Hipsters Increasing Unemployment?


We’re all familiar with Instagram, well at least 35 million of us are. The hipster camera app with the addicting ability to let us show off and share our photography skills, or lack there of photography skills, disguised by beautiful filters. If I had a nickel for every time Forest Perlmutter “instagrammed” a photo of his current meal, I’d be a rich man. Ironically, when Facebook acquired Instagram for 1 billion, the company had generated nothing in revenue, and only employed 13 people.  Continue reading

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Give “Credit” Where Credit is Due


American Express in the past was known to be the charge card for the exclusive upper class. Amex is now globally recognized as a company that works to help small and medium size businesses and is socially conscience.  American Express has been awarded for six years straight as one of Ethisphere Institute’s Most Ethical Companies in the world. However, one of their recent campaigns was “Charge Against Hunger” which has been heavily criticized for spending more money on advertising the initiative than was given to the causes. Another reason that the campaign was criticized was their ad choice of using John Lennon’s “Imagine” song. The Imagine song caused the media to accuse Amex for their shameless advertisement  I mean really, “imagine no possessions” in an advertisement installed by a credit card company?! Makes no sense.

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IBM: A Great Green Leader


IBM’s Icon of Progress: Corporate Leadership in Environmental Responsibility

When I clicked on the link to Newsweek’s Top Green Companies, I really had no idea what to expect.  Environmental protection has always been an interest of mine, so “green” companies often stand out to me.  IBM is the first company on their list, and after doing some basic research, it is clear why they have earned the top spot.

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What’s Underneath Patagonia?


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We all know Patagonia as the high-end outerwear company that provides the perfect amount of warmth on these crisp fall days.  What we don’t see is what goes on behind the company’s doors.  Patagonia was founded in California in 1972 by Yvon Chouinard, who never intended for his product to be so fashion forward.  Maybe fashion forward is the wrong term to use here- it’s not like someone would wear a Patagonia to a formal ball in NYC, but you catch my drift. Continue reading

Does Target Hit the Bulls-Eye?


For my paper #2, I am thinking about focusing on the business ethics of Target.  I thought it would be interesting to look at one of the main competitors for a company that we have talked extensively about (Walmart).  Target is arguably Walmart’s biggest rival, so I want to see if Target has had any of the same struggles that Walmart has. Continue reading

Zappos.com Inc


A company that I am thinking about writing in paper2 is Zappo.com Inc. Zappos.com is an online shoe and apparel shop currently based in Henderson, Nevada.In July 2009, the company announced it would be acquired by Amazon.com in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion. Since its founding in 1999, Zappos has grown to be the largest online shoe store. Continue reading

Bain, Bailouts, and Beneficiaries


From a utilitarian perspective, an ethical decision should be based on what the greatest good is for the greatest number of people. Are bailouts a good thing in this sense? Bailouts are essentially transferring assets from efficient uses to inefficient uses. In bailing out a company who is not making efficient uses out of its resources, money must be transferred from one more efficient and productive industry to another. In terms of total GDP of the economy, losses will exceed gains when a bailout occurs. Continue reading

Sex or Wings?


What are they really selling?

For my Paper 2 Company I am going to look at Hooters.  I think this is a very interesting company that has a very unique strategy for success.  Check out the Hooters website for some light reading but some really attractive pictures of the employees, the Hooters Girls.  If you look around the site you can find that Hooters has ironically been raising money for a Breast Cancer Research Foundations.  If you look at the About page you will see that next to the company’s mission statement, a really gorgeous blonde.

The Mission Statement “Our mission is to provide a family of hospitality and services that achieves excellence and enhances lifestyles of all who come in contact with the Hooters brand.”

The Restaurant Mission Statement “We are committed to providing an environment of employee growth and development so that we can provide every guest a unique, entertaining dining experience in a fun and casual atmosphere delivered by attractive, vivacious Hooters Girls while making positive contributions to the communities in which we live.”

Below these statements it says HOOTERS MAKES YOU HAPPY!!  If you return to the main homepage there are opportunities to look at the Swimsuit Competition Winners Gallery, the Hooters Girls Calender, and the Hooters Girls Hall of Fame.  These pages are all fairly degrading to women and the woman body.  If you click on the “Want to be a Hooters Girl? link you can see the advice on how to look, dress, and exercise.  It talks about the look of a Hooters Girl and how to become a Hooters Girl.  If you are even more interested in becoming or learning about the life of a Hooters Girl you can watch the youtube video below (which you need to confirm your age in order to watch.  Is it porn?  No.  But it is ironic.)

Are the business practices ethical?  That is what I want to look into.  Are you selling food?  Sex?  Hot bodies?  An experience?  Do women and children enjoy this aspect of Hooters?  I am curious to do more research and find more about this company.

I do not have anything against the company, I even told my Dad when I was younger that I wanted to be a Hooters girl.  He didn’t like that too much.  I went through the Global Context Issues Database and found many articles about Hooters.  I read through a few of them and learned about the EEOC’s scrutiny of the company for not hiring men, and the current craze of “breastaurants” like Hooters.

I will focus on the company’s overall strategy and hiring processes, with a focus on the ethical principles behind the company.  Based on my initial research the company seems pretty degrading towards women.  I recently found an article in the NYTimes about how Hooters is re-organizing their marketing strategy focusing on women and families.  Are they changing the outfits?  Or the requirements to work their?  No.  They are making the inside of the restaurants lighter and the menu healthier.  Do women really want to eat with another girls’ breasts in their face?  Hm.  I am pretty pumped to write this paper.

Cause for Concern?


If you were asked to name a philanthropic company, what would come to mind? Since its founding in 2006, TOMS has grown to become one of the best known “socially responsible” brands, receiving the Footwear News Brand of the Year award in 2010 and the Award for Corporate Excellence from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.

The concept is simple: for every pair of TOMS shoes sold, another pair will be donated to a child in need. “One for one,” as they call it.

After a trip to Argentina in which founder Blake Mycoskie came across many children in poor areas without shoes, he recognized the problems these children and their communities face without shoes to wear – not just in terms of health, but also in education and future opportunities. For example, providing shoes to children who were previously unable to walk to school would then allow them to do so.

So how is TOMS doing in fulfilling its mission?

In 2010, four years after its founding, TOMS surpassed the one million mark in shoe donations, and by October of 2011 that number had doubled (check out the 2012 TOMS Giving Report). In April of this year, participants at over 3,000 events in 50 countries and on 275 campuses around the world joined in TOMS’ “One Day Without Shoes” movement to bring awareness to the cause. Fueled by the simplicity and tangible nature of its cause, TOMS has continued to grow in popularity.

Some opponents have pointed out, however, that the shoe drops orchestrated by TOMS do little to solve underlying problems. Free shoes, while solving certain issues in the short-term, fail to benefit the local economy or provide jobs in the long term. This video, based on details from a report by Good Intentions, an organization that provides research to donors on charities, claims that shoe give-aways compete with local markets.

In an article with Women’s Wear Daily, however, Mycoskie acknowledged this problem, stating that TOMS hopes to install a factory in one of the areas it helps, and that a test location has been set up in Ethiopia. The long-term goal is “to have shoes made by the people we are serving.” So while the current model provided by TOMS may have shortcomings, it seems that bigger and better solutions are on the horizon.

Eggo not Ego


For over a century, Kellogg has provided us with wholesome cereals, snacks, and frozen foods.  Some of its most well-known brands include Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Special K, Pop Tarts, Eggo, Cheez-Its, Nutrigrain, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, and Frosted Mini-Wheats.

What is even more impressive than this list of popular products is the company’s commitment to social and ethical responsibility.  Continue reading