Business Ethics

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Business ethics is an applied branch of ethics that examines what is good and right in business. It looks at the actions of organisations and people within them. It assesses the affect of these actions on individuals, communities and the world at large. Business ethics are usually implemented in order to ensure that a certain level of trust exists between consumers and various forms of market participants with businesses. Why managers need to consider business ethics;

The behavior of managers set the tone for subordinates and organisations in general e.g Kenneth Lay and Bernie Ebbers of World Com were instrumental in developing unethical culture at their respective companies. The behavior of managers is under increasing pressure and observation. Nowadays customers will no longer tolerate an unethical company. Sales of Sunny Delight dropped dramatically when it as discovered that it contained huge quantities of sugar. Patricia Dunn left her post as chairman of Hewlett Packard amid claims that the company used illegal phone taps on employees to detect a ‘mole’ in the company. Behaving ethically improves the quality of work life. If employees believe that they are all working to a high standard, they are more likely to feel good about themselves, the company and the organization e.g AIB has launched a people focus index which surveys employees so they can assess their needs and create a greater life work balance. Good reputations are good for profits. By encouraging employees to behave ethically, it reduces chances of employee theft, down time and law suits e.g Employers can be held liable for any harassment that takes place in the workplace where they have failed to act if it is reported. Therfore it is far better to have an effective policy against harassment in place than be brought to court.

5 Views of Business Ethics
Business Is Business
This view is that business is purely commercial and there are no ethical issues. However as businesses grow in size ,...
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