Business Ethics:

The principles of conduct governing an individual or a group.

Business Ethics:

Ethics is the study of Morality.

 

Ethics is not the same as morality, it is a study  of various dimensions of Morality.

Ethics is the discipline that examines one’s moral standards or the moral standards of a society.

WHAT IS MORALITY?

The standards that an individual or a group about what is right and wrong or good and evil.

MORAL STANDARDS :

The norms about the  kinds of actions believed to be morally right and wrong as well as the values placed on the kinds of objects believed to be morally good and morally bad.

NON MORAL STANDARDS:

The standards by which we judge what is good or bad and right or wrong in a nonmoral way.

5 Characteristics of Moral Standards:

  1. Involved with serious injuries or benefits.
  2. Not established by Law or Legislature.
  3. Should be preferred to other values including self interest.
  4. Based on impartial considerations
  5. Associated with special emotions and vocabulary

NORMATIVE STUDY:

An investigation that attempts to reach conclusions about what things are good or bad or about what actions are right or wrong.

DESCRIPTIVE STUDY :

An investigation that attempts to describe or exploan the world without reaching any conclusions about whether the world is as it should be.

BUSINESS ETHICS:

A specialized study of moral right and wrong that concentrates on moral standards as they apply to business institutions, organizations and behaviour.

BUSINESS ETHICS STUDIES:

  • Moral Standards
  • How moral standards apply to social systems and organizations that produce and distribute goods and services.

KINDS OF ETHICAL ISSUES:

  • Systemic – Social Systems or institutions within which business operate.
  • Corporate – An Individual Company taken as a whole
  • Individual – A Particular individual or individuals within a company and their behaviours and decisions.

ETHICAL RELATIVISM :

A theory that there are no ethical standards that are absolutely true and that apply or should be applied to the companies and people of all societies.

Objections to Theory of Ethical Relativism:

  • Some moral standards are found in all societies.
  • Moral differences do not logically imply relativism
  • Relativism is incoherent
  • Relativism privileges the current moral standards of a society.

 

Kohlberg’s Three Levels of Moral Development :

  • Preconventional – Punishment and obedience; instrumental and relative.
  • Conventional – Interpersonal concordance; law and order
  • Postconventional – Social contract, universal principles

MORAL REASONING:

The reasoning process by which human behaviours, institutions or policies are judged to be in accordance with or in violation of moral standards.

Objections to Bringing Ethics into Business:

  • In a free market economy,the pursuit of profit will ensure maximum social benefit
  • A manager’s most important obligation is to the company.
  • Business ethichs is limited to obeying the law.

Arguments Supporting Ethics in Business:

  • Ethics applies to all human activities
  • Business cannot survive without ethics
  • Ethics is consistent with profit seeking
  • Prisoner’s dilemma argument
  • Customers and Employees care about Ethics

Elements of Moral Responsibility:

  • Individual must cause or fail to prevent an avoidable injury or wrong.
  • Individual must know what he is doing
  • Individual must act of his own free will.

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:

http://www.scu.edu/ethics

http://www.ethics.acusd.edu

http://www.web-miner.com/busethics.htm

http://www.essential.org

http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml

http://www.betterworldlinks.org/book100.htm

http://www.corpwatch.org

http://www.worldwatch.org

http://www.arq.co.uk/ethicalbusiness

http://www.bsr.org

http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr

http://www.pwblf.org

5 thoughts on “Business Ethics – Various Definitions and Theories

  1. Wow….thanks for posting this information.

    With leadership comes a great responsibility to uphold a standard of integrity regardless of the cost. All too often we see leaders compromise their lifelong forged ethics just to gain the ever fleeting reward of “momentarily getting ahead.” This lack of ethical leadership has greatly shaped the values of our society. Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success; but rather try to become a man of values.” John Maxwell coined the well-known phrase, “leadership is influence,” and no one would disagree with that statement. But ethical leadership goes much deeper. Ethical leaders don’t just influence others; they influence others to do what is right.

    As leaders we have a great responsibility to not only do what is right but also influence others to do the same. Temporarily, it may not be easy and most often it doesn’t appear to be advantageous, but you must weigh every decision according to the long-term consequences of that decision. Ask yourself: What will it cost me in the long run if I compromise my integrity? What are the negative consequences that come from cutting corners or from cheating my customers? What reputation will I create if I make this decision?

    Below I have outlined the three most critical steps to achieve ethical leadership. By following these simple steps, you’ll not only establish credibility among your clients, but you’ll also outlast your competition. Credibility and longevity are what separate those who “just get by” from those who achieve great success.

    1. Hold yourself to a higher standard than is required. Every failure in life can be traced back to a compromise of character. You must raise your standards and set the example for those who work for you. Don’t allow yourself to compromise your integrity, but be resilient to always do what is right.

    2. Keep your word. It doesn’t matter what you promise. All that matters is that you do what’s been promised. A leader is defined by the quality of his action, not the rambling of his words; therefore make it the rule to always under promise and over perform.

    3. Tell the truth and be honest with others. A simple definition of honesty is: behavior in words and actions that aims to convey the truth. Conversely, dishonesty is a way of speaking or acting that causes people to be misled or deluded. Always consider the interest of others and not just your own. I say it like this: I would rather you hate me for telling you the truth than for you to like me for telling you a lie.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robb_Thompson

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.