Unethical Practices-Case Study of Coca-Cola Company


Ethically run organizations and businesses enhance the attraction of consumers and more investors. Le et al. (2017) outlined that ethical practices are critical to organizational success and reputation.

Coca-Cola Unethical Practices

Established in 1886, Coca-cola is the globe’s biggest beverage company operating in over 200 nations and territories. To reduce health challenges, Coke is striving to decrease sugar in all their drinks. To conserve the environment, the company is promoting recycling and water conservation.

In his article, Raman (2018) outlined that since the 1990s, Coke has been accused of unethical practices in multiple areas, including racial discrimination, health issues, pollution, and anti-competitiveness.

Coke and Racial Discrimination

Coca-Cola Company has been facing many issues concerning racial discrimination of employees across the globe. In his article, Raman (2018), for instance, outlined that in 1999, Coke’s reputation experienced a significant blow when approximately 1, 490 African American workers sued for severe racial discrimination. Consequently, the firm paid approximately $ 192 million to successfully settle the claims (Coca-Cola 2018).

In 2000, black workers complained of low payment, harassment, and poor working conditions as compared to their white counterparts. The protests resulted in increased national boycotts of Coke’s products and services; thus, impacting the company’s profits.

To prevent racial discrimination, the Coca-Cola Company, should ensure that all workplaces are racially and ethnically diverse. Coke should offer inclusion and diversity training education for employees.

Embedded in Coca-Cola’s culture to achieve its vision, mission, and goals is the secure environments where the company focuses on reducing water consumption, carbon emission, and producing unhealthy drinks (Coca-Cola, 2014). Nonetheless, Coke is the leading polluter of the environment due to weak waste disposal mechanisms, higher water consumption, and increased production of non-recycled packaging tools.

In his research, Neo (2018) identified that as the leading beverage company, Coke has been named the globe’s leading polluter of the environment.

In his study, Bista (2019) outlined that Coke’s products and operations depend on increased access to the vast distributions of water. Due to the high demand for production, Coke is increasingly accused of dehydrating societies in its continuous pursuit of reliable water sources to sustain the plants. In his research, Subramaniam (2018) identified that Coke’s activities are being blamed for severely aggravating water shortages in areas like India that suffer from adverse lack of rainfall and water resources.

Coke continues to pollute the environment due to the increased production of plastic bottles that are poorly disposed of. Based on packaging, Coke should produce recyclable and reusable bottles.

Companies and enterprises violate human rights in different ways. Coke has been identified by the International union of food (IUF), WHO, and World trade organization (WTO) as a serial offender of human rights.

Unethical practices are considered barriers to achieving organisational mission, vision, and objectives. The unethical practices being practiced by the Coca-Cola Company include abuse of human rights, increased environmental pollution due to poor disposal of plastics. The long-term plan for these unethical practices involves observing WTO, NEMA, and UN regulations regarding human rights. Consequently, Coke should hire employees based on their skills, experience, and performance to avoid discrimination at the workplace.

Question 1 (20 Marks)

“Coke has been accused of unethical practices in multiple areas, including racial discrimination, health issues, pollution, and anti-competitiveness.”
Explain to the management of Coca Cola the concept of work redesign and differentiate clearly between horizontal work redesign and vertical work redesign. Discuss the concept of ergonomics and the benefits for the organisation.

Question 2 (20 Marks)

“A central attribute of good management is the ability to create an environment in which people are motivated to act in a goal directed way.”
Explain to Coca-Cola, the concept of motivation and differentiate clearly between the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs motivational theory and Herzberg’s 2 factor model motivational theory. Refer to the case study and discuss the benefits of a motivated staff to Coca-Cola.

Question 3 (20 Marks)

“Coke has been identified by the International union of food (IUF), WHO, and World trade organization (WTO) as a serial offender of human rights.”
Explain to the workers at Coca-Cola how the Labour Relations Act (LRA) protects them and how they can benefit from a trade union. Discuss the grievance handing procedure.

Answers to Above Questions on Coca Cola Case Study

Answer 1: The concept of work re-design can be better explained as a process of making strategic changes to work processes, tasks and organisational structure with the objective of achieving operational efficiency and better employee satisfaction. In respect to the concept of horizontal work redesign and vertical work redesign, the differences along with their implementation at Coca-Cola is explained as follows:

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