Companies and Business Ethics

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Companies and Business Ethics
National American University

Abstract

Business ethics play a major role in the business world today. Since their development they have become a major influence on anything business related. The importance of business ethics was chosen to give more of an in-depth look at not only basic benefits that business ethics bring about, but some not so known benefits that come about as well. Business ethics bring about a great moral to the corporation and its culture, allowing the organization to use this as a tool for a multitude of organizational affairs. While there are some that oppose the use of business ethics in today’s business world, the benefits that are brought about outweigh the opposition’s points. With the benefits that are brought about and the oppositions invalid arguments, it can be plainly seen why business ethics should be implemented and a core aspect of any business that is looking to be successful in today’s world. Maintaining a piece of today’s ever changing market is becoming increasingly difficult. The needs of the consumer fluctuate drastically, competition is at an all-time high, and the number of competitors is increasing daily. Considering all of these factors it is feasible to see why a cutthroat mentality is needed and sometimes used for business. However, this cutthroat mentality is the reason why organizations are no longer fully trusted. With decisions and actions made by Enron, Arthur Andersen, and Bernard Madoff, how are consumers and the public supposed to fully give their trust to something or someone. Recently organizations were looking for a way to create a positive public image, improve employee retention and moral, sustain a competitive advantage, and increase their bottom line. For these reasons and more companies today are starting to see the importance of business ethics and how they can impact a company’s overall performance.

The following should help give a further insight into the importance of business ethics; how companies should implement them, the positive public image they bring about, and the affect they have on a company’s bottom line. However, business ethics if not implemented and followed properly do not bring about any benefits and create more problems than before. Business ethics are also seen as a restriction to a company’s freedom however, they can help create a competitive advantage that affects their business, employees, and customers for the better.

In the beginning business ethics appeared to a fad that would fade away after a few short years. But as businesses continued shaming themselves year after year, business ethics became an ongoing phenomenon that business professionals were forced to better understand. Business ethics started to become prevalent in employee trainings, orientations, meetings, and even academia. Some colleges went as far as requiring completion of a business ethics course before receiving their business degree. Today every college offers a business ethics course, and completion of business ethics is a requirement for any business degree. According to Linda Trevino, author of the book, Managing Business Ethics, “”Recent business history has proven beyond any doubt that divorcing business from ethics and values runs huge risks.” (Trevino, 2010) Referring to the historical events such as Enron, the financial disaster of 2008 and Bernard Madoff, in which all helped to increase the importance of business ethics in today’s society. This would make sense as why businesses and school prefer their employees to have a greater understanding of business ethics and how to spot unethical behavior

Business ethics became the forefront of the business world after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which was introduced after the slew of scandals during the 21st century. These scandals educated the world to lack of integrity and business ethics that were prevalent in the American business industry...
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