Sample Management Essay on Forces and Public Issues in Industry

Forces and Public Issues in Industry

Part A

Question 1: The “performance-expectations gap”

The performance-expectations gap, in this case, refers to the gap between TCCC’s organizational performance and the expectations of the stakeholders. On the one hand, TCCC was flourishing in its business, priding itself as the world’s largest beverage company as of 2015, and making huge profits. In its assessment, TCCC was performing excellently. However, unknown to the firm, it was failing in its Corporate Social Responsibility, such as ensuring that the communities within which it operated enjoyed safe and clean drinking water and environmental preservation. The company was using large (unsustainable) amounts of water in its production process, leaving those living within its areas of operation with water shortage issues.

TCCC did not realize the gravity of the matter as highlighted by the Center for Science and the Environment in India until the local authorities shut down one of its bottling companies in Kerala State. Furthermore, the India Resource Center in the United States organized campaigns to boycott Coca-Cola products, which brought the water usage issue to the limelight. The customers, environmentalists, and local government were not happy with the water usage techniques of the Coca-Cola Company.

Question 2: The strategic radar screens model

The strategic radar screens model that is applicable to the TCCC situation is the geophysical environment that covers ecosystems, exposure to natural disasters, natural resources, and availability of raw materials. Given that the company depends on water for the success of its business, lack of access to it is likely to greatly affect its daily operations and business model. It is for this reason that TCCC took the responsibility to understand the reasons for the community’s complaints about the bottling plant that was closed in Kerala State and engaged in discussions for long term solutions that will not only protect the communities around which the company operates but also ensure there is the availability of water for their operations now and in the future. The company also decided to reduce water wastage so that the world will not suffer water shortage on its account.

Question 3: TCCC’s Response to Concerns

TCCC’s response to the public issue that was raised by the local communities, authorities, and other organizations was commendable. The company did not deny that the company utilized huge amounts of water in its operations. Instead, the management started by investigating its operations to understand exactly the amount of water the company used, how much was wasted, and how much water ended up in their finished products. Out of this understanding, the company realized that the concerns were genuine and came up with the Water Neutrality Initiative to tackle the issue raised. The company committed to engaging in water stewardship through three strategies: Reduce, Replenish, and Recycle. TCCC also started partnerships that would enable the company to engage in the conservation of water and the water sources, such as with governments and non-governmental organizations. The company also drafted time-defined goals, such as that of safely returning water to nature by 2020 and public reporting of its progress.

Part B: Instructions

Section 1: Context

The subject of discussion here is a Science Daily publication titled “Banning Smoking in Public Places and Workplaces is good for the Heart, Study Finds.” Based on a recent study, the article outlines the facts about the ban on public smoking; hailing it as a smart decision that will minimize risk factors for health complications, such as heart attack, lung cancer, and emphysema (American College of Cardiology, 2009). The article highlights several stakeholders that can be grouped as either primary or secondary stakeholders.

The primary stakeholders include Professor David Meyers and Steven Schroeder. Meyers is a professor of Cardiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Kansas, whereas Schroeder is the Managing Director of Smoking Cessation Leadership Center University of California, San Francisco (American College of Cardiology, 2009). Both of these individuals have had much experience dealing with health issues caused by smoking. As such, they give warnings that even small portions of smoke breathed in by individuals place them at risk of smoke-related health challenges. Their role in the article and the process of public smoking bans is to provide scientifically proven facts to support such initiatives.

The secondary stakeholders in the article include the youth, non-smokers, local authorities, state and federal government, as well as employees who work in public spaces such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment centers. The youth are the most affected as they form the largest percentage of smokers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). Further, in most cases, young people are found in entertainment places, such as bars, clubs, and restaurants that are highly exposed to public smoking. The role of the youth is to ensure they exercise caution in their associations. Those that do not smoke, need to avoid public places where they are exposed to second-hand smoking. On the other hand, youths that smoke needs to seek help to stop smoking so that they preserve their health and lifespan. Secondary stakeholders include as well as employees who work in public spaces. The local authorities, state and federal governments provide laws such as the public ban that help in promoting the health and safety of their citizens. Employees who work in public spaces such as restaurants and hotels are responsible for not only protecting themselves but also their customers from health risks that come about as a result of public smoking. They execute this role by adhering to the set rules and regulations regarding public smoking, as well as ensuring that customers adhere to these laws as well.

Section 2: What does this mean to my family?

Families benefit from the public ban on smoking through various ways including minimal deaths of loved ones, less money spent on illnesses caused by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoking, and protection of the health of the unborn children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States is cigarette smoking, with about half a million people dying annually. Furthermore, family members benefit from the public smoking ban by spending less money treating diseases brought about by public smoking, like lung cancer, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, among others (Coughlin, Anderson, & Smith, 2015). In some cases, families find themselves in a position where they are treating non-smokers for smoking-related diseases due to public smoking. Thus, the smoking ban is an important step for both smokers and non-smokers as it will result in a reduced prevalence of related health complications (Naiman, Glazier, & Moineddin, 2011). Families also benefit from the public ban of smoking through the improved health of the unborn children carried by pregnant mothers.

As a stakeholder, concerning the tobacco industry and cigarette smoking in society, one major role that I play is championing the legislation of the public smoking ban. Being part of the community means I have the responsibility of giving back my time, efforts, and resources to my community. It is for this reason that I have enrolled as a volunteer to help the state and county governments to ensure that public smoking is banned in every public place including hospitals, schools, as well as other occupational settings. Another role that I play is advising those that are addicted to smoking to seek counseling services or join support groups to help them cease the use of this harmful product. I explain to the people that I meet that if they stopped smoking, they would be able to protect not only their family members but themselves and society from the harmful effects of smoking.

My perspective on public smoking is in support of researchers who have recommended the smoking ban due to health issues related to smoking. Perhaps this stand is influenced by the fact that I am a non-smoker that does not take public smoking kindly because of the knowledge I have regarding its negative effects on my health as a second-hand smoker. I believe that people should not die due to preventable diseases and that life is precious and worth living. I see people who smoke as persons who have given up on enjoying a fulfilling life. Experientially, I have seen many families lose their loved ones to smoking-related ailments. Normally, it is a devastating experience and I would not wish to see another family lose their loved ones because of smoking. Another bias I may have is my religious beliefs that encourage people to take care of their bodies. In my health campaigns, I often encourage people to take care of their bodies by avoiding smoking.

Section 3: What does this mean to my company?

The issue of banning public smoking would be a dilemma for me as an executive in the tobacco industry. The tobacco business in itself is considered an unethical business venture as it distributes a product that is harmful to the health of people. On the other hand, as an executive, my role is to ensure that my company is flourishing in business by attracting a large market share with loyal consumers for profitability purposes. In this case, much as I would be concerned about the health of consumers and therefore support public smoking bans, I have a duty to the company and its shareholders to run a profitable business.

Therefore, in my managerial role in the company, I would perform the following to back up public health concerns about smoking cigarettes. Firstly, I would advocate for the responsible marketing of tobacco products. The purpose of responsible marketing is advertising only to adults; avoiding the youth in society. In this case, as a company, we will be able to shield young people from negative health effects early in their life. As an executive, my Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) role would be similar to the CSR objectives of the Philip Morris Company which is to reduce youth smoking (Chaiton, Ferrence, & LeGresley, 2000). Secondly, as an executive, I would also ensure that all advertisements are accompanied by clear warnings to the users on the harmful effects of smoking tobacco. Providing clear information about the effects of smoking in public including second-hand smoking effects, as well as health effects will help the users to make informed choices that will not be regretted in the future. Finally, as an executive, I will ensure that the company complies with laws and regulations guiding the business to avoid penalties that result from non-compliance.

Section 4: What does this mean to my country?

In the US, there are large tobacco manufacturing companies that have been making huge profits over the years including Philip Morris, Imperial Brands PLC, Vector Group Ltd, and Altria Group Inc. These companies are also among those that support the country’s economy in terms of payment of large sums of money towards government revenue in terms of taxes. For instance, Philip Morris International Company has been experiencing an increase in its expenditure due to the hefty taxes. Consequently, the expected excise duty and income taxes in 2019 were $50.1 billion and $2.5 billion respectively. Thus, the company was meant to pay a total sum of $52.6 billion in government taxes (Trefis Team, 2019). It is such huge government revenue received by local and state authorities that also places the government in a difficult situation as far as public smoking bans are concerned. The government understands that whenever these bans are executed and the companies’ revenues are lower, the taxes remitted also reduce. Nonetheless, the government must support initiatives that enhance the public good rather than advance a few people’s or companies’ interests.

Consequently, the government is responsible for creating laws that minimize the harmful effects of public tobacco smoking on its citizens. Besides creating these laws, the government also has to ensure the successful implementation of these laws. Secondly, the government imposes high rates of taxes on harmful products to discourage their production. Thirdly, the government also possesses the role of ensuring the public is well informed about the impact of cigarette smoking and the consumption of other tobacco products. In this capacity, governments often engage in public awareness campaigns and the banning of tobacco advertising and promotion (Jha, Novotny, & Feachem, 2000). Besides, the government has ensured that any advertising must include the age limit of users and health warnings. The impact of these government actions has resulted in a significant decrease in the consumption of tobacco products, as well as reduced profits for companies that sell these products. Additionally, the government through its judiciary has the authority to exercise penalties on persons and organizations that do not adhere to laid down regulations; thereby exposing people’s lives to harm. As a result, the public is living a healthier, happier life and will continue to seek better ways to enjoy their leisure time rather than smoking. On the other hand, the tobacco industry is on the verge of rethinking the object of its businesses with options such as manufacturing non-tobacco products starting to form part of the discussions held in those organizations.

Section 5: Media impact

Besides the government, media houses are also great beneficiaries of the tobacco industry since they receive large amounts of money for advertising tobacco products. Media advertising of tobacco products potentially relays to the public that tobacco consumption is permissible. However, if the media would engage in campaigns against public smoking it would aid in educating the public about the harmful health effects and help people against them. As in the case of the government, it is understandable that the media is also in a dilemma regarding whether to support tobacco bans or not. On one hand, they benefit financially from the tobacco industries, whereas on the other hand, they must uphold the public good. In my view, the ideal role of the media should be to provide accurate and sufficient information regarding tobacco products. The media should show no impartiality in their sharing of information. The media should also advertise information about community groups that help smoking addicts stop smoking and begin living healthy lives. The media is also obligated to monitor and audit itself to ensure enforcement and compliance with existing and new laws (Srivastava, 2000). It is also the responsibility of the media to counter tobacco-industry-related lobbying of tobacco consumption through effective media advocacy.

Even as public tobacco bans continue, there has been a rise in social media campaigns for a tobacco-free world. One of those campaigns called Tobacco-Free Kids was done in 2019 with over 125 organizations urging Facebook, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter to end tobacco-industry promotions. Below are examples of such sponsored ads that were published on social media.

Credit: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/media/2019/iqos-marketing

Credit: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/media/2019/iqos-marketing

It is believed that tobacco companies paid these sites to advertise their products that are harmful to human health. These advertisements featured young people smoking leisurely such that young people may mistake smoking for a fun activity when it is harmful to their health. In the era of social media, it also becomes evident that people expect responsible media coverage even on social media and internet platforms and not just the advertisements are done on TVs, billboards, and magazines. Fortunately, social media has increased both individual and organizational influence against such sponsored advertisements. Smoking supporters cite the rational choice theory as a license to warrant people’s choice to smoke. However, with the negative health aspects of smoking, the public smoking bans highlighted here are necessary to keep people healthy.

References

American College of Cardiology. (2009). Banning Smoking In Public Places And             Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from             https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921173121.htm on 23 March,             2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Smoking and tobacco use. Retrieved             from        https://www.cdc.gov//tobacco/datastatistics/factsheets/adultdata/cigsmoking/index.htm               on March 23, 2020.

Chaiton, M., Ferrence, R., & LeGresley, E. (2006). Perceptions of industry responsibility             and tobacco control policy by US tobacco company executives in trial testimony. PMC,   4(4), pp. 98-106

Coughlin, S. S., Anderson, J., & Smith, S, A. (2015). Legislative smoking bans for             reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and smoking prevalence: Opportunities             for       Georgians. Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 5(1), 2-7.

Jha, P., Novotny, T. E., & Feachem, R. G. A. (2000). Understanding the role of             governments in global tobacco control. In: Lu R., Mackay, A., Niu, S., Peto, R. (eds)             Tobacco: the growing epidemic. Springer, London.

Naiman, A. B., Glazier, R. H., & Moineddin, R. (2011). Is there an impact of public             smoking bans on self-reported smoking status and exposure to second-hand             smoke?            BMC Public Health 11, 146

Srivastava, A. (2000). The role and responsibility of media in global tobacco control.             Conference Paper: World Health Organisation.

Trefis Team. (2019). Where is Philip Morris spending most of its money? Forbes.             Retrieved        from https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2020/12/31/where-is-philip-       morris-            spending-most-of-its-money/#7c1a73173101 on 24th March, 2020.