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Define business ethics. Who determines whether a business activity is ethical? Is ethical Conduct always illegal?
Business ethics refer to the behavior, which businesses have to abide by in their daily business relations with the world. The ethics a business entity lives and abides by, can be very diverse; they define how the enterprise relates to the world. In addition to that, the way the employees of the business deal, one-on-one, with each customer that the business serves.
Ethical behavior always comes about when the manner in which some businesses make money comes into question. Capitalism, in its purest forms, is all about making money. It does not give regard to the manner in which the money is made. Businesses should ensure that the way they deal with customers and other businesses does not taint their reputation.
Distinguish between business ethics and social responsibility
Social responsibility refers to an ethical theory or ideology in which individuals and businesses or organizations, have to ensure that their activities also benefit the society in which they operate. It focuses on the duties of the company towards the society. More often than not, it includes public relations and the press.
Some of the ways in which social responsibility is accomplished is through actions such as the following:
Recalling of defective products Sponsoring scholarships Keeping the public informed on matters of production, as well as developments that regard production Proper waste disposal by following guidelines regarding the same Creating apprenticeships for the underprivileged people in the society
On the other hand, business ethics, as indicated above, is all about the behavior of a company; towards other businesses, as well as customers. This includes how the companies conduct themselves within their premises, as well as, outside of the premises; in dealings with other businesses, and customers. Business ethics concerns itself with queries for instance, the following:
Are employees given unwarranted bonuses? Is the company involved in shady deals, or not? Is annual auditing done? What does the company do about the best business practices? Why has ethics become so important in business?
Unethical business practices lead to the loss of clientele bases a company may have. In extreme cases, unethical business practices such as insider trading in stock markets may lead to jail term for the offenders of sound business practices.
Ethics is good for business. In businesses where the leaders conduct themselves in ethical ways, employees are likely to do the same. Employees deserve to be rewarded for the right actions. If this happens regularly, a positive culture develops; ethics are upheld. A business should not be seen by customers and the public, as simply motivated by the quest to make profit. Ethics govern the activities of businesses and ensure that the interests and well-being of everyone likely to be impacted by the functions and activities of the businesses are taken into consideration. Ethics govern choices made by industry leaders. In order to make the right business decisions, ethics should be a priority, or else, the business or the company will lose its clientele base.
What is an ethical issue? What are some of the ethical issues named in your text? Why are they ethical issues?
An ethical issue refers to a matter or problem in which ethics is involved. An example of an ethical issue is abortion, and euthanasia. They are mostly based upon opinions of the people involved.
Business ethical issues are found, in the business decisions, to be made. For instance, there are dilemmas in personal selling, advertising, pricing, contracts, and so forth. For instance, regarding suppliers, businesses should not ignore their unethical practices. Some of the unethical practices in business include ignoring safety, health, as well as environmental standards. The other ethical issue child labor, or forced labor.
Issues such as forced labor or child labor are considered ethical because the society requires children to be in school and not be employed. Additionally, it is a violation of human rights to have child workers, or to have people work forcefully, while ignoring their basic rights.
What is a code of ethics? How can one reduce unethical behavior in business?
A code of ethics refers to the collection of behavioral guidelines in a given profession or group of people. Violation of codes of ethics is considered disobedience to the acceptable behavior in a profession, group, or organization. Unethical behavior in any given business can only be reduced when an organization has a clearly defined code of ethics, and everyone lives by a given ethical culture. Leaders are required to ensure that the business has a clearly defined code of ethics; and employees who act according to the code of ethics are rewarded for their right actions. The format followed for drafting the code of ethics is very varied. It sets out the aspirations, the purpose, as well as the objective and the goals an organization has.
Similarly, people who do not follow a company’s code of conduct should be punished for their actions.
List and discuss the arguments for and against social responsibility by business (Table 2.8). Can you think of any additional arguments (for or against)?
The arguments supporting social responsibilities by businesses include:
Longrun profits Public expectations Ethical obligation Better environment Shareholder interests Discouragement of government regulation
The arguments that are against social responsibility include the following:
The cost could be immense The employees could be lacking, in skills, to implement the responsibilities of the company to its immediate environment Profit maximization gets violated Lack of accountability Some members of the public do not support social responsibility What responsibilities does a business have toward its employees?
Any business that hires employees becomes heir to the responsibilities that the federal, as well as the state government mandates. The responsibilities range from ensuring that the employees are paid appropriately, and ensuring that businesses are safe as possible.
Businesses are obliged, by law, to pay their personnel at least the smallest wage defined by law. The standard of the workplace has to be safe for the workers too. Safety standards have to kept and maintained. In addition to this, when accidents happen, the business must have compensation insurance for their employees.
What responsibilities does business have with regard to the environment? What steps have been taken by some responsible businesses to minimize the negative effect of their actions on the environment?
Businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that the activities of their operations do not negatively affect the environment. This can be done by ensuring that waste is properly treated before being disposed.
In order to conduct business according to environmental compliance regulations, some businesses and organizations have gone beyond that and engaged in green energy production. Some of them have put in place mechanisms for recycling of waste products from their plants and industries.
What are a business’s responsibilities toward the community in which it operates?
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The product I would create is a hybrid car. This product is already under production even though research is still underway to come up with better versions, which suits all environments in the world. The world needs vehicles that do not pollute the environment, through carbon emissions.
Everyone needs a car that keeps the environment clean, and livable. Nonetheless, the countries that would easily take to the product is the developed countries in which people are aware of the need to decrease carbon releases into the air. Obstacles to exporting the product to these countries may be tax regulations, and trade sanctions. The developing countries may not take to the product because, initial production may put the price so high that customers from such regions may not be able to afford. A hybrid car may not experience resistance in terms of marketing in countries abroad because everyone needs a car.
Production of such a car is costly, and requires advance technology. This will need funding from all the stakeholders in the transportation industry, besides the environmental conservation industry.