Business ethics is the art and discipline of applying ethical principles to examine and solve complex moral dilemmas. Business ethics asks, “What is right and wrong? good and bad? ” in business transactions ( Weiss, W. J. 1998) Although no one “best” definition of business ethics exists, the consensus is that business ethics requires reasoning and judgment based on both principles and beliefs for making choices that balance economic self-interests against social and welfare claims. This article will first introduce business ethic, comparison with poke game. Both of them has rules needs to obey, and has responsibility to your partner.
Moreover, the environment of competitive is similar. Then the discussion social responsibility of business ethics will explain by introducing ethic issue of some corporation stakeholder. In addition, the hierarchy model of business object will be introduced for understanding the behaviours of corporation with ethic. Finally, the conclusion will be given. In a different manner this notion that there is a dichotomy between work-life and home-life, is illustrated by the idea that business could be likened to a game of poker – a game played by a different set of rules to the rest of social life (Carr, 1968; Ladd, 1970).
It followed that in the world of business one was not expected to be quite as honest and fair as in other areas of life. On the other hand, indeed the demand (Friedman, 1962) that the only responsibility of business is to make maximum profits for the shareholder is must as laden with ethical commitments as the pluralistic argument that business must be socially responsible to a wider constituency of stakeholders (Nash, 1990). The view that business is analogous to a game whose rules diverges from the morality of other aspects of life, and therefore must entail ethical schizophrenia for players, has prompted much debate (e.
g. Sullivan, 1984; Keely, 1981). Some critics argue that business is, or should be, conducted with honesty and integrity. Moreover, the managers of business organizations have a set of social obligations and responsibilities that go beyond those stakeholder interests, which are articulated by a desire to profit, maximize. For example, Goodpaster and Matthews (1982) maintain that fairness, honesty, and trust are essential in any business activity while Freeman and Gilbert (1988) argue that in order to be ethical companies have to ensure that employee tasks are compatible with employee interests.
Other critics argued that the competitive ethos, which underpins the game analogy is misleading since any business must also entail cooperation between organizations (Solomon, 1992). These various arguments display both the controversy that surrounds the role of business of organizations in contemporary society and the uncertainty about what should be the responsibilities, obligations and duties of business towards that society. In this essay, we explore the ethics in business into two steps: Social responsibility of corporation, and corporation behaviours.
The concept of corporate social responsibilities originated in the 1950s, when American corporations rapidly increased in size and power as the nation confronted pressing social problems, such as poverty, unemployment, race relations, urban blight, and pollution, etc. Archie B. Carroll views social responsibilities as a four-stage continuum. Beyond economic and legal responsibilities lie ethical responsibilities, which are “additional behaviours and activities that are not necessarily codified into law but nevertheless are expected of business by society’s members.
” Thus, corporate social responsibilities can be defined as “bringing corporate behaviour to a level where it is congruent with the prevailing social norms, values, and expectations of performance” (S. Prakash Sethi, 1975) Nowadays, most corporation recognize these responsibilities and make a serious effort to fulfil them. Here, some examples of general activities of social responsibilities are list as follow. They are: firstly, choosing to operate on an ethical level that is higher than what the law require. Legal only define the base line of human activities.
Sometimes, antipathy of the public will be course by the behaviour, which are legal but not ethics, even if it aims at making more profit. Furthermore, law itself often employs moral concepts that are not precisely defined, so it is impossible in some instances to understand the law without considering matters of morality. Secondly, contribute to civic and charitable organizations and nonprofits institutions, Such as donation to society. One of popular social donation in China is called “hope project”, charged by an individual committee.
They use the donation from enterprise or individual person to improve outlying region’s education. Now this project has gained great achievement, which helped hundred thousands poor children come back to school. The third general ethics in social responsibility is provide benefits for employees and improving the quality of life in the workplace beyond economic and legal requirements. Although it cost money and hardly see the instance profit, the ardour of employee can be enhanced by these changes.
Moreover, corporation can take advantage of an economic opportunity that is judged to be less profitable but more socially desirable than some alternative. Finally, use the corporate resource to operate programs that address some major social problems. Sexual harassment is a sharp problem within corporation arrangement. In China, male is more easy to find a job than female. If a man and a woman compete for one place, and they have the same degree level or even better than man, man has preferential matriculation. Most female will be told: if we have other choice for men, we will consider them first.
It is obvious unfair but also the fact. From another point of view, corporation are dependent to a large extent on their stakeholders to execute business goals successfully in society, and also depend on and obligated to each of their constituencies in different ways to achieve their combined aims. Normally, a corporation’s stakeholders include its stockholder, customers, and suppliers, employees worldwide, political and environmental groups that influence its transactions, unions, and international governments.
The Stakeholder Moral Responsibility Matrix (Carroll, 1989) can help managers to determine what responsibilities and obligations the company has to each stakeholder (Figure 1). More and more organizations find that stakeholder approach is a response to the growth and complexity of the modern corporation and to its influence on the environment, the economy, and the public. It includes moral, political, ecological, and human-welfare interests as well as economic factors. A pragmatic way of understanding multiple, competing political, economic, and moral claims of a host of constituencies can seen by using this approach.