Essay about Business Ethics
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines ethics as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” The dictionary also offers another definition of the term as, “a set of moral principles or a theory or system of moral values.” In short, ethics is simply man’s moral codes or values. Because of ethics, man has been able to classify some actions and activities as good and others as bad, fair and unfair, just and unjust, proper and improper, as well as moral and immoral. Just like men, businesses are also guided by a set of principles which help to make sure that organizations are accountable to their employees, the government, the environment, and finally the public or the society. Businesses are not independent of the law and just like people are bound by the law, they are as well and are expected to fully honor the statutes.
While people might think that organizations are about making profits, it is essential to note that they are expected to do so while functioning within the set principles. However, it is important to ask, what does business ethics involve, and how can businesses remain ethical and still be profitable. The above questions form the basis of this article, and the author will provide details of what business ethics entail while also explaining how businesses can remain ethical while still aiming for their ultimate goal of attaining the highest levels of profitability.
Business ethics simply involves conducting business activities with a human touch for purposes of giving welfare to the society. First of all, it is important to understand that businesses are obligated to their employees in that they are required to make sure that their employees are well paid, protected, and are working in a conducive environment. Businesses are also obligated to the government in that they are expected to always adhere to the law, explore within the confines of the law, and finally, forward real figures that truly reflect the profits made. It is also upon a business to make sure that the clients are treated with respect, and that the goods and services being offered are harmless, and of high-quality.
Secondly, business ethics also involves accepting and abiding the relevant codes of practice that guide and dictate behavior in the specific sector a business is in. Governments and other international bodies often expect businesses to conduct themselves as per the codes of the specific industry they are in. For example, it is the expectation of the government that banks will always abide by the set rules and also never try to sabotage the economy of the country. Each sector has its own set of rules which are punishable if breached. The general expectation is that all organizations will respect their respective umbrella industry and fulfill their promise of compliance.
Finally, business ethics also details an organization’s accountability or responsibility for the effects or the impacts of its decisions either on the environment or the community. The above can simply be summed up as corporate social responsibility. Nature dictates that with every action there is an ensuing reaction and every decision a business makes often has a definite impact on the community or the environment. With regards to business ethics, every organization is, therefore, required to act responsibly and to be accountable to the society as well as the environment.
In conclusion, without ethics, business would not be held liable to any of their actions. Business ethics form the basis of organizational behavior and therefore, their inception was essential.