Today we live in a world much beyond the hype of the dotcom bubble. This is a world in which even the most staid and traditional businesses like the banks and insurance companies would not survive without their outline and telephone service channels in its simplest terms; e – business is now a main stream part of most if not all organization. However this does not mean that all organizations have thrown off the shackles of industrial age, business models and ways of working interestingly life goes on seemingly unchanged in many factories and officers. But peering beneath the surface a lot has happened. Purchasing clerks still may spend their days staring into a computer screen but nowadays that computer is as much as communication tool as a word processing and computational device. While not ignoring the existence of paper, more and more processes are now handled electronically, e- commerce uses the internet and the world wide web technologies as the basis of commerce is transactions between buyers and sellers whether the exchange of goods for money or the passing of data and information between parties, e – commerce requires interactive digital technology that can facilitate (Jackson et al, 2003)
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Ethics is about understanding rights and wrongs. Business ethics is an increasingly acknowledged part of business life, and this is no less true for e- business. In theoretical perspectives on business making, the dominant discourse is often focused on maximizing profit for company shareholders. This perspective is increasingly proving to be inadequate. In contrast in practice profit maximization in the long term may best achieved by making sustainable decisions that take the consequences for trust between shareholders and this means taking employees, competitors, customers, the local community, and the shareholders into accounts. This is known as ‘enlightened self interest’ where business managers take ethical decisions because of the positive impact on the financial bottom line. It is far from being the only reason for the increasing acknowledgement of business ethics. While some business people see the primary role of business as being other than profit maximization, the owner manages of small firms for instance have been found to be particularly concerned about the financial and personal welfare of their employees (Spence, 2000) and business and managers have increasing power as a result of their activities and comes it with responsibility for their actions.
With their common understanding of rights and wrongs in business life, we do see in everyday in news papers headlines, a detailed consideration of ethics in business and therefore we cannot rely on shallow statements of how we ought to behave. As such it is necessary to draw well established theories on ethics that will offer framework by which individual can reflect on the acceptability of actions taken and evaluate moral judgment and moral character. Ethics are normative in nature and outline ways of assenting good and bad behavior usually on the basis that decisions about moral practices can be cognitively arrived at. This will enable a systematic analysis using established structures for analyzing behavior from the perspective of moral philosophy, bearing in mind that the purpose of the application of ethical theory is not to make blanket judgment about the right or wrongs of the antics observed.
In balancing the conflicting interests in any society, it is necessary for business to operate with a legal frame work. The criminal law consists of rules set down by and enforced by the state in respect of conduct which, the state sees as being uncivilized and contrary to society’s best interests. In a business context this will include matters such as theft and fraud in various forms like obtaining properly or services without paying for them, and obtaining payment for property or services which one never intends to supply. It is because this particular nature of business deals at a distance; i.e. with persons or organizations that one has never met, or perhaps in remote parts of the world from you and giving then electronic access to your funds and it is conducive to this sort of activity. Certainly many individual’s fear data insecurity as a reason for not conducting transactions via e – commerce and even for those happy to shop online with tried and trusted high street presences such as Tesco or Sainsbury may be far more reticent in buying online from a supplier based in Tashkent of St. Louis of whom they have no knowledge of or experience.
As a rule, the state will prosecute individuals or companies for crimes committed within their jurisdiction and convictions will usually lead to a fine and law imprisonment for individuals, although other consequences such as disqualification from being a director of a company also will follow. In addition to criminal law all states have a system of civil law whereby, either a company disputes between individuals is an artificial, legal person and thus counted as an individual for these purpose can be resolved. Issues such as consumer rights will be dealt with by the civil law and are unlikely to be criminal activities, for instance purchased goods that prove not to be of satisfactory quality or fit for the particular purpose be made known at the time of sale, or defective provision of services. There are breaches of contract whereby one party fails to owner an agreement in full. In the context of e- commerce matters such as trademarks and copy right in domain names and web pages where another’s use of property over which you claim exclusive rights could have devastating effects (Fleisher & Bleukhoru, 2003)
It would be tempting to suggest that e – business is just about technological change but there are greater difficulties in implementing the intellectual, cultural and structural shifts necessary to succeed in a mush more interactive environment considering that business firms set up specifically to operate through the internet, the so called ‘dotcoms’ are ideally placed to recruit staff and deal with customers in the most effective way although many are struggling with current economic conditions. Established firms however may have a whole history of embedded working practices and customer relationship that require significant change for e – business to be implemented successfully. In conclusion therefore, becoming an e– business that is satisfactory and insecure, is an enormous task that needs to be undertaken very keenly and requires a diverse range of skills and knowledge to be put in place for it operate efficiently and transparently to all involved parties in the transaction (Dennis, 2002).
Dennis, C. (2002). Marketing the E- Business. Routledge. London.
Fleisher, C. and Blaukhom, D. (2003).Controversies in Competitive Intelligence; the enduring issues. Praeger. West Port CT.
Jackson, P. et al (2003). Managing Organization in the Electronic Age. Routledge. New York.