Introduction - ethics
Overview of Issues in Business Ethics
Details of Satyam Scam
Ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality, such as how a moral outcome can be achieved in a specific situation (applied ethics), how moral values should be determined (normative ethics), what moral values people actually abide by (descriptive ethics), what the fundamental semantic, ontological, and epistemic nature of ethics or morality is (meta-ethics), and how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is (moral psychology). Business ethics.
Business ethics is a form of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higher-emission vehicles). Businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such antics tend to undermine the economy over time. Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters). In some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of business ethical considerations (e.g. BP's "beyond petroleum" )
Overview of issues in business ethics.
General business ethics.
This part of business ethics overlaps with the philosophy of business, one of the aims of which is to determine the fundamental purposes of a company. If a company's main purpose is to maximize the returns to its shareholders, then it should be seen as unethical for a company to consider the interests and rights of anyone else. •
Corporate social responsibility or CSR: an umbrella term under which the ethical rights and duties existing between companies and society is debated. •
Issues regarding the moral rights and duties between a company and its shareholders: fiduciary responsibility, stakeholder concept v. shareholder concept. •
Ethical issues concerning relations between different companies: e.g. hostile take-overs, industrial espionage. •
Leadership issues: corporate governance.
Political contributions made by corporations.
Law reform, such as the ethical debate over introducing a crime of corporate manslaughter. •
The misuse of corporate ethics policies as marketing instruments. Ethics of accounting information.
Creative accounting, earnings management, misleading financial analysis. •
Insider trading, securities fraud, bucket shops, forex scams: concerns (criminal) manipulation of the financial markets. •
Executive compensation: concerns excessive payments made to corporate CEO's and top management. •
Bribery, kickbacks, and facilitation payments: while these may be in the (short-term) interests of the company and its shareholders, these practices may be anti-competitive or offend against the values...
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