Is Business Ethics a Contradiction?
The purpose of a business is to generate the most amount of revenue with the least amount of expenditure. It must make decisions that are in the best interest of the business, to make it as profitable as possible and sometimes these decisions are highly frowned upon. Does this mean that the decisions that a business makes have to be unethical? If your ultimate goal is to maximize your revenue does that make you unethical to begin with? I believe that in most businesses you must apply a strict ethical code in order to have longevity in your field. It is true that the main goal of a business is to maximize its revenue, but in order to do that and do it for an extended period of time people must have trust in the business. A business, in order to gain trust in its employees, must follow some sort of ethical standard in their daily operations. If a business has employees that take advantage of their customers the business will lose the trust of its consumer and be seen as unethical. A business must constantly make changes in order to survive and sometimes these changes are seen as unethical and have a negative public opinion. It is a very hard economy right now and shrewd decisions sometimes must be made. If someone sees a homeless man steal an apple off a grocery display do they immediately think of that person as unethical or do they find his thievery to be justified do to his circumstances. I feel a business sometimes must make these hard choices in order to survive, hoping that if they hold out maybe they can make a profit once again. Ultimately, I believe a business must have an ethical code in order to survive in today’s world. I believe ethics is an important part of the longevity of a business and without some sort of ethical code the business is doomed to fail. So ethics is not a contradiction but a necessity.
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