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Question Number: 124

Question descriptionSTUDENT 1:JoshuaCan a business be ethical?From an organizational theory perspective, ethical behavior can be defined as conduct that is “accepted as morally ‘good’ and ‘right,’ as opposed to ‘bad’ or ‘wrong,’ in a particular setting” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn 2005, 33). Absolutely a business can be ethical, and I think it all comes down to how the individual is as a person and how they are trained. According to the video, there are many ways to approach learning and being ethical, and one of the ways was to “analyze whether the proposed before or standard promotes the greatest good or greatest human welfare.” Any business out there can be ethical it just takes more effort please the customer in the most appropriate way. Ultimately after reading I feel that Utilitarianism is a very good practice follow because its only concern is maximizing social benefits while minimizing social costs. It is always important to practice good behaviors so that they become repetitive and becomes second nature.What are the goals of competitive intelligence?“Competitive intelligence is the systematic collection and analysis of publicly available information about competitors,” (McCubbrey 2009). Competition is everywhere and is especially associated with business. Competition begins when a company and another company put out a product that is similar and is targeting the same target market. It all comes down to marketing. I say this because marketing techniques are what every company bases their future strike back at a another company’s strong advertisement. Such as Pepsi putting a strong commercial out there and Coke losing customers, so then Coke would then research Pepsi’s marketing strategies and critique their own and come out with a commercial of their own.Is it ethical to gather competitive intelligence?Competitive intelligence is 100% ethical, only depending on how you get your information. There is a lot of companies out there that will go to great lengths to get any information on their competitor. It is ethical but needs to be trained and practiced in an appropriate way. It is ethical and appropriate to use information for research that is available to anyone, but other shady maneuvers are not.Joshua HummerReferencesAppliedethicscenter .. "Five Ways to Think Ethically - Markkula Center for Applied Ethics."YouTube. YouTube, 24 Jan. 2011. Web. 25 July 2017. <>.McCubbrey, D. J. (2009). Business fundamentals. Retrieved from http://textbookequity.org/Textbooks/McCubbrey_BusinessFundamentals.pdfSchermerhorn Jr., J. R., Hunt, J. G., & Osborn, R. N. (2005). Organizational behavior (9th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.STUDENT 2: CariCan a business be ethical?The simple answer to the question “Can a business be ethical?” is YES! Any business can be ethical, if the owner(s), manager(s), and employee(s) chose to behave in an ethical manner. Is every business ethical, I would say that is a resounding no! Because human nature is just that…human, and humans have weaknesses that can lead them to behave in less than ethical ways.What are the goals of competitive intelligence?According to McCubbrey (2009), the objective of a company’s competitive intelligence efforts is “to understand its competitors,” and while that sounds simple, the goals of competitive intelligence break it down further: to detect competitive threats, to eliminate or lessen surprises, to enhance competitive advantages by lessening reaction time, and to find new opportunities (pp. 246-248). By detecting threats from competitors, a business can posture itself to survive in the marketplace. This makes me think of an episode of Happy Days (don’t judge, I’m old!) when Mr. Cunningham (the father; hereafter referred to as 'Mr. C' ) comes home from work at his hardware store (local, small business) after having learned that a large hardware chain was planning to build near his store location. Knowing he could not compete with the lower prices of a bulk chain store, he started thinking of ways he would have to supplement his income to support his family (this series was set during the mid-1950’s to the mid-1960’s throughout its run, so Mrs. C was a homemaker and did not work). Of course, this is television, so the big chain company deal fell through and the Cunningham’s were fine, but Mr. C gained the information (competitive intelligence) from some source (human intelligence, I think). Early days of competitive intelligence collection!Also, by detecting threats early enough, a business can “take actions to mitigate the threat” by either matching the competitor’s planned action (remodeling a storefront, massive sale, or other event that will draw sales away from the business) or acting to somehow counter the effects (McCubbrey, 2009, p. 247). Back to the Happy Days episode … if memory serves, Mr. C’s plan was to find a new location for his store so he didn’t have the big chain store so close to his location. He found out early enough and started coming up with options. Businesses should be prepared for competitive threats - it’s the nature of business; being prepared to react to common threats will allow a business to already be reacting before the competitor has even finished its original threatening action (McCubbrey, 2009, p. 247). Finally, businesses should be forward-leaning in looking to future opportunities, through market penetration, market development, and product development (McCubbrey, 2009, pp. 247-248). Mr. C simply couldn’t compete with the big chain store’s pricing, but if he was able to find some niche in the market for new customers or develop a new product that no other store had (patents, patents, patents – protect your ideas!), he may have been able to survive even if the new store had moved to town. Of course, this is much harder for a small, locally-owned business to do, but business owners need to think outside the box to ensure they survive in the “dog eat dog” world of business!Is it ethical to gather competitive intelligence?Individuals or organizations have gathered intelligence, well, since forever. There’s a really cheesy movie from the early 1980’s that was very tongue-in-cheek about the life of cavemen (Ringo Starr was in it, so you know it was really cheesy). It seems the cavemen would gather intelligence about other cavemen to ensure they could compete for the things they needed/wanted (i.e. food, cavewomen). Silly analogy, I know, but I think it gets my point across…it’s been done forever. But, that being said … is it ethical? I do not think it is unethical to gather information about competitors, but it depends on how the information is collected, and the nature of the information that is being collected. Publicly available information is just that: public. As long as a business doesn’t cross the line with its collection methods, I believe it is ethical and really a part of doing business. But, when you start manipulating people to get information (human intelligence) … that, to me, reaches the point it becomes unethical. More than that, illegally accessing competitor information is unethical. I came across an article that included a section on how one can legally gain competitive intelligence:It’s easy to gain competitive data legally. First of all, understand what the rules are and stay far away from the edge of limits to protect your company. As a rule, ask yourself if your company would be okay with your activities being published to the public. In other words, would your company be okay with you diving around in a dumpster for confidential documents? Probably not. Would they be okay with you using publicly available data to gain competitive analytics? More than likely, yes. A general rule is, if you feel like you need to be sneaky while doing it, you’re probably up to no good.Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it!Sorry for the silliness and movie/television references! I had fun with this one! I'm still in shock this is week EIGHT! laughReferencesGarfunkel, T. (2014, November 20). Is competitive intelligence ethical? Digitalist Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.digitalistmag.com/technologies/analytic...McCubbrey, D. J. (2009). Business Fundamentals. D. J. McCubbrey, M. Drexel, & J. Sharman (Eds.). Zurich, Switzerland: Global Text Project.

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