Ethical Standards in Business Organizations  


Business ethics play a crucial role in making certain that business entities are managed and run the right way. Crane and Mattens (2016) define business ethics as the code of morality that determines how a business organization runs its business affairs. Business ethics defines what constitutes right and wrong in any business decision that has to be made. Through business ethics, an organization can run its affair in a morally acceptable way and ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are put into consideration. However, some business organizations deal with products that may be harmful to their customers. In most cases, these products are not necessarily illegal to deal in but they may end up harming users at the end (Crane & Mattens, 2016). Some of these products include fast foods that may lead to obesity and diabetes, alcohol that may lead to liver failure and other ailments, and cigarettes that may lead to lung cancer. 

Philip Morris the Cigarette Manufacturing Company and Ethical Dilemma It Faces

Philip Morris is a cigarettes manufacturer and one of the leading businesses in the industry. Its leading brand is the Marlboro also the leading cigarette brand in the United States, Canada, and most nations in South America. The ethical dilemma faced by Phillip Morris is that it deals with cigarettes, which are harmful products that can lead to terminal diseases such as lung cancer, blood cancer, and throat cancer. Smoking of cigarettes over a long period increases the chances of these diseases (Collins, 2012). It is also important to mention that nicotine one of the components of cigarettes is a very addictive substance and this is what makes it very hard for smokers to quit smoking once they are dependent on the substance (Crane & Mattens, 2016). These are the two dilemmas faced by Phillip Morris.

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Describe how the perception of the product differs within cultures both within the United States and globally

People from different cultures have different perception about cigarette smoking. In the United States and in many countries in Western Europe, the members of the society frown upon cigarette smoking. Smokers are not allowed to smoke in public places as people consider the effects of secondary smoking by non-smokers as dangerous as well. The perception of smoking in Arabian countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt is very positive. In these countries, smoking is considered a social and recreational activity that can be done in public.

How has this company handled the ethical implications of its product with a focus on social responsibility, integrity and business ethics?

To handle the ethical question about their products negative effects on its users, Philip Morris puts warning messages on all packets of their cigarettes. The messages are scary and meant to paint the true picture of what smokers are bound to encounter if they continue smoking (Crane & Mattens, 2016). Some messages that have been written in the past include:

  • Smoking Will Kill You, 
  • Smoking Will Cause Cancer
  • Smoking Will Make You Impotent, and
  • Smoking Will Harm Your Gums And Throat

Explain how leadership within the organization can instill a culture of ethics within the marketing department as they strive to advertise a product that is not healthy for the customer.

The leadership within Philip Morris can instruct their marketing department employees to come up with a good marketing strategy that not only seeks to push out their products but also educate their target customers on the dangers associated with the use of their product. This would ensure that customers are knowledgeable when deciding whether to smoke or not to smoke. They should also be advised not to make an advertisement that target teenagers (Collins, 2012).


Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Collins, D. (2012). Business ethics: How to design and manage ethical organizations. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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