Primark, one of the UK’s most popular retailers of budget clothing, has also been rated the country’s least ethical retailer. With reference to Primark or any business you have studied, to what extent does a company’s ethical stance determine its long-term success? 
The ethical environment - The moral beliefs and attitudes from both inside and outside a business that influence its behaviour.
Due to the current economic environment, many businesses are being forced to fight for survival and they therefore lose focus on long-term success and instead focus on short-term success. However the larger companies, which are blessed with sufficient finances and stability, such as Marks and ...view middle of the document...
Whereas Marks and Spencer’s customers are generally more affluent and possess more purchasing power, expecting high quality products and customer service and in return, they are more willing to pay higher prices. They are two completely different markets. Primark’s customers are less likely to take custom else where if it was to arise that Primark was involved in unethical activities as Primark has such a strong price leadership strategy that other businesses simply can’t compete against, however Marks and Spencer’s customers would react completely differently as they expect more and can easily take their custom else where, to a more ethical competitor as companies such as M&S tend to have more of a differentiation strategy, meaning their profits are more venerable to bad publicity. The main point here is, customers expect less when they are paying less, thus showing success is not determined by how ethical a business is but by how well they managed to meet their customers needs, wants and expectations. There are many factors, which contribute to long-term success for example; the business plan, timing, location, costs, reputation, quality, competition, finance, advertising and of course the customers. Success cannot be gained through just one factor as they all work in synergy with each other and are therefore all needed. This is quite often where a business’ failure begins, but we are seeing more failing businesses now that we ever have before due to the struggling economic environment, which is emphasising a businesses weaknesses and simply accelerating that inevitable failure.
The economic environment is causing businesses to be as competitive as possible. One way for a business to become more competitive and potentially more profitable is to be innovative by investing heavily into R&D so that they can bring out new products before their competitors bring out new products.
This puts them at a competitive advantage, especially in markets with high levels of customer purchasing power, as customers desire the latest, most fashionable products available. Businesses, which fail to be innovative and bring out new products, face the problem of their products becoming obsolete and their customers buying from competitors and therefore seeing revenue fall.
The direction a business chooses to go in will determine how competitive they can be in this area. Businesses, which chose to be ethical, often thrive in markets that rely heavily on innovation such as technology as their employees are often motivated by the business’ good reputation, which in turn improves productivity and generates innovation. Ethical businesses tend to have huge pressures from their markets to be innovative due to the higher purchasing power of their customers and they therefore heavily invest in R&D allowing them to meet their customer’s needs with new products released regularly which creates customer loyalty as shown by Apple which is essential for...