Biz 2 A-Business Ethics & CSR

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This is the published version:

McDonald, Gael 2007-03, Business ethics and the evolution of corporate responsibility,
Chartered accountants journal, vol. 86, no. 2, pp. 12-14.
Available from Deakin Research Online: http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30024088 Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Copyright : 2007, Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand

ETHICS

Business ethics and the evolution of corporate responsibility
What does the term ‘business ethics’ really mean in today’s business world? Gael McDonald examines the definition of business ethics, the link with corporate social responsibility, and the development of corporate social responsiveness
Gael McDonald is Professor of Business Ethics at Unitec, Auckland.

Business ethics – what is it?
Although most of us instinctively understand the idea of ethics, it can be hard to define.
Perhaps the easiest definition is that ethics relates to a set of standards by which human actions are determined to be right or wrong
(Owen, 1978, p27).
But what about ethics in relation to the corporate environment? In its simplest form, business ethics can be defined as a systematic study of ethics as applied to the issues arising in business.
Many businesses may regard themselves as ethical if their legal staff can keep them safely within the law, but ethics is not only concerned with operating within, or just above, legal requirements. It involves a more detailed questioning of actions and consequences that may not be covered by law.

Chartered Accountants Journal March 2007

Business ethics has been defined by one recognised authority as:

12

“…the application of our understanding of what is good and right to the assortment of institutions, technologies, transactions, activities and pursuits which we call
business.”



References: AmaeshiKMandAdiB(2007).Reconstructing the Corporate Social Responsibility in Utlish, Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol 16, Anderson J W (1986) Boal K B and Peery N (1985).The Cognitive Structure of Corporate Social Responsibility. Bryson W (1977). The Meaning of Ethics in Business Carr,A Z (1968). Is Business Fluffing Ethical? Harvard Business Review De George R T (1987). The Status of Business Ethics: Past and Future De George R T (1989). There is Ethics in Business Ethics; but there’s more Elias A A, Cavana R Y and Jackson L S (2002) Freeman R E (1984). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach Hay R and Gray E (1974). Social Responsibility of Business Managers. Owen J (1978). Business Ethics: Age Old Ideal, Now Real Owen D L, Swift T and Hunt K (2001). Schermerhorn J R (1986). Management for Productivity Sethi S P (1979).A Conceptual Framework for Environmental Analysis of Social Issues Singhapakdi A, Vitell S J, Rallapalli K C and Kraft K L (1996) Steiner G A (1972). Social Policies for Business Velasquez M G (1988). Business Ethics Concepts and Cases Walton C (1977). The Ethics of Corporate Conduct Zenisek T J (1979). Corporate Social Responsibility

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