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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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The biggest controversy in the field of business ethics is the extent of corporate obligations to society. Business scandals in the 1990's and the early part of this millennium have raised questions about business leadership, the ethical climate of business, and the ethics of business professionals. …
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Business Ethics
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Business Ethics

Download file to see previous pages... Wrongful and unethical behavior in the business environment is not a new phenomenon; wrongful acts can be traced back at least two centuries ago. Since the 1970s, public opinion polls have communicated a steady decline in the public's confidence in America's business community, which has shown an infinity for breaking the rules (Gautschi & Jones 205). It is apparent that both the accounting profession and the corporate business world need to regain the trust that stockholders and other constituent groups should have in their ability to manage corporate affairs and conduct business in an independent and moral manner, while still successfully running their businesses. The numerous calls for more and/or improved ethics education illustrates that business students are seen as part of the problem and perhaps eventually as part of the solution (Rich 11-17).
Whether ethics can be taught and how it could be taught has been the subject of much research. Many different modules and approaches have been identified in the research and scholarly literature. For example, Armstrong (77-92) exemplifies the code of ethics approach; Langenderfer and Rockness (58-69) focus on ethical decision making through an eight step model to evaluate ethical dilemmas; Rest (1-10), Kohlberg (15-25) and Gilligan (10-21) are relied upon for research focusing on the psychological or moral development issues, an approach that Hiltebeitel and Jones (37-46) and Poneman (185-209) have continued to focus on. Mintz (247-267) claimed that all of these models are useful tools of ethical analysis; however, they ignore the ethical considerations of the actor, focusing only on the act. He noted that it is the actor who is faced with the ethical dilemma and, therefore, it is the actor as agent who will ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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