Manual Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics

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Fraud is a major unethical practice within businesses which should be paid special attention. Consumer fraud is when consumers attempt to deceive businesses for their very own benefit. Abusive Behavior A common ethical issue among employees. Abusive behavior consists of inflicting intimidating acts on other employees. Such acts include harassing, using profanity, threatening someone physically and insulting them, and being annoying. This area of business ethics usually deals with the duties of a company to ensure that products and production processes do not needlessly cause harm. Since few goods and services can be produced and consumed with zero risks, determining the ethical course can be problematic.

In some case, consumers demand products that harm them, such as tobacco products. Production may have environmental impacts, including pollution , habitat destruction and urban sprawl. The downstream effects of technologies nuclear power , genetically modified food and mobile phones may not be well understood. While the precautionary principle may prohibit introducing new technology whose consequences are not fully understood, that principle would have prohibited the newest technology introduced since the industrial revolution.

Product testing protocols have been attacked for violating the rights of both humans and animals. These companies often advertise this and are growing in popularity among the younger generations. The etymological root of property is the Latin 'proprius' [] which refers to 'nature', 'quality', 'one's own', 'special characteristic', 'proper', 'intrinsic', 'inherent', 'regular', 'normal', 'genuine', 'thorough, complete, perfect' etc.

The word property is value loaded and associated with the personal qualities of propriety and respectability, also implies questions relating to ownership. A 'proper' person owns and is true to herself or himself, and is thus genuine, perfect and pure. Modern discourse on property emerged by the turn of the 17th century within theological discussions of that time. For instance, John Locke justified property rights saying that God had made "the earth, and all inferior creatures, [in] common to all men".

In Utilitarian Jeremy Bentham stated, "property and law are born together and die together". One argument for property ownership is that it enhances individual liberty by extending the line of non-interference by the state or others around the person. Blackstone conceptualized property as the "sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe".

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, slavery spread to European colonies including America, where colonial legislatures defined the legal status of slaves as a form of property. During this time settlers began the centuries-long process of dispossessing the natives of America of millions of acres of land. Combined with theological justification, the property was taken to be essentially natural ordained by God. Property, which later gained meaning as ownership and appeared natural to Locke, Jefferson and to many of the 18th and 19th century intellectuals as land, labor or idea, and property right over slaves had the same theological and essentialized justification [] [] [] [] [] [] It was even held that the property in slaves was a sacred right.

Taney in his judgment stated, "The right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution". Neoliberals hold that private property rights are a non-negotiable natural right. Persons and things, are 'constituted' or 'fabricated' by legal and other normative techniques. In common parlance property rights involve a ' bundle of rights ' [] including occupancy, use and enjoyment, and the right to sell, devise, give, or lease all or part of these rights.

Penner views property as an "illusion"—a "normative phantasm" without substance. Davies counters that "any space may be subject to plural meanings or appropriations which do not necessarily come into conflict". Private property has never been a universal doctrine, although since the end of the Cold War is it has become nearly so. Some societies, e. When groups came into conflict, the victor often appropriated the loser's property.

Property does not exist in isolation, and so property rights too. Ethics of property rights begins with recognizing the vacuous nature of the notion of property. Intellectual property IP encompasses expressions of ideas, thoughts, codes, and information. Boldrin and Levine argue that "government does not ordinarily enforce monopolies for producers of other goods. This is because it is widely recognized that monopoly creates many social costs. Intellectual monopoly is no different in this respect. The question we address is whether it also creates social benefits commensurate with these social costs.

The US Constitution included the power to protect intellectual property, empowering the Federal government " to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries ". We show through theory and example that intellectual monopoly is not necessary for innovation and as a practical matter is damaging to growth, prosperity, and liberty".

Such drugs have benefited millions of people, improving or extending their lives. Patent protection enables drug companies to recoup their development costs because for a specific period of time they have the sole right to manufacture and distribute the products they have invented. One attack on IPR is moral rather than utilitarian, claiming that inventions are mostly a collective, cumulative, path dependent, social creation and therefore, no one person or firm should be able to monopolize them even for a limited period.

Roderick Long, a libertarian philosopher, observes, "Ethically, property rights of any kind have to be justified as extensions of the right of individuals to control their own lives. Thus any alleged property rights that conflict with this moral basis—like the "right" to own slaves—are invalidated. In my judgment, intellectual property rights also fail to pass this test. To enforce copyright laws and the like is to prevent people from making peaceful use of the information they possess.

If you have acquired the information legitimately say, by buying a book , then on what grounds can you be prevented from using it, reproducing it, trading it? Is this not a violation of the freedom of speech and press? It may be objected that the person who originated the information deserves ownership rights over it. But information is not a concrete thing an individual can control; it is universal, existing in other people's minds and other people's property, and over these, the originator has no legitimate sovereignty.

You cannot own information without owning other people". Mindeli and Pipiya hold that the knowledge economy is an economy of abundance [] because it relies on the "infinite potential" of knowledge and ideas rather than on the limited resources of natural resources, labor and capital. Allison envisioned an egalitarian distribution of knowledge. Scarcity is natural when it is possible to conceive of it before any human, institutional, contractual arrangement.

Artificial scarcity, on the other hand, is the outcome of such arrangements. Artificial scarcity can hardly serve as a justification for the legal framework that causes that scarcity. Such an argument would be completely circular. On the contrary, artificial scarcity itself needs a justification" [] Corporations fund much IP creation and can acquire IP they do not create, [] to which Menon and others object.

Ethical and legal issues include: Patent infringement , copyright infringement , trademark infringement , patent and copyright misuse , submarine patents , biological patents , patent , copyright and trademark trolling , Employee raiding and monopolizing talent, Bioprospecting , biopiracy and industrial espionage , digital rights management.

Notable IP copyright cases include Napster , Eldred v. Ashcroft and Air Pirates. While business ethics emerged as a field in the s, international business ethics did not emerge until the late s, looking back on the international developments of that decade. Theoretical issues such as cultural relativity of ethical values receive more emphasis in this field.

Other, older issues can be grouped here as well.

Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics : Ronald F. Duska :

Issues and subfields include:. The success of any business depends on its financial performance. Financial accounting helps the management to report and also, control the business performance. The information regarding the financial performance of the company plays an important role in enabling people to take the right decision about the company. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand how to record based on accounting conventions and concepts ensure unambling and accurate records. Foreign countries often use dumping as a competitive threat, selling products at prices lower than their normal value.

This can lead to problems in domestic markets.

Why Should Managers Be Ethical?

It becomes difficult for these markets to compete with the pricing set by foreign markets. In , the International Trade Commission has been researching anti-dumping laws. Dumping is often seen as an ethical issue, as larger companies are taking advantage of other less economically advanced companies.

Ethical issues often arise in business settings, whether through business transactions or forming new business relationships. An ethical issue in a business atmosphere may refer to any situation that requires business associates as individuals, or as a group for example, a department or firm to evaluate the morality of specific actions, and subsequently make a decision amongst the choices. Some ethical issues of particular concern in today's evolving business market include such topics as: honesty , integrity , professional behaviors, environmental issues , harassment , and fraud to name a few.

It is integral to the success of an organization that ethics issues such as these be properly addressed and resolved. Businesses should strive to educate themselves on these issues, and ethical practices in general. From a National Business Ethics survey, it was found that types of employee-observed ethical misconduct included abusive behavior at a rate of 22 percent , discrimination at a rate of 14 percent , improper hiring practices at a rate of 10 percent , and company resource abuse at a rate of percent.

The ethical issues associated with honesty are widespread and vary greatly in business, from the misuse of company time or resources to lying with malicious intent, engaging in bribery , or creating conflicts of interest within an organization. Honesty encompasses wholly the truthful speech and actions of an individual. Some cultures and belief systems even consider honesty to be an essential pillar of life, such as Confucianism and Buddhism referred to as sacca , part of the Four Noble Truths.

Many employees lie in order to reach goals, avoid assignments or negative issues; however, sacrificing honesty in order to gain status or reap rewards poses potential problems for the overall ethical culture organization, and jeopardizes organizational goals in the long run. Using company time or resources for personal use is also, commonly viewed as unethical because it boils down to stealing from the company. The misuse of resources costs companies billions of dollars each year, averaging about 4.

In accordance with this, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was established in to deter international businesses from giving or receiving unwarranted payments and gifts that were intended to influence the decisions of executives and political officials. Many aspects of the work environment influence an individual's decision-making regarding ethics in the business world. When an individual is on the path of growing a company, many outside influences can pressure them to perform a certain way. The core of the person's performance in the workplace is rooted by their personal code of behavior. A person's personal code of ethics encompasses many different qualities such as integrity, honesty, communication, respect, compassion, and common goals.

In addition, the ethical standards set forth by a person's superior s often translate into their own code of ethics. The company's policy is the 'umbrella' of ethics that play a major role in the personal development and decision-making processes that people make in respects to ethical behavior.

The ethics of a company and its' individuals are heavily influenced by the state of their country. If a country is heavily plagued with poverty, large corporations continuously grow, but smaller companies begin to wither and are then forced to adapt and scavenge for any method of survival. As a result, the leadership of the company is often tempted to participate in unethical methods to obtain new business opportunities. Additionally, Social Media is arguably the most influential factor in ethics. The immediate access to so much information and the opinions of millions highly influence people's behaviors.

The desire to conform with what is portrayed as the norm often manipulates our idea of what is morally and ethically sound. Popular trends on social media and the instant gratification that is received from participating in such quickly distort people's ideas and decisions. Political economy and political philosophy have ethical implications, particularly regarding the distribution of economic benefits.

For example, Rawls has been interpreted as offering a critique of offshore outsourcing on social contract grounds, whereas Nozick's libertarian philosophy rejects the notion of any positive corporate social obligation. Sanctions for violating the law can include a civil penalties , such as fines, pecuniary damages, and loss of licenses, property, rights, or privileges; b criminal penalties, such as fines, probation, imprisonment, or a combination thereof; or c both civil and criminal penalties.

Very often it is held that business is not bound by any ethics other than abiding by the law. Milton Friedman is the pioneer of the view.

He held that corporations have the obligation to make a profit within the framework of the legal system, nothing more. The reduction of ethics to abidance to laws and customs, however, have drawn serious criticisms. Counter to Friedman's logic it is observed [ by whom? Crime precedes law. Law against crime, to be passed, the crime must have happened. Laws are blind to the crimes undefined in it.

As per liberal laws followed in most of the democracies, until the government prosecutor proves the firm guilty with the limited resources available to her, the accused is considered to be innocent. Though the liberal premises of law is necessary to protect individuals from being persecuted by Government, it is not a sufficient mechanism to make firms morally accountable.

As part of more comprehensive compliance and ethics programs , many companies have formulated internal policies pertaining to the ethical conduct of employees. These policies can be simple exhortations in broad, highly generalized language typically called a corporate ethics statement , or they can be more detailed policies, containing specific behavioral requirements typically called corporate ethics codes. They are generally meant to identify the company's expectations of workers and to offer guidance on handling some of the more common ethical problems that might arise in the course of doing business.

It is hoped that having such a policy will lead to greater ethical awareness, consistency in application, and the avoidance of ethical disasters. An increasing number of companies [ who? Some companies even require their employees to sign agreements stating that they will abide by the company's rules of conduct. Many companies [ who? A competitive business environment may call for unethical behavior. Lying has become expected in fields such as trading.

Accounting Ethics

An example of this are the issues surrounding the unethical actions of the Salomon Brothers. Not everyone [ who? Some claim that ethical problems are better dealt with by depending upon employees to use their own judgment. Others [ who? Ideally, the company will avoid a lawsuit because its employees will follow the rules. Should a lawsuit occur, the company can claim that the problem would not have arisen if the employee had only followed the code properly.

Sometimes there is a disconnection between the company's code of ethics and the company's actual practices [ who? Thus, whether or not such conduct is explicitly sanctioned by management, at worst, this makes the policy duplicitous, and, at best, it is merely a marketing tool. Jones and Parker write, "Most of what we read under the name business ethics is either sentimental common sense or a set of excuses for being unpleasant.

For instance, the US Department of Commerce ethics program treats business ethics as a set of instructions and procedures to be followed by 'ethics officers'. Author of 'Business Ethics,' Richard DeGeorge writes in regard to the importance of maintaining a corporate code, "Corporate codes have certain usefulness and there are several advantages to developing them. First, the very exercise of doing so in itself is worthwhile, especially if it forces a large number of people in the firm to think through, in a fresh way, their mission and the important obligations they as a group and as individuals have to the firm, to each other, to their clients and customers, and to society as a whole.

Second, once adopted a code can be used to generate continuing discussion and possible modification to the code. Third, it could help to inculcate in new employees at all levels the perspective of responsibility, the need to think in moral terms about their actions, and the importance of developing the virtues appropriate to their position.

Following a series of fraud, corruption, and abuse scandals that affected the United States defense industry in the mids, the Defense Industry Initiative DII was created to promote ethical business practices and ethics management in multiple industries. Subsequent to these scandals, many organizations began appointing ethics officers also referred to as "compliance" officers.

These guidelines, intended to assist judges with sentencing, set standards organizations must follow to obtain a reduction in sentence if they should be convicted of a federal offense. Following the high-profile corporate scandals of companies like Enron , WorldCom and Tyco between and , and following the passage of the Sarbanes—Oxley Act , many small and mid-sized companies also began to appoint ethics officers.

Often reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, ethics officers focus on uncovering or preventing unethical and illegal actions. This is accomplished by assessing the ethical implications of the company's activities, making recommendations on ethical policies, and disseminating information to employees. The effectiveness of ethics officers is not clear. The establishment of an ethics officer position is likely to be insufficient in driving ethical business practices without a corporate culture that values ethical behavior. These values and behaviors should be consistently and systemically supported by those at the top of the organization.

Many corporate and business strategies now include sustainability. In addition to the traditional environmental 'green' sustainability concerns, business ethics practices have expanded to include social sustainability. Social sustainability focuses on issues related to human capital in the business supply chain, such as worker's rights , working conditions, child labor , and human trafficking. Many industries have organizations dedicated to verifying ethical delivery of products from start to finish, [] such as the Kimberly Process , which aims to stop the flow of conflict diamonds into international markets, or the Fair Wear Foundation , dedicated to sustainability and fairness in the garment industry.

There are however many different ways in which sustainability initiatives can be implemented in a company. Improving Operations: Perhaps the most evident manner in which an organization can implement sustainability initiatives is by improving its operations and manufacturing's process so as to make it more aligned with environment, social, and governance issues.

Dell has integrated alternative, recycled, and recyclable materials in its products and packaging design, improving energy efficiency and design for end-of-life and recyclability. Board Leadership: The board of a company can decide to lower executive compensation by a given percentage, and give the percentage of compensation to a specific cause. This is an effort which can only be implemented from the top, as it will affect the compensation of all executives in the company.

This is not usually the case for most companies, where we see the board take a uniform step towards the environment, social, and governance issues. This is only the case for companies that are directly linked to utilities, energy, or material industries, something which Alcoa as an aluminum company, falls in line with.

Instead, formal committees focused on the environment, social, and governance issues are more usually seen in governance committees and audit committees, rather than the board of directors. Management Accountability: Similar to board leadership, creating steering committees and other types of committees specialized for sustainability, senior executives are identified who are held accountable for meeting and constantly improving sustainability goals. Executive compensation: Introducing bonus schemes that reward executives for meeting non-financial performance goals including safety targets, greenhouse gas emissions, reduction targets, and goals engaging stakeholders to help shape the companies public policy positions.

Companies such as Exelon have implemented policies like this. Stakeholder Engagement: Other companies will keep sustainability within its strategy and goals, presenting findings at shareholder meetings, and actively tracking metrics on sustainability. Best Practices. Companies such as Coca-Cola have actively tried improve their efficiency of water usage, hiring 3rd party auditors to evaluate their water management approach. FIFCO has also led successfully led water-management initiatives.

Employee Engagement: Implementation of sustainability projects through directly appealing to employees typically through the human resource department is another option for companies to implement sustainability. This involves integrating sustainability into the company culture, with hiring practices and employee training. General Electric is a company that is taking the lead in implementing initiatives in this manner.

Bank of America directly engaged employees by implement LEED leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified buildings, with a fifth of its building meeting these certifications. Supply chain management: Establishing requirements for not only internal operations but also first-tier suppliers as well as second-tier suppliers to help drive environmental and social expectations further down the supply chain.

Starbucks has led efforts in engaging suppliers and local communities where they operate to accelerate investment in sustainable farming. Releasing Studies, Insights, Best Practices and Findings: By revealing decision making data about how sustainability was reached, companies are giving away insights that can help others across the industry and beyond make more sustainable decisions.

This ultimately allows other companies to make more sustainable design decisions and create lower impact products. As an academic discipline, business ethics emerged in the s. Since no academic business ethics journals or conferences existed, researchers published in general management journals and attended general conferences. Over time, specialized peer-reviewed journals appeared, and more researchers entered the field. Corporate scandals in the earlier s increased the field's popularity. As of , sixteen academic journals devoted to various business ethics issues existed, with Journal of Business Ethics and Business Ethics Quarterly considered the leaders.

The International Business Development Institute is a global non-profit organization that represents nations and all 50 United States. It offers a Charter in Business Development that focuses on ethical business practices and standards. The Charter is directed by Harvard , MIT , and Fulbright Scholars, and it includes graduate-level coursework in economics, politics, marketing, management, technology, and legal aspects of business development as it pertains to business ethics. In Sharia law, followed by many Muslims , banking specifically prohibits charging interest on loans.

This article stresses how Christianity is capable of establishing reliable boundaries for financial institutions. One criticism comes from Pope Benedict by describing the "damaging effects of the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing. Businessmen are supposed to maintain steady-mindedness, self-purification, non-violence, concentration, clarity and control over senses.

Books like Bhagavat Gita [] and Arthashastra [] contribute a lot towards conduct of ethical business. Business ethics is part of the philosophy of economics , the branch of philosophy that deals with the philosophical, political, and ethical underpinnings of business and economics. The philosophy of economics also deals with questions such as what, if any, are the social responsibilities of a business; business management theory ; theories of individualism vs. Business ethics is also related to political economy , which is economic analysis from political and historical perspectives. Political economy deals with the distributive consequences of economic actions.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Business administration Management of a business Accounting. Management accounting Financial accounting Financial audit. Business entities. Corporate group Conglomerate company Holding company Cooperative Corporation Joint-stock company Limited liability company Partnership Privately held company Sole proprietorship State-owned enterprise.

Corporate governance. Annual general meeting Board of directors Supervisory board Advisory board Audit committee. Corporate law. Commercial law Constitutional documents Contract Corporate crime Corporate liability Insolvency law International trade law Mergers and acquisitions. Corporate title. Commodity Public economics Labour economics Development economics International economics Mixed economy Planned economy Econometrics Environmental economics Open economy Market economy Knowledge economy Microeconomics Macroeconomics Economic development Economic statistics.

Types of management. Business analysis Business ethics Business plan Business judgment rule Consumer behaviour Business operations International business Business model International trade Business process Business statistics. Main article: Marketing ethics. Main articles: Private property and Property rights. Main articles: Intellectual property and Intellectual property rights. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

See also: Corporate governance. Retrieved Fraedrich, John. Eleventh ed. Boston, MA. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, p. An integrative model for understanding and managing ethical behavior in business organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 9 3 , pp. Retrieved on Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Capitalism and Slavery. Political Economy. A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases.

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The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on March 17, Retrieved March 11, Painter-Morland and P. Boston, Springer. The Economist. Jan 27, Retrieved March 12, Human Resource Management in Australia. Archived from the original on The sociology of financial markets. Meltdown: how greed and corruption shattered our financial system and how we can recover. Finance ethics Frederic , pp. Barker, trans. To all of them I am grateful for the insights and affection they have given me, and can only ask their forbearance if their contributions have not taken root in the correct way.

They should in no way be held accountable with whatever failures of intellect or reason follow in these pages. Ronald Duska. The following articles appear with permission from the following publishers. What is Ethics? Business Ethics: Oxymoron or Good Business? Aristotle: A Pre-modern Post-modern? Pava and Patrick Primeaux, Volume 1, , pp. Whats the Point of a Business Ethics Course? Business Ethics Quarterly, 4 pp. Why be a Loyal Agent? Frederick, Blackwell, July Business and Professional Ethics Journal, Vol. Whats Literature to Ethics or Ethics to Literature?


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  • What’s the Matter with Business Ethics?.

Listening, 17 pp. I had always wanted to write a large and important philosophical tome. But that never happened. The conclusion I draw, whether justified or not, is that I have neither the talent, the scholarly aptitude, nor the persistence to complete such a formidable task. I am most assuredly envious of those for whom this activity comes easily and I admire the fact that they perform the task with a facility that seems nothing short of remarkable.

These are writers of large books. We philosophical coal miners write small articles. Hence, my life of philosophical writing and ethics which reflected on the economic system in general and business in particular produced a number of articles. When an opportunity comes to put those smaller writings together, it gives one the chance to get close to the dream of producing a large if not substantial book, even if it is not a book with a tightly developed theme.

In looking back on my bits of philosophical coal, I discovered some unifying themes that might justify putting them together in one place as a kind of promissory note of a coherent and consistent view about business ethics i Duska - Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics.