(Assignment) Business Ethics Business ethics is that part of corporate governance that deals with the moral values of managers encouraging them to be transparent in business dealings. Business ethics takes into consideration the interests of all stakeholders…
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First of all, it ensures that the company survives in the long term as it increases profitability and sustainability. However, the common consensus, most of the time, is that profit and ethics are opposed to one another, and hence, if a company is ethical, it cannot think about profits. In addition, many believe that in order for a company to be profitable, it should necessarily be unethical. In other words, this school of thought gives legitimacy for businesses to be totally unethical to make profits. There are instances in the history that make people believe that ethics and business are totally opposite entities. A perfect example is the Ford Pinto of Ford Motors. In 1978, three people died as the gas tank of the Pinto they drove exploded as it was hit in the rear. It was proved that the company knew that placing the tank in the rear end was vulnerable. However, the expenditure involved in changing the gas tank was $ 11 per car; an amount that is considerably less than the amount the company would have to pay in compensation for the few people who die as a result of explosion. So, the company decided not to change the position of the gas tank. In addition, law declared the company not responsible for the deaths. This incident clearly reveals how company can aim at profit totally neglecting what is ethical. In addition, such incidents generate the opinion that profit and ethics are alien to each other. ...
Thus, the first and foremost ethical obligation for a company is to make profits for its stakeholders. In other words, its ethical duty is to meet the expectations of its stakeholders including employees and creditors. In addition, only a profitable company can fulfil its social responsibilities and welfare commitments. Though it is very evident that making profit is in no way against profitability, as Bandyopadhyay points out, there certainly are ethical questions about the methods adopted to make profit, and also about the amount of profit being made. A look into the business world proves that there are many large organizations that have successfully adopted ethical practices according to socially accepted norms. A look into World’s Most Ethical Companies Rank list helps learn how these companies turned ethical; according to this, UPS, one among them, reveals that ethics is the company’s business strategy (World’s Most Ethical Companies Ranking 2008). They claim that being a good corporate citizen is an important element that keeps the company successful. The company that has operations in more than 200 countries does have an ethics program that meets international demands. The company has written ethics policies and a culture that reinforces the written policies. Another company that deserves attention at this stage is Google. Within 10 years of its establishment, the company is into a number of programs aimed at reducing its environmental impacts. As a part of this step, the company addresses challenging issues like climate change, poverty, disasters and disease. In addition, the company encourages its employees to participate in such initiatives. In addition, there are many companies like Xerox,
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