Introduction
Monsanto is a company that was originally found in 1901 with an objective to help farmers around the world in their agricultural productions (Monsanto Company, 2016). The companies assist the farmers to produce more while at the same time conserving more. Monsanto is simply an agricultural company that was founded by John Francis who was then an associate of some company and a husband to Mendez Monsanto from which the company derived the name (Monsanto Company, 2016).
Unethical behavior of the company has its roots several decades back when the company produced a chemical product called saccharin that was sold to Coca-Cola as an artificial sweetener (Monsanto Company, 2016). The product was poisonous hence making it unfit for human consumption. It suggests unethical behavior of the company (Monsanto Company, 2016).
Most companies participate in unethical behaviors due to self-interest and personal gain among the top company leadership. Greediness is the driving fact regarding unethical behaviour of the companies (Monsanto Company, 2016).
Monsanto expanded rapidly in the 1920s producing chemicals and drugs such as aspirin and acetylsalicylic acid (Watch, 2009). The company took a key role in genetic engineering as a way to demonstrate to the world that they had a solution to their crucial problem, which is hunger. Thus, they introduced genetically modified crops hence giving them a platform to dominate the Agricultural industry with their devious methods (Watch, 2009). Monsanto mainly achieved in the phase of the chemical and agricultural industry by the introduction of a product called Roundup that gave the farmers a possibility of spraying their fields even during the growing season to kill weeds. The product promoted the expansion of the business hence giving them an opportunity to negotiate the expiry of their patent (Watch, 2009).
The companies proceeded with the chemical production coming up with their first hybrid corns and later expanding to detergents and industrial cleaning products that were all toxic (Henzai, 2014). What mostly highlights the unethical behavior of the company is its move in the 1940s to conduct research on uranium that gave birth to the atomic bomb. The bomb was later dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki leading to losing of lives of thousands of people and poisoning those who survived. The introduction of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) marked the unethical strategies by the organization that has changed the world since then (Henzai, 2014). The PCBS were viewed as industrial chemicals that had limitless applications and resistant to degradation. However, the PCBs have come to be considered as most dangerous chemicals that are potent to carcinogens and reducing the productivity of people as well as the development of immune system disorders (Henzai, 2014). As if the Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing were not enough, the company together with DOW Chemical produces a chemical Agent Orange for use in the invasion of Vietnam in the 1960s. A half a million civilians died living over 3 million people contaminated hence leading to the birth of babies with deformations (Henzai, 2014). Similarly, thousands of U.S war veterans are dying to this day due to the effects of Agent Orange. Coke once again purchases aspartame in 1983 and introducing it to their diets that lead to addiction of most people and made sick by the sweet poison from the company. The rest of the soft drinks companies follows suit, therefore, forgetting the effects that the chemical pose on the consumers (Henzai, 2014).
The company has behaved unethically to stay in business and continue accruing profits without consideration of the well-being of the consumers (Watch, 2009). If the company feels there is a threat of locking them out of business, then they will readily be willing to do anything including bribes to stay in business. A good example of such an act took place in 2002 when the manager of Monsanto gave instruction to Indonesian consulting firm to give a bribe to official from ministry of environment (Watch, 2009). The bribery was aimed to persuade the official to bypass an environmental study that was to be conducted. The official accepted the bribe and it later came to the attention of the public that such events were common to cover for the damages the company had on the environment (Henzai, 2014). Patent protection by the company also plays a role in championing unethical behaviour by the company. For instance, famers using the seeds from the company must purchase seeds from the company every season hence making the company to secure profits each time the farmers purchase them (Henzai, 2014). The patent protection by the company has raised an eyebrow among farmers leading to numerous litigations battle with the company. The company has placed financial burden on farmers due to the purchase of seeds every time they want to plant. It indicates that the company is not concerned with the welfare of the farmers but concentrates on how they can make profits in the expense of ordinary farmers (Henzai, 2014).
Avoiding ethical behaviour in the company calls for creation of code conduct to act as a guideline on what is expected from each employee (Business, 2016). The code of conduct highlights the behaviours that are unacceptable and measures that should be taken to people who violate the guidelines. Indulging in practices such as corporate social responsibility that puts into account the pleas of people in the society is proper way to avoid unethical behaviours (Business, 2016). It because CSR participation is a demonstration that a given company has interest of society at heart. Monsanto has little CSR associated activities that indicates the little concern the company has on affairs of normal people hence a demonstration of devious ways of handling human related issues (Business, 2016).
There are several consequences related to unethical behaviours. If the customer notices that the company is participating in unethical behaviour, then they are likely to boycott the products that come out of the company (Business, 2016). The approach by the customers is likely to harm the general sales hence leading to losses and collapse of the company. Similarly, such companies are like to experience reduction in the stock price, as the investors will be reluctant to purchase shares (Business, 2016). The investors will have apperception that investing in a dishonest company will lead to poor returns. Devious ways in the company if not observed keenly will cripple the company as workers will emulate what they see the top management practicing. The trend is dangerous as it may promote conflict hence lowering the productivity of the company (Business, 2016). Unethical behaviour must be obligation of the company because ordinary workers will be reluctant to report their colleagues who are participating in such practices (Business, 2016).
Unethical behaviour will affect each and everybody that is linked to the company or business in one way or another (Mark, 2016). The stockholders and stakeholders will not invest in the business that lacks trust and participates in ethical behaviours. Public perception regarding the organization is also significant in success of the organization (Mark, 2016). A company participating in unethical behaviour risks losing the goodwill that the people have on the company. The company that keeps ignoring the pleas of the local people and the whole society in general is likely to undergo public relations disaster (Mark, 2016).
Problems associated with unethical behaviour includes increased risk of doing the business as there is high probability of the company to become bankrupt and damaging of the brand image of the company (Tower Media, 2013). The company may experience reduced productivity due to unlawful operations that are taking place inside the company. It may affect the employees as well who may register reduced performance levels may due internal conflicts that arose because of unethical behaviours. When all this happens, the general value of the company is likely to reduce due to a flop in general performance (Tower Media, 2013).
The solution for consequences of unethical behaviours is to hire the right people in the company by demanding the candidates do describe instances where they have acted unethically in the society (Douglas, 2012). After the selection process has taken place, the human resource manager must take an obligation to ensure that people comprehend ramifications of unethical behaviour including the top management to prevent them from acting unethically. It should be done through building a culture of transparency and proper communication to prevent cases of unethical behaviours (Douglas, 2012).
Consequences of unethical behaviour are long-term because once the public has lost interest and trust on a particular business, it is difficult to gain their trust back (Tower Media, 2013). It will affect the general progress of the business as most of the customers will avoid purchasing the products from the company (Tower Media, 2013). When this happens, probability of the business failing is very high to lose of income from the public who purchases the company products. The government will also put the business under close watch and may impose heavy fines and policies hence derailing the performance of the business (Tower Media, 2013).
The likelihood of fixing negative impacts of unethical behaviours in the company is minimal (Business, 2016). It is because reversing the effects that such unethical conduct has done to people in the society would be impossible as some negative consequences are permanent on the environment and local people might not forget the negative impacts the company imposed on them. The best thing to do as a company is to avoid unethical behaviours to prevent the permanent negative mentality towards the company (Business, 2016).
The company such as Monsanto is an agricultural company that majors in production of pesticides and other industrial chemicals (Watch, 2009). The products have direct negative impacts on the society as they are processed from the industries. Constant use of processed chemicals from the factory has diverse effects on the people as they are used on products that are consumed by people. The chemical elements in the products is not always removed hence consumption of such products might lead to development of life style diseases (Watch, 2009).
Compensation will not fix the situation as most of the company that indulge in unethical behaviours always have money to compensate the affected people in the society. After the compensation, they will resume their duties normally hence continuing to compromise the lives of other people in the society. It is because they are likely to use compensation as a scapegoat to carry their unhealthy activities in the society (Watch, 2009).
Such a company needs to fully face the wrath of the law enforcers and be shutdown as their presence in the industry poses a great risk to both current and generation to come not forgetting the challenges the previous generations have faced i the hands of such unethical company as Monsanto (Douglas, 2012).
References
Business, A. (2016). The Consequence of Unethical Business Behavior. Retrieved from http://www.sixsigmaonline.org/six-sigma-training-certification-information/the-consequence-of-unethical-business-behavior/
Company, M. (2016). Company History. Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/monsanto-history.aspx
Douglas, E. (2012). 7 Practices to Prevent Unethical Behavior – K-12 Talent Manager – Education Week. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/topschooljobs/k-12_talent_manager/2012/10/7_practices_to_prevent_unethical_behavior.html
Hanzai, E. (2014). The Complete History of Monsanto, “The World’s Most Evil Corporation” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-complete-history-of-monsanto-the-worlds-most-evil-corporation/5387964
Mark, S. (2016). Effects of a Lack of Ethics on a Business Environment | Business & Entrepreneurship – azcentral.com. Retrieved from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/effects-lack-ethics-business-environment-7840.html
Tower Media, B. (2013). Top risks and costs of unethical behavior in business conduct | LVB. Retrieved from http://www.lvb.com/article/20130513/LVB01/305109989/top-risks-and-costs-of-unethical-behavior-in-business-conduct
Watch, G. (2009). Monsanto: A history. Retrieved from http://gmwatch.org/gm-firms/10595-monsanto-a-history