Corporate Social Responsibility

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Morality Pages: 7 (1997 words) Published: May 12, 2014
In the old days cutthroat capitalism, social responsibility was hardly thought of. A company’s primary goal was to make money pretty much any way it could, and the consequences be damned. Today for-profit enterprises generally make a point of ‘putting something back” into society as well as taking something out and earning larger profits. Upper management has incorporated purpose, principal, and consequence, not only in conjunction with business performance but also in ethical terms.

A good business practice with regard to employee conduct is for an employee to interact and conduct business with co-workers, suppliers and the general public in a good manner as indicated by management . He wrote about social responsibilities and how it should be practiced in all companies.

But most businessmen are not concerned about integrity as they conduct business dealings on a daily basis. Unethical practices are not good for any business because such practices harbor ill will and create distrust. Beauchamp points out that if one keeps a moral and thorough outlook, it’s not hard to maintain, establish, and practice good business ethics.

Ethical concerns are more important in some businesses entities than others, as businesspeople and their customers question whether a particular practice is deemed morally acceptable. Ethics sometimes get in the way of resolving questions like: What is the ethical concern? Am I being true to myself? Why is this bothering me? Is it my problem? What do others think? Who else matters? Companies have to institute good ethical guidelines that will in turn reflect good corporate social responsibility. Upper management must write policies and procedures and lead from the top down. Beauchamp touched on several perspectives that businesspeople examine ethics: purpose, principle and consequence.

There are many ethical considerations existing in business today. One asks if ethical behavior in the individual approach is guided by what will result in the individual’s best interest, which is ultimately are in everyone’s self interest. The flaw here is that one person’s short-term self-gain may not be good for everyone in the long term.

The utilitarian approach is guided by what will result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Managers often take this approach using financial performance such as efficiency and profit as the best definition of what constitutes the greatest good for the greatest number. Ethical problems of personal and public decision-making are not new.

The need to undertake ethical reflection is part indeed a central part of what it means to be human . Ruin describes ethical behavior as "the character and values that determine the identity and goodness of an individual or group." Ethical decision-making should follow good business judgment, but this is not always the case. Some believe that ethical behavior is at the foundation of good business. Other people say that ethical decision making violates one's sense of independent judgment" (Ruin, 1997). The bottom line is that ethics represent moral perspective but because morals are universal and at the same time, personal, they are subject to individual interpretation.

For example: We would all tend to agree that denying people the right to life, liberty, privacy, health and safety, and due process is unethical. But, most of us would have no problem condemning the situation of immigrants brought to the US and then effectively enslaved as when made to work seven days a week. We identify certain actions as wrong, others as morally praiseworthy. The values of honesty, promise- keeping, truth telling, benevolence and justice, endure because they are essential to the social fabric of human existence. (Ruin, 1997).

Establishing and maintaining corporate ethics is equivalent to...

References: Beauchamp, T., & Bowie, N. E. (1996). Ethical Theory And Business. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).
Gore,Al: An inconvenient truth, The crisis of global warming, 2007.
Lustig, B. Andrew (1992, October). The method of 'principlism ': a critique of the critique. The

Mitcham, Carl (1994). Thinking Through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy (University of Chicago Press).

Mitcham, Carl (1996, March)
Ruin, Joseph Eby (1997, December). Importance of business ethics. New Straits Times, online electronic source.

Wilson, Root. Internal Audit Manual, 2nd edition. As quoted by Ruin, 1997.
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