Essay on Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

1806 Words8 Pages
The notion of ethics deals with people’s behaviors within a company. Social responsibility involves a company’s moral obligations and the manner in which the organization makes its decisions. Although ethics and social responsibility are similar on a conceptual basis, each has its own unique characteristics that express their differences and its independence of the other. Ethics and social responsibility have to be present and coincide with one another for a business to be ethically sound. Ethics is the application of one’s personal beliefs and the impact on how a person makes decisions regarding the relationships involving a company. The most common agents that involve a person’s decisions are owners, employees, customers, clients,…show more content…
There is a fine line between what is ethically right or wrong with an action committed by an organization. According to Audi, “sometimes ethics is compromised without dishonesty but by deficiencies in clarity or candor or both” (Audi, 2009). Being dishonest and not telling the entire truth are examples of ethical dilemmas. On the contrary, social responsibility applies only to an organization or business, whereas ethics applies to people’s behaviors and how the obligations determine whether an action is right or wrong. Social responsibility is the application of a set of ethics to a business or organization. Edwin Epstein’s definition of corporate social responsibility supports the idea that corporate responsibility is ethically based in its decisions with the agents associated with the company. Epstein stated, “Corporate social responsibility relates primarily to achieving outcomes from organizational decisions concerning specific issues or problems which have beneficial rather than adverse effects upon pertinent corporate stakeholders” (Carroll, 1996). Social responsibility contains both the responsibility to discover employee misconduct while also maintaining good relationships with those outside of the business. According to Berenbeim, it is the corporation’s responsibility to maintain those good relationships with the agents of interest paramount to the obligations to minimize the risk of employee misconduct (Berenbeim,
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