1. Assume that P&G’s hair-care products marketing manager has the Unilever papers on his or her desk. The manager is considering doing nothing with the information, just keeping a lid on the situation and telling those involved to back off. Is this action ethical?
A. General background
Ethics is defined as the empirical (observational) study of the moral beliefs and practices of different peoples and cultures in various places and times. It aims to elaborate such beliefs and practices within the broader context of social and economic interactions (Comparative ethics, 2012).
Ethical principles have their roots mainly to religions and their doctrines; religious ethics (Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Confucian and etc.) have been instrumental in the development of an ethical background of mankind. The ancient Greeks were the probably the first to disengage ethos from religion; however most of the succeeding work throughout the centuries and until the 19th were political movements. These also diversified ethics form its religious perspective, and served as an alternative yardstick to make ethical decisions in social life.
B. Business ethics
Business ethics (secular ethics) is the sum of principles governing practices related to entrepreneurship. The increased growth of business, however, push the meaning of the term to its limit: practices, which would have been considered ethical some decades earlier, or which are still considered unethical in other parts of the world may be the mainstream mondus operandi of today’s business firms in aggressive marketing environments of the developed world. With the need to expand in response to the stockholders’ expectations, the firms sought the assistance of competitive intelligence professionals. Employment of such a type of ‘analysts’ to provide a feedback on the competitors’ output and growth curve constitutes the first step towards developing an aggressive business plan. The...