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Business and the Legal Environment…




Case of Global Ethics vs. Global Economy


This is a case that will be tried in the Court of Public Opinion.


Gala Shoe Company, a United States corporation, buys clothing assembled by Emerald, LTD., a foreign company that employs children under 12 years of age. These children work nine hour days and for low pay. Emerald’s nation does not enforce its child labor laws limiting workdays to seven hours for children under 12. Many times the children’s income is needed by the family for basic necessities. Emerald and Gala are aware of this.


Human International Politics (HIP), an international political activist organization, discovered Gala’s connection to Emerald, LTD. HIP plans to reveal this information to the press and on social media. Gala hears about this proposed action by HIP. Before HIP can act, Gala terminates its relationship with Emerald. Gala then publicizes this action in its advertising. The company’s sales and profits increase, apparently as a direct result.


Has Gala acted unethically in any way(s)? Explain using one of the ethical philosophies from the readings and facts from the scenario.

From an ethical perspective, is Gala’s conduct in terminating its relationship with Emerald more important than whatever its motive might be? Why or why not?