Business ethics

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Business ethics

  1. 1. Ethics
  2. 2. What are Business Ethics? Ethics is a branch of social science. It deals with moral principles and social values. It helps us to classify, what is good and what is bad? It tells us to do good things and avoid doing bad things.
  3. 3. DEFINITION According to Andrew Crane, "Business ethics is the study of business situations, activities, and decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed."
  4. 4. Features
  5. 5. •Code of conduct : Business ethics is a code of conduct. It tells what to do and what not to do for the welfare of the society. All businessmen must follow this code of conduct. •Based on moral and social values : Business ethics is based on moral and social values. It contains moral and social principles (rules) for doing business. This includes self-control, consumer protection and welfare, service to society, fair treatment to social groups, not to exploit others, etc. •Gives protection to social groups : Business ethics give protection to different social groups such as consumers, employees, small businessmen, government, shareholders, creditors, etc. •Provides basic framework : Business ethics provide a basic framework for doing business. It gives the social cultural, economic, legal and other limits of business. Business must be conducted within these limits.
  6. 6. •Voluntary : Business ethics must be voluntary. The businessmen must accept business ethics on their own. Business ethics must be like self-discipline. It must not be enforced by law. •Requires education and guidance : Businessmen must be given proper education and guidance before introducing business ethics. The businessmen must be motivated to use business ethics. They must be informed about the advantages of using business ethics. Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce must also play an active role in this matter. •Relative Term : Business ethics is a relative term. That is, it changes from one business to another. It also changes from one country to another. What is considered as good in one country may be taboo in another country •New concept : Business ethics is a newer concept. It is strictly followed only in developed countries. It is not followed properly in poor and developing countries.
  7. 7. Factors affecting business ethics • • • • LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES/POLICIES CORPORATE CULTURE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS
  8. 8. Sources of business ethics Cultural experience Religion The legal system
  9. 9. The Need and Importance of Business Ethics • • • • • • • Part of society Expectations of public Trust of employees Image Costs Pride of best companies Overall benefit
  10. 10. APPLICATION OF BUSINESS ETHICS: 1. Attention to business ethics has substantially improved society A matter of decades ago, children in our country worked 16-hour days. Workers’ limbs were torn off and disabled workers were condemned to poverty and often to starvation. Trusts controlled some markets to the extent that prices were fixed and small businesses choked out. Price fixing crippled normal market forces. Employees were terminated based on personalities. Influence was applied through intimidation and harassment. Then society reacted and demanded that businesses place high value on fairness and equal rights. Anti-trust laws were instituted. Government agencies were established. Unions were organized. Laws and regulations were established.
  11. 11. 2. Ethics programs help maintain a moral course in turbulent times Attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change — times much like those faced now by businesses, both nonprofit and for-profit. During times of change, there is often no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex conflicts about what is right or wrong. Continuing attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they want to act — consistently.
  12. 12. 3. Ethics programs cultivate strong teamwork and productivity Ethics programs align employee behaviors with those top priority ethical values preferred by leaders of the organization. Usually, an organization finds surprising disparity between its preferred values and the values actually reflected by behaviors in the workplace. Ongoing attention and dialogue regarding values in the workplace builds openness, integrity and community — critical ingredients of strong teams in the workplace. Employees feel strong alignment between their values and those of the organization. They react with strong motivation and performance.
  13. 13. 4. Ethics programs support employee growth and meaning Attention to ethics in the workplace helps employees face reality, both good and bad — in the organization and themselves. Employees feel full confidence they can admit and deal with whatever comes their way. Bennett, in his article “Unethical Behavior, Stress Appear Linked” (Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1991, p. B1), explained that a consulting company tested a range of executives and managers. Their most striking finding: the more emotionally healthy executives, as measured on a battery of tests, the more likely they were to score high on ethics tests.
  14. 14. 5. Ethics programs help avoid criminal acts “of omission” and can lower fines Ethics programs tend to detect ethical issues and violations early on so they can be reported or addressed. In some cases, when an organization is aware of an actual or potential violation and does not report it to the appropriate authorities, this can be considered a criminal act, e.g., in business dealings with certain government agencies, such as the Defense Department. The recent Federal Sentencing Guidelines specify major penalties for various types of major ethics violations. However, the guidelines potentially lower fines if an organization has clearly made an effort to operate ethically.
  15. 15. WHAT ARE UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES? Abusive Behavior Accurate but Incomplete Disclosures Discrimination against Protected Class Theft or Fraud: Personal Use of Company Property Termination without Fair Notice or Cause
  16. 16. EXAMPLE OF BAD ETHICS: Mc donalds McDonald’s, despite its global success, it is perceived as bad business ethics in its relationships with employees and other stakeholders. McDonald's sold unhealthy food, exploited workers and children, tortured animals, and destroyed the Amazon rain forest. McDonald’s also doesn’t allow employees to unionize, and in one instance where workers at St. Hubert Quebec did form a union, the company closed down the unit promptly. In addition to paying their employees low wages and negatively impacting other cultures, and they also use to allow animals to be beaten and abused before being killed.
  17. 17. Child labor violations Labor union opposition Use of illegal workers Gender orientation

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