Business Ethics Summary

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Business
 Ethics
 Summary
 Chapter
 1
 -­‐
 5
 
 
 
  Chapter
 1:
 Introducing
 Business
 Ethics
 
  Business
 Ethics
 is
 the
 study
 of
 business
 situations,
 activities,
 and
 decisions
 where
 issues
 of
  (morally)
 right
 and
 wrong
 are
 addressed.
 
 
  -­‐ Overlap
 between
 ethics
 and
 law.
 Law
 is
 essentially
 an
 institutionalization
 or
 codification
  of
 ethics
 into
 specific
 social
 rules
 etc.
  -­‐ Law
 might
 be
 said
 to
 be
 a
 definition
 of
 the
 minimum
 acceptable
 standards
 of
 behavior.
  -­‐ However,
 many
 morally
 contestable
 issues
 not
 explicitly
 covered
 by
 law
 (e.g.
 no
 law
 that
  forbids
 you
 to
 cheat
 on
 your
 partner,
 or
 no
 law
 that
 prevents
 you
 selling
 weapons
 to
  oppressive
 regimes…)
  -­‐ Business
 ethics
 begin
 where
 law
 ends,
 concerned
 with
 issues
 not
 covered
 by
 law
 or
  where
 there
 is
 no
 consensus
 whether
 right
 or
 wrong
  -­‐ Many
 questions
 pose
 in
 business
 ethics
 are
 equivocal(no
 definite
 right
 or
 wrong)
  -­‐ Study
 business
 ethics
 to
 make
 better
 decisions
  -­‐ Morality:
 concerned
 with
 norms,
 values,
 beliefs
 embedded
 in
 social
 processes
 which
  define
 right
 and
 wrong
 for
 an
 individual
  Ethics:
 rationalization
 of
 morality.
 And
 concerned
 with
 study
 of
 morality
 and
 the
  application
 of
 reason
 to
 elucidate
 specific
 rules
 and
 principles
 that
 determine
 right
 or
  wrong
 for
 a
 given
 situation.
 These
 rules
 and
 principles
 are
 called
 ethical
 theories
  -­‐ Morality
 à
 Ethics
 à
 Ethical
 theory
 à
 potential
 solution
 to
 ethical
 problems
 
  Why
 is
 business
 ethics
 important?
  -­‐ consumers,
 pressure
 groups,
 media
 demand
 that
 firms
 seek
 out
 more
 ethical
 ways
 of
  doing
 business
  -­‐ firms
 starting
 to
 realize
 that
 it
 may
 actually
 be
 good
 for
 business
  -­‐ Power
 and
 influence
 of
 business
 in
 society
 is
 greater
 than
 ever
  -­‐ Businesses
 have
 potential
 to
 contribute
 to
 societies
  -­‐ Malpractices
 of
 firms
 can
 cause
 enormous
 harm
 to
 individuals..
  -­‐ Helps
 to
 improve
 ethical
 decision
 making
 
  -­‐ Ethical
 violations
 continue
 to
 occur
  -­‐ Help
 us
 to
 understand
 modern
 societies
 in
 a
 systematic
 way
 
  Increasingly
 large
 “ethics
 industry”:
 ethics
 officers,
 consultants,
 ethical
 investment
 trusts,
  products,
 services,
 ethics
 auditing,
 monitoring,
 reporting
 etc.
 
  Business
 Ethics
 in
 different
 organizational
 contexts:
  -­‐ in
 large
 versus
 small
 companies:
 Small
 businesses
 often
 lack
 time
 and
 resources,
 also
  autonomy
 regarding
 other
 stakeholders,
 informal
 approach
 etc,
 employee
 single
 most
  important
 stakeholder.
 Large
 corporations
 formalized,
 more
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