In the present times the concept of business ethics has emerged as one of the most important ones and most of the business organizations are taking the help of this particular concept to make the kinds of decisions which are not only likely to further enhance the prospects of their business but also contribute in a significant manner towards the cause of the society (Adcroft and Willis 2013). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL)” process in the present times focus on the concept of ethics within the particular framework of the business world (Adcroft and Willis 2013). It is significant to note that the concept of “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” requires the students to undertake learning for themselves (Judson and Taylor 2014). The concept of “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” also requires the students to bring a “real research-orientated approach to the subject” (Judson and Taylor 2014). It is significant to note that in the present day context the primary focus of the various individuals as well as educational institutions is on this particular kind of learning activity since this particular kind of learning activity helps the individuals not only to undertake the various learning activities on their own but also to focus on the enquiry which the traditional form of learning rarely provides them with (Conklin 2013).
I would like to comment here that I myself am a firm believer in the concept of “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” and since an early age my parents had encouraged me to indulge in this particular kind of learning process. I would also like to comment here my parents had always taught me about the importance of being ethical in every sphere of life. Therefore, the concept of business ethics is of considerable importance as well as interest to me. I would also like to comment here during the course of my “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” I came across various kinds of information related to the concept of business ethics which encouraged to undertake a detailed study of the concept of business ethics. I found that the concept of business ethics is one which almost all the major business organisations of the world in the present times are taking into consideration and it is a result of this particular fact that the concept has gained a considerable amount of significance in the present day context of the business world. I would like to comment in this particular context that the focus of the “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” is on the concept of enquiry and the various individuals are encouraged to use this particular tool to enhance the knowledge gained by them. Therefore, taking the help of this particular concept I tried to derive as much information as well as knowledge about the concept of business ethics as possible. The concept of business ethics is not only a very wider one but also needs wider canvas for the effective understanding of the process. Therefore, the traditional styles of learning which just focus on the theories as well as frameworks of the process of business ethics is not enough for the students and it is generally seen that the students are able to learn very little in these kinds of learning processes. Therefore, I took the help of the “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” to explore the concept of the business ethics in its true sense of the term. The enquiry based method helped to explore a wide range of business organisations which in the present as well as in the present times are facing different kinds of ethical issues and the different types of methods which they use for the resolution of the issue (Conklin 2013). Furthermore, the implications of the decisions made by them were also very helpful for me to understand the concept in the true sense of the term which the various kinds of traditional learning styles would not have provided me with (Conklin 2013). Therefore, I would like to say that the “Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) process” was especially helpful for me as it enabled me to undertake a deeper analysis of the topic of business ethics and helped me to understand the way it normally functions in the present day business world.
The various professionals related to the business organisations often come across situations where they are in some kind of moral or ethical dilemma (Bardy, Drew and Kennedy 2012). It is significant to note that these moral as well as ethical dilemma situations are very dicey ones where the individual concerned needs to make decision which apart from taking into consideration the prospects of the business organisation under consideration also takes into consideration its ethical responsibility towards the environment as well as the society (Bardy, Drew and Kennedy 2012). Therefore, it can be said that it is very important for the various business organisations to follow the concept of business ethics not only for the process of their business operation but also for the “decision making process” (Giacalone and Promislo 2013).
I would like to comment here about a past incident of my life in which I was involved in an ethical dilemma situation. The past moral dilemma I faced was witnessing somebody steal while shopping and choosing to ignore it. The organisation which I worked for is one of the leading business organisations of the nation however in a bid to enhance the amount of net profit gained by them they used to take the help of various kinds of practices which in my opinion were completely unethical. For example, one of the common practises of the business organisation under consideration here was that they used to charge the customers extra amount of money for the products sold by them to the customers and therefore many of the customers who did not have the requisite amount of money to buy the products used to steal them. In my personal opinion this was a completely unethical practice and needed to be solved not only for the benefit of the business organisation as it was likely to affect the prospects of the concerned business organisation in an adverse manner but as it was unfair for the other customers who used to pay the full price for the products purchased by them whereas the people who used to steal them did not pay anything for it. Therefore, I placed the issue at hand before the management team of the business organisation. I would like to comment here that initially the management team of the concerned business organisation was reluctant to address the issue since accepting the issue meant that they needed to admit that they were overcharging the customers. However, after much appeal and persuasions they promised me that they would look into the issue and if possible will try to address it in the most effective manner. However, no significant action was taken by them even after months of the complaint which I made. This time I complained to the CEO of the business organisation under consideration here and he promised to take the matter into consideration. However, I would like to comment here this time my complaint was not only taken into consideration but also action was taken to remedy the issue.
I would like to comment here that now when I look back upon the issue through the lens of the various ethical theories and also with an insight into the concept of business ethics I think that the incident had a much deeper implication than I thought it had. In a way it can be said that the business organisation was following the policy of Kantianism according to which the end justifies the means (May, Luth and Schwoerer 2014). Therefore, the policy of the business organisation under consideration here when seen in this particular context would seem completely logical (Rutherford et al. 2012). However, I would also like to say in this particular context that I am more of a Utilitarian myself and decide each particular action on the basis of the good or utility which it provides to the maximum number of people (DesJardins and McCall 2014). Therefore, the practises of the business organisation under consideration when viewed in this particular context become totally unjustified and it was precisely for this particular reason that I protested against the practises of the business organisation. I would also like to say in this particular context that I should have been more insistent in my protest.
An understanding of ethical theories and moral reasoning will assist me to apply business ethics in my future professional practice by helping me to make decisions which will be influenced by the concept of ethics.The major theory which is used by the various individuals as well as the business organisations in the present times for the process of business ethics is the philosophical theory of Utilitarianism which focuses on taking the kind of action which is likely to provide the maximum amount of good or utility to the maximum number of people (Hartman, DesJardins and MacDonald 2014). In a way it can be said that this is the guiding theory which is used by the majority of the business organisations in the present times. I would also to add here that it is seen that the majority of the business organisations in the present day take the help of the concept of Kantianism which focuses on the concept that the end justifies the means taken (Hartman, DesJardins and MacDonald 2014). Therefore, it is seen that the various business organisations tend to justify the means which they have taken to enhance the level of profit earned by them through the help of this particular theory which focuses on the end result and not the process which is being taken to achieve that particular end (Hoffman, Frederick and Schwartz 2014).
I my personal opinion the various business organisations of the present times should try to follow the concept of Utilitarianism which focuses on the actions which causes the maximum amount of good or utility to the maximum number of people (Hoffman, Frederick and Schwartz 2014). This particular concept will not only help the various business organisations of the present times to take the decisions which would further enhance the prospects of the concerned business organisations but would also take into “effective consideration the needs as well as the requirements of the customers who take the help of the products and the services offered by the concerned business organisation” (Ferrell and Fraedrich 2015). Furthermore, in the present times it is seen that the focus of the various business organisations have shifted towards the factor of positively contributing towards the cause of the planet as well as the society from which they derive the majority of the resources which are required for the successful operation of the business organisation (Crane and Matten 2016). Therefore, it can be said that the concept of Utilitarianism would not only help the various business organisations to take the kind of decisions which are likely to help them to follow the ethics which are required from the various business organisations in the present day business world but would also help them to make a positive contribution towards the cause of the planet as well as the society in a positive manner (Trevino and Nelson 2016).
I would also like to add here that the concept of justice is another factor which should guide the actions as well as the business practises of the various business organisations in the present day business world (Buchholtz and Carroll 2012). It is significant to note that the concept of justice is one of the most important ones in the framework of the modern day society as well as the framework of the business world (Buchholtz and Carroll 2012). Therefore, the various business organisations of the present times should seek to incorporate this particular concept within the framework of their business organisations and take decisions which are not only just in the context of their business but also for the various customers who opt for the products as well as the services provided by them and form an integral part of their business organisation (Hoffman, Frederick and Schwartz 2014). It is significant to note that this particular concept would not only help the various business organisations to provide effective services to the customers but also help to create a positive brand image for themselves in the business world (Hoffman, Frederick and Schwartz 2014). Therefore, it can be said that it becomes all the more important for the various business organisations of present times related to the diverse industries to follow this particular concept as it is likely to provide with the maximum amount of benefit (Cavanagh 2012). Another important concept which the various business organisations can take the help of is the concept of virtue ethics which helps the various business organisations to focus on the concept of virtue within the framework of their business and helps them to take decisions which are not only ethically but at the same time morally right (Pearson 2017).
Adcroft, A. and Willis, R., 2013. Do those who benefit the most need it the least? A four-year experiment in enquiry-based feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(7), pp.803-815.
Audi, R., 2012. Virtue ethics as a resource in business. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2), pp.273-291.
Bardy, R., Drew, S. and Kennedy, T.F., 2012. Foreign investment and ethics: How to contribute to social responsibility by doing business in less-developed countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 106(3), pp.267-282.
Barry, N., 2016. Business ethics. Springer.
Bowie, N.E., 2017. Business ethics: A Kantian perspective. Cambridge University Press.
Buchholtz, A.K. and Carroll, A.B., 2012. Business & society: Ethics & stakeholder management . South-Western Cengage Learning.
Cavanagh, G.F., 2012. American business values. Pearson Higher Ed.
Conklin, T.A., 2013. Making it personal: The importance of student experience in creating autonomy-supportive classrooms for millennial learners. Journal of management Education, 37(4), pp.499-538.
Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2016. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
DesJardins, J.R. and McCall, J.J., 2014. Contemporary issues in business ethics. Cengage Learning.
Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J., 2015. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson Education.
Giacalone, R.A. and Promislo, M.D., 2013. Broken when entering: The stigmatization of goodness and business ethics education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(1), pp.86-101.
Hartman, L.P., DesJardins, J.R. and MacDonald, C., 2014. Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Hoffman, W.M., Frederick, R.E. and Schwartz, M.S. eds., 2014. Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. John Wiley & Sons.
Jennings, M.M., 2014. Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Cengage Learning.
Judson, K.M. and Taylor, S.A., 2014. Moving from marketization to marketing of higher education: The co-creation of value in higher education. Higher Education Studies, 4(1), pp.51-67.
Mahoney, J., 2013. Teaching business ethics in the UK, Europe and the USA: A comparative study. Bloomsbury Publishing.
May, D.R., Luth, M.T. and Schwoerer, C.E., 2014. The influence of business ethics education on moral efficacy, moral meaningfulness, and moral courage: A quasi-experimental study. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(1), pp.67-80.
Pearson, R., 2017. Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (pp. 111-131). Routledge.
Rutherford, M.A., Parks, L., Cavazos, D.E. and White, C.D., 2012. Business ethics as a required course: Investigating the factors impacting the decision to require ethics in the undergraduate business core curriculum. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(2), pp.174-186.
Shaw, W.H., 2016. Business ethics: A textbook with cases. Nelson Education.
Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A., 2016. Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Weiss, J.W., 2014. Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach. Berrett-Koehler Publisher