Business and Public Policy
Intellectual property is the capacity to own capability. Capacity may be an invention, literals and artistic work, creation of symbols, names, and images used in the business world. Additionally, intellectual property exists in two forms: industrial capabilities and properties, and copyrights. Industrial capabilities and properties may include inventions, industrial designs, geographical indications and trademarks. Copyright covers literal works such as poems, films, artistry, and architectural designs.
Reasons for protecting the intellectual property depend on the interests of the entity owning the rights, and social justice. For example, for society to progress and persons to gain from their efforts, one has the right to own original inventions and benefits. Secondly, the protection of intellectual property encourages commitments of more resources to further innovation. For example, Coca Cola company partners with various firms that pay for patent and use it to develop new ideas. Lastly, the development and protection of intellectual property influence economic growth.
Business entitlement is to have absolute privileges or rights to economic benefits. It is as a result of a contract or law after meeting required qualification to the privilege. Additionally, entitlement derives from moral principles in society that an entity can have legal rights to own and control a resource or property. A business liability is firms’ legal responsibility for criminal actions or failures to act as expected. For example, Enron Corporation was held liable in 2001, through a court proceeding, after violating an accounting principle. The senior management and involved stakeholder were held liable since they oversaw the running of the business.
In business economics, social efficiency exists when a firm balances the cost of production with both private and external costs. For example, BP allocates resources to sensitize the public on the need to conserve the environment through efficient utilization of its products. Considering that BP process petroleum products, the goal is to ensure that they do not degrade the environment.
The initial stages of early commerce in the corporate world focused on online retailing. However, after a while many brick-and-mortar retailers such as Amazon and Dell invested in technology and found online divisions along with brick-and-mortar outlets. As a result, both online and brick-and-mortar approaches complement each other in the economy. For example, a combination of the two form ‘hybrid’ retailing and which assist companies to hold significant market share.
On the contrary, online markets may negatively affect brick-and-mortar economy. For example, in July 2011, Border, which is the second-largest book store chain in the U.S, announced that it would be closing hundreds of stores and laying off more than 10 000 employees. The company states that it cannot compete with online booksellers such as Amazon.com. Additionally, well established online booksellers aim at acquiring small bookstores; further killing the brick-and-mortar economy. For example, Book-A-Million, which is the third largest book store chain and online retailer, aims at buying a number of Border stores.
The European Union is a partnership that forms a corporation among the member states. The partnership emerged after the World War Two and was found by six sovereign states for the sake of independence and peace in the region. Today, there are 28member states, with countries from both Central and Eastern Europe. Through a series of treaties, EU members adopt general legal, sociopolitical and economic policies. For example, the union has established general custom union, economy, in which goods, people, and capital traverse freely.
The European Union has five institutions. The European parliament is the legislative body for the EU, while a second institution called the Council of the EU comprises of government representatives of member states. The executive organ is the European Union, which is the policy making body. The Court of Justice is the fourth institution that ensures compliance with the law while the firth, which is the Court of Auditors, oversees the EU budget management. Other bodies include the European and Social Committee, which address civil issues, Committee of the Regions that represents regional and local authorities while the central Banks oversee monetary policies of EU.
FDI is an investment into a controlled company from another country. The IMF defines FDI an entity, which owns above 10% in foreign capital. Even with 10% equity share, a foreign company may not have total control of the local market interest. However, with the percentage, investors have an impact on the company’s management. As a result, it will impact the business policies and strategic objectives of the firm.
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Most foreign direct investments target developing countries. As a result, it influences the growth of the local community. For example, even though developing nations have adequate resources, they do not have the technology to utilize them. As a result, foreign direct investments enhance production, which results into economic growth. Secondly, foreign direct investments provide jobs for both skilled and unskilled people in the local economy. Finally, foreign direct investments create a pool of managerial talents. As a result, it assists an economy build capacity for growth.
Economy of protectionism is a policy that aims at protecting domestic industries against foreign competition. It is a government action that restrains international trade through import tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or tax cuts to local business and direct intervention. Protectionism protects infant industry, which provides an opportunity to improve and be globally competitive.
Governments levy are a general protectionism measure. Governments aim at raising the process of goods’ imports, and make them more expensive than domestic products. Historically, governments use protective tariffs to regulate the balance of payments, inflations and recessions.
Ethics defines an individual’s moral judgments. Organizations focus on standards since decisions come from individuals, or groups. Additionally, it depends on culture, and the decision to behave ethically is a moral one. As a result, employees decide what they think is right in respect to business goals, and missions. Unethical or lack of corporate social responsibility damages a firm’s reputation.
Challenges organizations face in terms of values include conflict of interest, where a person desires to pursue personal goals instead of organizational objectives. The second challenge involves corporate opportunities. For example, corporate regulations prohibit employees from taking advantage of opportunities presented by corporate properties, information or position. Confidentiality is a significant challenge to ethics. For example, corporate parties must maintain confidentiality unless authorized. Such information may negatively affect a company’s competitiveness and survival.
Utilitarianism is a philosophy by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, which states if an action promotes happiness, is good and wrong if it does not. As a result, whether an action is ethical or not depends on results. Therefore, for an individual to establish if a decision is wrong he has to act and then observe the results.
Utilitarianism is demanding since it implies that individuals should act for them to maximize happiness. Additionally, it requires individuals to establish a future state, which may be a challenge. For example, an individual needs to understand the consequences of a decision before making it. Secondly, it encourages individuals to pursue self-interest, even at the expense of others, and any ethical standards that define right or wrong. As a result, it differs from ethical theories that identify some acts as right or wrong depending on the motive of the agent. The reason is that, with Utilitarianism, it is possible for the right action to be wrong or vice versa.
Rawls’s theory focuses on the adoption of two principles of justice, which aim at generating justice and morality in society. The first principle provides that everyone in society is equal before the law. The second principle states that all members of society should have an equal opportunity to compete for economic and political opportunities. With the above principles, Rawls states that each society achieves growth.
In addressing critiques, Rawls claims that social inequalities can only be right if they contribute to utility, as the merit theory provides. He then says that advantaged members in society should have incentives since they have resources, which they need to utilize to benefit the rest of society.
For a business, understanding human rights exposure is an important aspect of social responsibility. The reasons behind the idea are that, a society has basic expectations of how the business community should relate with the public. As a result, when a business protects human rights, it develops a positive image. Secondly, the organization saves on cost with violation of human rights. For example, Exxon Mobile Corporation faces a number of litigations for violating human rights.
For governments, human rights can breed effective and innovative law and policy. Human rights framework is an effective tool for governments to strengthen the impact of laws and regulations. For example, most democratic nations support the protection of human rights. As a result, governments develop policies that revolve around such issues as access to medical care, food and education for all citizens.