Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

Nursing : A Case Study


In the medical industry, doctors and nurses need to co-operate to ensure the hospital is working efficiently. There is a difference between their roles. Generally, doctors will diagnose the problem or the sickness and offer their opinions. Meanwhile, a nurse’s responsibility is to provide assistance to the doctor by carrying out the treatment (Stedman, 2008). It is wrong to put more importance on one role than the other. Nurses are pivotal in making sure that everyday task runs smoothly. Therefore, this article will examine the job scopes of a nurse by using a case study of an elderly burnt victim. It will look at the client’s pathophysiology condition, prescribed medications relevant to the client’s diagnosis and their side effects, the purpose and outcome of any medical procedures, recent advances in nursing care and management in regards to the client’s condition and a discharge plan for the client and family members to follow.

The case study

The case subject is Mr. Newton, a 54 years old man, who suffered from burnt injuries due to a fire accident at home. He has fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette and the bed linen caught on fire. He suffers from full thickness burns on the upper half of his chest, back and at the back or posterior aspects of both upper arms. Besides that, he also sustains superficial partial-thickness on his face, neck and hands. Mr. Newton arrives at the hospital 5 hours after the incident. Upon his admittance into the emergency room, he is inserted with a foley catheter and nasogastric or NG tube. Further assessment reveals that his lungs are clear with a productive cough of carbon-tinged sputum. His NG tube contains dark yellow-green liquid and his foley catheter has burgundy-colored urine. Since the foley catheter is inserted 2 hours ago, it has managed to drain a total of 150cc urine output. The pulses are difficult to palpate as his extremities are edematous. Mr. Newton’s blood pressure is 96/50, pulse rate is 100, respirations are 24 breaths per minute and his temperature measures at 1000F.

Pathophysiology of the client’s condition

According to Craft, Gordon and Tiziani (2011), pathophysiology can be defined as the functional changes associated with or resulting from disease or injury. In regards to the case study, Mr. Newton, there is a slight increment on his heart rate and peripheral vascular resistance. This can be due to the secretion of catecholamines from tissues that are injured during the fire (Brown & Edwards, 2008). The patient’s central nervous system secretes norepinephrine and dopamine as his body gets ready to response to the situation (Brown & Edwards, 2008). Aside from that, hypovolemia will also occur and this is caused by dehydration as well as a loss of about 10 to 20 percent of blood volume due to the burns (Brown & Edwards, 2008). In the beginning, the client’s cardiac output may decrease and this condition should return to normal after 24 hours if sufficient fluid is administered (Craft, Gordon & Tiziani, 2011). Due to an increase in the rate of metabolic activity in the patient’s body, cardiac output will eventually get a little higher. Besides that, a higher temperature should also be noted as tissues go through a phase of denaturation or the unfolding of proteins (Craft, Gordon & Tiziani, 2011).

Prescribed medications, side effects and contraindications in relevance to the client’s condition

Burns can be caused by different reasons. Generally, burns can be categorized into four types. They are thermal, electrical, chemical and radiation burns (Diepenbrock, 2010). Therefore, medication should be rightfully prescribed according to the different types of burns in order for them to work efficiently.

Due to the extremities of his injuries, nurses are likely to prescribed analgesics for the purpose of controlling the amount of pain (Diepenbrock, 2010). A few examples of analgesics are Morphine sulfate, Vicodin and Demerol. Some of the common side effects of this medication are nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, orthostatic hypotension, irregular heart rate and hypothermia. If analgesics are taken over a long period of time with a high dosage, it can also cause liver damage, respiratory depression as well as addiction. The contraindications of analgesics in the case subject, Mr. Newton should be stopped if he has a history of asthma attacks, respiratory problems, constipation or sustained a head injury.

Besides that, nurses will also prescribed topical antibiotics for the client in order to prevent infections and bacteria growth (Diepenbrock, 2010). One example of a topical antibiotic is Silvadene. It requires application on the burnt areas by using a sterile technique. The wounds need to be cleaned first before using the cream. This medication is known to cause allergic reaction on patients who are sensitive towards silver sulfadiazine. In some rare cases, the usage of Silvadene can also result in fungal infection and hemolysis. Therefore, Mr. Newton will be monitored all the time for any signs of allergy. Since this medication cannot be applied on the face, nurses may also prescribe other forms of antibiotics such as oxacillin, mezlocillin and gentamicin (Diepenbrock, 2010). Aside from analgesics and topical antibiotics, anabolic steroids like oxandrolone may also be given to the client in order to help shorten the time for the wounds to heal (Diepenbrock, 2010)l.

Medical procedures: Purpose and Outcomes

The first medical procedure is to check for cervical spine protection and airway maintenance (Gatford, 2006). This is to ensure that the client’s airways are not blocked. Intubation can also help doctors and nurses to administer certain types of drugs. Next, vascular access should be obtained by inserting a phlebocatheter into a blood vessel (Gatford, 2006). This procedure is an easy way for medical personnel to draw blood or giving medications or nutrient to the patient. Then, the client should be hooked up to monitoring devices for vital signs and follow by a thorough and systematic trauma survey.

Later, fluid resuscitation should be started by following the Rules of Nine. This medical procedure is important to ensure optimal blood flow and to replenish body fluid that is lost due to the injuries (Kralik, Trowbridge & Smith, 2008). After all that, managing the pain is the next step. Since the client has third and second degree burns, doses of analgesics will be administered to control the pain. Antibiotics and immunization against tetanus can also be given to the patient in order to avoid any forms of infections (Kralik, Trowbridge & Smith, 2008). If the patient is non-responsive, nasogastric tube with IV proton blocker should be inserted. Subsequently, a foley catheter is also put in for the purpose of urine observation. Since the client’s urine is burgundy in color, a sign of renal failure, fluid bolus is administered until the urine changes to straw color (Kralik, Trowbridge & Smith, 2008).

Finally, the patient should be applied with a thin layer of silver sulfadiazine and covered with sterile sheet (Lehne, 2010). This step will ensure that the patient will not suffer from hypothermia and the wounds are well taken care of. Further laboratory tests can be taken and a more comprehensive diagnosis can be given after receiving the results.

Nursing Outcomes

After all the necessary steps that have been taken above, there should be a few noticeable outcomes on the burn patient. Mr. Newton’s airway will remain open and provide adequate ventilation. The client should also feel relief from pain through the administration of analgesics and other medications. Besides that, the readings on body temperature, fluid volume and cardiac output will stay within an acceptable range. Wounds are cleaned, dressed and remained free from any signs of infections. Nurses will also get valuable information from the patients such as family history, special dietary needs and allergies that will help in a more precise diagnosis and better medical treatment (Sole, Klein & Moseley, 2009).

Recent advances in nursing practice for the caring of burn patients (Literature-based)

Experts have found there is no single theory that is adequate in addressing the different aspects of patients’ care (Sullivan, 2008). In Australia, they have found the evidence-based theory is not fully developed and sufficient to be used while caring for burn patients (Sullivan, 2008). However, nurses can choose to adopt suggestions based on Orem’s Self-Care Model as it is one of the closest to a comprehensive guide in caring for burn patients (Stedman, 2008). This model consists of three theories. They are known as the theory of self-care, the self-care deficit theory and the theory of nursing systems (Stedman, 2008). Orem’s Self-Care Model provides a sequence of actions that can be used by nurses on their patients at different stages. When the burn patients first arrive, nurses are supposed to adopt the wholly compensatory system. As the burn patients are in the process of healing, nurses will move on to the partially compensatory system. Finally, during the patients’ rehabilitation process, nurses will progress to the supportive-educative system. There are some weaknesses and limitations to Orem’s Self-Care Model. Therefore, Watson’s caring theory and Roy’s adaptation model can also be incorporated for a thorough nursing practice in caring for burn patients (Sullivan, 2008).

Discharge Plan

Burn patients are discharged from the hospital after a certain period of time that is determined by their physicians. There are some instructions which the patient will need to follow and normally, this involves the family members as well. The discharge plan will include informing the patients regarding their medications, diet restrictions, physical therapy and rehabilitation, ways to care for the wounds and dressings as well as instructions for follow ups (Tiziani, 2010).


Suffering from burn injuries can be devastating to a patient’s life. It is a painful and long journey to full recovery. On contrary belief, nurses hold an important role in ensuring the quality of treatment that patients receive during their stay in the hospital. Immediate actions taken by these medical personnel can prevent further damage to the tissues which lead to a lower percentage of scarring. After the initial diagnosis, the healing process and everyday tasks are taken over by the nurses. They ensure that patients receive their medication on time, monitor for any vital changes as well as the cleaning and dressing of the wounds. The support system given by nurses can help to reduce the patient’s suffering and make sure the road to recovery a more comfortable one. In order to perform efficiently, nurses are required to constantly educate themselves on the current advances in their respective field.


Brown, D & Edwards, H (2008). Lewis’s medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems. Australia: Elsevier. New South Wales.

Craft, J, Gordon, C & Tiziani, A (2011). Understanding pathophysiology. Australia: Elsevier. New South Wales.

Diepenbrock, N (2010). Quick reference to critical care (4th edition). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Maryland.

Gatford, J. D (2006). Nursing calculations (7th edition). China: Elsevier. Beijing.

Kralik, D, Trowbridge, K & Smith, J (2008). A practice manual for community nursing in Australia. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Lehne, R. A (2010). Pharmacology for nursing care (7th edition). Australia: Elsevier. New South Wales.

Sole, M. L, Klein, D. G & Moseley, M. J (2009). Introduction to critical care nursing (5th edition). Elsevier Saunders. St. Louis.

Stedman (2008). Medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Maryland.

Sullivan, E. J(2008). Effective leadership and management in nursing (7th edition). Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Tiziani, A (2010). Harvard’s nursing guide to drugs (8th edition). Elsevier Mosby. St Louise.

Motivation: Theory and Practice


Motivation theories and practices remain as one of the most difficult subject to understand. In order to fully comprehend this topic, one must go through several disciplines and enormous research. This is especially crucial in the workplace. There is no methodology that is more efficient in increasing productivity than using motivation. Despite the importance of practicing motivation theories, it is still an area that very few have ventured in. One of the many reasons behind the reluctances of managers to carry out motivation theories is due to the complexity of understanding human behavior (Landy & Conte, 2007). Therefore, it is safe to say that most theories of motivation deal with the different aspects of human nature. This paper is going to look at 4 different motivational models. They are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Aldefer’s ERG theory, Herzberg’s two factor theory as well as Adam’s equity theory. The similarities and differences of these models will also be discussed in this paper. This is the prerequisite knowledge for the next section of the paper that is application of these theories by managers in order to help reduce the problem of involuntary absenteeism in the workplace and employee disengagement.

Motivational models

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Nobody can make a dent bigger than Abraham Maslow who introduces the hierarchy of needs model in 1940s. There are 4 layers in this motivational model and it is often portrayed in the form of a pyramid (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2004). He believes that certain human needs are dominated over others. Therefore, at the bottom of the pyramid is the most basic and important needs of a human being. This layer consists of fulfilling the physiological needs of an individual such as food, water and air (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2004). Literally, these are aspects that are required to ensure the human survival. After the physiological needs have been cater to, the second layer of the pyramid is satisfying the safety needs. This can be triggered by war or economic downturn whereby a person seeks for personal security such as family and health as well as financial security like employment and property (Montana & Charnov, 2008). According to Maslow, the third hierarchy involves achieving a sense of love and belonging (Montana & Charnov, 2008). This plays true to human’s nature as a social animal. Friendship, family and intimacy play an important role in meeting emotional obligation. The next layer is getting respect from others and building self-esteem (Montana & Charnov, 2008). Lacking in these aspects will lead to helplessness and depression. Finally, at the top of pyramid is the layer of self-actualization (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2004). This is the stage where somebody reaches their full potential in life. One of the major criticisms of this model is the need to fulfill a human’s needs according to a hierarchy, from the bottom to the top of the pyramid. However, in real life, a person can be demotivated as a result from various reasons and not following a certain order.

Aldefer’s ERG theory

Clayton Aldefer comes up with a revised version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The ERG theory also describes the necessity to fulfill human needs according to an order. Each letter of this model represents the three levels of needs. They are existence, relatedness and growth (Hoffmann, 2007). The existence needs are aspects that are needed to maintain the physical well-being of a person (Pattanayak, 2005). After this has been fulfilled, a person will move on to finding the relatedness needs such as building satisfying relationship with others (Pattanayak, 2005). Finally, a person will seek out his or her needs for growth whereby the competence level is developed and full potential is realized (Hoffmann, 2007). One of the major differences between Aldefer’s ERG theory with Maslow’s motivational model is the amount of flexibility. Although it is mainly concentrating on an individual fulfilling his or her needs progressively, Aldefer also acknowledges that a person may regress to lower level needs as they are easier to reach a level of satisfaction. Besides that, this flexibility also allows ERG theory to justify and observe a wider range of behavior. Therefore, ERG theory understands that different people will have different needs and the order can be changed or even, pursued at the same time.

Herzberg’s two factor theory

Frederick Herzberg is the psychologist who founded the two factor theory. According two him, there are two factors that play an important role in the enhancement of motivation and satisfaction of an employee in the workplace. They are known as the hygiene and motivator factor (Tosi, Mero & Rizzo, 2000). Hygiene factors are aspects to avoid unpleasantness while working but do not guarantee satisfaction (Tosi, Mero & Rizzo, 2000). This includes good working condition, feelings of job security, quality relationship with supervisor and colleagues, company policy, salary and etcetera. Meanwhile, motivator factors will lead to personal growth as well as job satisfaction (Schermerhorn, 2011). These factors are important in order to motivate employees to work harder and increase productivity. Components such as gaining recognition, opportunity for promotion, given more responsibility and stimulating work, just to name a few, will motivate workers to improve their performances. Herzberg’s two factor theory is similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in terms of acknowledging the necessity to fulfill the requisites so that, motivation can occur. However, Herzberg argues that only the highest level of Maslow’s pyramid, self-actualization, can lead to motivation (Schermerhorn, 2011). The lower needs will only cause dissatisfaction if they are not fulfilled.

Adam’s equity theory

This motivational theory is named after John Stacey Adam. The equity theory states that there should be an equal balance between an employee’s output and input in order to create motivation, satisfaction and productivity (Miner, 2007). An employee’s input is what and how much they put into the work (Miner, 2007). This includes variants such as effort, loyalty, hard work, commitment, flexibility, trust in superiors and personal sacrifice. Meanwhile, an employee’s output is what he or she gets back in return (Jones, Steffy & Bray, 1991). Determinants like financial rewards, recognition, a sense of achievement, praise and job security will be taken into consideration. There is a similarity between Adam’s equity theory with models that are proposed by Maslow and Herzberg. He agrees that subtle factors can affect the perception of an individual towards his or her work. However, the equity theory model is more fluid and thus, creates awareness as well as understanding to better handle wider situations from humans’ multi-faceted behavior (Jones, Steffy & Bray, 1991).

Application of motivational theories by managers in the workplace

Motivation plays a crucial role in any organizations in terms of increasing productivity. The effectiveness of a company is highly dependent on their employees’ desire to strive for success. On the other hand, demotivated workers can cause several problems. One of them is the involuntary absenteeism in the workplace. This is an indicator of low performance as workers are unable to complete their duty or obligation to their fullest. Another issue with demotivated workers is disengagement. Disengaged employees are not interested or have no passion in their jobs anymore. This feeling will reflect on their poor work performances. This section discusses the application of motivational theories that have been mentioned above by managers to solve the aforesaid problems in the workplace.

There are many factors that can contribute to the demotivation of employees. Mainly, this is caused by the feeling of dissatisfaction with their work. One way managers can motivate their workers is through the creation of incentives such as gift cards, giving recognition and orchestrating friendly competitions (Landy & Conte, 2007). Based on Maslow’s motivational model, managers can offer different incentives to help employees to fulfill each need. Therefore, managers should also be aware that each employee is motivated in different ways and requires different incentive plans that cater to their needs (Landy & Conte, 2007). Besides that, employees do not move up the hierarchy at the same time and on the same pace.

Apart from that, managers can try to motivate their employees by practicing Herzberg’s motivational theory. Adopting a more democratic approach can actually help to curb problems such as absenteeism and disengagement as employees have a positive view about their jobs (Lussier & Achua, 2009). One way is to give the workers a variety of tasks to perform. This will make the job seems more interesting and less mundane. Managers should also not be afraid to challenge their employees with more complex tasks. This can be stimulating and create a sense of accomplishment when employees are able to complete them. Besides that, managers can consider giving their workers more power when it comes to making decisions about their jobs.

If a manager practices the ERG theory, he or she will come up with plans that concentrate on the various needs of the employees at one time in order to motivate them (Lussier & Achua, 2009). The frustration-regression step should also be taken into serious consideration (Landy & Conte, 2007). Therefore, an employee should not be blamed when he or she takes a step backward in their job performance because the environment does not allow him or her to have the opportunity to grow personally and advance to a higher status. It is important for managers to take care of this situation as soon as possible because frustrated employees who are not satisfied with their jobs will lead to demotivation after a prolong period of time. This is when employees have the tendency to be absent or disengage from their work.

Finally, managers who like to apply Adam’s equity theory in order to motivate their employees should be aware that there must be a fair return to compensate for the work done by their employees (Lussier & Achua, 2009). However, this can be rather confusing as each employee has different notions on what constitutes a fair deal as it is often injected with personal values by the workers (Landy & Conte, 2007). For example, a single working mother may accept a lower salary to trade for shorter working hours so that, she can spend more time with her family will consider this to be fair. Besides that, an overly generous manager who pays excessively to his or her employees can also create an imbalance in the input and output scale. An overpaid employee has the tendency to decrease their productivity and feel demotivated.


This paper has looked at four different motivational theories. They are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Aldefer’s ERG theory, Herzberg’s two factor theory and Adam’s equity theory. Besides that, a brief discussion on the similarities and differences of these motivational models are also included in this paper. A thorough understanding in this area is crucial for managers in handling demotivated employees. Effective application of motivational theories will solve various problems such absenteeism and employee disengagement. Employees who are satisfied and motivated can increase the productivity of their companies. In a nutshell, managers who can create a motivated working environment by making use of the study in human nature will be able to reap the benefits.


Hoffmann, S. (2007). Classical motivation theories: Similarities and differences between them. GRIN Verlag. Munich.

Jones, J., Steffy, B. & Bray, D. (1991). Applying psychology in business: The handbook for managers and human resource professionals. Lexington Books. Maryland.

Landy, F. & Conte, J. (2007). Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Lussier, R. & Achua, C. (2009). Leadership: Theory, application & skill development. Cengage Learning. Connecticut.

Miner, J. (2007). Organizational behavior: From theory to practice. M. E. Sharpe. New York.

Montana, P. & Charnov, B. (2008). Management. Barron’s Educational Series. New York.

Pattanayak, B. (2005). Human resource management 3rd edition. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

Pride, W., Hughes, R. & Kapoor, J. (2004). Business. Cengage Learning. Connecticut.

Schermerhorn, J. (2011). Exploring management. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Tosi, H., Mero, N. & Rizzo, J. (2000). Managing organizational behavior. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Moral Issues in Business focusing on Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics.


According to Soanes & Stevenson (2010), ethics can be defined as ‘a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field or form of conduct.’ Ever since the olden days, human beings have been trying to decide a clear distinction between right and wrong. Although there are a set of rules or norms that society follows, however, the line between black and white is often blurred making it hard to determine what is ethically correct or unjust.

Currently, the world is following three general moral philosophies. They are metaethics, normative ethics and applied ethics (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Each school of thoughts portrays different issues that argue about the meaning of being morally right. However, one concept cannot stand on its own without being dependent on the others (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Therefore, these moral philosophies are inter-related. Metaethics is the general outlook to ethical studies. It involves the study on metaphysical and psychological issues (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Normative ethics involves coming up with a moral standard to judge an action whether it is morally right or wrong (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Meanwhile, applied ethics will look at, examine and analyze moral issues that are specific or controversial such as abortion and homosexuality (Shaw & Barry, 2009).

This article will discuss moral issues that are involved in a business environment by using the principles from normative ethics or deontology. There are three strategies that are suggested; virtue theories, duty theories and consequentialist theories (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2009). However, this article is only going to focus on analyzing and examining duty based theories. Immanuel Kant is probably one of the most prominent figures in this area (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2009). Therefore, this article will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses on Kant’s duty-based ethics. It will also include suggestions for managers or professionals who want to apply this ethical theory in their organization and the benefits that they can gain from it.

Kant’s duty-based ethics

Kant is one of the most sought after names when it comes to business ethics. Having been influenced by Pufendorf, Kant agrees that each individual has the obligation to perform moral duties to oneself as well as to other people (Bowie, 1999). However, he argues that there are two types of duty; hypothetical and categorical imperatives (Bowie, 1999). The hypothetical imperative is when an individual will perform a certain action in order to achieve a desired end result (Bowie, 1999). Meanwhile, the categorical imperative involves an individual performing a certain action as compulsory regardless of the end result or away from any personal influence (Bowie, 1999).

For Kant, he believes that categorical imperative is the basis principle to determine whether one’s action is deemed to be ethically correct. He has proposed three versions or maxims of categorical imperatives (Bowie, 1999). Firstly, an action can only be considered as ethically correct if it can be accepted or made into a universal law (Bowie, 1999). For example, an individual who is in financial trouble make a fake promise to return back the money which he or she has borrowed. One has to decide whether it is possible to make an untruthful agreement when one is in a desperate situation into a universal law. If the answer is no, then, according to Kant, the action is unethical. The second maxim states that a person should be treated as an end and not the means to achieve an end (Bowie, 1999). This means that every individual should be treated with respect and not just as an instrument to achieve personal happiness or goals. For example, it will be morally wrong to commit suicide because an individual is seen as using life as a mean to escape from experiencing further misery or hardship. Finally, the third maxim calls upon each individual to act as a member of an ideal kingdom where he or she is both the ruler and subject at the same time (Bowie, 1999). It simply means that a set of rules that are made should treat every individual with respect and dignity. These rules should also be accepted by everybody.

The next section of this article will delve deeper into Kant’s duty-based ethics by paying special attention to the three formulations that are mentioned above. Each maxim will be examined on their strengths and weaknesses supported by examples that are related to business.

Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics: Strengths and Weaknesses

Based on the first maxim from the categorical imperative, Kant suggests that every action should follow a certain set of guidelines that is adheres by everyone as a universal law without any exception (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2004). Both the action and principle must be coherent in order to be considered as ethically or morally wrong (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2004). Therefore, if an individual does not agree to follow certain rules, those standards are no longer relevant or valid. For example, if everyone feels that it is fine to break promises in any given situation, then, promises will no longer holds any value in the society.

One of the positive outcomes from the first maxim is that it ensures a certain level of certainty when it comes to ethical decision making (Case, 1996). This is because Kant’s duty-based theories only focus on the actions and not the consequences of those actions. So, an individual should be able to take a moral action without much dilemma if the decision is right and govern to a set of rules that can be universalized (Case, 1996). For example, from a business point of view, a company who tried to re-negotiate a contract is considered as immoral. This happens with General Motors who tried to reduce the price that are stated in the initial contracts with their suppliers (SAGE Publication, 2011). So, one has to think whether the action of breaking contracts can be universalized. The answer is no simply because contracts will cease to exist as nobody will believe that the other party has the intention of keeping their promises.

However, most critics argue that in the real world, nothing is clear cut. Since Kant’s duty-based theories can be considered as an absolutist, there should be no exceptions to any given rules (Smith, 2008). Many business organizations will often re-negotiate contracts due to many factors such as economic change. A contract that is made 5 years ago may no longer be relevant today. Although this situation often occurs, many businessmen still believe in the action of contract making. If it is solely based on Kant’s first maxim, then, contract making will become irrelevant.

Another advantage of applying this ethical theory is the emphasis given to the moral values of every person. Kant’s second maxim proposes that every human being should be treated as an end and not as an instrument to meet an end (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). The focus of this principle is to give equal treatment to every human being (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). In order to achieve this, Kant’s has suggested two different forms of freedom; negative and positive freedom. Negative freedom emphasizes that an individual should not be deceived or coerced into doing something (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). Meanwhile, positive freedom is the privilege to allow an individual to develop to his or her full capability (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). In a nutshell, in order to treat another human being with respect, an action should not involve any form of deception or coercion and it must allow the development of a person’s moral potential.

Due to the current economic downturn, many companies are laying off their employees. To many people, this may seem to be an immoral act. However, according to Kant’s second maxim, this may not necessarily unethical as long as the employers do not deceive or coerce their employees into taking the job (Painter-Morland & Werhane, 2010). This is because most employers argue that employees should be well aware there is a chance of unemployment when they are hired for the job position. Furthermore, workers often jump from one job opening to another in search for better personal benefits. Therefore, this makes the action of laying off employees morally correct. As a result, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based ethics permits wrong actions to occur that consequently will make the world a less happy place (Painter-Morland & Werhane, 2010). Employees lay off during economic turmoil has bad consequences. During this time, workers are looking at their employers to treat them with respect and reward them for their loyalty. When this situation does not happen, critics debate that employers are not exercising human rights. This act in itself goes against Kant’s second maxim.

Finally, the third formulation suggested by Kant that is each member of the society or organization should act as if they are a member of an ideal kingdom in which he or she is the ruler as well as the subject (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). This brings about the advantage that every individual possesses the autonomy and rationale to make informed as well as ethically correct actions (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). In a business setting, any regulations and policies that are made by an organization should take into account the interest of every individual before they are implemented (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). This allows the ability for every human being to be treated with respect under a set of rules that are agreed by everyone.

However, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based theory does not deal with conflicting situations (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). In a real business scenario, it will involve giving employees a lot of autonomy when it comes to decision making. An individual’s interest has the power to overrule the interest of the whole group. Kant’s third maxim will also mean that an organization should not have a hierarchical organization where workers perform the orders by their managers. When duties are conflicted, Kant duty-based ethics does not suggest any resolution for the situation (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). Furthermore, without a certain autonomy given to the managers, an organization will cease to work efficiently.

The Usefulness of Applying Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics in a Workplace

Although Kant’s duty-based ethics have its limitations and challenges but if the three maxims are taken as a whole, it can serve as a guide to managers and professionals on managing their organizations better (Boje, 2008). Since Kant stresses the importance of morally motivated actions, organizations will be able to create a positive working experience (Boje, 2008). One of the methods of applying Kant’s duty-based ethics is to have a more democratic workplace. When employees are given more autonomy in an organization, they will feel a sense of belonging making them more motivated to do a better job. Aside from that, companies that place considerable interest on their workers will also provide a sense of security making them more loyal to the firm.

One good example is to implement an open book policy where employees are frequently updated with the financial status of their companies (Case, 1996). This method is headed by Jack Stack from Springfield Manufacturing Company (Case, 1996). Since employees are able to obtain important information at any point of time, this makes it difficult for employers to deceive or hide any unwanted negative news from them. As a result, employees will more likely cooperate with the organization in order to help it to get over these hard times. Motivation to work harder can come in many forms. It can be due to being respected or the work is meaningful giving the workers a sense of satisfaction.


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Bowie, N. E (1999). Business Ethics: A Kantian Perspective. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Brenkert, G. G & Beauchamp, T. L (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics. Oxofrd University Press. New York.

Case, J (1996). The Open-Book Management: Coming Business Revolution. HarperBusiness. New York.

Donaldson, T & Werhane, P (2007). Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach. Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Ferrell, O. C & Fraedrich, J (2010). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making& Cases. South-Western College Pub. Boston.

Painter-Morland, M & Werhane, P (2010). Cutting-edge Issues in Business Ethics: Continental Challenges to Tradition and Practice. Springer. New York.

Pfeiffer, R.S & Forsberg, R. P (2004). Ethics on the job: Cases and Strategies. Wadsworth Publishing. Beverly.

SAGE Publication (2011). SAGE Brief Guide to Business Ethics. SAGE Publications. Thousand Oaks.

Shaw, W.H & Barry, V (2009). Moral Issues in Business. Wadsworth Publishing. Beverly.

Smith, J. D (2008). Normative Theory and Business Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Lanham.

Soanes, C & Stevenson, A (2010). Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. New York.

Innovation – Dropbox.com


Innovation can be defined as a form of new creation for the purpose of improving existing products, services, technologies or ideas in order to make them more effective (Roebuck, 2011). These new ideas are often accepted and appealed to a larger market because they provide comfort and convenience to the users. One company that is synonymous with the word invention is Dropbox.com. This company is founded by 2 graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT in 2007. They are Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi (Roebuck, 2011). Both come up with the idea of innovating the way individuals can share files and folders on different devices such as mobile, desktop and laptop which they own through file synchronization using the Internet. Basically, Dropbox is a company providing web-based file hosting services through cloud storage (Surhone, 2010). Although not new, this service can be considered the first of its kind as it solves most of the problems that existing service providers are suffering from at that time. Till date, Dropbox has registered more than 50 million users and grossing revenue worth $240 million, an astounding figure for a small and new company (Surhone, 2010). Therefore, this paper is going to analyze the innovative ideas from Dropbox and their success throughout the years. Besides that, an elaboration on the impact this company has made to individuals, companies, schools and organizations will also be discussed. In order to see the growth of this company, this paper is also going to look into its financial situation. Finally, this essay will end with a conclusion as a form of summarization from the points that have been discussed and analyzed.

Dropbox: Reinventing innovation in cloud storage

The whole idea starts with the founder of Dropbox, Drew Houston, who keeps forgetting his USB drive while he is studying in MIT. Due to problems such as poor networking, bugs and not user friendly services, he begins to script his own program that will enable him to access files and folders from anywhere easier and more efficient as long as he has access to the Internet. Soon, he begins to realize that this program can benefit other people who are facing the same problem and thus, the creation of Dropbox.com.

Dropbox is a free service that enables users to share photos, documents and videos from anywhere (Miller, Vandome & John, 2010). This is made possible by the usage of cloud storage technology. Every file and folder users upload onto their computer, it can directly be shared with other devices as well. From desktop, laptop to mobile, this innovative idea will keep all that information safe. Every user is offered with a 2 GB free online storage. However, if someone wishes to upgrade their online storage, they can pay $10 per month for 50 GB or $20 monthly for 100 GB.

This program appeals to a wide market because of its ability to allow users to retrieve their information even if something happen to one of their devices from any part of the world (Miller, Vandome & John, 2010). This scenario often happens to users who are frequent travelers with a high possibility of forgetting to bring along some important documents or losing their electronic devices to accidental spills. Aside from that, Dropbox is able to offer its services to a wide range of operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iPhone and Blackberry in comparison to other providers of the same kind (Perera & Pudney, 2011). Besides that, there are also some add on for web services that allow users to do more with their files and folders like synching IM chat logs, the ability to send files to Dropbox via Gmail and etcetera.

All these services that are provided by Dropbox are innovative as it manages to provide convenience and efficiency to users in files and folders managements as well as in eliminating existing problems in cloud storage technology.

The success of Dropbox

Dropbox has achieved many milestones since their official debut in 2008. The founder of this company, Drew Houston, has probably made one of the smartest business moves by turning down Steve Jobs’s offer of buying his idea for Apple. In October, 2011, it is estimated that this company is worth between $5 and $10 billion making Dropbox one of the upcoming and most profitable company in Silicon Valley (Perera & Pudney, 2011). It ranks in the fifth place beside giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and Groupon.

Apart from that, Dropbox has also received many praises for its easy to use and simple design from publications like The Washington Post and The New York Times. In 2009, Dropbox receives the Crunchie Award for Best Internet Application as well as Editor’s Choice Award for Macworld (Feinleib, 2011). The company continues its winning streak and in 2010, Dropbox is nominated for the Webby Award and the Mac Design Awards (Feinleib, 2011).

Furthermore, Dropbox is listed as one of the top 10 applications of all time for both, Apple and Android users. With all these awards and financial success, both founders, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, enter the top 30 entrepreneurs who are under 30 years old. In 2012, TechCrunch, a website that publishes analysis and technology news, has crowned Dropbox as the startup company of the year.

Implications of Dropbox on individuals, companies, schools and organizations

There are many implications towards individuals, companies, schools and organizations that use the Dropbox technology. Most of these implications are believe to be positive. First of all, this program allows users a very easy way to share files and folders (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010). For individuals, the nightmare of photo sharing between family members is a thing of the past. Besides that, this feature is also perfect for companies, schools and organizations that have a lot or team projects. In school, the administration can create accounts for every teacher and keep them up to date with current news as well as training sessions. Meanwhile, in companies and organizations, management and employees can collaborate with each other and get things done efficiently.

Secondly, Dropbox ensures data are kept safe using online storage technology that is hosted by third parties (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010). In this case, Dropbox uses the services that are provided by Amazon. This feature is very important for everybody especially companies and organizations that have very important documents. They cannot afford to lose this critical information and may suffer from financial lost. Dropbox allows users to retrieve all the data which they have saved rescuing them from spending countless of time, energy and effort. Furthermore, this software also provides schools and companies to get back files as well as folders which they have accidentally deleted (Laudon & Traver, 2010). In the business industry, time is equivalent to money and creating back lost information is a total loss.

However, there are also negative implications with the usage of Dropbox. One of the major criticisms is regarding how the company protects users’ data (Laudon & Traver, 2010). According to the company, all data is guarded with AES-256 and SSL and thus, other people cannot gain access to that information without the users’ passwords. Nevertheless, in order to make more money, Dropbox duplicates users’ data to save disk space and bandwidth (Yates, 2011). This means that there will be no two copies of the same file being uploaded into Dropbox. According to experts, in order for Dropbox to do so, it means the company will have accessibility to unencrypted data (Yates, 2011). Employees can actually view data that are stored in the cloud storage and misuse them. Since it is free and available across various operating systems, many users are willing to let this go and continue using their services.

Dropbox’s financial situation

With 50 million users worldwide, the company is earning about $240 million in 2011 despite 96 percent of its users are those who pay nothing. Dropbox starts off with a mere $7.2 million from investors such as Y Combinator in 2008 (Kimmons, 2011). Basically, Dropbox earns money by getting investors to invest in this company through selling their ideas as well as establishing a huge client base. As the company’s reputation soars, there will be more investors who are willing to put in their money. This scenario happens recently in October 2011 whereby companies like Sequoia, Greylock, Benchmark, Accel, Goldman Sachs and RIT Capital Partners are willing to stretch their budget just to be a part of the stakeholders of Dropbox (Kimmons, 2011). Amazingly, Dropbox has raised about $250 million in revenue last year. Besides that, the company also earns money by providing extra storage to their users (Kimmons, 2011). They can choose to pay $10 per month to increase their online storage to 10 gigs or $20 for 20 gigs. Soon, Dropbox is going to offer a scheme for 50 gigs online storage to users.

Besides that, in 2009, Dropbox has also kicked off a referral program (Maurya, 2012). This method encourages users to introduce Dropbox to friends and families. Both the existing and new users will get extra storage from the company through this program. It is estimated that this account for about 60 percent of users sign up for this company. Through the referral program, Dropbox experiences a surge of users and putting it on the line as one of the most profitable company.

Apart from that, in May 2011, Dropbox has also signed a deal with huge mobile companies such as Sony Ericsson and Softbank that all their mobile phones will be pre-loaded with the Dropbox application (Maurya, 2012). This move allows the company to spread their influence across the market even more. By the end of 2011, Dropbox is evaluated to be worth as much as $5 billion to $10 billion.

Future prospect of Dropbox

Due to the company’s operation on the Freemium financial model, it is estimated that Dropbox’s financial status will continue growing strongly (Roebuck, 2011). This business model is divided into two; free and premium accounts. Since 96 percent of Dropbox current users pay nothing, it is calculated that in future, they are very likely to increase their online storage space. Aside from that, these users will also most probably pay more in order to gain extra features on their accounts for example to increase the time limit (Roebuck, 2011). One of the founders of Dropbox, Drew Houston, makes a calculated guess that even if the company does not sign any more users for the next 2 years, the business will still be able to grow exponentially (Surhone, 2010).

Being the one of the leading companies on cloud storage, Dropbox is looking to broaden the number of features they are offering to their users. In future, users can expect Dropbox to expand beyond desktops, laptops and mobiles. This company is planning to venture into synching files and folders to cameras, televisions as well as cars (Surhone, 2010). Talks with prospective companies are currently being held. Aside from that, Dropbox also has taken initiative to improve on its safety net feature and storage space issues. One of the moves is to do an upgrade on the one-month history system (Miller, Vandome & John, 2010). It is possible that in future, users will be able to enjoy a longer time to track their previous works. Other than that, Dropbox has also taken the suggestion of adding a browser-side app that enables editing straight from the Dropbox cloud seriously (Miller, Vandome & John, 2010).

With all the potential portrays by this company, Dropbox is ambitious and hopeful to garner in 2.5 billion users in the near future.


This paper has given a brief history about Dropbox.com and an analysis on how the software operates. There is also a discussion on the success and awards that this company has achieved throughout the years. Aside from that, a look into the impact that Dropbox has on individuals, schools, companies and organizations is also included in this paper. For the final section, there is an examination into the financial status and future prospect of Dropbox. All in all, Dropbox is a company that offers cloud storage software to its users and it is expected to grow even more in the future. So far, the founder, Drew Houston, has been doing an excellent job in making all the right business moves taking his company a step above the rest of its competitors.


Feinleib, D. (2011). Why startups fail and how yours can succeed. Apress. New York.

Kimmons, J. (2011). The free virtual office in the cloud. FeedBrewer Inc. Colorado.

Laudon, K. & Traver, C. (2010). E-Commerce 2011. Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Maurya, A. (2012). Running lean: Iterate from plan a to a plan that works. O’Reilly Media. Sebastopol.

Miller, F., Vandome, A. & John, M. (2010). Dropbox (Storage provider). GRIN Verlag. Munich.

Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Perera, G. & Pudney, C. (2011). Out of office. First Step Publishing. Indianapolis.

Roebuck, K. (2011). Dropbox: High impact strategies – what you need to know: Definitions, adoptions, impact, benefits, maturity, vendors. Lightning Source Inc. Victoria.

Surhone, L. (2010). Dropbox (Service). GRIN Verlag. Munich.

Yates, J. (2011). Freesourcing: How to start a business with no money. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

HRM (Human Resource Management) Competencies: Case Study


It is safe to say that every organization in existence today requires their employees to work in teams. The benefits of working in teams are to promote creativity, to encourage healthy competition and to boost productivity. However, when a situation which involves individuals from different cultural backgrounds, values and life experiences have to work together, there are bound to be conflicts (Mathis, & Jackson, 2010). Most organizations or companies tend to view conflicts as a form of negativity in the work place. Nonetheless, disagreement and conflicts are consequences that normally occur when various people work together (Mathis, & Jackson, 2010). From another perspective, employees will tend to feel please and satisfy with their current situation without any conflict. As a result, the optimum level of working performance cannot be achieved. Therefore, conflicts can be beneficial to an organization when employers and employees are trained to manage them correctly (Mathis, & Jackson, 2010). Based on the analysis from a case study, this article will discuss the different types of conflicts found in this situation based on the intra-organizational conflict model, the players involve and their roles in these conflicts, major issues in the conflict, strategies to effectively manage this conflict and the implementation of these strategies in regards to the given circumstances.

The types of conflicts

Conflict can be defined as individuals or situations coming into collision or disagreement, be contradictory, at variance or in opposition (Bratton & Gold, 2007). In an organization, conflict can happen in multiple ways whether it is between individuals or teams. This is inevitable when it involves people from different background, values and expectations (Bratton & Gold, 2007). The different types of conflicts can be identified through different types of models. This article is going to analyze the given situation using the intra-organizational conflict model (Rahim, 1990).

Based on this model, conflicts can be divided into four categories. They are vertical conflict, horizontal conflict, line-staff and role conflict (Rahim, 1990). Normally, vertical conflict happens between individuals or employees and their leaders or bosses (CDR Associates, 2007). As the name suggest, it happens between two different hierarchies in an organization. The upper hierarchy that constitutes the employers and the lower hierarchy that is represented by the employees (vertical). This type of conflict involves bosses or leaders who tend to exude too much power such as micromanaging their workers (CDR Associates, 2007). On the other hand, a line staff conflict arises when there is a disagreement between a supporting staff with an employee of a particular unit (CDR Associates, 2007). For example, the clerks who are working in the investment bank where John is working refuse to help him such as deliberately postponing any paper work due to some negative rumors that are spread by his colleagues.

However, this section is going to focus specifically on horizontal conflict and role conflict. Horizontal conflict usually happens between individuals from the same team (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). There are many causes that can lead to this type of conflict such as a differentiation in ideas or an unequal distribution of resources (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). In this case study, a horizontal conflict has occurred between John and his teammates where many of them feels that John has been given preferences when it comes to getting promotions and opportunities. These resources are normally scarce in an organization and every employer will have to fight in order to obtain them. In a healthy working environment, this will lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency. However, the opposite has occurred in the case study. Consequently, John’s teammates may feel that they do not need to compete against each other for the promotion as it will be given to individuals who have a good rapport with his or her superiors. Meanwhile, role conflict can be triggered when there is a misunderstanding or disagreement by the employee on assignments at a specific time or situation (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2006). This type of conflict is clearly shown between John and Bob. When Bob decides to spend time with a drunken female student after the presentation, John is confused on the roles he should play at that moment. Both scenarios will be explained further in the following sections.

The players involve and their roles in the conflict

In the case study, John is facing a horizontal conflict with his fellow colleagues where there is clearly an unequal distribution of resources (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2006). Due to his close relationship with Bob, who is the HR manager of the investment bank where he is working, many of his teammates believe that John’s promotion in the company is not a result of his hard work. Besides that, John is also constantly getting valuable and inside information before others. This can trigger a sense of jealousy with other colleagues. Finally, Bob also nominates and chooses John to be his right hand man for a campus recruiting project that is normally given to the most promising employees from the company. This special treatment brings about some feeling of unjust to John’s colleagues. As a result, they may not want to co-operate or help John when it comes to completing tasks.

Besides that, John also experiences role conflict with Bob. Since they have known each other during their college days, it is hard for John and Bob to treat each other like manager and employee. Therefore, each is obliged to cross the boundary that is usually clearly stated between two different hierarchies in order to maintain their friendship. However, the turning point happens when they are both working for the campus recruitment project. John disagrees with Bob’s behavior who is socializing with a drunken female student at the bar. In his opinion, Bob’s action is clearly unethical and out of line. At that specific moment, John is confused about his role in the given assignment whether to act as a friend or a dedicated employee for the company (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2006).

Major issues in the conflict

One of the major issues in the conflicts that are projected in this case study has got to do with the failure of establishing a solid bureaucratic working structure (Kellett, 2006). Although John is placed in a different department, Bob still has the authority to include him into the campus recruiting project. John’s involvement in this particular project should be based solely on his department manager’s recommendation. This shows that there is some loophole in the company’s structure that allows Bob to do so. His action has stirred up conflicts not just between John and his teammates but with his manager as well.

Besides that, another major issue in the conflict is due to poor communication (Kellett, 2006). This aspect is normally the essence that sets off various conflicts. If John’s teammates are feeling jealous or unjust, they should have voiced out their opinion to the department manager during a team meeting or individual consultation. However, the blame is not on their shoulders entirely. The company should also justify bonuses or promotions that are given to any employees publicly. This can be done through work reviews, bulletin board or staff meeting.

Finally, conflicting personality and incompatible objectives are one more major issue found in this conflict (Kellett, 2006). For John, his involvement in the campus recruitment project is to help him to advance in his career. Therefore, he is focus in ensuring that Bob and his team members are implementing strategic recruiting objectives. When Bob decides to hang out with a female student who appears to be drunk, he feels that his friend is violating the objective of the project and ruining his chance for a promotion.

Strategies to manage this conflict effectively

In order to manage conflict effectively, there is hardly any strategy that can stand alone (Furlong, 2005). Normally, there are several strategies that are incorporated by organizations to resolve conflicts such as negotiation, incrementalism, mediation and communication (Furlong, 2005). Each strategy has its’ pros and cons. This article is going to implement incrementalism and mediation strategies to help manage conflicts that are depicted in the case study.

Incrementalism is a plan of action that involves coming out with solutions over time (Jost, & Weitzel, 2010). This strategy makes sense as it is almost impossible to resolve multiple conflicts involving a number of people immediately (Jost, & Weitzel, 2010). In the case study, this is best applied on John and his teammates. Since there has been a betrayal of trust between John’s colleagues with the management, solutions can be developed from one stage to another in order to gain back their confidence. One of the advantages of using this strategy is the ability to improve the situation or working environment even if the conflict is not overcome entirely (Jost, & Weitzel, 2010).

Meanwhile, the mediation strategy is the most effective when there is a third party who is neutral to the conflict assist in resolving the disagreement (Gerzon, 2006). This strategy can be used to fix the problems between John and Bob. The third person can be the CEO of the company who can act as the facilitator to promote healthy communication between both individuals and help them to come up with a solution for their dispute (Gerzon, 2006). The intervention can help John and Bob to come up a resolution quickly (Gerzon, 2006).

Implementation of the chosen strategy

In regards to the chosen strategies, there are multiple ways that they can be implemented to resolve the given circumstances that have been outlined in this article. Although there is no resolute framework to follow, there are a few guidelines that can be taken into consideration while trying to execute these strategies (Jones & Brinkert, 2007).

The first step is for the CEO of the company or department manager to identify the issues or problems (Jones & Brinkert, 2007). This can be done by approaching the affected parties with a respectful manner and the promise of confidentiality. Employees are usually afraid that revealing too much information will jeopardize their jobs. After understanding the conflicts, they can decide whether a conflict resolution needs to be carried out. If the answer is yes, a specific time and location should be set up for open discussion.

Next, the CEO of the company or department manager need to lay down the ground rules during the discussion such as respectful behavior, equal time to speak and goals of the meeting. After each party has the chance to present their case, the person in charge should explore the issues by summarizing and facilitate an open discussion.

After understanding the main issues, all parties including the CEO and department manager can try to suggest a few possible solutions for the conflicts (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011). It is important that the solution chosen must be mutually accepted or agreed by the majority of the individuals involved.

Finally, the meeting should not just end after coming up with a resolution. The CEO of the company and department manager need to take an initiative to track the conflict’s progress and review whether another discussion is required (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011).


It is of the utmost importance that every leader should learn the skills on how to handle conflicts in the workplace. Effective conflict management can help any company to save time and to cut cost. Being able to understand and apply the right strategies, management can make the right decision and channel all conflicts into something positive or constructive. In regards to the case study, it is crucial for the management to be able to recognize the different conflicts that are affecting the employees. The correct identification of conflict types can lead to the implementation of effective conflict resolutions and successfully nib the problems in the bud. Whether the conflict is negative or positive, it is up to the management to decide. Nevertheless, the fact that conflict can be used as a tool to generate productivity in the workplace should be at the back of every management’s head.


Bratton, J. & Gold, J. (2007). Human resource management: Theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan. New York.

CDR Associates (2007). Conflict management for managers and leaders. Jossey-Bass. United Kingdom.

Deutsch, M, Coleman, P. T. & Marcus, E. C (2006). The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice. Jossey-Bass. United Kingdom.

Furlong, G. T. (2005). The conflict resolution toolbox: Models and maps for analyzing, diagnosing and resolving conflict. Wiley. New Jersey.

Gerzon, M. (2006). Leading through conflict: How successful leaders transform differences into opportunities. Harvard Business Review Press. Boston.

Jackson, S. E, Schuler, R. S. & Werner, S (2011). Managing human resources. South-Western College Pub. Boston.

Jones, T. & Brinkert, R. (2007). Conflict coaching: Conflict management strategies and skills for the individual. Sage Publications Inc. Thousand Oaks.

Jost, P. J. & Weitzel, U. (2010). Strategic conflict management: A game theoretical introduction. Edward Elgar Publishing. Northampton.

Kellett, P. M. (2006). Conflict dialogue: Working with layers of meaning for productive relationships. Sage Publications Inc. Thousand Oaks.

Mathis, R. L. & Jackson, J. H. (2010). Human resource management. South-Western College Pub. Boston.

Rahim, M. A. (1990). Theory and research in conflict management. Praeger Publishers. Westport.

Smith, S. & Mazin, R. (2011). The HR answer book: An indispensable guide for managers and human resources professionals. AMACOM. New York.

Friedman’s Ten Flatteners and Their Influence on Asian Countries


In today’s world, globalization is a familiar word especially among economists and politicians. This phenomenon happens especially during the early 90s when there are various creations and innovations in the field of communication. Tools such as personal computing, Internet and web browsers are introduced to the general public. It is the first time whereby physical barriers from around the world are broken down. This enables countries, companies and individuals to perform tasks that are deemed to be impossible.

Among one of the front runners in discussing the effects of globalization is Thomas Friedman. In his book, he has proposed ten forces or factors that have led to this event. According to Friedman, they are known as the ten flatteners (Friedman, 2007). These flatteners give the impression that the world is shrinking as countries and companies tries to be more competitive in order to stay ahead on the global market. Globalization has created a level playing field for every organization where they are given equal opportunities to succeed. Every country has something to gain from it economically. For example, first world countries like the US take advantage of the cheap labor force that is offered by countries like China and India. Meanwhile, in return, these countries profited through various foreign investments.

However, many experts also believe that Thomas Friedman’s ten flatteners are a little bit lopsided. This is because he has only concentrated the effects of globalization focusing mainly on the economic field. The political and social sectors should also be taken into consideration in order to provide a thorough conclusion on the ways globalization affect a particular country.

Therefore, this research paper is going to discuss the ten flatteners suggested by Thomas Friedman in depth on the events and circumstances that encourages globalization. We will also look at the economic trends of Asian countries before and after globalization. Later, one of the flatteners will be specifically chosen to be used to analyze its effect on the business development in Asian countries especially in China and India.


According to Thomas Friedman (2007), he has stated there are ten forces that are able to flatten the world in his best-selling book titled ‘The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century’. This book discusses about the current globalization that is happening during this era especially in the 21st century. The title of the book is simply just a metaphor to describe that in the world of business and commerce, there exist a level playing field for all competitors where they are provided with equal opportunities. This situation is able to realize due to events and developments that are brought about by the ten flatteners.

The ten flatteners consist of the collapse of the Berlin Wall that marks the end of communism and allows every individual to join the economic mainstream which is capitalism (Friedman, 2007), Netscape going public allows everybody to manipulate the web browser as a form of communication tool to a broader audience (Friedman, 2007), work flow software that enable people or companies from all over the world to communicate with each other using machines as well as software such as email (Friedman, 2007), uploading are created by communities to share contents that are accessible to anyone (Friedman, 2007), outsourcing allows companies to sub-contract their work to a third party in order to save money (Friedman, 2007), offshoring give companies the means to take advantage of cheap labor forces in the manufacturing of their products (Friedman, 2007), supply-chaining involves the distribution of products and services from the manufacturer or supplier to consumers (Friedman, 2007), in-sourcing enables small companies to have the capacity of bigger companies through logistics (Friedman, 2007), in-forming talks about the usage of search engine to gather information (Friedman, 2007) and last but not least, the steroids that explains the digitalization of contents and processes that can be done at any place and time (Friedman, 2007).

Although Friedman’s ten flatteners has set an eye opening view regarding the current trend on globalization, it has also play a pivotal role in the booming economics of Asian countries such as China, India and Vietnam. Global competition has forced these countries to adopt free trade policies and to set up the right environment to bring in foreign investors. Consequently, this creates political and economic stability as these countries have a change in their views on ways to solve various problems in order to promote diplomatic ties. Among the ten flatteners that are suggested by Thomas Friedman, outsourcing and off-shoring are probably two of the forces that have the deepest implication on the development of businesses in Asian countries.

This research paper is going to delve deeper into the ten forces as well as the triple convergence that are mentioned by Thomas Friedman, a brief summary on the economic trends of Asian countries before and after globalization, the effect of offshoring from Friedman’s ten forces in influencing the business development in Asian countries as well as the conclusion of what have been discussed in this paper.

The ten forces and triple convergence by Thomas Friedman

In his book, Thomas Friedman has successfully made readers view the economic world in a whole new light. Undoubtedly, globalization has play an important role in shaping the way business and commerce operate in the 21st century. Worldwide integration and development have made it necessary for countries or companies to shift their perception on their methods of doing business in order to remain competitive in the global market and stay ahead of others.

Friedman (2007) emphasizes that currently, the world is becoming flat due to certain events and developments. This is a metaphorical view whereby there is a level playing field in business for every country or company. They are given equal opportunities to compete against each other. These events and developments are called as the flatteners by Friedman. According to him, there are ten flatteners that have catapulted the business field into the way it is today whereby the geographical as well as historical lines are marred.

The first flattener is the coming down of the Berlin Wall on 11th September 1989 (Beck, 2000). There are a few significant symbolisms in this event. It marks the end of the Cold War as well as the ability for countries, companies and individuals to join the economic mainstream that is capitalism. Since the world is no longer divided into communist or capitalist systems, there is an increase in economic reliance between countries that allows connections and trades to prosper. Previously, this would have been impossible due to certain regulations and controls set by the governments. Subsequently, in May 1990, Microsoft has successfully launched a new and improved version of operating system called Windows 3.0 that allows personal computing. Now, every individual has the chance to familiarize themselves with computers and share information in the fastest and easiest way possible. Friedman has called this period ‘The New Age of Creativity’.

The second flattener has got something to do with Netscape going public (Beck, 2000). With Netscape, the public is, now, introduced with new tools such as the Internet and web browsers. Everybody can use these inventions to communicate with each other from any place in the world. Therefore, the world relatively becomes smaller as the Internet has eliminated any form of physical barriers. Other communications tools such as HTML, a language use in programming, SMTP for emails and FTP for file transfer have increase the ability of users from all walks of life to communicate and transfer information through long distances in a faster and easier manner.

Friedman’s third flattener is the existence of a wide range of software standards that allows every individual to do more using their computers (Boudreaux, 2008). This work flow software enables countries and companies to work together on various projects. It will be frustrating if nobody is following a certain standard. Therefore, inventions such as SMTP, HTML, HTTP, TCP or IP and XML make it possible for computers from anywhere in the world to receive and read data as well as documents. These first three flatteners are the base for the next six flatteners.

The fourth force is the ability to upload information and content from the computer onto a network (Boudreaux, 2008). This means that every individual is considered to be an actual contributor or creator of new information through open source software such as Wikipedia, YouTube and blogs. Businesses are able to make use of the online experience from these online communities to their advantage. However, this invention is not entirely taken on the positive note. Friedman (2007) has suggested that the ability to upload and create information can be very disruptive. Nobody knows whether this information is true or false. Since it can be created anonymously and spread within seconds, it can also be the cause of downfall to many companies.

The fifth flattener is outsourcing (Eriksen, 2007). Nowadays, there are more and more companies that are sub-contracting to a third party in order to cut cost or to increase efficiency. For example, a major corporation may hire a third party financial company to do their accounts. The distribution of services or manufacturing products to another party is probably the best way to perform better and save money. This has become easier through the installation of fiber optics cable worldwide. Information and data can be transferred from one company to another from any parts of the world.

The sixth flattener is offshoring (Eriksen, 2007).  This is when one company moves their production plant from one country to another country. More often than not, this is spurred by several reasons such as cheaper labor force, lower taxes and lower health care remuneration. All these factors will lead to a lower production cost and thus, increase the percentage of profit. One good example is China. It has been recognized as one of the center for manufacturing offshoring. Many huge companies such as Apple have set up factories in China to take advantage of their cheap labor.

The seventh flattener is supply chaining (Holmes, 2008). Organizations or companies make use of supply chaining in order to increase the connection between suppliers to retailers and finally, to consumers. Couple with the usage of advance technology, supply chaining is one of the best method to promote efficiency. This can often be seen in modern retail supply chain such as Wal-Mart. Various products from all over the world are brought to these distribution centers in line with consumers’ demands. Therefore, Friedman considers the world has become flatter due to supply chaining because there are no more boundaries between consumers and manufacturers.

The eighth flattener is insourcing (Holmes, 2008). This is when one company hires another company to handle their supply chain. Insourcing flattens the world because it allows small companies to acquire the same capabilities as global companies, eliminating barriers between companies and by creating a standardized business practice for companies around the world. In his book, Friedman has used UPS as one of his major example in insourcing. This company is hired by Toshiba to repair their computers on their behalf. This reparation occurs in the UPS hub by their employees without even the need to send the laptops to a Toshiba factory.

The ninth flattener is informing (Scholte, 2005). This aspect deals with the easy access of obtaining information. Various search engines that are provided by the World Wide Web such as Google and Yahoo enable the users to search specifically for any information which they want. These put a lot of power into the people’s hands where users can communicate, discuss and research about anything and anyone from any place and time with a click on the mouse.

The final flattener is called the steroids (Waters, 2001). According to Friedman, the steroids consist of other aspects that will help to contribute to the rest of the flatteners to perform better. There are three types of steroids. They are digital steroids that usually involves the ever changing trends in computer technology such as voice over Internet protocol or VOIP, mobile steroids that enable users to work from anywhere such as wireless Internet access and personal steroids revolve around technology or inventions that are cheap and small enough to be utilized by individuals such as Napster for sharing music files online.

Aside from the ten flatteners, Friedman (2007) has also come up with three convergence that will reinforce the effect of these flatteners on the shifting of the world’s economy. According to Friedman (2007), the first convergence is the co-dependencies of one flattener to each other. This means that if one flattener begins to develop, others will follow suit. Meanwhile, the second convergence suggests the need for companies to come up with new business models. Companies need to adopt horizontal instead of vertical collaboration in order to boost innovation and creation. Good business ideas do not just come from the top. Last but not least, the final convergence talks about the involvement of new countries in the level economic playing field such as China, Russia and India after the downfall of the Berlin Wall.

Economic trends of Asian countries

It is unfair to say that the economy for many Asian countries only begin to develop after globalization. This has been a trend that has long been recognized by other countries that the Asia region is one of the top spots for investment purposes. Since the 1960s, the Asian economy experiences a rapid growth in comparison to any other countries around the world (Benson, 2006). There are a number of factors that contributed to such success. First of all, Asian countries are well known for their plentiful of resources especially cheap labor force (Bhattarcharya, Smyth & Vicziany, 2004) Secondly, the geographical locations of these countries are strategically located and they are perfect to be made into an international hub for import and export purposes (Bhattarcharya, Smyth & Vicziany, 2004).

However, a number of reasons have also caused some of the Asian countries to experience a stunted growth economically. Previously, most of these countries are more focused on using agriculture as a form to boost their country’s earning such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (Davies & Nyland, 2005). Although it works during the 60s, as the world develops, these Asian countries are required to adopt new strategy if they want to progress. Besides that, countries like China and India also have political and economic constraints where they have adopted to follow the views from a communist stand point (Davies & Nyland, 2005). Aside from that, most of these Asian countries have a lot to deal with domestically such as exterminating poverty and political turmoil that have shifted their main concentration into other areas (Davies & Nyland, 2005).

In the 90s when the physical barriers between countries have been broken down through various events and circumstances especially with the introduction of Internet, there is a noticeable change in the way Asian countries manage their economy (Gaston & Khalid, 2010). Currently, globalization is a phenomenon that could not be avoided and Asian countries are taking full advantage of it resulting in drastic economic growth. Countries like China, India and Vietnam start to opt for an open door policy promoting free trade (Gaston & Khalid, 2010). This allows foreign investors into these countries that are previously impossible. Besides that, these countries focus has also shifted from agriculture to manufacturing and services. The Western communities see this as an opportunity to increase their profit margin by fully utilizing the resources that Asian countries have to offer. As a result, it is estimated that by 2050 Asian countries economy will increase by 20 times and dominate the world’s economy (Gaston & Khalid, 2010).

Effects of the Friedman’s ten forces in influencing the business development of Asian countries: Offshoring

As it has been discussed earlier in this research paper, offshoring can be defined when companies move or relocate their business processes to a foreign country (Kim, 2000). Normally, there are a number of factors that encourages a company to take this particular step. Firstly, there is a shortage of talent that these companies are looking for in their home country and thus, they are forced to search for these skilled workers globally (Kim, 2000). Secondly, these companies are trying to take advantage of a higher profit margin by lowering down their production cost especially in terms of cheap labor (Kim, 2000). Finally, the ability to increase efficiency and marketing speed are also another contributing factor for offshoring (Kim, 2000).

Generally, the act of offshoring is normally done by major corporations from first world or developed countries such as the United States of America and a few of the European nations to third world countries (Rainer & Cegielski, 2010). Asian countries such as China, India and Vietnam are popular targets for offshoring purposes. Due to this growing trend, it has influenced the business development in these Asian countries. This research paper is going to discuss the effect of offshoring on the economic growth of these Asian countries especially in China and India.

First of all, the relocation of offices and factories to Asian countries has created job opportunities for the locals regardless whether it is blue or white colored workers (Rainer & Cegielski, 2010). Take for example the blooming ICT industry in India. There are various companies that have taken advantage of the low wages skilled workers that are found in abundance in India. International companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Yahoo and NetApp have set up their businesses mainly in India’s IT state, Bangalore (Rainer & Cegielski, 2010). These companies have opened up thousands of jobs for IT professionals in India. Besides that, this trend can also be seen in China whereby global companies such as Apple who has set up their manufacturing factories (Rainer & Cegielski, 2010). Thousands of unskilled workers are hired by this company to assemble the products that are made in 13 factories spread across 9 different cities.

Secondly, offshoring businesses to Asian countries will also provide a chance for them to learn the technology and management strategies from these international companies (Rajan, 2003). Later on, this new found knowledge can be used to their advantage in coming up with a more effective and competitive edge on the global market. This phenomenon is already happening through the various collaborations between local and international companies. For example, Foxconn with Apple, Tata with US based communication companies like Verizon and Singapore based Flextronics with Microsoft in producing Xbox. There are already signs showing that these third party companies are beginning to have the capability to produce their own technology and products. Indian companies such as Satyam, HCL and Tata have expanded and conquered a vast majority of the consumers’ markets in the United States (Rajan, 2003). These Asian countries are leaning towards research and development in order to come up with more innovative products and services.

Finally, offshoring also affect the business development in Asian countries by increasing the import and export transactions (Seel, 2012). As a result, there is a high possibility that the currency for these countries will begin to increase in value. The adoption of free trade policy has allowed foreign investors to penetrate into Asian markets and thus, allowing local businesses to venture into untouched territories. This will catapult a country’s economy to prosper. Although it is almost impossible to lift the stigma of poverty that are associated to Asian countries such as China and India due to over population, however, offshoring has made this tangible over the next few decades (Seel, 2012). Their citizens are slowly moving from lower to middle class thanks largely to the awareness on the importance of education. Cities such as Mumbai in India and Shanghai in China have shown astounding growth.


Friedman’s ten forces in flattening the world are seen by many experts as a scenario that is possible to happen. Globalization has, indeed, allowed many countries, companies and individuals to adopt a different perspective on the way they are handling businesses (Friedman, 2007). As physical barriers are broken down, companies are free to search for talent and resources globally with ease. This phenomenon has, mainly, given a tremendous amount of advantage to third world countries especially Asian countries such as China, India and Vietnam. The economic growth for these countries have remain at about 6 to 9 percent annually ever since the 90s (Kim, 2000). With such development, it has offered a multitude of opportunities for these countries to progress domestically. However, one has to bear in mind that Friedman’s ten forces are not 100 percent perfect. Mainly, he has based his views on the effect of globalization on the economic sector. A country’s advancement is also dependent on its political and social factors as well. Therefore, the so-called scenarios that are presented in Friedman’s findings whereby Asian countries such as the upcoming giants like China and India taking over the world’s economy will only materialize after a few decades. Although this is not going to happen now, it should strike a chord of fear in the hearts of every individual in the world’s community.


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Benson, J. (2008). Trade unions in asia: An economic and sociological analysis. Routledge. London.

Bhattarcharya, M., Smyth, R. & Vicziany, M. (2004). South asia in the era of globalization: Trade, industrialization and welfare. Nova Science Pub Inc. New York.

Boudreaux, D. J. (2008). Globalization (Greenwood guides to business and economics). Greenwood. Westport.

Davies, G. & Nyland, C. (2005). Globalization in the asian region: Impacts and consequences. Edward Elgar Pub. Camberley.

Eriksen, T. H. (2007). Globalization: The key concepts. Berg Publishers. Oxford.

Friedman, T. (2007). The world is flat 3.0: A brief history of the twenty-first century. Picador. New York.

Gaston, N. & Khalid, A. M. (2010). Globalization and economic integration: Winners and losers in the asia-pacific. Edward Elgar Pub. Camberley.

Holmes, A. (2008). Commoditization and the strategic response. Ashgate. Surrey.

Kim, S. S. (2000). East asia and globalization. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Maryland.

Rainer, R. K. & Cegielski, C. G. (2010). Introduction to information systems: Supporting and transforming business. Wiley. New Jersey.

Rajan, R. S. (2003). Economic globalization and asia: Essays on finance, trade and taxation. World Scientific Pub Co Inc. Singapore.

Scholte, J. A. (2005). Globalization: A critical introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. New York.

Seel, P. B. (2012). Digital Universe: The global telecommunication revolution. Wiley-Blackwell. New Jersey.

Waters, M. (2001). Globalization. Routledge. London.

Ethical Theory and Its Application to Contemporary Business Practice


When it comes to determining a set of rules, guidelines or principles to follow in the business industry, many will agree that it is difficult for everybody to agree on one due to the complexities of dealing with human nature. Therefore, to a certain extent, the field of business ethics tries to come up with solutions to handle problems that arise within the business environment. On the contrary belief, one should not be confused with the meaning of morality and ethical theory. Morality has got to do with principles or rules that are used by people to decide between wrong and right (Jennings, 2008). Meanwhile, ethical theory tends to provide guidelines that justify an action to be right or wrong when settling human conflicts (Jennings, 2008). This paper is going to discuss five different ethical theories. They consist of the utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, justice, rights and ethical relativism theories. After that, these ethical concepts will be used to identify some of the ethical issues that are presented in the article entitled ‘News of the World: What was it like on the inside?’ Finally, this paper is also going to come to a conclusion regarding the effectiveness of business theories and practices.

Ethical theories


The utilitarian theory insists that an action is considered to be right or wrong based on the consequences of the action and its effects on majority of the people (West, 2004). This means that an action or practice is ethically correct when it produces more positive consequences in comparison to negative ones to those who are involved. The forerunners for this school of thought are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill (west, 2004). Therefore, utilitarianism goes by the rule that an action is evaluated to be ethical based on a set of rules or principles that can bring the greatest usefulness to the greatest amount of people (Mill, 2006). This is the total opposite to deontological ethics whereby utilitarian believes that there should not be any compromising when it comes to determining the stand point of morality.  Tools such as cost benefit analysis and risk assessment are often depended on by utilitarian for decision making purposes. However, there are some arguments regarding ‘the greatest happiness principle’ that is set forth by utilitarianism. This is due to the difficulty in measuring unit of happiness or in order to determine an action that will bring the most benefit comparing to other actions (Mill, 2006).

Kantian deontology

Kantian deontology stresses that an action is considered to be ethical if it can be accepted as a universal law by every individual (Makkreel & Luft, 2010). It is first introduced by a philosopher from Germany named Immanuel Kant. He believes that morality must follow a set of rules without any exceptions. Therefore, this school of thought looks at categorical principles whereby they are imperatives and instructions are given on the way one must act (Holzhey & Mudroch, 2005). Besides that, Kantianism also emphasizes on treating each other with respect. A person should not be used as a mean to get to an end (Holzhey & Mudroch, 2005). This means that an individual is bound or obligated to their duty to follow a set of maxim in order to determine whether their actions are ethically right. However, there have been arguments on Kantian deontology mostly due to the narrowness and inadequacy of this theory to handle various moral problems or dilemmas (Makkreel & Luft, 2010). For example, there is no moral guidance or solution when an individual’s rights and duties crosses path.


Justice can be defined as the importance of getting fair treatments, equality and having rights (Rawl, 1999). In order to grasp a better understanding on the theories of justice, this section is going to look at Nozick’s libertarianism and Rawl’s justice as fairness. According to Nozick, every individual has the right to own a piece of property as long as it is acquired fairly without going against other people’s rights (Paul, Miller & Paul, 2005). In the world of economy and business, libertarian believes in a free market where it is no influenced by government policies or public services. When an organization or individual is taxed by the government for their property which they have obtained fairly, this action is considered to be unjust even if the money is distributed to public schools, prisons or fire departments (Paul, Miller & Paul, 2005). However, many argue that absolute power that is encouraged by Nozick can bring about negative consequences such as oppression. For example, it is justified for a country to export all its food produce to another country in order to gain better profits and ignore the starvation experienced by its people.

Meanwhile, Rawl’s theory of justice is called ‘Justice as Fairness’. There are two main principles in this theory. The first principle advocates that every individual should have equal rights to a fair distribution of social goods such as education, food and housing (Rawl, 1999). The second principle stresses if there is any existence of social and economic inequalities, they should benefit members of society who are at the most disadvantage (Rawl, 1999). Therefore, unlike Nozick’s libertarianism, Rawl supports the redistribution of wealth and taxes to those who are socially and economically disadvantage. He believes that this action is just and promotes productive behavior. Many people argue Rawl’s theory of justice is too restrictive and pro-communism.


The rights theory finds that the best method to deal with ethical issues is to form a basis of obligations in order to justify every individual’s entitlement to human rights (Shaw, 2010). Besides that, the rights theory also insists that human rights should be independent from the influence of other factors. Human right is simply the natural rights belonging to every person by virtue of being a human being (Shaw, 2010). There are two types of human rights; positive and negative rights. Positive rights are obligations put open people to provide goods and services to other people (Jennings, 2008). On the other hand, negative rights are obligations imposed on people to stop them from interfering with other people’s freedom of action (Jennings, 2008). One of the major arguments pertaining to the rights theory is the lack of hierarchy to determine which rights has more value than the rest.

Ethical relativism

Ethical relativism is a theory that decides whether an action is right or wrong solely based on the moral norms that adheres to the culture of one’s society (Shomali, 2001). Therefore, an action can be seen as ethically right in one society does not mean it will be in another. Unlike Kantian deontology, ethical relativist believes that there is no such thing as a universal law when it comes to determining a set of maxim (Jhingran, 2001). Any sort of moral problems or disputes should be judged and handled within the members of a society by coming to an agreement (Jhingran, 2001). However, there are many people who argue against the theory of ethical relativism. Although moral practices may differ from one society to another but the underlying principles of these practices are the same (Shomali, 2001). As a result, skeptics consider the possibility of the universalization of ethical values to be conceivable. For example, every society acknowledges that certain actions are deemed wrong such as the act of torture and slavery. Besides that, individuals from the same cultural background can hold different moral beliefs as well as practices and decide that these actions are right or wrong (Shomali, 2001). Despite being widely accepted by the Nazi society, the genocide of Jews is considered to be ethically wrong by many Germans. This is proven when some of them try to help Jews to escape from their country.

Ethical issues in the article ‘News of the World: What was it like on the inside?’

The article ‘News of the World: What was it like on the inside?’ portrays the vicious competition among journalists and newspaper companies. When this situation happens, many individuals resort to unethical business practices in order to get ahead from the competitors (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2012). There are many reasons that can lead to unethical business behavior. Therefore, this section is going to identify various ethical issues that happen in a newspaper company called ‘News of the World’ or NoW through the eyes of one of their journalists named Dan Arnold.

One of the most obvious ethical issues is the pressure from the supervisors to get a story no matter what cost it takes (George, 2009). Journalists for this newspaper are pushed to obtain newsworthy material by hook or by crook. Since the competition between NoW with Sunday Mirror and People are tight, the company uses their journalists as a mean to get ahead and of course, to obtain a larger profit margin. Journalists from this newspaper have to work extra hard and are moved from one project to another without any consideration for their health. This action is considered to be unethical if it is based on Kantian deontology. He stresses that every individual should be treated with respect and should not be used as mean to reach an end.

Besides that, the way NoW runs its company creates fear and paranoia in every journalists (Geroge, 2009). Their employees often have to work throughout the week and sometimes late into the evening. Apart from that, they also have to be on the pager 24 hours a day and they are expected to travel around the globe in a short period notice so that, they can catch the next big story. As a result of living in fear of getting terminated from the ‘best’ newspaper company, journalists are often stressful and resort to drinking in order to curb with the pressure. Aside from that, the amount of time spend in offices also means they have neglected their families back home. This is considered to be unethical based on utilitarianism as the company’s action of pushing their journalists to work harder does not bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. It only serves to bring larger profit for the company’s shareholders while sacrificing the happiness of their employees.

Not just that, people outside of NoW are scared of the journalists from this company and more often not, give in to interviews and provide information that are required although they may feel reluctant to do so (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2012). This action is considered to be unethical based on the rights theory. These individuals or organizations have the freedom to say ‘no’ to the journalists from NoW without any negative consequences that may be inflicted upon them by the massive influence of a successful company. Besides that, the action of firing journalists just because their stories are not publish in the newspaper is also against human rights. It is not the journalists’ faults if their stories are pushed aside by the newspaper committee for another piece that seems to be trendier due to a sudden change in circumstantial events. These journalists have also worked hard just like the others and deserve some sort of job security and protection from the newspaper company.

In addition, there seems to be an unequal distribution of wealth between the profit gain by the newspaper company with their employees as well as between the journalists (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2012). For instance, journalists who successfully get their stories published are paid more in terms of salary and are also secure from termination. Based on Rawl’s theory of justice, this action is considered to be unethical. Every journalists in NoW has worked hard in order for the newspaper company to succeed in the industry. Therefore, to be fair, salary should be equally distributed among the journalists.

Furthermore, in NoW, journalists are awarded base on their success to get a juicy story for publication. There are instances whereby the company is willing to do anything in order to obtain the most current news. Sometimes, journalists are asked by NoW to offer cash and other bonuses such as cars as well as housing property to informants. This act of bribery can be seen as unethical based on the ethical relativism theory (George, 2009). In many societies around the world, bribing is against their moral norms. Although the company may view this action as a mean to get their hands on precious information, it may be conflicting to certain employees who do not support bribery. However, they will have to push their norms aside to avoid being fired from their jobs.


This paper has discussed the different ethical theories that are relevant to the business industry such as utilitarianism’s pursuit of happiness, Kantian deontology in coming up with a universal law, Rawl’s and Nozick’s definition of justice, human rights as well as ethical relativism’s belief in conforming to society’s cultural norms (Shaw, 2010). Various academic literature provided by these philosophers can be used as guidance when it comes to practicing business ethics. However, there is no one discipline that can stand on its own. This is because the theory that is presented by one school of thoughts is not sufficient or practical enough in overcoming a multitude of moral problems which exist in real life situation. Currently, many businesses choose to adopt interdisciplinary theories in order to achieve better outcomes in handling ethical issues (Shaw, 2010).


Ferrell, O. C. & Fraedrich, J. (2012). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Cengage Learning. Connecticut.

George, R. (2009). Business ethics. Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Holzhey, H. & Mudroch, V. (2005). Historical dictionary of Kant and Kantianism. Scarecrow Press. Maryland.

Jennings, M. (2008). Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Cengage Learning. Connecticut.

Jhingran, S. (2001). Ethical relativism and universalism. Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi.

Makkreel, R. & Luft, S. (2010). Neo-kantianism in contemporary philosophy. Indiana University Press. Indiana.

Mill, J. (2006). Utilitarianism: Easyread large edition. ReadHowYouWant. Sydney.

Paul, E., Miller, F. & Paul, J. (2005). Natural rights liberalism from Locke to Nozick. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

Shaw, W. (2010). Business ethics: A textbook with cases. Cengage Learning. Connecticut.

Shomali, M. (2001). Ethical relativism: An analysis of the foundations of morality. Saqi Books. London.

West, H. (2004). An introduction to Mill’s utilitarian ethics. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Ethical Dilemma in Workplace


In any workplace, there are many codes of conduct involved. Employees are bound to these rules and regulations in order for any organizations to work smoothly (Schermerhorn, 2010). However, there are times where the lines are blurred due to various reasons. Sometimes, relationships, beliefs and principles come into play when the time comes for one to make certain decisions. This scenario is called an ethical dilemma whereby individuals are forced to weigh the right and wrong of their actions (Westerholm, Nilstun, & Øvretveit, 2004). Therefore, this paper is going to examine the ethical dilemma that can happen in a workplace and try to find the appropriate resolution to this conflict based on ethical theories. To answer this question, this essay will, firstly, describe a work situation at my previous employment that has posed an ethical dilemma for me. Later, this essay will look at the resolution, if any, that has taken place to solve the dilemma. Finally, by using the Utilitarianism theory, this paper is going to analyze and assess whether the resolution is ethical.

Description of a work situation with an ethical dilemma

At my previous employment, I have worked as a technical communicator for a major health organization. My task is to develop a new software system acting as a database that will gather all the necessary records from hospitals, clinics, health maintenance organizations, laboratories and physicians around my area. These records that contained personal information about the patients are highly confidential and private in nature. Revealing some of this classified information can cause a lot of damage to these individuals. One likely situation that could happen is limiting their employability. Some employers may not want to hire or tend to discriminate against these patients who can be seen as handicapped. Employers may already form a pre-conceived idea that these individuals will not be able to perform up to par and contribute effectively to the growth of their organizations. Besides a ruined reputation, if this information fell into the wrong hands for example HMO’s or insurance companies, these individuals may also be hindered from receiving access to health insurance at an affordable price. Therefore, keeping and maintaining confidentiality is a crucial part and parcel of my job.

A few months into my software development, I have learnt about a surprising piece of information that will put me in an ethical dilemma. As I am going through my daily routine of gathering information, I suddenly come across a familiar name flashing on my computer screen. The name happens to be my sister’s fiancé. He has been tested and diagnosed positive for HIV. The information has also shown that he is currently receiving treatment as well as counseling for HIV and AIDS at a local clinic. The relationship between my sister and I are very close as we have lost our mother to cancer at a very young age. Growing up without a female figure, we have always count on each other for support. I am certain that my sister is unaware of the situation whereby her fiancé has been tested positive with HIV. She would have told me and my father if she knows. The worst part of my revelation is the fact that my sister’s wedding ceremony will be held in another few weeks’ time.

As soon as I found out about this information, I am flabbergasted as well as torn between my relationship with my family and my obligation towards my job. On one hand, if I choose not to tell my sister regarding her fiancé, I will be able to keep my integrity in order to maintain my job. This is important as this job is a source of income for me and my family. However, by doing so, I would be putting my sister’s safety as well as her marriage in jeopardy. On the other hand, if I choose to reveal what I know to my sister, I will be able to save her from making a stupid mistake. She can make an informed decision whether to continue with the wedding ceremony. Nonetheless, by leaking classified information to my family member, I would be facing a high risk of being terminated from a job which I loved.

Resolution for the dilemma

After finding out about my sister’s fiancé current predicament, I do not know what to do. I have decided to sit on it for some time in order to think through my options. I am put in a situation whereby I could not share or discuss what I know to another person. In my mind, whichever route I take, it would be an unethical decision. Finally, I could only come up with three different resolutions.

The first resolution involves that I do not say anything at all. I will keep it a secret from my sister and pretend as if nothing has ever happened. By doing so, I would be the only one who has to suffer through this ordeal. As for the relationship between me and my sister, I will be able to maintain a healthy bond as I do not have to be the bearer of bad news. After their marriage, they can work things out together and take the necessary precautions in curbing the illness. It is, after all, their private matter. Apart from that, I am also able to continue working for a prestigious company and keep on earning a steady salary for my family’s livelihood.

The second resolution which I can think of is to reveal the truth to my sister. I can tell her the bad news in a number of ways. Firstly, I can request for a meeting with or without her fiancé and talk to her about my findings face to face. This may be difficult as I face the risk of humiliating her and there is also a chance she will think that I am lying to her as well as not being supportive at a crucial time of her life. Her fiancé can also choose to deny this revelation in order to save himself. As a result, this can ruin the relationship between both of us. Secondly, I can also decide to write an anonymous letter to my sister telling her about the truth. By doing so, I will be able to conceal my identity and protect myself. However, leaking confidential information to my sister will put my job in jeopardy. There is a chance her fiancé or my sister will come to my company in order to clarify this piece of information. This will lead to further investigation and eventually, I have to admit my mistake.

The third resolution is for me to confront my sister’s fiancé. There are two ways which I can face him. Firstly, I can call him up and arrange for a meeting. Although it can be a little daunting, talking face to face with my sister’s fiancé will allow me to explain to him that I am aware about his sickness. Besides that, I can also try to persuade him with the appropriate reasons so that, he will finally agree to tell my sister the truth. Secondly, I can choose to threaten my sister’s fiancé. If he is not going to do it, I will reveal the truth to my sister, putting him in a difficult situation. However, if the end result of this confrontation is negative for example, my sister calls off the wedding and break up with her fiancé; I will be in big trouble. He can report what I have done to my superiors out of spite or revenge. Consequently, this will ruin my reputation as a trustworthy employee and cost me my job. Nevertheless, since the news is brought into light by my sister’s fiancé, I am able to keep the integrity of my job but still do the correct thing. There is a 50 percent chance of getting it right.

In the end, I have decided to go with the third resolution. I call my sister’s fiancé and arrange for a meeting over coffee. Slowly, I break the news to him that I know he has been tested positive with HIV. Initially, he is upset as I have put him in a situation where he has to finally face the truth. By using my reasoning skills, I make him aware that if he really loves and respect my sister, he will not want to put her in a precarious situation. Furthermore, a marriage should not be started with a lie as trust is the basis for every relationship. Finally, I manage to calm him down and persuade my sister’s fiancé to do the right thing.

Assessing and analyzing whether the resolution is ethical based on Utilitarianism

Based on Utilitarianism, the theory stresses that a decision is considered to be ethical if it brings goodness or pleasure to a greater number of people (Sharma & Bhal, 2004). Utilitarian simplifies the moral law into a quantitative calculation (Paludi, 2012). It is called the cost-benefit analysis and can be used to decide whether the choices are ethical (Bredeson & Goree, 2011). One has to take into account the total pleasure of their decision minus the total pain from the cause of their action. The end result will give the total utility of the taken resolution. The formula is Total Pleasure – Total Pain = Total Utility (Harman, 2006). Therefore, the highest total utility is considered to be the right action regardless whose happiness is involved (Cornelius, 2002). Consequently, Utilitarian justifies pleasure is above what is just or right.

By using Utilitarianism’s cost-benefit analysis formula, I am going to assess whether the resolution I have taken to solve my workplace dilemma is ethical. As it is mentioned earlier, I have decided to confront my sister’s fiancé and somehow, force him to reveal the truth regarding his condition to my sister. Based on the formula, I will have to analyze the total pleasure from my action first. By facing my sister’s fiancé and making him to tell the truth, I can keep my job because I will not be breaking any rules or obligations. Besides that, I can also save my sister from contracting HIV or even potentially, AIDS, an incurable disease. Secondly, I have to analyze the total pain from my action. The only drawback is that my sister’s fiancé will feel upset as he needs to have a serious discussion with my sister after the confrontation.  Therefore, if I minus the total pain from the total pleasure, not just will I be able to keep my job, I am also able to help my sister from marrying the wrong man and thus, saving her life. I can continue earning to support my family. The total happiness from my action far outweighs the pain that is experienced by my sister’s fiancé. As a result, the total utility is high. Deriving from Utilitarianism’s theory, my resolution is considered to be ethical and the right thing to do.

Using the same formula from cost-benefit analysis, one will come up with low level of utility from the first two resolutions. The possibility of my sister’s death due to HIV or AIDS as well as a ruined reputation that will cause me to be unemployable in future will cause more pain to more individuals in the long run. Therefore, the first and second resolutions are considered to be unethical based on Utilitarianism’s moral law.


In the case of my ethical dilemma, Utilitarianism has proven that the best resolution is for me to confront my sister’s fiancé and make him reveal the truth. However, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to deciding whether an action is ethical. Many different aspects have to be taken into consideration. For example, Kantians may disagree that the action I have chosen to solve my dilemma is morally right. In both cases, both theories stress that personal relationship should not be taken into account while figuring the resolution for any conflict. Nevertheless, this is often not practical in a real world scenario. These moral theories can only be used as a form of guideline. Ultimately, it is still up to an individual to decide what they need to do when face with an ethical dilemma in the workplace.


Bredeson, D., & Goree, K. (2011). Ethics in the Workplace. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Cornelius, N. (2002). Building Workplace Equality: Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion. Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Harman, L. B. (2006). Ethical Challenges in the Management of Health Information. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Paludi, M. A. (2012). Managing Diversity in Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Employees and Employers. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Schermerhorn, J. R. (2010). Management. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Sharma, P., & Bhal, K. T. (2004). Managerial Ethics: Dilemmas And Decision Making. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Westerholm, P., Nilstun, T., & Øvretveit, J. (2004). Practical Ethics in Occupational Health. Abingdon: Radcliffe Publishing.

Economic and Social Disadvantage from the Perspective of a VET (Vocational Education and Training) Educator


Recently, Forbes has released a list of the top fifteen richest countries in the world (OECD, 2010). The list is made based on the rough estimate of a country’s GDP per capita. Not surprisingly, Australia is ranked the 12th richest country in the world with a GDP per capita of $39 674 (OECD, 2010). In the eyes of the world, Australia is one force to be reckoned with as it has one of the world’s largest economies. This country is highly developed and has set the benchmark for many fields that are taken as international comparisons for performance such as quality of life, health, education, civil and political rights.

However, a country’s success should not just be measured using only the economy factor. The equity on the distribution of facilities and resources to every individual in the country should also be taken into consideration. As the saying goes, a country can only go as far as the citizens. When an individual faces restrictions or limitations in accessing any forms of services that can be obtained by the majority of the population, this is called as social and economic disadvantage. Amidst all the glory and success, Australia cannot run away from addressing this issue as there are a number of groups that are, generally, more vulnerable to suffer from this situation.

Therefore, this paper is going to discuss about the idea of social and economic disadvantage and how it appears in Australian life. Besides that, this paper is also going to deal with the impact of social and economic disadvantage on classroom practices as a VET educator. The discussion and analysis are going to be closely related on a case study related to an organization called the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Information gathered during the interview is also shown in this paper.

The Case Study: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is an international voluntary organization that is set up by the Roman Catholics (Noble & Johnston, 2001). Their aim is to overcome poverty and any disadvantages by providing assistance to anybody who needs it (Noble & Johnston, 2001). They have thousands of members in 142 countries around the world. Australia has about 40 000 members excluding the volunteers. Information for this report has been gathered by setting up an interview with one of the senior advisory committees from the local Saint Vincent de Paul’s branch.

The nature of work for this particular organization is to give direct practical help to people who requires some assistance and at the same time to spread the Gospel message on Christ’s love. All those poor or socially disadvantaged individuals who have received assistance from this organization are treated with respect, dignity and love. They are also encouraged to be independent and to take responsibility of their lives.

Saint Vincent de Paul encounters various types of disadvantages in this local branch. However, they mainly provide foods, clothes and shelters to the homeless people and the elderly. Besides that, there are also times when they have provided relief to disaster victims. Other than that, the members and volunteers from this particular organization also lend out a helping hand to the aboriginals and refugees.

There are various strategies that have been incorporated into this organization in order to reach out to those who are socially and economically at a disadvantage. For example, Saint Vincent de Paul has food pantries and dining hall to distribute food to homeless people and disaster victims. Aside from that, they also provide housing assistance, transportation, medicine as well as job training and placement. One stand out strategy by this organization is making home visits on their past clients and check whether they are doing well.

These strategies are quite effective as they are able to fulfill the basic requirements of these social and economic disadvantage individuals. Housing assistance, job training and placement ensures that the vicious cycle of poverty does not continue. These steps will ensure that they are not dependent solely on the care and help given by the organization. Besides that, follow-through programs such as making home visits allow Saint Vincent de Paul to track any updates and decide whether there is a need for further intervention.

However, there are some barriers that act as a hindrance to the success of these programs. First of all, it is hard to remove society stigma towards homeless, aboriginal or uneducated individuals. Therefore, even if there is a desire for them to succeed, it is hard for them to find a job as there is a certain level of mistrust and the society is not forgiving. Other than that, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has only so much resource to help so many people. Furthermore, it is impossible to keep personal track of each and every individual which they have provided assistance.

Aside from giving practical aid to needy people, this organization has also supported informal learning and there is no better program than Vinnies Youth. This is a program where they engage youth between the ages of 10 to 30 years old as volunteers to help in various charity works for humanity as well as those who are socially and economically disadvantage. Various forms of events and activities are carried out each year all over Australia.

Through this program, young people in Australia are learning to be more compassionate toward others who are less fortunate than they are. Besides that, this type of program also creates a different outlook in life and brings about awareness to the different demographic in Australian community. One good example is the immersion program that is carried out by Vinnies Youth. This is when the youth from Saint Vincent de Paul is given a taste of the aboriginals’ life in a remote area for two weeks.

The main policy that governs the operations of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is their love for Christ. As long as they are not doing anything that is against the bible, everything should be alright. Besides helping those who are in need, they are also keen on spreading the love of Jesus Christ. Other than that, they also believe in education and creating awareness so that, those who are at a social and economic disadvantage will have a chance to improve. Meanwhile, the community can form a new perspective about this group of people.

The Idea of Social and Economy Disadvantage in Australia

According to Bessant and Watts (2007), there are a number of criteria that should be taken into consideration whether an individual should be categorized as socially or economically at a disadvantage. A person who is socially disadvantage can be defined as an individual who are treated with prejudice and bias due to their ethnicity, racial and cultural background. In this instance, their personal quality is ignored (Bessant & Watts, 2007). Meanwhile, economically disadvantage individuals are usually those who are socially disadvantage too. This is because they do not have equal opportunities like the majority of the population to compete in the system (OECD, 2010). Therefore, their abilities to earn are limited or diminished.

The definitions above are general in nature and there are many more facets to the term of being social and economic disadvantage. Although Australia is a well-developed country, this issue is happening in the country and creating awareness among the general public is a necessity. It is important to address this issue so that those who are affected can be provided appropriate assistance. This will help Australia’s economy to prosper even more when every individual can contribute back to the society.

There are various groups who are deemed to be at a social and economic disadvantage in Australia (Jupp, 2001). First of all, the indigenous people still account for about 2 percent of Australia’s population. This brings to an approximate of 400 000 aboriginals spread across the whole country (Jupp, 2001). Besides that, there is a huge population of migrants and refugees in Australia whereby they also face discrimination to a certain extent. Apart from that, Australia is also divided into urban, rural and remote areas (Baum, O’Connor & Stimson, 2005). Individuals living in different areas are faced with different forms of social and economic disadvantage. This especially rings true to those who are in rural and remote parts of the country (Baum, O’Connor & Stimson, 2005). Ethnicity, religion, culture and geographical location are, normally, the main aspects that are taken into consideration when it comes to determining who are social and economic at a disadvantage.

Other than the three main factors that are mentioned above, individuals who come from a single family whereby one of the parents are deceased or divorced, those without tertiary education or no education at all, low income groups, individuals with disabilities or health problems and the elderly, to name a few, are also categorized as people with social and economic disadvantage (Jones, Smyth & Reddel, 2005). They also face prejudice from the majority of the population due to negative stigma.

However, the Australian government has taken the necessary steps by implementing policies in order to help relief this situation. One of their strategies is the social inclusion policy (Basit & Tomlinson, 2012). This is when every Australian citizen is given equal opportunity and support to participate in the country’s economy as well as communities (Basit & Tomlinson, 2012). Every individual is also going to be treated with dignity and respect. Some of the action plans in this policy include targeting jobless families with children (Jones, Smyth & Reddel, 2005). This policy will help to increase work opportunities for these families, improve their ability in parenting and encourages them to break away from poverty. Besides that, the social inclusion policy will also reduce the numbers of homeless people in Australia (Jupp, 2001). In this policy, it has also stated that the gap between the indigenous people with the majority of the population is going to be brought closer (Jupp, 2001). Last but not least, in their initial action plan, the Australian government also plans improve the life chances of children in order to eliminate social and economic disadvantage in the future (Basit & Tomlinson, 2012). One way is to ensure that every child receives the highest form of education whenever it is possible.

Implications of Social and Economy Disadvantage for VET Educators

VET or vocational education and training educators are those who teach the necessary or rather, required skills and knowledge for specific industries (Mageean, 1990). This option is usually available to students in their senior years (Mageean, 1990). There are a few advantages for students to undergo VET. First of all, this training will open the students’ eyes to practical work experience and allow them to understand the operations that are involved in a workplace (O’Donoghue, Martin & O’Neill, 2006). Secondly, VET will improve the employability and interpersonal skills of students so that it will increase their chances of getting a job in the real world (O’Donoghue, Martin & O’Neill, 2006). Finally, students are also allowed to venture and explore their desired career path in VET (Smyth, Down & McInerney, 2010).

Therefore, it is crucial for VET educators to have a deep and profound understanding regarding the issue of social and economic disadvantage that is happening in Australia. This will give an impact on the VET’s educator classroom practices. Based on research, students who attended VET are usually those who are from the socially and economic disadvantage (Rauner & Maclean, 2009). Besides that, VET has been synonymously linked to a male dominated sector (Rauner & Maclean, 2009). Therefore, as a VET educator, awareness on gender equality should be stressed in the classroom. Success stories from female ex-students should also be shared in order to create positive light and hope. However, a VET educator should also prepare these female students to face the real world and expose them to skills that are needed to compete against both genders.

Besides that, VET educators also need to show some compassion and adapt their classroom materials to include the minor populations as well such as the aboriginals and migrants (Smyth, Down & McInerney, 2010). More often than not, examples that are found in textbooks are generally aimed to appeal to the majority of the population. So, there is a possibility that the minorities feel left out. This is understandable as they could not make a personal connection to these examples. Therefore, VET educators should also include and make use of materials that are more culturally close to these individuals in order to engage their interest (Smyth, Down & McInerney, 2010). Other than that, VET educators can also adopt a similar strategy that is incorporated by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul by having peer tutoring. This is a great method to immerse the minorities with other students besides helping them to cope with their studies.

Aside from that, since students come from various backgrounds, VET educators need to be aware of the possible problems that they are facing (Wakeford & Singh, 2008). Some of these students may come from single parent families and low income groups. This means they are required to work after school in order to help sustain their families’ financial ability. There is also a possibility that these students also face domestic violence at home where they may have a tendency to cause trouble in school. However, it is important for VET educators to know that these situations are very likely to happen to anyone of the students in the classroom. Therefore, understanding their situation can actually help to push these students to continue their studies by lessening their stress level and showing them that there is a way to break free from the vicious cycle that they are facing (Wakeford & Singh, 2008). These situations should also be made aware to the other students in the classroom in order to create awareness. Asking them to join volunteering work like Vinnies Youth can help to bring light into this topic and lift the burden off these socially and economically disadvantage students by letting them know that they are not the only ones.


This paper has discussed the idea of social and economic disadvantage in general and the ways it has influenced the society in Australia. It brings to light that this issue is happening even in a land that prides, herself, for fairness and justice. However, this is a common problem for every country around the world and the Australian government has taken the necessary steps to overcome it. Aside from that, this paper has also provided an insight into the implications of social and economic disadvantage on classroom practices by VET educators. It is important for them to prepare their students to be ready to compete in the real world. Data and information in this paper are linked to the case study that is carried out by doing an interview with one of the senior advisory committees in one of the local branch of the Society Saint Vincent de Paul. This organization has also incorporated various strategies and programs in order to alleviate problems faced by these socially and economically disadvantage individuals. All in all, battling this issue does not just lie in the hands of the government. It is the responsibility of every Australia citizens.


Basit, T. & Tomlinson, S. (2012). Social inclusion and higher education. Policy Press. Bristol.

Baum, S., O’Connor, K. & Stimson, R. (2005). Fault lines exposed: Advantage and disadvantage across Australia’s settlement system. Monash University Publishing. Victoria.

Bessant, J. & Watts, R. (2007). Sociology Australia: Third edition. Allen & Unwin Pty LTD. New South Wales.

Jones, A., Smyth, P. & Reddel, T. (2005). Community and local governance in Australia. University of New South Wales Press. New South Wales.

Jupp, J. (2001). The Australian people: An encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Mageean, P. (1990). Pathways to participation: The vocational and further education needs of adult immigrants in rural Australia. TAFE National Centre for Research and Development. Queensland.

Noble, J. & Johnston, F. (2001). Volunteering visions.Federation Press. New South Wales.

O’Donoghue, T., Martin, T. & O’Neill, M. (2006). Teachers and teaching in vocational education and training institutions: Reflections from western Australia. Nova Science Pub Inc. New York.

OECD (2010). Economic surveys: Australia 2010. OECD Publishing. Paris.

Rauner, F. & Maclean, R. (2009). Handbook of technical and vocational education and training research. Springer. New York.

Smyth, J., Down, B. & McInerney, P. (2010). Hanging in with kids in tough times. PeterLang Publishing. New York.

Wakeford, T. & Singh, J. (2008). Towards empowered participation: Stories and reflections (Participatory learning and action). Earthprint. Westlake Village.

Cosmetics Scientist as a Career


In the world today, women and men alike, prefer to look their best in terms of appearances. Though in the past, make-ups are more commonly associated with women, but in recent years, there is also a tendency for men to get involved in the trend too (Ison, 2006). As people are becoming more aware of personal beauty and grooming, it triggers the popularity level of the cosmetic chemistry fields or also known as cosmetics science.

In relation to cosmetics science, cosmetic products are designed, developed, tested, created, and marketed to be sold to the public. Cosmetic products are designed by qualified cosmetics scientists with new advancements in order to have a safer, healthier product (Ison, 2006). The products are tested and retested for potential dangers due to side effects of the products such as skin irritation and infection. The profession in general works on ground level researching, developing and testing different chemical compounds (Nelson, 1994). In order to do that, one should obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (Nelson, 1994). There are also variations of chemical engineering, such as organic and material chemistry.

In terms of general observation, it seems that cosmetics science is expected to expand and grow in the future, due to the public’s obsession to be beautiful, healthy and youthful in appearance. So, it is expected that the profession will become more dominant and popular in the job industry. This paper is to observe approach around interrelated aspects (namely on global trends, behavior and different types of workplace) to enhance your development and career choices referring to academic literature and your individual career plan.

Global Trends

Global trend is defined as a general development or change in a situation that affects many countries of the world (Wan, Wang & Longaker, 2012). When it comes to the cosmetic industry, it is a profitable business for many manufacturers of cosmetic products. By cosmetic products, we understand anything that is intended for personal care such as skin lotions or sun lotions, makeup and other such products that are meant to emphasize one’s look. Given the technological development and the improvement of the manufacturing process of cosmetics as well as the constant increasing demand of such products, this industry has reported a rapid growth in terms of profit (Wan, Wang & Longaker, 2012).

Due to the fact that there is a strong need to produce cosmetics scientists to cater to the ongoing needs of the public, a variety of courses are made available. One can choose to attend short courses in a live classroom or an advanced degree done by institutes of higher learning such as the University of Cincinnati. In the institution, the provided online degree program focuses on design, evaluation, and control of cosmetic products. It has nationally acclaimed Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science with emphasis in Cosmetic Science on-line. Lectures are offered asynchronously over the internet to accommodate the work and travel schedules of those who wish to take courses without distracting from current employment (Heslin, 2005). Other places are those like the Singapore Polytechnic that offers Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science, De Montfort University in UK has B. Sc. (Hons) program in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science and Monash University with their Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science.

Earnings for chemists in general are between $45,000 and $90,000 depending on their experience, profession, and education (Heslin, 2005). Though, tough economic times can affect most professions, some will remain less affected such as cosmetic chemists. Therefore, this profession can be seen as a stable job and more potential students may consider the field as their aspired profession.


Behavior is defined as manner of behaving or conducting oneself (Mendelson, 2008). In relation to cosmetics science as a field in science, there are behavior traits that should be followed in order to be a successful scientist, primarily in this industry. A scientist is perceived as a person who is curious, knowledgeable and inventive, flexible, persistent with strong analytical skills and unwillingness to accept things on faith. A scientist should be motivated, determined, patient and can work as a team (Mendelson, 2008).

Science careers are a great choice for those who enjoy research and have an inquisitive mind. Becoming a scientist does require years of study and a lot of dedication, so it’s important that one understand in advance what goes into the career. The successful career of a cosmetics scientist depends on his or her patience level. In day to day tasks, laboratory skills are a must for most cosmetic science positions (Kihlstrom, 2004). Designing and producing a product cannot accurately occur without a laboratory. Following an order or request from a customer or department within the company is where a development or formulation chemist begins their work. Figuring out how to reproduce a product recipe on a very large scale (scaling up) and supervising its production along with defining the specifications within regulatory requirements are also tasks occurring in a cosmetic chemist’s day (Kihlstrom, 2004).

Different types of workplace

A workplace can be defined as a place, such as an office or factory, where people are employed (Echaore-McDavid, 2008). In general settings, a cosmetics scientist’s workplace would be in a chemist lab. There will be mysteries faced by a practitioner of the profession, and scientists are flexible in choosing which problem/s that interests them to perform a research in order to come up with probable solutions (Echaore-McDavid, 2008). A cosmetics scientist may have to be educators in local or international (or both) settings. In dealing with researches and presentations and to discuss similar findings, one has to be part of symposia and conferences on a needed basis. A cosmetics scientist should also have the skills to interact with people from different countries and cultures in order to gain empirical and non-empirical data for certain chemical or product (Choi & Berson, 2006). Due to that, there is a need for the practitioner to make visits to appropriate sites in order to gain necessary findings.

Besides gaining empirical data and other findings in different locations, one should also be prepared to meet people in order to get grants for their research. A cosmetics scientist should also meet other researchers in order to gain empirical data and other findings so as to facilitate one’s research that may be gained through business transactions (Choi & Berson, 2006). Last but not least would be the need for the practitioner to be able to give oral presentations in different locations and not restricted to one’s primary workplace.


Based on the given discussions, one may see the global trends of the job market today whereby cosmetics science is concerned; it has the potential to strive among other popular professions that are more well-known. The profession is secure due to the needs of the public to stay beautiful and youthful. As aspired cosmetics scientist, an individual should have the qualities of a scientist, with appropriate behavior traits in order to succeed in the profession, namely the high level of patience required in order to get the empirical data and chemical results of current and potential products. One should also anticipate different workplaces in the profession as some tasks may require more than experimentation in the lab.


Choi, C. M. & Berson, D. S., 2006. Cosmeceuticals. Aesthetic Dermatology, 25(3), pp.163-168.

Echaore-McDavid, S., 2008. Career opportunities in science. 2nd ed. New York: Checkmark Books.

Heslin, P. A., 2005. Conceptualizing and evaluating career success. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(2), pp.113-136.

Ison, K., 2006. What does the future hold for healthcare scientists?. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine, 29(1), pp.20-27.

Kihlstrom, J. F., 2004. Training for science, Training for practice. Ph. D. University of California.

Mendelson, B. C., 2008. Aesthetic / Cosmetic surgery and ethical challenges. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 32(6), pp.840-841.

Nelson, G. A., 1994. Career issues. Science, 266(5189), pp.1306-1307.

Wan, D.C., Wang, K. C. & Longaker, M. T., 2012. Training the contemporary surgeon-scientist. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, 129(4), pp.1023-1025.