Individual Research Project
BA: Business Law (3301)
Thursday 7:00 – 9:45
November 17, 2011
University of Houston – Downtown
100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
Engagements, Responsibility and Liability: Ethics Implications
People act unethically for a number of reasons. Unethical behavior is defined as behavior that contravenes rules designed to maintain the fairness and morality of a situation. The study of business ethics and its implications for different stakeholders have seen tremendous growth in the past few decades. There has also been a rise in the use and development of codes of ethics and announcements for ethical practices by many firms; however companies are still criticized for their unethical practices at different levels. Business ethics, according to the literature has been entrenched with the philosophical details of Ethics (Mintz 1995). Ethics has been defined as ‘the activity of examining the moral standards of a society, and asking how these standards apply to one personal life and whether these standards are reasonable (Perry 2005). The literature on business ethics is divided on its views about the motivation and reason for businesses to have an ethical dimension (Ferrell 2008). Drawing upon Ford, there are two major schools of thoughts, first those who suggest that firms are profit generating institutions and therefore business ethics is yet another way to attract customers, second those who support corporate conscience and intrinsic motivation for the adoption of business ethics (Ford 2005).
Business ethics has been considered very subjective in nature and according to S. Paul is considered a function of time and culture (Paul 2001). It has been established that with the passage of time business ethics have evolved and also that the cultural values and norms drive business ethics within national and regional boundaries (Paul 2001). One of the major studies regarding the national values has been...