Ethics and Social Responsibility

Topics: Business ethics, Ethics, Social responsibility Pages: 3 (996 words) Published: July 7, 2008
Ethics and social responsibility are a part of everyday life around the globe. From the time a business begins, ethics and social responsibility play an important role in deciding what direction that business will take, and how the company will turn a profit. Ethical behavior is critical to strategic planning for businesses. In order to be successful, businesses must consider themselves a part of the business community, as well as society. Making money is not unethical; however, money cannot be the driving force of ethical thinking within a business (ethics.org, 2008).

This paper will discuss the statement "strict government regulations are necessary to make companies behave ethically". An examination of this statement in accordance of ethics and social responsibility, as well as the impact government regulations have on these responsibilities will be discussed. Why I agree or do not agree with the thesis or premise behind the chosen statement will conclude the paper.

Before the Enron scandal at the turn of the century, social responsibility, and ethical behavior were, for the most part, more for show. If a shareholder or potential investor saw these guidelines in place, they were more apt to go along with that company, rather than go with one which had no guidelines in place. The world learned a hard lesson after the fall of Enron, and other large corporations, that appearances are not everything (Johnson, K., 2002). However, what exactly is ethical behavior and social responsibility? Why does society feel these are so important?Ethical behavior is that which is morally accepted as good and right as opposed to bad or wrong in a particular setting (Merriam-webster.com, 2008). To whose standards the good and right, or bad and wrong are compared to, have yet to be determined. Each individual who enters a company brings his or her own enculturated ethical behavior. This behavior may be ethical to some, but not all. Having a corporate guideline on expected...

References: thics.org. (2008). The ROI on ethical culture. Retrieved on May 12, 2008 from website http://www.ethics.org/ethics-today/0408/pat-column.aspGreen, M. (1997). Corporate social responsibility. Retrieved on May 12, 2008 from website http://www.ziplink.net/~mikegree/career/social.htmJohnson, K. (2002). Reflections on ethics and values on policy. Retrieved on May 12, 2008 from website http://www.ethicaledge.com/enron.htmlLander, G.P. (2004). Sarbanes-oxley act. McGraw-Hill, Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY.
Mirriam-Webster.com, (2008). Ethics. Retrieved on May 12, 2008 from website http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethicsPrennhall.com. (n.d.). Social responsibility. Retrieved on May 12, 2008 from website http://www.prenhall.com/rm_student/html/glossary/s_gloss.html
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