BUSINESS ETHICS IN THE MODERN CORPORATE WORLD
Business ethics creates an overarching framework for how to conduct business ethically in the corporate world. It is arguably to be the most important aspect of business because long-term viability hinges on ethical actions. The word 'ethics' by Noah Webster, defined as “a system of rules for regulating the actions and manners of men in society.” Business ethics is the same thing as ethics, except it addresses the moral features of business activity. It is a system of rules derived from “general” ethics that apply to people who are employed. Many people have varying ideas of what ethics actually constitutes. In our modern relativist world, one could argue that ethics is subjective and depends on time, place and circumstance. Ethical absolutism suggests that there exists only one moral code, which is issued by God. There is an inherent order in the universe which ethics naturally follows and because of this order, there is a right way to conduct a business activity. Ambiguity steps in when people strive to determine what the “right way” really is. There are certain values that we hold which act as a check for our ethical behavior. Generosity, excellence, respect and honesty are a few of those values. Having awareness to make ethical decisions lead to the avoidance of dilemma. In order to check our awareness, we must make sure that we understand and accept the ethical issues which are occurring. Therefore, we must consider morality in our business actions. In today’s corporate world, a business person should not only emphasize on profit generating effort but also practice business ethically by considering human rights, working condition, corporate social responsibility, and environment issues .
Human rights are commonly understood as "inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being”. Human rights are conceived as universal and egalitarian. Since the emergence of the human right, everyone starts to fight for their own welfare at work, which is commonly known as labour rights. Labour rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights in relation to labor relations between workers and their employers. Labour rights are usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, labour rights' debates usually deals with the negotiation workers' pay, benefits, sick leave, public holiday, bereavement leave and safe working conditions. As some corporations and industries become increasingly globalized, more and more people are affected. For example, lawmakers in Massachusetts tried to put laws in place to prevent or restrict corporations doing business with regimes that violate certain rights of people in some way — they were pressured by a coalition of 600 major corporations in that state, saying that this is unconstitutional which brought the agreement of the judges. Similar situations have been reported and found in famous brands like Nike, the Coca-Cola Company Human rights were ignored in the production of their products. Nike, for example used cheap labor in South East Asia, where they can escape the tighter enforcement and regulations of USA and Europe. In fact, Nike have been exposed for using child labor in the past. Coca Cola by reports, have been accused of intimidating workers around the world, even hiring (often indirectly, through intermediaries) paramilitaries to intimidate or kill employees’ union leaders. In some respect it This is clearly a cycle of competitive force where large corporations resort to such measures to keep up in the globalized economy and to maximize profits. Corporate social responsibility can be defined as the accommodation of corporate behavior to society’s values and expectations. According to Howard Bowens, corporate social responsibility is an obligation that arises from the impact corporate decisions and actions have on the lives of people....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document