Ethics vs. Capitalism

2412 WordsMay 8, 200510 Pages
Can Business Ethics & Capitalism coexist? The concept of business ethics has tried to change the way businesses operate over the years. Business ethics is a form of ethics that governs the actions of businesses to circumvent the affects business has on every day society. But some question its effectiveness in the application of capitalism. Several case studies have shown that this is the case; many companies place the pursuit of money in front of the pursuit of virtue. Although, the majority of companies are not in the spotlight of acting unethically, can we conclude that they follow the ethical norms? It is natural for normal human beings to act ethical but businesses are on a completely different playing field. But could business…show more content…
The third and final commonly used type of ethical behavior is virtue ethics. Virtue ethics, unlike utilitarianism and deontology, depends on the virtue of the individual. This virtue is learned from their surroundings so that he or she can be an upstanding member of the community. When this virtue is obtained the individual can make ethical decisions without a second thought. The virtue of an individual should be naturally good in order for a person to have ethical decisions (Donaldson 10). If the person makes all the right decisions but does them only to make himself or the company look good, then this person does not have virtue itself because he gives his ethical actions a second thought and he is only doing these things because he must. Even though there are many ways of defining ethics, it is troublesome to apply to capitalism. Capitalism is the concept of a free market, so with ethics ruling businesses decisions, does the concept of a free market does exist? In my opinion business ethics and capitalism do not mix because the two are naturally contradictory. Even though there are many kinds of ethics they are all a type of control to one's actions and in a capitalist free market, there are no controls. In capitalism business are expected to make the pursuit of profit its first priority but with business ethics this is not the case. I have never read of a business praised
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