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Business Ethics and Sustainability

Abstract

The report comprises of a discussion on business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability through the project selected that is Hush Buddy. The project relates to the technology industry that relates to the social constructive theory. The purpose of the report involves an in-depth analysis of the implication of company actions analysing ethical and sustainability approaches. Therefore, through research upon various articles, documents, reports, and papers the drive towards social change and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” have been explored accordingly. The report discusses the technology industry to be related to SDG, where the project is linked with goal 3 and 8. To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being and work on the sustainable economic growth of the following report has analysed various aspects related to business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability. The report also recommends the project to work on green sustainability and incorporate other SDGs creating a healthier and positive environment. 

Introduction 

The following report comprises a decision on business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability with respect to international and national organisations. The report helps gain an understanding of the importance of various stakeholders, values of organisations, issues of social justice, ethics and wellbeing, and factors ensure sustainable futures. In order to develop an understanding of the interrelated relationships among business the aspects of business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability will be discussed throughout the paper. 

With the study on various models of sustainability and the impact of technology, organisational actions will be assessed accordingly. The development of ethical programmes and evaluation of leadership, culture and society to meet sustainable initiatives will be also be discussed. With reference to the assessment of sustainability issues, the context of business and management studies will be explored to describe the leadership for sustainability, challenges in implementing CSR practices, and actions regarding the development of innovative sustainable programmes.

For the project-based business ethics, CSR, and sustainability factors for business the project selected (fromhttps://www.kickstarter.com/discover) is “Hush Buddy”. This is related to the technology industry that caters to the goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and goal 8 to work on the sustainable economic growth of “United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

The report has been divided into two parts in order to determine the problem solving approach used by the business. The first one involves the discussion on the theory to assess the relevant business environment and the actions to operate the project while the second section comprises of an evaluation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) choosing two of the goals for analysis. The second part also provides recommendations for the business to improve practices towards sustainability. Therefore, the report comprises of theoretical /conceptual approaches, analysis, discussion, and recommendations evaluating the technological innovations related to SDGs.  

Discussion 

The section comprises of a discussion on technological invention Hush Buddy selected from the www.kickstarter.com/discover website. The following parts of the section are linked with relevant theories and SDGs to provide recommendations on improving sustainability. 

Theoretical / conceptual approaches

In regards to the understanding of sustainability, business ethics, and CSR activities, various theories have been developed with time applied by organisations in various instances. As the technological environment and industry have been chosen for the discussion, the social constructivism theory has been explored to further stress upon the importance of sustainable actions to be taken into consideration in the business environment.

According to the study present by Marzouki, Idrissi, and Bennani, (2017) it has been stated that the social constructivist approach relates with the technological environment to work on an extension of the concepts of social constructivist movement in the social sciences. With reference to the social shaping of technology, technological dimensions are important to study. As the study discusses the context of technology to be autonomous, exogenous, and independent the drive towards social change has been referred to exist at various instances (Marzouki, Idrissi, and Bennani, 2017).

Studying various research papers, it could be evaluated that the notion of technology determines the broader socio-political contexts to design and develop business environment. The theory is related with the social and the technical interactions in order to shape one another and provide a meaning to influence human actions driving towards a social change (Fulk, and Connie Yuan, 2017). According to the study presented by Bibri (2018), it has been further stated that the concepts of constructivism and sustainable development determine the dynamic relationship to define sustainability, learning, and knowledge construction. As the concepts of constructivism and sustainability are related, complex relationships are formulated to address the ever-changing and merging problems of sustainability (Bibri, 2018). Through constructivist solutions, the complexities in the social phenomenon could be catered with the theory of learning meeting needs of the present with acknowledgement of the abilities of future generations.

Moreover, another study has stated that with the adoption of the social constructivism concepts, the sustainable communication aspects require consideration (Silvius et al. 2017). With references to the human interactions in the social environment, the possible solutions could be processed through an evaluation of the human-environment relationship into social discourse (Silvius et al. 2017). Therefore, investigating the relationship of diverse technical design strategies and ecological place making the social constructivist perspective could reflect upon the concepts of environmentalism. This could help in attaining sustainable places through technological strategies discussing the nature of the technological design that creates a positive impact on society (Wang, Zhang, and Lu, 2018).

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With reference to the project selected for the analysis it could be stated that technological innovation Hush Buddy attempts to create a positive impact on society. As the social constructivist theory involves social change through human interactions and behaviour the technological innovation “Hush Buddy” helps change the sleeping routine of the individuals to encourage calmness, peace, and comfort. 

As the figure below refers to the attempt to move towards a quiet behaviour among youngsters the encouragement of me-time is promoted through the device (Kickstarter. 2020) as the sleep training mechanism is followed through the device, the intelligent setting is stated to promote progressive dimming and act as a comfort bedtime companion.

Figure: Hush Buddy encourages quiet behaviour (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

Today, with the fast-moving industries and lesser time for oneself, the device helps in promoting consistency in the routine managing to get back to me time required by adults. As the project aims to shape the sleeping routine, the training device is related to social constructivist theory as it brings in social change and emphasis on the human wellbeing.

Figure: Hush Buddy creates consistency (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

With the website referring to the increased sleep onset association disorder, the psychological comfort and importance of enough sleep are encouraged through the device.

Figure: Hush Buddy and sleeping patterns (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

The website also discusses the benefits comparing itself with others in terms of reaction to behaviour, sleep science, imagination, price, and operational abilities (Kickstarter. 2020). Thus, with this technological innovation, lifelong problems are aimed to be reduced through a focus on sleeping patterns. 

Figure: Hush Buddy verus others (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

Figure: Hush Buddy reduces lifelong problems (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

Also, investigating upon the linkages of CSR and social constructive theory, it could be evaluated that with the phenomenon of CSR evolved at several levels, the business processes have been integrated with social constructs. With reference to the socially constructed reality regarded as a dynamic process, the knowledge of reality and individual interpretations have been discussed in various instances. Regarding the Social Construction of Reality, it has been indicated that the social construct is a phenomenon that involves the perception of reality and social interactions. This relates with the term responsibility that comprises of a duty to act as per certain obligations to consider moral standards as part of the legal practice. 

Moreover, as the context of social change is discussed the perspectives of various stakeholders have been highlighted by various authors discussing the relationships between CSR practice sand stakeholder theories. As this theory involves the interests of the stakeholders, the activity of the corporation and distribution of resources have been referred at various instances with the objective to maximisation of profit and work for the social good. Therefore, assessing the social constructive theory in the technology industry to evaluate the Hush Buddy invention it could be stated that the project aims to bring in positive change in the society with a focus on improving health and wellbeing of the people. The change is essential as discussed by the project with emphasis on improving sleeping routine preventing the chances of obesity, lack of cognitive development, and diabetes. And also on building better relationships with caregivers, parents, grandparents, and others on society. 

Analysis and recommendations 

According to the study presented by Biermann, Kanie, and Kim, (2017) it has been stated that all the countries and stakeholders work in coordination and collaboration to implement the sustainable development plans. These plans involve the human in order to reduce the rate of poverty and heal the planet with incentives. Regarding the determination to work on a transformative strategy the shift and change in the society is promoted through sustainable and resilient pathway. The collective journey to create a positive environment involves Millennium Development Goals involving human rights to achieve empowerment, gender equality, and a balanced approach towards sustainability (Costanza et al. 2016). The integrated aspects regarding social, environmental, and economic context cater to the mobilisation of the agenda. Thus, with respect to the collaborative and global partnerships for sustainable development, the need to fight vulnerability is promoted through participation among countries and stakeholders as a result. 

With respect to the goals and targets, it has been stated that the path to transforming the lives involves the role of public consultation and agreement creating valuable work that discusses the voices of the poor and vulnerable (Costanza, Fioramonti, and Kubiszewski, 2016). As the UN SDGs cater to the universal right of the human, the shared prosperity and cultural diversity are addressed through a focus on legal, economic, and social barriers. Promoting empowerment is also stated to help eradicate poverty and cater to the disparities that exist in society (Dahlmann et al. 2019). For the social inclusion and progress, the impact of scarcity and biodiversity have also been addressed through the UN SDGs. Climate change is one of the major challenge identified for humanity in the present world. Thus, with time as the adversity increases, all the countries have been working on an initiative to achieve sustainable development. 

Studying various research articles regarding sustainability the problems in society have been identified. Regarding the challenges faced the increase in global temperature, rise in sea level, changes in the climate, and poverty have been noted (Dahlmann et al. 2019). As the sustainability in the actions stated to be important, the promotion of mental and physical wellbeing has been discussed in various instances. The SDGs consist of 17 goals in total and the promotion of mental and physical wellbeing is the third goal that involves plans to cater to the life expectancy and healthcare services (Costanza, Fioramonti, and Kubiszewski, 2016). Regarding the third goal, it has been stated that the progression in society relates to the reduction in infant mortality and work on preventing deaths. The universal goals also have been discussed that help fight against diseases in published the report by the UN. Being committed towards the sustainable development and economic growth the promotion of empowerment, eradication of forced labour, and encouragement of skills and knowledge is stated to be essential to participate in the society.

Also, regarding the SDG it has been the promotion of wellbeing and healthy lives at all ages have been aimed with an increase in the health financing and development of a healthy workforce (Griggs et al. 2013). In regards to the project selected for the analysis, Goal 3 of the UN SDG is related. This has been notified due to the fact that the project emphasis upon a better sleeping routine to eliminate the chances of diabetes, lack of cognitive development, and obesity. The device training the sleeping routine through the high-end technology used as illustrated below to focus on improving the lives of the individual The SDG goal 3 works on improving the lives and promoting a healthier lifestyle thus, the goal is related with the attempt to enhance the wellbeing of an individual.

Figure: Hush Buddy technology (Source: Kickstarter. 2020)

Also, regarding the goal set by the UN, the strong economic foundations have been addressed through goal 8 that involves sustainability and prosperity. With respect to economic growth, it has been stated that income inequality and shared wealth should be promoted (Griggs et al. 2013). Therefore, for the dynamic, sustainable, and innovative environment, the context of empowerment and workforce skill development has been focused through the SDGs. Also, as the productivity and improvement in performance are important, goal 8 further mentions the development of skills among the workforce through enhancement in competencies and knowledge (Le Blanc, 2015).

In regards to the project selected the Goal, 8 could be linked that discusses the promotion of sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth is important. Thus, for productive employment, the goal could be ensured through a focus on sustainability in the business. The project Hush Buddy involves the sleeping routine to be enhanced allowing the adults to have more me-time. With the better sleeping routine, the health and wellbeing are promoted that allows the production environment to be created through more focus, peace, and comfort. Thus, with respect to goal 8 of SDGs, the emphasis is laid upon productivity, capabilities, employment, and sustainability in operations. 

However, as sustainability refers to the attempt to meet the needs of the present with a focus on future generations, the project could improve its operations. Currently, the project aims to improve the lives of the individual through better sleeping routines. Also, as part of the business ethics practices, the project encourages transparency in communicating the details regarding the device. This could be observed through the risk and challenges section mentioned on the website taking accountability for the product marketed for the people in the society.

Despite the fact that health is improved through the device as it involves high-end technology, the focus could be on the production and accessibility. For the production to be enhanced, the project could focus on green products that are environmentally friendly creating a positive impact in the society. Also, for the accessibility, the project has not mentioned the target group that could purchase the device. Thus, as SDG aims to build on a culture that promotes equality in terms of opportunities. The project could focus on various economic status groups to benefit the overall environment. The aspect of leadership in businesses has not been catered through the project. Thus, the platform for leadership through several strategies could be initiated on the whole.   

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Conclusion 

The report comprised of a decision on business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability. This involved the analysis to be based on the practices in the business environment, considering the sustainable development approaches. For the evaluation of the business practices, the project chosen is Hush Buddy that addresses the difficulties in sleeping leading to poor health outcomes. As the project promotes human wellbeing and improved health, the report involves the discussion based on sustainable futures through theoretical approach and UN sustainable development goals.

As the reports involve the development of an understanding of the interrelated relationships among business, the two UN goals had been selected for the analysis. Goal 3 and 8 had been selected that works on ensuring a healthy environment emphasising over wellbeing and building sustainable economic growth through a focus on productivity for all.

As the purpose of the report had been to gain an in-depth understanding of the implications of Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability within the organisation or project selected the report suggests that several businesses have been working towards sustainability. Hush Buddy with respect to the attempt to create a positive environment has been promoting human health and wellbeing thus; the findings suggest that the human actions have been influenced through social constructions driving towards a social change.

References

Bibri, S.E., 2018. A foundational framework for smart sustainable city development: Theoretical, disciplinary, and discursive dimensions and their synergies. Sustainable Cities and Society, 38, pp.758-794.

Biermann, F., Kanie, N. and Kim, R.E., 2017. Global governance by goal-setting: the novel approach of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 26, pp.26-31.

Costanza, R., Daly, L., Fioramonti, L., Giovannini, E., Kubiszewski, I., Mortensen, L.F., Pickett, K.E., Ragnarsdottir, K.V., De Vogli, R. and Wilkinson, R., 2016. Modelling and measuring sustainable wellbeing in connection with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ecological Economics, 130, pp.350-355.

Costanza, R., Fioramonti, L. and Kubiszewski, I., 2016. The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the dynamics of well-being. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(2), pp.59-59.

Dahlmann, F., Stubbs, W., Griggs, D. and Morrell, K., 2019. Corporate actors, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Earth System Governance: A research agenda. The Anthropocene Review, 6(1-2), pp.167-176.

Fulk, J. and Connie Yuan, Y., 2017. Social construction of communication technology. The international encyclopedia of organizational communication, pp.1-19.

Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Gaffney, O., Rockström, J., Öhman, M.C., Shyamsundar, P., Steffen, W., Glaser, G., Kanie, N. and Noble, I., 2013. Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature, 495(7441), p.305.

Kickstarter. 2020. Teach your toddlers to go to sleep quickly and quietly. [online] Available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/624394460/teach-your-toddlers-to-go-to-sleep-quickly-and-quietly?ref=discovery_category

Le Blanc, D., 2015. Towards integration at last? The sustainable development goals as a network of targets. Sustainable Development, 23(3), pp.176-187.

Marzouki, O.F., Idrissi, M.K. and Bennani, S., 2017. Effects of social constructivist mobile learning environments on knowledge acquisition: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), 11(1), pp.18-39.

Silvius, A.G., Kampinga, M., Paniagua, S. and Mooi, H., 2017. Considering sustainability in project management decision making; An investigation using Q-methodology. International Journal of Project Management, 35(6), pp.1133-1150.

Wang, H., Zhang, X. and Lu, W., 2018. Improving social sustainability in construction: conceptual framework based on social network analysis. Journal of Management in Engineering, 34(6), p.05018012.

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