Hence, they are under intense pressures to ensure their own wellbeing, if not survival. Ends and activities not directly tied to their own survival or well-being, and not protected by other supportive conditions, naturally come under pressures for reduction or elimination.
"Ethics is a moving target. Social values shift over time, influenced by a complex web of factors. Employers must keep a close eye on those values and, when possible, proactively address ethical dilemmas emerging in their companies" (Vickers 2005, p. 26). Fo P&G, business ethics is much more than an expression of taste, however strongly felt. Properly understood, business ethics is in fact about moral principles; indeed, it is the application of ethics to, or in, specifically business situations and activities. For P&G, ethics refers to moral codes and the actions enjoined by them as well as to the study of either or both. Indeed, when dealing with received opinion, such common usages will be observed, both with respect to "ethics" and to "business ethics." When strictly used, however, the term "ethics" refers properly to a subsection of philosophy, that which seeks to identify and clarify the presuppositions of human conduct having to do with good and evil (International Business Ethics Institutive 2008). In a work on business ethics, the grounds of ethical activity, like the existence of business, must be taken as given. Certain implications of the philosophical nature of ethics are, however, crucial to the question of universality. "At Procter & Gamble, we have maintained strong Corporate Governance polices and practices for many years. These core values set a tone of integrity for the entire company-one that is reinforced consistently at all levels and in all countries" (P & G Home Page 2008). The most important, is that as a purely theoretical discipline, ethics has no necessary connection to any existing system of religious belief, or any specific legal framework, or any particular moral code. As a result, the commonly cited variations of actual practice are simply irrelevant to the question of whether there are universal truths of business ethics--cultural diversity, even cultural relativism, does not and cannot justify ethical relativism (Swanson, 2005). Nevertheless, although ethics is essentially theoretical, there is a metaphorical sense in which the techniques and principles of ethics proper can still be helpful in dealing with real life problems--the clarity of thought and awareness of key concepts developed in philosophical study may well inform action. It is in this extended sense that one may properly speak of "applied ethics," or the "application" of ethics to business, or of ethics "enjoining" specific courses of action. Business ethics is simply the application of general moral principles to specifically business situations and activities Husted et al 1996).
The Function of Business Ethics
P&G customizes its ethical culture to match unique needs and values of the company to global business demands. The function of business ethics is to resolve or at least to clarify the moral issues which typically arise in commerce. Starting from an analysis of the nature and