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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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Businesses are created for the main purpose of generating profits. It is an accepted fact that business owner’s or stakeholders have every right to expect profits from organisations they support. In the desire to realise the goals of organisations and satisfy stakeholders,…
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Download file to see previous pages Businesses are created for the main purpose of generating profits. It is an accepted fact that business owner’s or stakeholders have every right to expect profits from organisations they support. In the desire to realise the goals of organisations and satisfy stakeholders, sometimes businesses choose to indulge in or turn a blind eye to corrupt or unethical business practices taking place within their workforce or conducted by their business partners. Business ethics theories are often adopted by organisations seeking to curb practices that are deemed as corrupt. They usually have moral principles that organisations can implement to make sure that all the workers operating in the company conform to accepted codes of behaviour (Bartlett 2003). Business managers can make use of the ethics theories that they deem as being most appropriate for the implementation of different ethical strategies. There are several business ethics theories that are used in today’s business scene. The rights theory in business ethics endeavors to address ethical dilemmas by taking into account the fundamental human rights that all living people are entitled to (Bredeson and Goree 2011). Essentially, every person has the right not to harm another person. For the most part, businesses around the world observe this law. However, there are circumstances where organisations ‘appear to refuse’ to obey this law when they choose to cooperate with corrupt governments. For instance, in the recent past, the global multinational beverage company, Coca-Cola, has faced negative attention due to its continued association with Swaziland’s absolute monarch, King Mswati III. According to the Swaziland Solidarity Network, Coca-Cola contributes to almost 40% of the small southern African’s nation’s GDP. Critics have stated that if the beverage company’s executives pressed King Mswati III to cater to the needs of his citizens instead of accumulating more wives, luxury vehicles, and real estate at the cost of the national economy, Swaziland would begin to recover. In this case, Coca-Cola could be accused of indirectly abusing the rights of Swaziland’s citizens (Clegg, Kornberger and Rhodes 2006). The modern rights business ethics theory is deontological in character. This theory seeks to affirm that there is a particular answer for every ethical problem. The most common structure of deontological theory is that which draws on God’s word for moral obligations (Garriga and Mele 2004). Where the subject of organisational ethics is concerned, this could involve revealing corrupt practices of an organisation due to personal beliefs of the importance of exposing wrong doers. Whistle blowers, however, often endanger their working lives when they reveal information that proves the corruptness of their employers (Weiss 2008). Even though in developed nations like the United States, there are laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act allows workers to file claims in accusation of corrupt employees, it is still hard for workers to turn against their organisations due to many reasons, the least of which is not the fear that they will be dismissed or ignored (Husted and Salazar 2006). The justice theory of business ethics seeks to affirm that every worker has a basic right to human liberties (Torres 2005). In a way, this is somewhat similar to what is stipulated by the rights theory with the exception that the justice theory mainly deals with the rights of the lowest classes of workers. For instance, in an organisational setting, this means that the workers who do the difficult physical work should be treated with the same respect as the business executives who work out of their big offices (Smith 2007). Many labour unions around the world argue for the implementation of the justice theory in functions such as corporate decision making in modern businesses (Felsher 2005). Utilitarianism, as a business ethics theory, is the polar opposite of the justice theory. This is because it argues for the entire society’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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