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Business ethics - Assignment Example

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The mid 1900 brought a remarkable change in the attitude of the people of the United States towards society and business. Towards the end of the decade, dramatic acceleration of interest towards business ethics can be found within the big corporations as well as within academia. After the World War II the United States rose to the position of a dominant economic power in the globe. Multinational corporations based in America were expanding in size and increasing in importance. The public image of the business world steadily got altered with big businesses replacing small and medium-sized businesses. Corporations progressively started to find them more subject to public scrutiny and open criticism. This led them to respond to this changing scenario by turning sincerely to the needs of the society and developing a solid impression of social responsibility. With this initiative, corporate organizations started to launch various programs encompassing their responsibility towards the society. Companies began to spend considerable sum of money for advertising these programs and for the promotion of the social benefit produced by these programs (George, 2012). All companies come into business and function with a profit maximization objective. However, it is important for corporate organizations to acknowledge that this objective has to be fulfilled along with the fulfilment of the social responsibility of the organizations; this necessitates the adherence to business ethics. Although providing high returns to the company’s shareholders remains the prime objective for any business firm, the concept of business ethics advocates that these objectives cannot be achieved at the cost of moral, environmental and social considerations. A long-term business can only prosper if it successfully satisfies the needs of the other stakeholders in the society, such as employees, customers, communities and the governments. Also, long term goals of the organization can come true if its activities are sustainable and do not contradict with the requirements of the environment. Absolute and relative ethics The concepts of 'absolute' ethics and 'relative' ethics are defined with respect to morality. Theory of absolute ethics indicates that it would not alter with change in time. Therefore, absolute ethics are universal and ever-unchanging. Theory of ethics allows ethical issues to be judged with reference to the respective environment in which the theory is applied. Relative ethics is hence flexible and context specific (Spencer, 2010). According to some experts, in the real world, there is no such existence of the concept of absolute ethics (Francis and Mishra, 2009). Ethics reveal the characteristics of an individual and therefore the ethical considerations of a firm reflect the characteristics of the firm, which is actually a collection of several individuals. Since ethical inquiry seeks justification of the actions of the firm’s actions, and because every action has an outcome that are often found to be varied in varied environments, business ethics is relative in nature (Agalgatti and Krishna, 2007). It is important ...Show more
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Summary

Business ethics Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 History of business ethics 3 Absolute and relative ethics 4 Ethical issues in the operational activities of a business 5 Business Ethics 5 Ethical activities 6 Values of business 6 Professional ethics 7 Conclusion 7 History of business ethics 'Business Ethics' is a concept that has gained importance in the modern business environment and is studied academically for researching the various perspectives of the term…
Business ethics
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