In the Uk, ethical businesses are not as successful as less ethical businesses

3 pages (750 words)
Ethics and profit rarely go hand in hand. Usually, if a company engages in actions to make its business more ethical, it has to compromise on the profit to a certain extent because of the cost incurred in those operations. Besides, many a times, companies find it more profitable to do business in an unethical way because many different kinds of costs are not incurred. For example, the cost of regular cleaning is eradicated, the cost of paying the workers their legally due salary is avoided, and the cost of registration and insurance premiums are avoided. In this case, the employer benefits while the employee suffers. For example, avoiding legal salary paid to the employee will make the employee suffer since he/she will not meet his/her needs.

In order to do business ethically in the UK, the employer has to give preference to the native workers. However, native workers charge the employer’s considerable amounts in salary. On the other hand, if the employers instead employ illegal migrants, it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship between the employer and the employee. While the employer manages to hire the same or even better services that a native worker would have offered, the employee finds employment and a means of survival in the UK. In addition to that, the profitability of business increases as the in-house cost is reduced. It is true that the unethical business reduces cost, but the employee is undermined by the employer because he/she is suppressed and from any freedom and low remunerations. The country should take action by making any business conducted to be legal such that both the employees and employers are satisfied by what they earn or what they pay.  Starbucks is the most popular and the most profitable chains in the UK. Branding the companies on 19 distinct categories, Ethical Consumer identified Starbucks as the worst with respect to the stance on political activities and workers’ rights. Co-editor of the magazine, Dan Welch provided these reasons for this finding,

“We have uncovered a record of unethical behavior that runs completely counter to Starbuck’s image as an environmentally friendly, bohemian Seattle coffee shop. It covers everything from serving genetically engineered growth hormone in milk in the United States and a relentless union-busting campaign, to attempt blocking Ethiopia’s attempts to improve the livelihoods of coffee growers. In addition, the petitioning a US federal judge to allow any evidence into the past sexual history of a 16-year-old former employee when she took a case of sexual harassment to court” (Welch cited in Watt, 2011).

Many people have opened companies to sell coffee independently, but their businesses are nowhere close to Starbucks in terms of both popularity and profitability.  Ethical business practices cost money that is avoided in the case of unethical businesses. For example, Primark incurs a lot of cost in auditing. Association of the company with ethical partners is another way cost is increased. One such ethical partner of Primark is Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), which safeguards and protects the health and rights of women in Bangladesh. Working ethically incurs Primark many costs that include, but not limited to the cost of employing global Ethical Trade team, managing external audits and paying for them.

Training the vendors on trade issues related to ethics, and helping the vendors address the issues identified in audits by providing them with special training by the Primark Ethical Trade team (, 2014).   Internet has opened new doors to conducting profitable businesses unethically. Unknown people sell products stealing the web traffic meant for popular brands. They achieve this by keeping their company’s name much similar to the names of popular brands e.g. Macdonald’s or McDonaldz. The people would be tricked into buying from them; “An intention here may simply be to intercept misdirected web traffic” (Koslowki, 2004, p. 131). The government should be designed a method that will monitor any transactions conducted online such that any business will be legal. In most cases, online business affects many people because they find themselves as victims of illegal trade innocently. The victims are conned or undermined by those who are practicing illegal trade.

To conclude, conducting business unethically is more profitable than conducting business ethically in the UK. Disregard to ethics frees a company from the need to take all sorts of measures centered around social responsibility. Accordingly, a lot of costs that would be otherwise incurred is avoided. In addition, disregard to ethics opens new kinds of businesses. Use of Internet has provided people with means to conduct fraud successfully. Unethical or illegal business reduces costs, but the employees suffer because they might work without any pay or paid less salary (Ajibolade & Omorogbe 2014, p. 18). Many of the employees accept his employment because they do not have any other option.

References: 2014, Providing consumers with ethically sourced garments, Available at [accessed:24 Nov.2014].

Koslowki, P 2004, Business Ethics and the Electronic Economy, Springer Science & Business Media.

Watt, C 2011, Starbucks named most unethical cafe in UK, The Herald, Available at [25 nov.  2014].

Ajibolade, S. & Omorogbe, C. (2014, June). Is gender diversity a solution to unethical business behaviour?. In FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH IN BUSINESS LONDON CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS (p. 18)