Ethics and Social Responsibility
Ethics are talked about frequently and addressed in the news when unethical
decisions are found. Sadly, people do not hear about ethics when others are engaging in
ethical behavior on a daily basis. Keep in mind that things that are not illegal may be
unethical. Ethics are an individual belief system that consists of knowing what is right
and wrong. Ethicscan vary person to person. Ethics is in part analyzing decisions,
beliefs, and actions.
Within the business context, businesses are expected to have good ethical values
and act socially responsible. The problem is that the ethics of a business is a mixture of
individual sets of ethics. This is why it is important to have good individuals as
employees. It is also equally important that when yougo to work somewhere that you
feel like you share the values of those you work with. Ethics is not just talking about the
right thing. It is doing what is right in every decision that is made.
Social responsibility can be an example of ethical behavior. It is enhancing
society in general. However, a business can’t afford to go around doing good deeds if
there is no potential pay off. If thebusiness were to loose too much money, then it would
cease to exist, hurt customers, and leave employees jobless. There are some that argue
that social responsibility is shown only when companies go beyond what is optional, and
really intend to create a benefit for others besides the company. Additionally, some
companies may not benefit from some forms of social responsibility. These businessesshould focus on what they do best as a business and give back what they can. Examples
of socially responsible behavior range from projects that raise money for research on
diseases, raising money for the needy, requiring workers to volunteer within the
community, recalling products that may be dangerous, promoting recycling, and offering
free services to the disadvantaged.
There areinnumerable ethical dilemmas that may arise in a business setting.
Some of them are more obvious while some of them are more obscure. There is a simple
basis that helps keep decisions in perspective. Businesses should operate in a manner that
is legal, profitable, ethical, and within social norms. By being within social norms means
that you need to use society to gauge if your decisions areappropriate. Some cultures
would define what is ethical differently from other cultures. Due to the fact that all
businesses need to be profitable, sometimes there is an over emphasis on making more
money. Social norms should govern what is appropriate to compensate individuals as
well as to charge customers. Profit expectations and goals should not require a business
to cut corners in an unethicalway or to misrepresent or twist facts.
Then where do ethics come from? People begin to develop their internal beliefs
from the time they are small children. Factors such as the conditions that an individual
grows up in affect the way that they see the world. For example if a child was raised in a
household with a lot of violence, they might feel that fighting is okay. The beliefs of thepeers around you may influence how you see things. It is human nature to want to belong
and some are more apt to give into peer pressure. People have a lot in common with their
peers due to similar values in the first place. However, it is hard to find two people that
feel exactly the same about every situation. Some people would feel that if they found
money that they should be able to stick itin their pocket and keep it. Others would feel as
if they should take it to the lost and found area. Keeping money that you find on the
ground in a public place is not illegal, but some people would not be able to benefit from
a situation while the person who lost it could be potentially found. Powerful situational
factors may cause people to compromise their values and resort to measures...
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