Business ethics is a compilation of the moral values and conduct standards that govern the decisions and actions in the workplace. Business ethics defines social responsibility and the balance between profitability and righteousness. On the other hand, morality is the conduct principles that govern a group or an individual, for instance, accounting ethics or personal ethics (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2006). This essay describes the significance of business ethics and moral responsibility in the work environment.
Business ethics principles prepare and encourage managers of the organizations to articulate individual moral responsibilities, the responsibility of their profession, as well as their company's. It also aims at bringing out the attention and the process of making moral decisions on external events. Ethical reasoning enables stakeholders to determine what is fair, good, and equitable for those who get affected or affect business decisions. Principles of business ethics can be applied to examine personal motivation so as to resolve an ethical dilemma. The principles include the rights principle, justice principle, relativism, utilitarianism, universalism, and the principle of the common good (Weiss, 2010).
Business ethics defines the manner in which the principles of morality get applied on a daily basis by resolving some fundamental aspects, such as fairness, justice, and righteousness. Ethics engages a process that is active in applying moral values, which might vary from customs, traditions, and religious principles. Even though business ethics offer moral guidelines to organizations, stakeholders ought to apply them in the process of making decisions. Every individual has an ethical responsibility. However, higher business ethical standards get imposed on professionals who act as a role model in the organization (Bowie & Werhane, 2005).
Business is a vital part of the contemporary society and thus, it involves everyone. Therefore, since business is a human activity, it gets assessed from an ethical and moral perspective. Business ethics is not applied as a status quo defense or for radical change but rather used to serve as a remedy to those structures and aspects that require changes. Therefore, they should serve to protect those stakeholders who are moral (Donaldson, Werhane & Cording, 2002).
Morality comprises of human behavior rules and specifies how certain actions can be immoral or wrong, and others moral or right. Therefore, ethics allow the stakeholders to retreat to rules of law as a guiding norm for business, thus reflecting how the majority of stakeholders lack efficiency in handling business moral issues. On the other hand, business ethics enables to create systematic endeavor in making sense of stakeholders' moral experience in a manner that determines how the rules must govern the conduct of stakeholders, values worth to pursue, and personality that deserves development (Donaldson, Werhane & Cording, 2002).
The current work climate has impelled several companies to handle business ethics issues. The majority of businesses are developing moral values to serve as the corporate culture of the organization. On the other hand, innovative companies are offering ethics training and lessons to workers, as well as managers. The moral hub of each company lies in the morality of its stakeholders. Therefore, the stakeholders are and ought to be apprehended to higher ethical standards and morality since they play a leading role in developing the company's reputation (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2006).
Business ethics has become an established aspect of engaging in business globally. It is a vital aspect to stakeholders in enabling them to make superior business decisions. Usually, corporate conformity and the rules of law alone are insufficient in ensuring the observance of ethical conduct. Law does not encompass all expressions of ethical behavior. Therefore, studying ethical theories and concepts will assist stakeholders to define morality and ethical conduct, and learn how to apply the framework or strategy to make moral decisions (Donaldson, Werhane & Cording, 2002).
Several factors trigger unethical activities among stakeholders. These factors comprise of pressure from supervisors and seniors to maximize the profits at any cost; lack of truthfulness and conscience (integrity) of employees, supervisors, and leaders; corporate cultures, which devalue investors, employees, and clients; request by clients to cut tax returns, financial statements, and commit fraud in taxes; and blurring personal and professional responsibilities, and roles between the professionals and the clients. These aspects are related to structural and societal problems. Therefore, it is very costly for corporations to avoid upholding ethical and moral standards. When stakeholders are in power positions, their social irresponsibility, and unethical acts create harm to others. This can result in a negative impact on the business by increasing liability exposure and monitoring of business activity. On the other hand, unethical acts by stakeholders can result in a negative effect of open criticism on the ability of the corporation and reputation to gain profits, as well as a negative effect on the firm, that is unethical acts in the workplace might encourage more unethical behaviors among employees. For instance, the Enron and Tyco corporate scandal show how business ethics play a leading role in the success or failure of a company (Weiss, 2010).
According to rules and principles, ethics is a kind of decision making. However, it is true that fundamentally ethics is a character that appeals to qualities, habits, and dispositions of stakeholders who make business decisions. Therefore, business will continuously need the attention of business ethics among its stakeholders. Business ethics can be learned and promoted through lessons. However, such lessons are always challenged by fresh innovations, including the advancements in technology, which enhance new varieties of online communication. Stakeholders cannot afford to overlook such challenges because a single error can be sufficient to disengage an ethical reputation (Bowie & Werhane, 2005).
Business ethics defines the moral values and conduct standards of stakeholders, while morality defines the conduct principles that govern people. It is obvious that business ethics define the success and failure of a business. The principles of business ethics are the rights principle, the justice principle, relativism, utilitarianism, universalism, and the principle of common good. Business ethics facilitate the creation of a systematic endeavor in making sense of stakeholders' moral experiences. Ethical theories and concepts can assist stakeholders to define morality and ethical conduct, and learn how to apply the framework or strategies for decision making.
Bowie, E., & Werhane, H. (2005). Management Ethics. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Carroll, B., & Buchholtz, K. (2006). Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Western.
Donaldson, T., Werhane, H., & Cording, M. (2002). Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Weiss, J. (2010). Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues and Management Approach. Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Western.