There are no ethical principles In business (33 Some may argue that ethical principles have no role In business and the two do not go hand in hand. However many would argue that this statement is in fact not true as they is a wide variety of theories available ,each of which hold their own ethical principles and in fact these principles are what makes a business truly successful in all aspects. Many of the ethical Issues in business are covered by the code of ethics. Concerning both the employers and employees. Employees, for example should avoid any conflicts of interest such as investing in competing firms.
If they were no ethical principles in business then this would make the employer/employee relationship very difficult as neither would know what they can or cannot do or even what Is accepted of them In terms of business practice. Although businesses may have numerous purposes one of the aims they usually hold is to make a substantial profit and to reach they maximum potential ethical principles would be necessary. The laws put Into place could potentially mirror these moral obligations such as trade unions. Which are listened to by government and employers.
Many of the rights enjoyed at work have been won by union campaigning. It could be argued that in the past they may have not been any ethical principles in business this can be seen in historical examples such as child exploitation in Victorian times, entrepreneurs began to change exploitative practices like child labor. However as business progressed it was found that behaving ethically can have a positive impact on the workers I. E them working harder as shown by Academy who proved that good ethics could still pay.
When applying ethical theories to business such as utilitarianism, each ethical theory holds different pivotal ethical principles. For utilitarianism, when applying the principle of utility the happiness of the majority Is considered. This could mean that it isn’t enough to merely consider shareholders in fact, each shareholder’s happiness is worth no more or less than the happiness of each employee. As there are usually far more employees than shareholders,utilitarianism would protect employee’s rights, ensuring fair pay, safe working conditions, sociable hours,etc.
Alternatively,as there may be more customers than employees utilitarianism could potentially Justify anything so that customers are kept happy with heap goods. This could mean bribery slavery would be Justified if the majority are happy. Additionally this approach holds much weakness’s upon application to business the consequences of business cannot be foreseen an example of this is the energy company Enron who lied about the state of their finances, and shareholders lost Ell billion when they went bankrupt.
Lying was wrong because it didn’t work. If this had worked, a utilitarian would seem to have to say It was ethical action. Preference utilitarianism may disagree, as being lied to would go against the preferences of all shareholders. Due to the inconsistency of this theory could it be said that the statement is in fact correct and they is no ethical principles in business as utilitarianism seems to be suggesting that human life Is measured against profit Is that fair to humanity.
A theory such as Kantian ethics would focus on the Idea of duty for Kant greed is wrong, since it leads to businesses to do immoral things in the 1 OFF statement As the company who rushed to seal the cars for under $2000, resulted in a fault. The greed of the company meant that they did not recall the cars as it was heaper not to, and decided to Pay out when people started dying as a result of the fault. However putting people over profit sounds quiet idealistic and sadly isn’t reality. Due to the harsh reality of business surely they is no ethical principles involved.
An approach which many would argue due to its focus on character and the nature of business cannot go on hand in hand. Virtue ethics is concerned primarily with who we are as people. In business, owners should aim to be virtuous people in order to create a virtuous business. This can arguably be complicated – virtue ethics s agent-centered, and business is usually action-based which can make application tricky. Virtue ethics from Aristotle shows that business cannot be separated from society. Everyone is part of the larger community; the polis. Business is part of the community.
And since society holds many moral obligations businesses shall have to also adhere to these moral obligations. Virtue ethics focuses on the character and motivation of the agent and the agent’s ability to peruse demoniac. Virtue is learnt through observation of others behavior, however as far as business is concerned an individual cannot be ethical. Virtue ethics is interested in the most general traits that make a harmonious society possible. These approach shows that ethical principles can in fact be a positive for business ‘showing businesses how behaving ethically can in fact increase they success.
Virtue is thought to be found in the golden mean which involves finding the balance between two means, for example good temper, if you are short-tempered employers will get disheartened and now want to work for you. However if you are too reserved then it could be seen as being passive. However t could be argued that the virtues set actually help business’s and are in fact crucial for the smooth running of a business. Virtues such as intellect and common sense. On the other hand, virtues may conflict in business.
Which virtues should be followed? Is they a set way to choose or do different individuals pick different virtues to follow which could potentially lead to disagreement such as modesty and proper self-love. They are also several issues when considering business such as sustainability not only makes a business look good, but also ensures caring for future generations. One of the main benefits for a business of behaving ethically is that a better image is given to the world at large, and especially to consumers, resulting in greater profit.
It also means that expensive and potentially embarrassing public relation disasters are avoided. The image of a business is vital. However what happens when the business behaves unethically, an employee may decide to inform the authorities, this is known as weightlessness. If someone finds out that the company they work for is acting unethically, do they have a responsibility to blow the whistle? They may lose their Job. They also risk harming the business and co-workers may suffer.
Some may argue that ethical principles in business are important as they allow individuals guidelines on how to act in situations such as this. However it is not as straightforward as this for example a view such as utilitarianism would say to focus on the good of the majority whereas Kant would argue it is our duty to say. For example Barley manning who downloaded a trove of military information. One of these videos included a recording of a US helicopter opening fire on a group of that whistle-blowing is subjective. To conclude, ethical principles in businesses do lay a pivotal role in setting boundaries.
However it could be argued that these ethics are not really considered in business as the sole aim of a business is simply is to make a profit. However examples such as body shop and Firetrap show a business can be successful and virtuous. Others may argue ethical principles don’t play a role when deciding how to act in business but in fact this is our conscience and this varies from person to person explaining why people have different ideas of behaving ethically. In contrast Maxwell simply argues that “there’s no such thing as business ethics”