost through selective hiring and continue to build on their brand image to value add to their products.
Sometimes their bonus are align with the amount of revenue they are able to generate and hence with personal gains some managers are willing to take risk to reap rewards. I nee ended up Eden Deadline Dye ten snort term Detentes Ana neglect the long term detrimental effects on the company. Internal control will be the better solution to curb these issues. The retailing/fashion community should implement a implicate-based ethics program for business in their industry to increase control and punish unethical wrongdoers.
It aims to create a corporate culture in which moral uprightness is emphasizes as the norm of the company. Unethical behaviors should be stopped and punish at first occurrence before it becomes entrenched in the company’s culture. A good whistle blowing system where anonymity of the whistle blower is uphold also empowers them when unethical behaviors is displayed by the high ranking managers in the company. As it is difficult to deter unethical behaviors when human greed is involved, it is important that the management is committed to enforce their policies and to communicate their expectations clearly to employees.