Business Values and Ethics

Question 1

Evaluate the success of this golf course using the Triple Bottom Line by using examples from case. Ensure to base the evaluation by including a summarizing statement on whether or not this golf-course has been successful.

Triple bottom line that has also been abbreviated as TBL has been regarded as an accounting framework with three major parts being social, environmental (or ecological) and financial. The given three areas are also regarded as three Ps being people, planet and profit. They can further be considered as pillars of sustainability.

The triple bottom line has made an attempt to capture the essence of sustainability by measuring the impact that organizational activities has caused on the world (Tvanclay, 2004). It is inclusive of both profitability, values of shareholders as well as social, human and environmental capital (Wexler, 2009). In this regard, the application of triple bottom line can be understood with respect to the golf course that has been owned by Thai government.

People - Every firm is responsible towards its employees as well as the wider community in which it works. Such a company has an understanding about the practices that has an impact on workers, stakeholders etc. it further works for the best interest of all its members. However from the above case study it seems clear that Thai government has failed to understand the impact that the golf course has caused on its people. This has happened as golf courses have led to pesticide positioning in the workers (Christen and, 2006). They have further suffered from skin disease, dizziness as well as problems related to kidney. There is also more chances of brain, large intestine, lung and prostrate cancer in golf course superintendents.

Planet – It is very essential for corporations to commit with sustainable environmental practices. In this regard, the corporations can save money by ensuring towards  environmentally safe practices and reducing the carbon footprints. The golf course managers have been adhering with the water theft practices (Sauvante,  2001). It is clear as some golf courses that are present near rivers have started dumping rocks and sand into river. This is being done so as to make the level of water rise so that it can directly flow into the golf course.

Profit – Making money has been regarded as one of the essential parameter for attaining success in business. In this regard, the triple bottom line firm has recognized that its own sustainability rests on the ability to work harmoniously in the given social and environmental settings (Tvanclay, 2004). However, it seems clear that no such tactic has been followed by Thai government. In the year 1994, Thailand had faced the worst drought conditions. It was found that 13 golf courses were diverting the water from irrigation canals. The government instead of taking strong action against the golf course managers, prohibited the farmers to grow a second rice crop.

From the above evaluation, it has been found that the golf courses may have been successful in terms of making profits, gaining economic success as well as bringing improvement in the standard of living for country. However, they have not been successful in terms of reaching the standards of triple bottom line (Wexler, 2009). This was as success of the golf courses was judged solely in the basis of monetary gains and fame. However it was not judged on the grounds of the impact that the golf courses has caused on a society as a whole. In present case, as the negative societal impact has outlawed the positive ones hence the golf courses has not been successful.

Question 2

Use Utilitarian/Rule-Utilitarian framework to explain if golf course development should happen in Cambodia.

The utilitarian framework is based on the concept that ethical action should be the one that does most good and leads to minimum harm. In other ways, it is there to produce a greatest balance between good over harm (Oliver,  2014). This is for all the affected being consumers, employees, shareholders, community as well as the overall environment. It holds that the interest of every entity must be considered equally before making any decision. When provided with many set of options, the need is to focus on the one that is most ethical (Pollock,  2011). It also implies for finding out that option which produces the best balance of benefits as compared to harm for a  majority of stakeholders. These outcomes may be quantified in terms of contentment, suffering, relative value of individual preferences, gain and loss in terms  of money as well as short and long term effects of the action (Gardner,  2013).

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This approach can easily be applied on the given case study. It has been found out that the golf courses that are set in Thailand have done less of good and more of harm. This has led to an imbalance between good and harm. This is clear as the golf courses that have been set in Thailand has led to depletion of the limited water supply present in the country that were vital for the rich farmers. In the same way, setting up of a resort complex in the mid of  KhonPhapheng Fall has put impact on the  Irrawaddy dolphins that are the unique fauna of this region. Moreover the area is also very ecologically sensitive. Similarly, the dead birds are also found every morning after the green keepers spray pesticide during night time.

Hence, form all these points it seems clear that a similar development should not happen in  Cambodia. This is because just like Thailand, Cambodia also faces water issues. There is a lack of safe drowning water in the place (Water in Crisis – Cambodia, 2015). If golf course is set in Cambodia then it may increase the chances of water depletion to a greater extent. The use of pesticides in golf courses may impact the purity of water. Moreover, Cambodia is also a home to many bird species. 100 to 1000 of birds migrate to this area every year. Hence y=use of pesticide may cause them heavy damage as well as death in a few cases. In the same way, it is also a known fact that golf courses consume a lot of land.

Question 3

What are all of the factors that should be considered to decide if the golf course manager (not owner) is Morally Responsible for any damages that have occurred

There is a requirement to give a due focus on all the factors to decide if golf course manager and not the owner is responsible for damages that have occurred. These are as follows;
It is required to be judged as to whether the manager has knowingly and freely performed the acts that are morally wrong.  It can be judged if it is clear the manager had given strict instructions to staff members about more usage of pesticides.

Judgment is also a must to find out if the manager knowingly and freely fails to stop an action that has been known by him to be morally wrong.  He can be held responsible if it is found that he was aware about the unnecessary use of water and pesticide in the fields. In the same way, manager can be held responsible only if it gets clear that he had knowledge about the environmental impacts caused by golf fields.


  • Oliver, R.L., 2014. Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer. Routledge.
  • Pollock, J., 2011. Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Cenage learning.
  • Gardner, C.V., 2013. Empowerment and Interconnectivity: Toward a Feminist History of Utilitarian Philosophy. Penn State Press.
  • Péreau, J. C. and,  2012. The triple bottom line: meeting ecological, economic and social goals with individual transferable quotas. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.
  • Vanclay, F., 2004. Impact assessment and the Triple Bottom Line: Competing pathways to sustainability?. Sustainability and Social Science Round Table Proceedings.
  • Wexler, M. N., 2009. Strategic ambiguity in emergent coalitions: the triple bottom line. Corporate Communications: An International Journal.
  • Christen, E. and, 2006. Triple bottom line reporting to promote sustainability of irrigation in Australia. Irrigation and Drainage Systems.
  • Sauvante, M., 2001. The triple bottom line: A boardroom guide. Directors Monthly.
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