Business Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Ethical code Pages: 7 (2471 words) Published: November 9, 2005
What is Business Ethics? Business ethics is exactly the same as normal ethics, and that knows what is right or wrong, and learning what is right and what is wrong in a business environment. Then doing the right thing, but "the right thing" is not as straightforward as explained in many business ethics books. Most ethical dilemmas in the workplace are not simply a matter of "Should she steal from him?" or "Should he lie to his boss?" Businesses cannot function without ethics, why? Society dictates a set of rules and conformities and seeing as all businesses strive after common goals it means that these goals can only be achieved on the basis of standards, values and morals in society. It can be assumed that business life has to be called 'moral' as well. As in society, standards and values are spontaneously formed once people come that's when morals come into effect, and when businesses decide on implicit or explicit ways to achieve certain goals and then are agreed on. Businesses in general are working on the basis of an ethics that settles different interests. The standards and values within companies can be characterized as mutual respect. In this respect it is in everyone's interest, and is considering people as an end in themselves, not as a means, reciprocity and fairness. This ethics is passed down and filtered to a group of stakeholders who have an interest in the company. In the business world these days it is important to make good ethical decisions. Ethics are among ones everyday life. Everyday someone is faced with some sort of ethical decision. Now just because something maybe legal does not mean it is ethical. In my current job, I am faced with ethical decisions everyday. I am in charge of the hiring for my department and I do close to ten interview a day. I am faced with decisions like should I hire someone with better looks and a bad interview, or should I hire a person with not so good looks and a great interview. Sometimes you are faced with theses decisions and sometimes you make decisions that aren't ethical. But making ethical decisions are more important than you think. An ethical decision holds the bond between your business and your customers. As doing something maybe legal, it still may not be ethical.

Ethical questions range from practical, narrowly defined issues, such as a company's obligation to be honest with its customers, to broader social and philosophical questions, such as a company's responsibility to preserve the environment and protect employee rights. Many ethical conflicts develop from conflicts between the differing interests of company owners and their workers, customers, and surrounding community. Managers must balance the ideal against the practical and the need to produce a reasonable profit for the company's shareholders with honesty in business practices, safety in the workplace, and larger environmental and social issues. Ethical issues in business have become more complicated because of the global and diversified nature of many large corporations and because of the complexity of government regulations that define the limits of criminal behavior. For example, multinational corporations operate in countries where bribery, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and lack of concern for the environment are neither illegal nor unethical or unusual. The company must decide whether to adhere to constant ethical principles or to adjust to the local rules to maximize profits. As the costs of corporate and white-collar crime can be high, both for society and individual businesses, many business and trade associations have established ethical codes for companies, managers, and employees. Government efforts to encourage companies to adhere to ethical standards include President Clinton's Model Business Principles (1995), in a program overseen by the Dept. of Commerce.

Lately there have been a lot of scandals that involve a lot of unethical decisions. Insider trading is...
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