The paper researches the change of the current business environment in their efforts to embrace this relatively new way of doing business. Also, it discusses the advantages of an ethical business in today’s changing business world.
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Role of Ethics in Business
Business ethics has become a well-recognized aspect of managing firms today. Due to an increasing interest of society in the responsible behavior of firms, many firms are nowadays concerned about values (like integrity and honesty) and are developing ethical codes to foster responsible behavior of their employees. Ethically, therefore, managers must produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people, locally and globally, in these days of pervasive globalization of business. Managers should recognize that customers and all other stakeholders of their companies have a right to quality products and services, to meet their existing and emerging needs at affordable prices, all times, and should be guided by fairness and equity, as well as impartiality (Moon et al, 2001). Managers must institutionalize ethics in their decisions and daily activities thus applying integrity and integrating ethical concepts with daily actions.
Theories of Ethics
Consequentialism ethic theory explains that we take a certain action or thing to be morally right or wrong when we weigh the results that come out of it, which are the consequences that are as a resultant. Every human being has one noble drive that defines what we also do, this drive is happiness, we are made to maximize happiness and at all costs minimize sadness. We go to school and workplaces where we make life decisions with this drive in our unconscious world. The problem that we now have is that happiness means differently to different people, but basically, if we can have an ideal situation, and we are confronted by various choices to make, the best choice would be that one that will give happiness to the greatest number or alternatively the best choice is the one that minimizes injury to the greatest number. This concept has been used in various categories to explain a situation and as well can influence the market situation of a commodity either negatively or positively (Goodman, 2009). The theory does not give any consideration to the people that are involved in the system of production but the focus is on the level of utility that the product will provide. In business, there are some consequences that are a result of a certain action; let’s take an example if a certain program is aired, for example, a program that portrays witchcraft as paying, then the population that knows the negative effect of witchcraft is likely to campaign against the television station. The consequences that are likely to be as a result of watching the movie are not favorable and thus the failure of the station can be seen as a result of the consequences.
Ethics of value put weight on the individual who is undertaking a certain duty. The main focus here is not the consequences that are produced by the acts, but it is based on the motive or the character portrayed by the person who has made a certain action. The most important thing in this ethics is the development of the desired right virtues that an individual should have at all times (Rasmussen, 2005). The virtues are the ones that will be defining the kind of decision that he is going to take. The pleasure that a certain action is going to give, and to the number of people who are going to get the pleasure is the main concern; if action is thought to bring more pleasure to a large group, this is the correct thing to do given the available alternatives. The value and the worthiness of the action is the most important thing (Singer, 1993).
The criteria and the motive that the business is made up with are of great importance. Using the example of the flower business, a utilitarian will reason that the aim of the flower firms is to benefit society. The aim of the flower business is to create employment and to contribute to the economy. This is what is important for now and thus the business is legitimate (Shaw, 1996).
This means conducting the business in a way that the greatest majority would accept and find normal. If you are doing something then the entire population needs to be comfortable with the actions. You don’t have to injure one population at the expense of the other. This theory places some relevance to the culture that a certain society enjoys; the business should be in line with the culture of the society. This will determine the success of the business. The set of beliefs and the way people do things is of importance to the entire performance of the business. If society believes that doing something is the right thing to do, then a wise investor is the one who does things in line with this belief. He should at all times ensure that the business is in line with the culture. Other than culture, religion is another thing that the businessman should not be seen as contradicting; at least an investor should be aware of the level of influence that he is going to get from the business environment. If religion determines the action of the society in a big way, the way out is to put the business in line with this. If so did the person will see it as part of them and trading with it will be easier, this will determine the success that the business is going to have.
The most important data is data on the trends of business and the way ethical business is conducted. It is an effective way in that the world of business from a better angle. For example, I have learned the need to cooperate with the outside world in the arena of business. A good example is Starbucks Corporation of the USA, with its commitment to its global corporate citizenship program. Starbucks is a giant coffee shops owner worldwide. In 2001, the company launched an innovative and refreshingly proactive social responsibility pilot program called the preferred supplier program to attract and reward coffee-growing farmers worldwide, committed to socially and environmentally responsible farming. The company reasoned that the farms that took the best care of their employees and land would be the most sophisticated, responsive, and responsible suppliers -just the sort to help Starbucks needs to fulfill its aggressive growth plan (Duska, 1999). The farmers who adhere to sustainable environmental practices, responsible social practices and given economic criteria, are rewarded and paid more and have long-term business contracts. The program helps Starbucks to obtain long-term quality coffee and stem growing criticism of exploiting poor farmers in developing countries.
- Darwall, S. (Ed.) (2002). Consequentialism. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Duska, R. (1999). Employee Rights. In R. E. Frederic (Ed.), A companion to business ethics (pp. 257–268). Oxford: Blackwell.
- Goodman, C. (2009). Consequences of Compassion: An interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Moon et al., (2001). Business Ethics. London: The Economist.
- Rasmussen, L. (2005). Ethics expertise: history, contemporary perspectives, and applications. Netherlands: Springer
- Shaw, W. H. (1999). Contemporary Ethics: taking account of utilitarianism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
- Singer, P. (1993). Practical Ethics, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press