2. Discuss and illustrate the classifications of ethical issues discussed in the text.
According to the textbook, Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, an ethical issue is “a problem, situation, or opportunity that requires an individual, group, or organization to choose among several actions that must be evaluated as right or wrong, ethical or unethical” (Ferrell 65). There are fifteen basic classifications of ethical issues in business that can be broken down into three categories bases on who the decisions affect most – the company, other employees, and the public. Most classifications that affect the public also affect company shareholders as well.
The first groups of ethical issues are those that affect the company most when an organization participates in these activities. These include misuse of company resources, lying, and conflicts of interest. When employees participate in these activities they are not functioning to the best of their abilities and they hurt the company. By using company time to take care of personal matters, the employee costs the company money. While one hour per day for one person may not seem to noticeably transcend to cost immediately, but if the company housed 5,000 employees who all spent 1 hour per day conducting personal business for 200 days out of the year, and if these employees made only $8.25 per hour, the company would lose nearly 8.3 million dollars annually.
Ethical issues such as abusive or intimidating behavior, bribery, and discrimination affect the employees more times than not. Abusive behavior can cover anything from annoying co-workers to bullies in the workplace. Bribery can come in two forms, those being bribed are committing the act or those doing the bribing have committed the act. Both usually involve employees in a company and other company shareholders. Discrimination not only affects current organizational employees (through pay raise and promotions) but also what might have been...
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