Sample Management Essays on Forces and Public Issues in Industry

Part A

Question 1

A performance-expectation gap explains the dissonance between a company’s corporate performance and the concerns and expectations of its shareholders. Since the start of the 21st Century the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), has been faced with myriad public issues affecting its core corporate functions. The company has been facing a challenge over its impact on water quality, its availability, and access. In the mid-2000s, the Center for Science and the Environment Agency based in India raised concerns about TCCC’s depletion of underground water. The Indian based agency argued that the Coca-Cola Company’s activities in India were depriving the residents of Kerala of supplies of drinking and irrigation water. This prompted the shutdown of the company’s bottling plant located in the state of Kerala by the local officials. Moreover, the agency raised concerns about the company’s products arguing that the company’s products contained high levels of pesticide residues. The Center for Science and the Environment Agency accused TCCC of violating both Indian and internal regulations in making products containing dangerous and high levels of pesticide residues (Lawrence & Weber, 2017). This led to an Indian court issuing an order to TCCC requiring that the company should label the levels of pesticide residues it uses on all of the soft-drink brands. The India Resource Center in a bid to campaign against TCCC’s corporate impact on the environment organized a grassroots campaign in the United States to convince schools to boycott Coca-Cola products until they are addressed various issues of concerns from the stakeholders. Despite the above environmental concerns being raised by the company’s stakeholders, the company remained focused on its primary objective of making more profit.

The Coca-Cola Company’s stakeholders were also concerned with the company’s unsustainable use of water in its manufacturing and bottling plants spread all over the globe.  The shareholders had a reason to worry as in the early 21st century, the world was grappling with an acute water shortage problem. According to the case study, water consumption was expected to double up after every 20 years, and as such, a third of the world’s population would lack access to safe and clean drinking water by the year 2025 (Lawrence & Weber, 2017). Despite this concern, TCCC was still using unsustainable amounts of water not only to produce its innumerable beverage products but also to clean its equipment and to provide sanitation for its employees.

Question Two

Karl Albrecht’s eight strategic radar screens model focuses on a variety of external environments that companies’ managers should systematically monitor. The strategic radar screens include the customer, competitor, economic, technological, social, political, legal and geophysical environment (Lawrence & Weber, 2017). In this case study, the geophysical environment would probably be the most significant out of the eight radar screens as it is concerned with the geological and physical environment. Coca-Cola Company stakeholders were more concerned about the scarcity of safe and clean drinking water due to the company’s unsustainable use of water in producing beverages and maintaining sanitation for their employees. Moreover, there were concerns from India that the company had depleted the groundwater, thus depriving residents of Kerala state, water supplies for drinking and irrigation.  Besides, there were concerns that TCCC contaminated freshwater by discharging untreated wastewater into natural water sources such as rivers. To a lesser degree, TCCC faced challenges in its political and legal environments when an Indian based think-tank, the Center for Science and the Environment Agency charged the company in an Indian court for producing beverages that contained dangerous levels of pesticide residues. TCCC further faced challenged in its customer environment as the Indian consumer through the Center for Science and the Environment Agency raised concerns about the company’s products containing pesticide residues harmful to consumer’s health.

Question Three

In my opinion, TCCC responded appropriately to this public issue by declaring a goal of water neutrality. According to the case study, TCCC declared that by 2020 it would return to nature and various communities the equal amount of water the company uses in the manufacturing process (Lawrence & Weber, 2017). The company declared to achieve this in three ways; reduce, recycle, and replenish. The company stated that it would reduce water usage by efficiently running its operations. Moreover, TCC stated that it would treat its wastewater to ensure that water released in various natural water sources does not cause harm to human and aquatic life. Lastly, TCCC stated that it would replenish the amount of water that it had used in its operations by participating in water conservation projects such as efficient irrigation projects.

Part B

Banning of Smoking in Public Places

Section 1

Smoking is an activity that has elicited numerous responses from various sectors of the society not only from the media, health experts but also the government. In fact, most international organizations and entities led by the World Health Organization (WHO) have come out strongly and candidly to campaign against public smoking. The furor and condemnation of smoking in public places are based on the numerous insidious health risks that public smoking poses not only to smokers but also to the non-smoking populace.

The primary stakeholders at the forefront of the campaign for the prohibition of public smoking are largely public health organizations; both national and international such as the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, n.d.). These public health organizations in collaboration with myriad health organizations worldwide have done innumerable studies and research on the effect of public smoking. Their research and studies have brought to the fore irrefutable evidence on the negative effect of public smoking not only to the smoker but also to the passive smoker who includes children and toddlers. Moreover, the public health organizations have been at the vanguard of advocating for changes in the public health regulations so as make illegal the act of public smoking. Through massive education of the public on the harmful health effects of smoking and lobbying government and legislative officials, public health organizations have massively influenced the banning of public smoking.

The secondary stakeholders who have largely influenced the issue of banning public smoking are the media and government. The media was actively involved in the mass sensitization of the people on the myriad negative health effects of public smoking. The media through a heightened anti-public smoking campaign was able to not only raise the awareness of the people on the dangers of public smoking but also got the people demanding changes in public health laws (Maheshwari, 2017). The government played a huge role in the banning of public smoking in America. The government in line with the peoples’ demands tightened public health policies and regulations not only banning public smoking but also coming up with occupational and health regulations to ban smoking in workplaces.

Section 2

Smoking is a ubiquitous practice that has a huge presence in many American households. According to research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than thirty million Americans currently smoke cigarettes (Warner & Goldenhar, 1989). Therefore the individual American family has a big role to play in the issue of public smoking. My family and I support the ban on public smoking due to the numerous health risks associated with public smoking. My family and other households in America have a role of teaching their children the negative impacts of public smoking not only on the health of the people but also to the environment as well. Moreover, American households, my family included, should be involved in the active lobbying and campaign against public smoking. Each American household should be involved in agitating for the maximum observance of public health regulations that prohibit and criminalize public smoking.

My position on the issue of public smoking is largely influenced by the numerous studies and research that show the insidious health problems associated with public smoking. Both international and national public health organizations led by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published several studies showing the harmful effects and expensive health costs incurred not only by the average American household but also the American government due to public smoking (Warner& Goldenhar, 1989). Besides, as a kid, I lost my grandfather to lung cancer – a disease that was largely caused by his habit of smoking cigarettes. This personal experience has influenced my stand and perspective on the issue of public smoking and I fully support it being banned.

Section 3

As an executive in the tobacco industry, I will have to come up with policies that are in line with the ban on public smoking.  As a first step, I will come up with a massive media campaign to sensitize tobacco consumers on the negative health impacts of public smoking. The media campaign will be focused on showing tobacco consumers that they can still enjoy their cigarettes without endangering the lives of the entire public and more so children and infants through passive smoking.

Second, I would pool like-minded executives in the tobacco industry to come up with alternative solutions to public smoking. This will largely involve the erection of smoking zones outside the confines of public places to seclude the smokers from the general population. This project will be a massive project involving a lot of financial costs and that’s the reason why I will co-operate with like-minded tobacco industry executives to see its actualization. Tobacco consumers will also be encouraged and incentivized to use tobacco smoking zones. This can be achieved through education of the ordinary tobacco smoker on the advantages of smoking at designated smoking zones and also lowering the prices of cigarettes at the smoking zones as an incentive.

Third, I will come up with policies enabling my company to be involved in corporate sponsorship of public health initiatives aimed at curbing public smoking. Moreover, I will pool together with other like-minded tobacco companies in coming up with an elaborate fund as a tobacco industry to be used in research and improvement of public health initiatives aimed at tackling the issue of public smoking. Corporate funding of public-health initiatives aimed at curbing public smoking will in a massive way help in the eradication of smoking in the public therefore safeguarding not only people’s health but also the environment.

Section 4

Smoking is not only the concern of individuals but also both the concern of governmental and intergovernmental organizations. The government has numerous roles to play with concern to the issue of public smoking. The first role of the government with regard to the issue of public smoking is financing research and studies into the dangers of public smoking. One of the government’s main responsibilities is the health and welfare of its citizens. Therefore, the government is obliged to finance numerous credible research and studies into the effects of public smoking. The American government has taken a huge step regarding this role as it has largely financed the research into public smoking done by public health organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Second, the government is responsible for coming up with public health policies that work in the interest of the public. The American government after analyzing the negative health impacts of public smoking enacted various public health regulations that banned the smoking of cigarettes in public. The enacted regulations criminalized public smoking with an offender liable to a prison sentence or a heavy fine. Moreover, the government came up with the occupational safety and health regulations that outlawed tobacco smoking in workplaces. The impact of the government’s decision to ban public smoking influenced the public to be more cognizant of their public health wellbeing. According to Glasgow, Cummings, & Hyland (1997), in the tobacco industry, the government’s directions enabled the tobacco industry to partake in the campaign against public smoking and be heavily involved in the education and sensitization of tobacco consumers of the effects of public smoking.

Third, the government instigated a media campaign on the negative impact of public smoking not only on people’s health but also on the sustainability of the environment. The 2014 campaign, Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) was highly successful with a reported over a hundred thousand smokers being quitting smoking by the end of the nine-week campaign (Kennedy & Bero, 1999). A 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the high number of youths addicted to e-smoking commonly known as vaping prompted the government to roll out The Real Cost campaign. The Real Cost campaign had a major presence in social media which is heavily used by the youth and was a big influence in thousands of youths quitting the use of vaping as a substitute for tobacco smoking.

Section 5

The issue of smoking is widely talked about in contemporary media both in the traditional forms of mass media and the modern forms of social media. There has been an unprecedented spike in the level of media coverage of issues concerning smoking in this century compared to any other century. The role of the media in the issue of public smoking has been mainly to sensitize the people on the actual insidious health impacts of public smoking. The media both print and electronic have clearly depicted the negative impacts of public smoking incorporating the research and studies of various public health organizations to make their point. In addition, the media has been heavily involved in the lobbying process for better and stringent public health regulations in America. The media through debates have taken the American leadership and government to task to ensure that public health matters are taken seriously by the enactment of stringent regulations and policies. Lastly, the media has taken the battle of public smoking to the tobacco industry and asked the companies to take action to save the lives of people and not just focus on making money. This has elicited a positive response as numerous cigarette companies in the U.S. such as Philip Morris International have been incorporated in the fight against public smoking. In all its campaign the media has presented a perspective that is tweaked to show the negative impacts of public smoking and the expensive health costs involved in remedying its effects.

The tobacco industry has also not been left behind in the tobacco laden media campaign. For years the Tobacco industry was a strong critic and opponent of the progressive media campaigns that aimed at enlightening the public as to the dangers of smoking. Most tobacco firms saw those campaigns as an affront to their profit-making enterprises.  However, the contemporary tobacco industry has come to terms with the reality of the modern world and have shifted their focus to sponsoring campaigns with an educational aspect on the effects of smoking. The tobacco industry has sponsored numerous campaigns such as the Think. Don’t Smoke, a campaign funded by Philip Morris International (Pierce & Gilpin, 2001). Most of the tobacco industry-funded campaigns usually have an educational aspect but mostly focus on the issue of responsible parenting to ensure that kids and the youth don’t take into smoking.

The government is also heavily involved in the issue of media to tackle tobacco smoking more so in public. The American government has come up with numerous media campaigns aimed at educating the people on the effects of smoking and to promote smokers to quit. The Tips from Former Smokers (Tips) campaign and The Real Cost campaign sponsored by the American government in 2017 and 2018 respectively were aimed at reducing the average individual’s consumption of tobacco and to inspire smokers to quit. The success of the campaigns is unprecedented and shows how much success can be achieved in the combat of smoking through anti-smoking campaigns.

 

 

References

Glasgow, R. E., Cummings, K. M., & Hyland, A. (1997). Relationship of worksite smoking policy to changes in employee tobacco use: findings from COMMIT. Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation. Tobacco Control6(suppl 2), S44. Retrieved from https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/tobaccocontrol/6/suppl_2/S44.full.pdf

Kennedy, G. E., & Bero, L. A. (1999). Print media coverage of research on passive smoking. Tobacco Control8(3), 254-260. Retrieved from https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/tobaccocontrol/8/3/254.full.pdf

Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2017). Business and society: stakeholders, ethics, public policy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Maheshwari, S. (2017, November 24). Why Tobacco Companies Are Paying to Tell You, Smoking Kills. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/24/business/media/tobacco-companies-ads.html

Pierce, J. P., & Gilpin, E. A. (2001). News media coverage of smoking and health is associated with changes in population rates of smoking cessation but not initiation. Tobacco Control10(2), 145-153. Retrieved from https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/tobaccocontrol/10/2/145.full.pdf

U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (n.d.). The Real Cost Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/public-health-education/real-cost-campaign

Warner, K., & Goldenhar, L. (1989). The Cigarette Advertising Broadcast Ban and Magazine Coverage of Smoking and Health. Journal of Public Health Policy, 10(1), 32-42. DOI:10.2307/3342942