Business ethics has emerged as a critical field in different parts of the world. The term “business ethics refers to various principles of morality used to guide different business issues” (Sethi, 2012, p. 19). Unethical behaviors can have negative impacts on the performance of every business organization. The notion of compliance has emerged to redefine the role of ethics in business practice (Trevino & Nelson, 2011).
Business organizations should follow the law and embrace the best ethical practices. However, several activities undertaken by business organizations tend to result in ethical dilemmas. This essay gives a detailed analysis of the ethical issues arising from Nestle’s animal testing practices.
Nestle is one of the leading producers of cereals, sweets, chocolates, baby formulas, and drinks (Nestle Global, 2016). This Swiss multinational firm has its headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland (Nestle Global, 2016). The company is the leading player in the global food industry in terms of revenues. The company has been focusing on the best approaches to reduce wastes and engage in sustainable business practices. The firm undertakes numerous research and development (R&D) practices to achieve its potentials. However, the company is currently dealing with several protests, boycotts, and controversies.
Evaluating Nestle’s Mission and Vision
Nestle’s mission is to be the leading health, nutrition, and wellness company in the world (Nestle Global, 2016). The company focuses on the concept of a good life and food (Ethical Food Choices, 2016). The firm works hard “to provide nutritious choices in a wide range of beverages and foods to its consumers” (Nestle Global, 2016, para. 3). The company’s vision is “to become a competitive and healthy firm that delivers improved shareholder value by being the preferred corporate citizen, employer, and supplier of quality consumer products” (Nestle Global, 2016, para. 5).
Analysis of the Ethical Problem
In an attempt to achieve its business goals, Nestle has been undertaking numerous strategies, researches, and practices. For instance, R&D has been taken seriously to deliver quality products to every global consumer. The company promotes the best practices in an attempt to become the most admirable corporate citizen and employer (Nestle Global, 2016). With its wide range of products and beverages, Nestle has been attracting more customers from different parts of the globe.
The company’s mission and vision are what dictates its business goals. The employees at the company are empowered in an attempt to achieve the targeted goals and support their mission. Innovation is therefore undertaken continuously at the company. This is done by the company’s vision. However, the company has gone further to engage in animal testing malpractices. It is agreeable that animal testing can be undertaken to come up with better products and drugs (Barnett, 2013).
However, Nestle has gone further to engage in inappropriate and unethical animal testing practices. Nestle undertakes such practices in an attempt to produce superior products that have the potential to support its mission and vision.
Nestle’s ultimate goal is to become a leading producer and marketer of quality products to its global consumers. In an attempt to achieve this goal, Nestle has embraced the power of R&D to achieve the best goals. However, the firm has engaged in inappropriate animal testing. Such testing practices are usually embraced to produce better products that can increase the level of competitiveness. However, the strategy has led to a major ethical problem (Barnett, 2013).
This ethical issue has emerged from the fact that animals should be treated with respect and dignity. Every animal being used for scientific research should also be provided with a proper diet and care. Humane handling and housing are also necessary for such animals (Barnett, 2013). Cruelty-Free International (CFI) has been on the frontline to ensure all corporations engage in ethical practices. The agency has continued to address the ethical issues associated with animal testing.
Nestle has therefore been accused of engaging in similar malpractices that leave many animals dead. The company has also been presenting inaccurate reports regarding its treatment of different animals used for scientific researches (Barnett, 2013). As well, the company has been accused of producing unhealthy baby formulas and food products (Macrae & Rowe, 2014). The most outstanding fact is that Nestle has been engaging in unethical business practices in an attempt to maximize its profits and come up with superior products.
Business organizations should be ethical to remain profitable and reputable. As well, corporations engaging in unethical business practices will eventually face the law. Moral principles should, therefore, be used to guide different companies whenever engaging in various business activities (Trevino & Nelson, 2011).
The case of Nestle shows how different companies engage in unethical researches such as animal testing. This malpractice has forced many lobbyists and animal rights activists to sue the company (Sethi, 2012)). That being the case, companies that want to achieve their potentials should always act ethically. They should at the same time focus on their respective missions and visions.
Barnett, H. (2013). Revealed: How food giants are cruelly testing – and KILLING – animals for profits. Express. Web.
Ethical Food Choices. (2016). Web.
Macrae, F., & Rowe, N. (2014). Food giants caught in an animal testing scandal. Mail Online. Web.
Nestle Global. (2016). Web.
Sethi, P. (2012). Multinational Corporations and the Impact of Public Advocacy on Corporate Strategy: Nestle and the Infant Formula Controversy. New York, NY: Springer.
Trevino, L., & Nelson, K. (2011). Managing Business Ethics. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.