Ethics! a Way Forward

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Environment Pages: 9 (2859 words) Published: May 24, 2012
The best amongst you are those who are best in morals. i
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Basically the evolvement of ethical behavior dates back to several centuries ago, but the emphasis on more ethical and moral behavior is considered to be placed during the second half of the 20th century. There were certain reasons which lead to the universal acceptance and recognition of ethical practices in society e.g in economics, the father of economics, Adam smith used the term ‘invisible hand’ to refer to the transparent role of government in the market to regulate and smoothly drive the economy in an environment friendly and consumer friendly manner leads to the development of ethical thoughts in economic concepts. Further, neo classical pioneer, Alfred marshall, also advocated for material well being of the society, implying to the ethical way of thinking in economic policies, later economists also supported the ethical aspects in economic thinking and decision making, many economists today consider ethicality as first priority of organizations prior to profit maximization. Ethics also has an important implication on the environment. The environmentalists started realizing the impacts of harm caused to environment by heavy manufacturing industries, high population growth and other issues related to environmental damage in late 1960s. They therefore advocate for an approach that will restrict the individuals and organizations from practices that may harm the environment in anyway and to act in a manner consistent with environmental betterment. Environmental ethics was emerged as academic discipline in 1970 after the conduct of 1st earth day in the same year. Two papers which are considered of drawing attention of society towards environmental ethics, they are. 1. Historical roots of the environmental crisis (1967) by lynn white 2. The population bomb (1968) by paul ehrlich.

Organizations are also directed towards ethical behavior in their routine operations by internal and external regulations. Business ethics emerged as an academic discipline in 1970 in US. Later, the society of business ethics was founded in 1980 to promote business ethics in US. In 1987, European business ethics network was organized by which business ethics reached Europe in late 80s, The ethical behavior started to take roots in organizations from late 1980s and early 90s through various laws passed to govern the behavior of organizations in ethical manner. Some of the laws include 1. Foreign corrupt practices act (1977)

2. Standards of ethical conduct for management account and finance management (1982) WHAT IS ETHICS?
What is said to be ethical and what is not?
“Ethics are the accepted principles of conduct that govern behavior within a society”. (Bovee and Thill) Ethics is also defined as “knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is the right thing to do” (former justice, potter stewart) From above definitions it can be interpreted that ethics basically mean to act in good faith in rational as well as in environmental friendly manner. “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality”.

(Albert Schweitzer)

The term ethics as is defined applies to various aspects of moral conduct. Ethics is viewed in different contexts with respect to the behavior that certifies not only the responsible behavior but also the right behavior that can be justified in law.

Ethical behavior is the most demanding and challenging task of any individual, organization and any other institution in present world. The various factors which stress for the ethical behavior or we can say the application of ethics are following.

1. Economics
2. Environment
3. Individuals and organizations
4. Culture

Now we elaborate each in little details.

As the market economic system is considered to be best among the rest...
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