BUSINESS ETHICS AND CSR 7
BusinessEthics and CSR
Sincethe onset of the 21stcentury, ethics in businesses have become an area of focus to manygovernments and institutions globally.It is notable that in the1990s, ethics in business was highly institutionalized, but in therecent past, the need to ensure high standards in all stages ofbusiness operation has become of great importance. This is due to thefact that firms have recognized the benefits reaped out of improvedethical conduct, which is mainly reflected in their financialperformances. Further, countries such as the US have enacted strictrules and Acts such as the as the Sarbanes–Oxley Act to guidecompanies and institutions to ensure that ethical practices arefollowed (Ferrell,et.al,2015). Asargued by Mann(2015),in an ideal situation, businesses, as well as their employees, shouldalways carry out the required activities, but this is not always thecase as ethical dilemmas are common at all stages of businessoperations. In businesses, an ethical dilemma occurs in a context ofconflicts taking place between at least two values that calls fordifferent responses (VillanovaUniversity, 2015). Largecompanies, especially those having operations overseas, issues ofethical dilemma are evident. The main notable form of dilemma takesplace when certain laws have legal and moral conflicts. As an experthired by Company X, which have had serious moral and socialresponsibility, there are several remedies that will be offered toensure its sustainable growth both in the short and long-term.
First,Company X has been had serious problems in setting ethics as a partof its corporate culture. Corporate culture is regarded as a behavioror believes which decide the way in which management and theemployees handle and interact with the outside business transactions.It is worth noting that culture in firms is often implied defined,and develops over time as a results of the cumulative traits of thestaffs hired. Ferrell et.al,2015, the ethical part of the corporate culture is of greatimportant. For instance, to the stakeholders, BP is mostly seen as acompany having multiple criminal negligence in several oil spillssuch as the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 (Ferrell,et.al,2015).Further, for a majority of marketing companies focusing on profitsthrough whatever means at the expense of customers’ satisfaction,results to a culture that fosters behaviors conflicting with theethical values of the stakeholders. For Company X, it is important torecognize that, at the threshold level, there is the need to rewardall the performances by the employees based on the performance. Forinstance, Company X can set rewards such as the FedEx’s Bravo Zuluaward, given to those whose performs are above the rest (Ferrell,et.al,2015). Itis also important for the managers to ensure that competitiveorientation in the operations is not adopted, since this will notensure the overall success of the business.
Theother ethical decision that can be adopted by the Company X is theneed to ensure it has a sustainable approach towards corporate socialresponsibility (CSR). CSR mainly deal with the ways in which thebusiness takes care and assess the effects that it have on the socialas well as the environmental wellbeing. Against the school of thoughtof economist such as Milton Friedman, who indicated that the solepurpose of the business is profit making, and doing so is adequatesocial responsibility, there is the need to participate incommunity-based activities among others. By taking a greater role inthe environment in which it operates, higher profits will be achievedas results of improved customer loyalty (Ferrell,et.al,2015).
Theother approach that can be adopted by Company X is embracingnormative considerations in coming up with ethical decisions. In thisapproach, the company will be able to embrace justice and fairness aswell as deal with moral philosophies like utilitarianism which maynot adequately address ethical issues affecting the business.
Takinga course in business ethics and corporate social responsibility isone of the most interesting things that have happened to me. From thecourse, it is clear that embracing proper ethics in business is notonly an important issue, but the only way to ensure sustainabledevelopment in any organization. Of great important to me was thefirst chapter: TheImportance of Business Ethics. Since I had not taken such a course prior to this, being able tounderstand the importance of business ethics was a life changer. Forinstance, in the chapter, the distinct stages of development inbusiness ethics are candidly offered.
Fromthese stages, the various failures of the different approaches usedto deal with ethical dilemmas such as the use of theology or in therealm of competitive and legal relationships, have been discussed. Further, the short and long-term benefits obtained from ethicalconsiderations in a business have been highlighted. For instance,improved business ethics results to higher relation and commitmentbetween the employees and the employer. Through this, communicationchannels are streamlined, thus higher profits. As a person having thevision to start a company that will operate in the US and havebranches in all parts of the globe, I will significantly embraceethical means of operation and not just focus on profits.
Itis clear that ethics plays a significant role in shaping the societyin which we operate. It is based on this fact that, ethics, just asit has been since the onset of the 21stcentury, will continue to focus more on media, businesses as well asthe government. In the modern times, focusing on ethics in thegovernment not only remains an issue of great interest to the public,but also an area of study in many academic fields of government aswell as politics (Makarenko,2007).
Oneof the main types of ethics focusing on the day to day operation ofdifferent governments is what is called the government ethics. Thisentails a certain professional code of conduct focusing on peopleworking for the government. Government ethics involves guidelines aswell as the rules on what is wrong or a right type of behavior forthe carious groups, which includes elected leaders andrepresentatives like the members of Parliament, public servants amongothers (Makarenko,2007).In the past, pertinent questions such as when should a politicalfigure divulge personal information have been focused. For instance,Hillary Clinton, the US presidential hopeful has been accused ofsharing classified information through her personal email, an issuethat has raised serious ethical issues. In 2015, thousands ofimmigrants freeing the war-ravaged countries such as Syria and Iraqhave been seeking refuge in Europe, although some countries likeHungary are locking them out. As a result, serious ethical debateshave been elicited as this is clearly seen as an abuse againstinternational treaties set by major bodies like the United Nations onthe rights of political refugees.
Basedon these arguments, it is clear that, as far as the government isconcerned, ethics will continue its focus on the governmentoperations. This is mainly fueled by issues as the increased casesof insecurity like the emergence of the ISILs, and internal conflictsin various countries among other issues. Likewise, in businesses,especially those having operations across the globe, ethicalpractices have been an area of focus. For instance, it has now becomethe normal for companies in the developed nations to establishsweatshops in developing nations like Indonesia, India among othersas they are attracted by the availability of cheap labor. One of thebest examples is the Cadbury`swhich have severally been accused of allowing child labor in thecocoa-producing nations of West Africa. With the increase of suchcases, ethics will be of great important as it serves as the onlytool that can stop such vices.
Inthe media, journalists have been accused of offering biasedinformation through the print media and televisions. This has atimes had detrimental effects on the development of many societies asit becomes hard to establish the truth. As argued by StephenWard, a revolution in media ethics is critical, although this hasbeen a conservative issue. Issues such as embracing new mediaecologies, ethics of opinion and interpretation as well as ethics ofactivism are crucial in the media ethics (Ward, 2013). By learning ethics, journalists and other media stakeholders willknow the need to offer truthful information. For instance, bothprinted media in televisions in countries which are war-ravaged havethe tendency to offer biased reporting depending on the side thesupport. One of the best examples is when President Bashar al-Assadused chemical weapons against his people in the ongoing civil war,and the media stations supporting the regime offered contraryinformation instead accusing the rebels. Generally, by offeringtruthful information, the quality of human life will be improved,thus a better future for all.
Ferrell,O., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2015). BusinessEthics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases.Cangage Learning.
Makarenko,J. (2007). Ethicsin Government: Concepts, Issues & Debates.Available athttp://mapleleafweb.com/features/ethics-government-concepts-issues-debates
Mann,T. (2015). What Causes an Ethical Dilemma in Conducting Business?ChronAvailableathttp://smallbusiness.chron.com/causes-ethical-dilemma-conducting-business-23439.htmlRicchiardi,S. (2012). Importanceof ethics in journalism stressed.Available athttp://www.dawn.com/news/719317/importance-of-ethics-in-journalism-stressed
VillanovaUniversity (2015). EthicalDilemmas:DealingWith Values Conflicts.Available at
Ward,S. (2013). WhyWe Need Radical Change for Media Ethics, Not a Return to Basics.Available athttp://mediashift.org/2013/08/why-we-need-radical-change-for-media-ethics-not-a-return-to-basics/