The subject of business ethics touches upon the frontiers of many subjects which are controversial, in fact it touches upon the controversy of human life, the dilemma of the creation into which we all have been born . To go into detail into even any one of these subjects is beyond the scope of this paper but it is helpful for the reader to be aware of all the other subjects which effect business ethics.
Organizations do have some individual values; if they strive for profit making then the value behind it may be self reliance and striving for excellence, this drive for excellence may be highly supported by certain cultures, but in the process the organization may be producing certain outcomes which may not be desirable for certain groups and even for the society at large. For example an organization individually may be releasing very little pollutants in the environment but there are other organizations who also have the same individual value system and the urge to strive for excellence who are also releasing the pollutants and when summed up leads to a huge amount of pollutants in the environment which are harmful to a large number of people, thus raising the need for legal interventions and code of ethics in this case restricting the organization from polluting beyond a certain limit or charging higher environmental tax to the larger polluters. Also the organizations are forced to comply to ethical standards when they come under pressure from various groups, when they are made to realize how the pursuit of their own interests are harming others or when they are threatened to stop pursuing their own objectives which is proving to be harmful to others then there is a compliance to a certain code of ethics. The compliance and acceptance of ethical codes is an adjustment process of both the organization and its immediate environment with which there is a conflict of interest, the pressure groups may also have to adjust their interest and the means to achieve them with respect to the organization as per the situation. For example people may be prohibited to enter beyond 20 km range from that of a nuclear factory or the construction of residential plots may be prohibited within a certain periphery of the industrial cluster. Thus while solving ethical issues there is focus on the common objectives and how to attain these objectives without entering into a conflict.
Business ethics is closely related to corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. According to Robbins( 1996,p.20,.p.157), ethical dilemmas are situations where managers or decision makers have to decide what is right and what is wrong and ethical decision making revolves around three criteria-utilitarianism that is providing the greatest good for the greatest number; focus on rights(of individuals)