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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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Business ethics are those principles which promote fairness and equality with employers, employees, customers, and stake holders. This paper attempts to understand business ethics in brief,…
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Running head: business ethics Business ethics Ethics are the determining values and principles of business, employees, and employers. Business ethics are those principles which promote fairness and equality with employers, employees, customers, and stake holders. This paper attempts to understand business ethics in brief, with relevant examples of recent times. Examples of ethical issues concerning three different issues have been explained along with their alleged law suits that have flagged these issues in the United States.
Business ethics are the moral eternal, abstract, and the unchangeable principles and values that determine decision making and right or wrong of contextual issues related to business or profession in accordance with ethical problems such as issues relating to human rights, privacy, discrimination, sexual and other types of harassment, performance evaluation, hiring, firing, safety, security, etc. Immanuel Kant’s principles to explain theory of ethics of duties strongly advise three aspects of ethics: consistency, which everyone else also should follow and can achieve; human dignity, which every individual deserves under every situation; and universality, for all actions and human beings should be acceptable by all (Crane, A & Matten, D; 2007).
Ethical problems of sexual and physical abuse have been troubling our communities for many centuries. Even today evidences of child abuse and sexual violence against women are prevalent among all groups and levels of people. A recent lawsuit was filed against a popular African-American preacher for molesting a 15-year old girl and sending lewd text messages to another girl. Many such charges were levied against him in the past too (Allen, B; 2009, 21 May). This depicts the disadvantaged status of the female gender even now. This kind of horrifying violence, systematic discrimination and human right abuses leave damaging effects on the society such as physical trauma, emotional trauma, low self-esteem, and psychological disturbances. Professionally, such behavior causes undesirable violation of code of conduct.
Unsafe working conditions pose high risk for health problems and hazardous events. One such violation was reported by an army employee at Lockheed Martin plant who suffered injuries as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals. His appeal for justice at the California Supreme Court did not help as four out of seven justices were stake holders in this oil company (Editorial board; 16 Jan 2008). These health problems could lead to changes in human genetic systems that may perpetuate further generations with these defects. This is a serious threat to the environment and social wellbeing; and can have a devastating impact on health outcomes and quality of life. Unethical conduct for selfish gains is indicated from the justices involved.
Another important ethical issue haunting organizational setups is discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, class, and the like. Well-known example is that of systematic discrimination shown by Wal-Mart against women in pay and promotion. Reported in the New York Times (Greenhouse, S; 2004, June 22), a law suit was filed against Wal-Mart with the charges of sex discrimination with charges such as unequal pay, responsibilities, and promotions. Many plaintiffs of the District courts of California presented uncontested statistics that confirmed the discriminatory practices including gender stereotyping and culture of corporate uniformity across all Wal-Mart setups existed. To this effect, the company’s chief executive announced new job classification and pay structure ensuring fairness in pay and promotions. Creating unequal opportunities at workplace is unethical as it penalizes specific groups by making them devoid of opportunities for growth, pay, and exhibiting their capabilities.
In conclusion, from a business perspective, ethically, decisions have to be based on systematic, rational, and widely acceptable practices so that they can be adequately defended, justified, and explained to relevant stakeholders. All organizational practices have to comply with human rights and justice, promoting fairness and acceptability to all groups of people and at all levels.

References
Books
Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2007) Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Edition 2. Published by Oxford
University Press.
http://books.google.co.in/books?id=n455iCqILW4C&pg=PA105&dq=Theories+of+business+ethics+Microsoft&lr=#PPA97,M1
News Articles
Bob, A. 92009, 21 May). Former rising star preacher pleads guilty to molestation. Associated
Baptist press.
http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4096&Itemid=53
Editorial board. (2008, 16 Jan). Sorry, The Judges Own Too Much Oil Company Stock
to Hear Your Case. A blog by the editorial writers of the New York Times. The New York Times. Blog posted to
http://theboard.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/sorry-the-judges-own-too-much-oil-company-stock-to-hear-your-case/#more-139
Greenhouse, S. (2004, June 24). Judge Certifies Suit Accusing Wal-Mart of Sex
Discrimination. Business. The New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/22/business/22CND-BIAS.html Read More
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