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What are Business Ethics?

Do Codes of business Ethics Really work'?

Perhaps working in corporate world, shows the sense of social responsibilities,values and ethics of the person working in it. There are some famous wordings by various people working in different parts of corporate world about the social responsibilities but the common thought which comes out of all of it is “We may pretend that we are basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of the history proves otherwise.”i.e. it comes out to be a confusing outcome after noticing all the definitions, methods and samples.

As we talk about the business ethics, ethics is a set of principles of the right conduct it has been defined as a set of values and principle which helps guide behavior, choice and actions. It helps to decide whether ones’ actions are right or wrong. It is said in ‘An introduction to business ethics’ by Joseph Desjardins , he shows a unique multidisciplinary approach which offers critical; analysis and integrates the perspective of philosophy with management, law , economics and public policy, providing a clear , concise , yet reasonably comprehensive introductory survey of the ethical choices available to us in business  2013. According to him, ethics are based upon individual morals/ values and social context. Although ethics reflect a combination of individual values, morals and culture. Organizations can signicantly impact ethical decision makings by:-

1.    Written codes of conduct/ ethics.
2.    Ethics programs.
3.    Ethics hotline.
4.    Leadership by example.

Social responsibility of the people in the corporate world is a key to know how the task is being performed as it is assigned to them particularly, it is the basic foundation of the human interaction. Professionals are required to perform their work to high ethical standards and always in consideration of and to the benefit of the public (Reynolds, 2006). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits and in keeping with the view that environmental corporate social responsibility generates new and competitive resources for firms and on the other hand if the firm behave irresponsibly then it face a significant decrease in stock prices and other things too. It express the way how company fundamentally behaves towards the society. This further helps in showing the ethical behavior of the firm towards the customers and the stack holders and reorganizes the spirit of legal and regulatory environment.

As we see ethical changes form the ancient times , the main  varieties of modern ethics is the transition from medieval to modern culture, during the renaissance , was marked by a revival of classical humanism and naturalism, which proceeded to critical reconstruction in the ethical theory. The men of renaissance turned enthusiastically to the ideas and ideals of classical antiquity. Every school of ancient philosophy had its early modern disciplines. Stoicism was revived, likewise the Aristotelians of the lyceum, not the Thomist theological adaptation. Marsilio ficino(1433-1499) and others hoped to achieve a philosophical religion and ethics by a blend of Christianity with Plato and Plotinus. More radically opposed to the medieval ascetic piety, Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) espoused the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure as ma’s chief and true good. Having cut loose the bonds of dogmatic authority, men felt dismayed in their quest of a reliable standard. This tragic quandary may be sensed as an undertone in the ethical writings of Giordano Bruno (1548- 1600). It finds intense utterance in the Pensees of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), but before the Pascal it had expressed without any tragic note in the skepticism of Montaigne(1533-1592). In ethics as in general philosophy, the first major problem of the modern mankind was the problem of a reliable method. What is the source and what is the standard of moral judgment in our relative appraisal of the values of human experience and conduct?

Ethical theories are most broadly distinguished as teleological ethics and formal rigorism. Formal rigorism. Formal rigorism is the ethics of duty and upright will. It tests the moral value of an act by considering the motive or the inner spirit of the agent. The results of an action are often beyond our control. Moral judgment must be concerned with the man himself, with the principle on which he proposes to act. An action is morally good only if the principle which is manifested in it is right (Reynolds, 2006).

The ethics of uprightness is opposed to more usual so called teleological theories of ethics which evaluate the moral worth of actions by appraisal of their consequences:” By their fruits ye shall know them”. Teleological ethics may proceed in several directions. We evaluate an act by its consequences: what consequences, namely? The principle answers to this question have been two, with a third theory of more recent advocacy. Thus hedonism judges an action to be good if it yields pleasure of leads to happiness. Perfectionism evaluates the moral worth of an act if it serves to realize the harmonious perfection of our capacities and leads to fulfillment of personality. The widespread influence of the doctrine of evolution has found expression in the evolutionary theory of ethics, which appraises conduct in terms of its survival value vitality. We shall examine the above four varieties of ethical doctrine in their historical development in the modern thought.
Basically there are moral issues in business which has four part. These are:-

1.    Moral philosophy and business.
2.    Business and its basis
3.    Business and society
4.    The organization and the people in it.

In the first part is it said that about the nature of morality and presents the main theories of normality ethics and leading approaches to questions of economic justice. In the second part it said about the institution foundation of business, focusing on capitalism as an economic system and the nature and the role of corporations in our society. In the third part it is said about the moral problems involving business consumers and the natural environment. And in the fourth part it identifies a variety of ethical issues and moral challenges that arise out of the interplay of employees with an organization, including the problem of discrimination (Reynolds, 2006).


On the other side when the unethical behavior is discussed the stories of business corruption and of greed and wrong doing comes in picture. As we take the examples of Kenneth ley who was convicted by jury of conspiracy and multiple count s of fraud, he was the CEO of Enron group. The company was once the seventh largest company of America and Fortune magazine voted the “Most Innovative Company” continuously from last six years. Then with the time it was declare a bankrupt company. This kind of unethical behavior leads the hype on which it was built made a crashing end.

There is one other example of unethical behavior of some pharmaceutical companies of America in terms of marketing strategies. In advertising a product and their unnatural interaction with healthcare people is making the phRMA (Pharmaceutical research and manufactures of America) code ineffective. An independent research studies shows that seven renowned drug manufacturing companies violated the code. It revealed that inappropriate tactics and through prominent health care people by promoting medicines uses which are not approved by U.S Food and Drug administration (FDA).

Ethic is therefore associated directly to the family and social upbringing and how the society and culture observe a process of approach. It’s common to find certain behavior being considered to be a vice in certain cultures while in others is welcomes and considered normal.This observed among the Politician cultures where theft is not observed in a negative way and considered a normal practice among the traditional locals who didn’t borrow and instead stole. Again when the person required the item they would intern steal it from another person.

This clearly demonstrates the differences between cultural outlooks which will affect the way ethics is observed. In business ethics would constitute to a totally different aspect and usually entail the consumer demand as well as the social responsibilities linked to local communities and the environment.But it once again goes much deeper than this since most people seek to solve the problem they know but down realize there are many major issues linked to the problem which may show up decades after certain actions have been done. these factors also contribute towards social responsibility and business ethics but seldom discussed since these aspects are indirect and maintain experienced after long periods of time.

An example of such as misunderstood social responsibility linked to recycling where communities are asked to recycle their waste. While most of us are working hard towards sorting the waste for proper recycling, details linked to the recycling process remain unclear to the consumer. Recycling has been identifying to consumer almost the same energy as fresh development and while it may reduce pressure on natural resource and waste disposal, it still does not address the problem linked to energy management and proper utilization.

There is also another example of misunderstood social responsibility linked to energy production and management. while government and companies work hard to advertise how people can save energy via the use of energy saving florescent and LED lights and technology, few offer true advice on free energy production solutions such a solar and energy solution. These technologies have greatly been advances in recent years and offer reliable sources of electrical energy for free. By simply promoting these forms of energy production it’s possible to cut down 70% of energy consumed on lighting and small appliances powering thus allowing the power plants to concentrate high voltage power towards industry and heavy consumption. This also helps cut energy consumption costs for small appliances and lighting by 70-80% for the consumer (Lim, 2000).

The above examples clearly demonstrate corporate social responsibility as well as business ethics and offer a clear demonstration of how ethics vary and must be viewed. It’s important to observe the wider picture linked to social responsibility and also consider long term effects to the society, and environment. today many decision taken 3 to decade back with the intention of benefiting the local communities have turned to be viewed as ecological and health disasters.
A perfect example of this is seen on Nile where there has been a constant schistosomiasis outbreak (bilharzia) since the construction of the Aswan Dam. This has been directly associated to the Dam blocking the migratory breed route of the fresh water shrimp. The shrimp are responsible for consuming the snails in the water which carryschistosomiasis.This has been experienced on several rivers across the globe where dams block fish migration routs leading up to serious health concerns. With the case of the schistosomiasis outbreak the shrimp are unable to migrate and breed resulting in a decline in their numbers and an increase in snail numbers. This has led to automatically increasing the number of schistosomiasis cases recorded on rivers in recent year.

But the problem doesn’t stop as finding the causebut also involves finding a solution to this problem.Hydroelectric dams have grown to become a basic necessity for every nation energy supply making it a tricky decision to find a solution where both medical needs as well as development needs are addressed.Clearly there is a major problems linked to meeting both the economic as well as social and ethical requirements in today’s business and social world (Rest,1989).

Many of the problem facing societies are linked the rapid growth experienced during the past 60 years. During this time rapid development was underway resulting in corporate industriesdeveloping but also not having time to observe social responsibility and ethical issues. Today with more education and awareness linked to business ethics and social responsibilities businesses are developing new strategies which address these problems. at the same time the communities and professionals are also addressing the concerns  affecting them resulting in a better understanding on the problems experienced in the past and how they can be resolved in the future. Every aspect linked to business ethics and social responsibility requires to be observed and discussed thus ensuring business, environment and humanitarian concerns are all addressed.

References:

1. Rest, J. R. (1989). Development in judging moral issues. U of Minnesota Press.

2. Chia, A., & Lim, S. M. (2000). The effects of issue characteristics on the recognition of moral issues. Journal of Business Ethics, 27(3), 255-269.

3. Reynolds, S. J. (2006). Moral awareness and ethical predispositions: investigating the role of individual differences in the recognition of moral issues.Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(1), 233.

4. Waters, J. A., Bird, F., & Chant, P. D. (1986). Everyday moral issues experienced by managers. Journal of Business Ethics, 5(5), 373-384.

5. Beauchamp, T. L., Bowie, N. E., & Arnold, D. G. (Eds.). (2004). Ethical theory and business.

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My Assignment Help. (2016). Do Business Ethics Essay Work?. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/corporate-social-responsibilities-and-business-ethics.

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[Accessed 15 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Do Business Ethics Essay Work?' (My Assignment Help, 2016) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/corporate-social-responsibilities-and-business-ethics> accessed 15 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Do Business Ethics Essay Work? [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2016 [cited 15 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/corporate-social-responsibilities-and-business-ethics.

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