Ethics & Business
This paper is an attempt to look at the relation between ethics and business. It would try to answer the question that why businesses should care about ethics when profits and ethics have appeared to be having an inverse relationship…
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According to its simplest definition, business ethics refers to the practice of differentiating what is right and what is wrong. Everyday, businesses find themselves faced with decisions, which make a strong impact on the lives of the stakeholders of the company. Important here to note is that stakeholders just not only include the “employees, customers, investors, debtors, shareholders, suppliers, distributors and competitors” (Wicks, Freeman, Werhane, & Martin, pp. 85-86, 2009) of the company but they also go on to include the entire society or community with which they are working. There are various reasons why companies should care about ethics and ethical behavior at their organizations. First, gone are the days when business had great bargaining power and customers were only concerned with their products and services. Globalization and revolution in information technology have changed everything and customers are now more aware than ever. Furthermore, with increased competition, businesses now have no choice but to fulfill the needs of customers regarding the information that they want (Beauchamp, Bowie & Arnold, pp. 41-48, 2008). Thanks to the vigilant media, journalists, governmental agencies and other watchdogs, that any potential news about any irresponsibility, ignorance environmental protection, injustice to stakeholders and other forms of unethical conduct, sooner or later, reaches straight to the customers in flashes. In addition, when it does, customers have shown that they have the power to stage boycotts, protests and blacklist the company in the eyes of all customers. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders to ensure ethical conduct at all times (Henn, pp. 320-324, 2009). Second, when a company actually ensures ethical behavior with the insiders and outsiders, it acts as a vital source to motivate the employees. When employees know that they are indirectly working for a company, which is better than other companies or the organization, is not harming other unlike others or it is working for a cause as well, employees listen to their inside voice which tells them to work harder to be a part of it (Henn, pp. 320-324, 2009). Companies, which have championed corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior, have had lesser employee turnover as compared to others. Furthermore, ethical companies are not only able to retain talent, but they also attract more talented and skilled people than others that allow them to have a greater pool of candidates (Wicks, Freeman, Werhane, & Martin, pp. 85-86, 2009). Third, marketing remains an important aspect of the business. Marketing ensures that company generates enough value for the customers to satisfy their needs and earn appropriate revenues. However, an important aspect of marketing is promotion of the product, in the absence of which the business has no reason to survive because if the customer does not know about the product in the way in which the company desires then there is little no point in running the business (George, pp. 254-256, 2006). With the passage of time and especially over the past few decades, promotion is becoming an expensive and troublesome activity for various businesses. It is becoming impossible to reach the desired customers with traditional means of promotion. Customers have greater control over their telephones, emails, TV sets and others. Furthermo
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