Understanding AIDS policies and programs small and medium businesses implement to combat the epidemic at workplaces enhances effective collaboration and the harnessing of appropriate resources among interested stakeholders. Knowing the nature of ethics, business principles and human rights elements helps create a framework for reflecting, formulating and developing appropriate and efficacious policies. This interpretive study analyzes the policies and programs businesses apply to fight AIDS among their employees. It also examines the ethics and human rights elements shaping and determining these policies.

The sample of 1066 is comprised of urban small and medium businesses drawn from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce membership engaged in various commercial and industrial ventures. The policies and programs as well as the ethics and human rights elements shaping the policies were collected through a self-administered. organizational, closed-ended survey questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using quantitative, non-parametric statistical tools such as joint frequency distributions, chisquares, logistics regressions and Mann-Whitney tests. Joint frequency distributions were used to determine relationships between categorical variables such as policies, programs and the types of businesses and ownership. Chi-squares tested the statistical significance of the relationships between various nominal variables. Logistics regressions were conducted to measure the amount of influence that a type of ethic had over a policy. Odds ratios were used for determining the magnitude of clinical relevance in which an ethical theory would determine a policy. The confidence interval of 95% was used for odds ratios. The Mann-Whitney tests of ranks were used to determine the preference of utilitarian, Kantian, African, common good and rights ethics over each other. Applying practical social science of reflecting ethically on the meaning of quantitative data, the study found four challenges AIDS posed at the workplace.

First, businesses shirk their moral responsibility towards infected employees. This finding is evidenced by 81% of the businesses who lack AIDS policies. Second, businesses implement programs that maximize profits on a short-term basis. Businesses develop the least costly programs and implement mostly non-financial spending programs. Third, businesses individually fight AIDS, and their efforts are less sufficiently complemented by government and societal organizations. Finally, the moral act of maximizing profits on a short-term basis overly benefits the business in relation to other stakeholders, and businesses believe that this act is utilitarian. Given these findings, this dissertation recommends creating policies among businesses to fight AIDS and dissuades businesses from making profits at the expense of other stakeholders.

LLU Discipline

Social Policy and Social Research


Social Policy and Research


School of Science and Technology

First Advisor

Ignatius Yacoub

Second Advisor

Mark Carr

Third Advisor

Robert Gardner

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome -- Zimbabwe; Organization Policy; Social Responsibility; Workplace -- psychology -- Zimbabwe; Ethics, Business -- Zimbabwe.



Page Count

xxi; 302

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives