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Comparing and Contrasting of Ethical Perspectives - Essay Example

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General ethics are intrinsic part of human interactions that are guided by individual values and principles. In the broader context of business, the ethical considerations are deemed complex as people have diverse perspectives on issues…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, business paradigms are highly volatile which depend on externalities for their sustainable performance. The myriad shareholders and stakeholders of the business emerge as key factors whose interests need to be incorporated within the aims and objectives of the firm for its long term sustainability. As such, the need to become accountable for their actions becomes a highly desirable element of their success. Indeed, the ethical considerations become hugely important issues as they influence the decision making processes that have wide ranging implications for the business and the stakeholders at large. The paper would discuss the issue by comparing and contrasting three articles: ‘What is business ethics’ by Peter Drucker; ‘The social responsibility of business is to increase its profit’ by Milton Friedman; and ‘The relevance of responsibility to ethical business decisions’ by Patrick Murphy. The varying views of the scholars reflect not only the significance of ethics but also its hugely controversial impact on business outcome. Thus, it is vital to highlight the need to evaluate the extent to which the ethics play role in the overall performance of the business. Most importantly, the paper makes an effort to emphasize the changing dynamics of business imperative in the transforming societal values and emerging new socio-cultural and economic order. What is ethics? Drucker believes that in the contemporary times, the word, ‘business ethic’ has replaced social responsibility. He broadly expounds that ethics are moral obligations that are relative to contexts and people. He says that moral laxity can be defined by the individual behavior but its implications are suspect because of the differing perspectives on the right behavior. Moreover, the ‘extenuating’ and ‘aggravating’ circumstances make the moral behavior highly objectionable as they tend to favor the powerful and the rich. It is true that the wide diversity of socio-cultural and religious paradigms reflects the diverse ethical and moral practices within different societies across the globe. Thus, very often, the actions of people are deemed good or bad as per the different ideologies and views of the people coming from different background. Drucker claims that moral obligations and ethical behaviour therefore depends on the moral norms of one’s society’s culture. Most importantly, he says that individual behaviour cannot be applied to business because morality is relative that relies on socio-cultural norms. Milton Friedman, on the other hand, uses the term social responsibility to define business ethics and says that it is totally irrelevant to the main objectives of business, which is to make profit. He strongly asserts that business can only contribute to social causes to the point where its interests are not clashed. He has linked social responsibilities of business with that of issues like unemployment, poverty, pollution control etc. and criticizes the reformers who think that businesses need to focus on wider objectives than merely profits. According to him, burdening the business with social responsibilities adversely impacts its major objective and undermines the postulates of free society. Patrick Murphy’s article reviews the business ethics vis-a-vis moral responsibilities of businesses and how they are employed in decision making processes. He uses different articles to show how various types of social responsibilities: legal, corporate, managerial, social, stakeholder and societal are applied within and across businesses to achieve wider objectives of bus ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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