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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Business ethics Introduction Business ethics deals with the ethical and moral principles that should be used in solving ethical problems in the business environment (Boatright 20). It guides the code of conduct of all the stakeholders in the organization…
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Business ethics Introduction Business ethics deals with the ethical and moral principles that should be used in solving ethical problems in the business environment (Boatright 20). It guides the code of conduct of all the stakeholders in the organization. Business ethics governs the actions and decisions made by the stakeholders and management of the business. Moral standards are determined by individual religious beliefs, traditions and the cultural environment. Creation of an ethical culture where ethical decision making is encouraged and rewarded is crucial for the long term survival of the organization (Boatright 30). Business ethics helps the management overcome the conflict of interest in the organization since different stakeholders have unique and personal interests in every decision making process of the business. Business ethics should be applied in all the organizational functions including human resource management, business expansion, procurement and marketing of the company products and services. Business ethics promotes efficient utilization of limited resources and enhances the image of the business organization (Boatright 37). The management and employees face numerous ethical dilemmas during the day-to-day management of the organization. Some areas of ethical dilemmas include customer confidentiality, conflict of interests in procurement like acceptance of bribes, information disclosure in marketing campaigns and workplace safety. In my workplace, I recently faced an ethical dilemma since my company had ignored health, safety and environmental standards in the company. Occupational health and safety policies were inexistent in the company. Employees were exposed to high risks since no training or safety measures had been implemented by the organization in order to control the likelihood of workplace accidents. Several employees had no protective clothing, gloves and footwear. Operators worked for long hours in the Visual Display Units. Poisonous gases and dangerous acid chemicals were poorly stored in the workplace. Waste chemicals and gases were poorly disposed in the neighborhood thus endangering the lives of the community (Boatright 46). It is unethical for the company to expose employees to high risks inn the workplace. It is also unethical for the company to dispose dangerous and acid waste in an unsafe manner in the neighboring environment. The company should provide employees with safety tools like gloves (Boatright 29). According to categorical Imperative theory by Immanuel Kant, there are unconditional moral laws that are applicable to all rational individuals and are independent of any personal desires. The moral behavior of individuals should be in accordance to universal maxims. According to the theory, all human beings must be respected and accorded safe working environments. Categorical imperative requires the business management to see human beings as an end in themselves but not a means to achieving personal interests. The company should not try to maximize profits by avoiding costs associated with implementing health and safety measures in the organization. The moral agent should respect human dignity and act with good will while making business decisions (Boatright 103). According to the Rights (Entitlement) theory, employees have some rights that are protected by the employment laws and workplace policies. Employees have the right to work and right to strike. As human beings, employees have the natural right of respect and dignity. Workplace laws such as occupational health and safety laws require employers to provide safe working conditions. Natural environmental laws, require companies to dispose waste products safety in to the environment. Employees have the right to receive protective clothing, gloves and flexible working hours. In making an ethical decision, the moral agent should respect both the legal and natural rights of the stakeholders to the decision. In the above case, the company should ensure safe working environment since it an entitlement of the employees (Boatright 117). According to utilitarianism theory, actions and decisions are moral and worth as long as they contribute to overall utility and happiness. The decision can be assessed by the outcomes and consequences. Decisions are also ethical if they contribute to happiness and improve the state of mind. In the above ethical dilemma, the company should provide safe working environment to the employees. The company will incur initial costs, but the decision will later improve the morale of employees and overall productivity of all employees. The company will experience an increase in revenues and enhance reputation in the market (Boatright 129). According to Moral Relativism theory, morality is relative to individuals and different cultures. Different individuals from different cultural backgrounds have different moral beliefs. There is no common framework for resolving moral disputes since ethics is relative depending on the culture of the moral agent. For instance, my cultural background demands high respect for every human being thus employees should be treated with dignity. According to my moral beliefs, the company should provide protective clothing and improve the working conditions in the organization (Boatright 134). Conclusion Business ethics leads to higher employee motivation and enhanced brand recognition. Businesses should implement ethical codes of conduct that guides decision making and relationships with other stakeholders. Works cited: Boatright, John. Ethics and the conduct of business. New Jersey. Pearson Prentice Hall. 2009. Read More
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