Ethical Issues In Business: A Case Study On Vodafone

The Basic Ethical Issue Raised by Vodafone

Business ethics are the ethical, moral and principles or problems related to the ethics in the environment of the business. The business ethics in other terms also known as corporate ethics. These are basically norms, values, unethical practices which help in guiding the business ethically so that there is no social or ethical issue in business. Ethics of business also include contemporary organizational standards, sets of value, principles and norms that will help a business organization to govern his particular action and behavior of an employee in the business organization. The business ethics divided into two sections, one is normative business ethics and the other one is descriptive business ethics. For this we select a particular case of a Vodafone Company in which they claim minimum broadband speed or your money back.

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The basic ethical issue raised by Vodafone is to mislead or misguide the individuals of an Australia related to the speed of their broadband. In this case, the main argument is related to the claim made by Vodafone over the speed of broadband. According to the study I am able to find that the basic ethical issue of business is not to mislead their customers as this will affect the image of the company (“Ethics”, 2018).  In a business an ethical issue includes an atmosphere which may relate to a situation includes business associates as a group or an individual to determine the morality of particular actions so that they can have better decision amongst their choices. The argument made in this article which is related to ethical issues with Vodafone is very relevant as advertisement is misleading the people of Australia (Schwartz, 2017). In history there are some other cases are also same as Vodafone for e.g. Neds Company showing an advertisement in which a man is escaping a family dinner for betting app this was showed the excessive use gambling app. Hence the advertisement is banned by the government. The implications in the case of Vodafone are they decrease the value of shares in the market as they misguide the people or Australia, which also decrease the reputation of the company for making false claim in the advertisement (Sameon & Hisham, 2018).

The key ethical issue is the essential part of every organization. The key ethical issue includes fundamental issues, diversity issue, decision making issue and compliance and Government Issue. The fundamental Issues are the most important issues which are related to trust and integrity in the business. The basic motive of integrity is to include the idea of organizing business affairs with loyalty and a promise to treat every customer equally. In Australia, Vodafone misleads the most important fundamental issue of business ethics (Nuseir, 2018). The diversity issue related to the potential and current employees as all the employees are coming from different backgrounds as well as different cultures. So in this organization always take all possible measures to satisfy the basic need of their employees. The decision making issues are a very important method as when the organization is to determine the ethical course of action for particular ethical dilemmas this process will help in choosing the best alternative to their course of action. In case of Vodafone ethical issue, they also choose the best alternative to the help of this process as a result they banned the particular advertisement. The compliance and Government Issue relate to federal, fiscal reporting, environmental law, etc. According to Vodafone ethical issue the particular authority on the government related to advertising (Advertisement Standard Authority) take a legal action to ban this particular advertisement. 

Key Ethical Issues in Business

These are some other important key ethical issues is  Corporate Governance, Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Leadership Careers and Corporate Social Responsibility. The corporate Governance is related to the system of practices, processes and rules which helps in controlling and directing functions of an organization. Corporate governance always includes the interests, stakeholders in many companies for example customers, management, shareholders financiers, the community and the government should always balanced. As Vodafone ethical issue also affects interest in shareholders as well as customer as it also decreased the value of shares also. Corporate Citizenship includes the responsibility in business towards the society and this will also help to meet ethical, economic and legal responsibility which is related to shareholders. The main goal of corporate citizenship is to produce equality of life and higher standard of living. These will help in establishing the company loyalty and the brand in front of the public. In business ethical issue of Vodafone in Australia there is no corporate citizenship as they do not fulfill their responsibility for society. Corporate Leadership Careers are always on top of the structure of a company executive. This will always help in creating a wide directions related to leadership for supervisors, employees and managers. The basic idea of corporate social responsibility is to fulfill the responsibility for the society. In case of Vodafone in Australia, this main ethical issue is ignored as the organization no abilities to fulfill their responsibility for society.

The most appropriate ethical decision-making is related to choosing and evaluating the best alternatives which includes all the basic ethical principles. In the process of ethical decisions is essential to eliminate and perceive the unethical alternatives and then choose the most appropriate alternative for satisfying basic needs of the people. Ethical issue with Vodafone the most appropriate decision is to ban advertising as the advertisement made false claims (Soyoung Cho, 2017). These decisions are taken as the information in the advertising is false because in the advertisement is mention if the speed of broadband is not high as mention in advertisement money should give back to customers (Galsworthy, 2016). According to this advertisement number of legal cases file against Vodafone. There are some other ethical issues are also in Australia in which the most popular one is Hindu God Ganesha is eating meat which affect the values of Hindus very badly. The legal action is taken by the government of Australia is very reasonable as same as in the case of Vodafone they banned the advertisement.

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The Ethical Decision-Making Process

The ethical decision making process helps in taking corrective decision which does not affect ethics or moral values of business. The first step is to define the problem. These are the most important step which is to find when a problem arises and identify the result of the outcome. In Vodafone advertisement problem is arises when they make false claim about speed of broadband which may affect the reputation of the company as they misguides the people of Australia. The second step is to seek out relevant assistance, guidance and support. In this, we have to find out resources that may be helped in making the decision (“The PLUS Ethical Decision Making Model – Ethics & Compliance Initiative”, 2018). Resources can be a professional guideline as well as people for e.g. colleagues, friends, etc. and the codes and policies of the organization. The Third step is to identify the available alternative solutions of the problem. In Vodafone they find the best solution is to ban advertisement due to legal issues raised by the people of Australia and the advertisement standard authority (ASA). The fourth step is to evaluate the identified alternatives. According to me, in Vodafone issue the decision is made by the ASA (Hasan Mahmud & García-Medina, 2018). So Vodafone have no other option rather than banned the advertisement. The last step is to make, implement and evaluate the decision. The last step in business ethical issue with Vodafone is to ban advertisement as the advertisement makes false claims.

The moral philosophies related to ethical issues in business are very helpful in making the decision on ethical issues. Before we start with moral philosophies we should know the meaning of moral philosophies (“Moral Philosophy – Ethics Unwrapped”, 2018).  The moral philosophies are basic approach which may focus on the basic idea or the concept required to help you understand the process of ethical decision making in business. In moral philosophies, if you want to appreciate then you must understand the different perspective on the notion of goodness. These are the following moral philosophies used in business decision are Teleology, Egoism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Relativist, Virtue Ethics and Justice(Gr?num, 2015). The teleology is taken know measures morally right or acceptable if it produces some desired result, such, as pleasures, career growth, etc. Egoism is acceptable or right actions or those that helps in maximizing the self interest of a particular person by the individual. Utilitarianism is same as egoism but this includes total utility with the greatest number of people (MILL, 2018). Deontology focusing on the right and intentions related to the particular behavior rather than on its consequences. Relativist helps in defining ethics according to group or an individual experience. Virtue ethics are related to the moral of a given situation and the last one justice helps in defining the ethics according to fairness (Norman, 2016). 


The ethical issues are formed in an organization due to lack of clarity in ethical standards as the Vodafone must gain proper knowledge about the speed of their broadband and then make a proper claim but in case of Vodafone they do not gain proper information and make false claim which may affect the reputation of the company as well as the people of Australia feels cheated by the company which may affect their satisfaction level also. 


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Gr?num, N. (2015). A return to virtue ethics: Virtue ethics, cognitive science and character education. Verbum Et Ecclesia, 36(1). doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i1.1413

Hasan Mahmud, N., & García-Medina, I. (2018). Vodafone: The relationship between brand image and online marketing strategies. IROCAMM-International Review Of Communication And Marketing Mix, (1), 7-31. doi: 10.12795/irocamm.2018.i1.01


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Norman, Z. (2016). Understanding Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics on Virtue and MacIntyre’s after Virtue. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2746968

Nuseir, M. (2018). Impact of misleading/false advertisement to consumer behaviour. International Journal Of Economics And Business Research, 16(4), 453. doi: 10.1504/ijebr.2018.100160

Sameon, S., & Hisham, R. (2018). Consumer Right on Misleading Advertisement: A Development of Mobile Apps System to Lodge Report. Advanced Science Letters, 24(1), 626-630. doi: 10.1166/asl.2018.11774

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Soyoung Cho. (2017). A Constitutional Study of Advertisement Regulation – centering around commercial advertisement -. Public Law Journal, 18(3), 225-251. doi: 10.31779/plj.18.3.201708.009

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