Importance of ethics (Amazon)

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Pages: 6 (2010 words) Published: November 15, 2013
Critically discuss why ethics is important for managers and describe the factors that shape managers ethical decision making. Apply to the chosen company. (Amazon)


This paper will examine some of the factors that may influence an executive’s decision making in organization, and with the discussion of Amazon, how their decisions about certain issues are considered ethical or unethical and what factors contribute to form the company’s (Amazons) decisions. The essay is structured to discuss the concerns that involve Amazon, provide theories/approach for ethical decision making and tackle the company’s important responsibilities specified in the Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility. Executives in corporate settings are often facing difficult situation that requires ethical decision making from society and organizations point of view. Many factors affect the result of ethical and unethical decisions made by the management and such factors varies from individual to individual, situation to situation an organization to organization (SMS: 2011). Many large corporations are now being synonymous to deceit, greed, irresponsibility and lack of moral conscience (Daft 2010). Ethics in decision making is becoming increasingly popular because of many incidence, scandals and ethical lapses that are being committed by many executives of some of the well established organizations.

Ethics definition:
Ethics is the code of moral principles and values that govern the behavior of an individual or a group with respect to what is right or wrong (Daft, 2012). “Business ethics has to do with the extent to which a person's behavior measures up to such standards as the law, organizational policies, professional and trade association codes, popular expectations regarding fairness and what is right, plus one's own internalized moral standards”. (William Sauser, 2005) There is no precise definition of ethics but in general, it deals with values within corporate culture of organizations which shape the decisions made with respect to social responsibility and external environment (Daft, 2012). In this sense, to be an ethical company is to be socially responsible to all the stakeholders. Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility goes hand in hand, the idea of being socially responsible is being a better citizen to the community in which the company operates. Corporate social responsibility is an obligation of management to make choices and act in a way that will contribute not only in organizations well being but also to interest of the wider society (Daft, 2012). The combination of these two concepts arises when companies introduce a written code of ethics, a proof that a company will act in its best interest if it can protect the company’s CSR (wiseGEEK, 2013).

The Pyramid of Social Responsibility will be used as a guide to describe whether Amazon is essentially doing its corporate social responsibility. Figure I: The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility

Amazon is founded by Jeffry P. Bezos in July 1994 (as Cadabra) and went online as in 1995 (, 2013). It is now a multibillion dollar e-commerce company and the world’s leading online retail bookseller (Pilkington, M. 2013). The company considers itself as customer centered as they focus on customer first and works backwards. Amazon, as an online retail store sells variety of different products from books, electronics and appliances to green products like organic food and natural cosmetics yet according to Mercy Pilkington (2013), ‘it is a company that everyone loves to hate’. Amazon is a well known company that is facing issues of unethical acts including tax evasion, business monopoly and employee harassment to earn more profit. Many publishing organizations even consider it as an evil empire (Pilkington, M. 2013). This may have to do with the company’s sudden growth over short period of...
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