The Field Of Business Ethics

Decent Essays

In the field of business, ethics is something which can be considered from different viewpoints, from the business firm to the employee in the firm’s customer. Ethics is a concept which finds its basis in the moral principles which have been accepted and advocated by society. Each aspect of ethical behaviour has been ingrained in the culture of human beings to essentially provide guidance in distinguishing what is wrong from what is right. Due to the high involvement of businesses within communities, they are also responsible for acknowledging and acting upon ethical behaviour. Although this appears to be within the common ground in the theoretical role and purpose of businesses in society, in practice this is not necessarily always the …show more content…

Among the major business ethics related theories there is Friedman’s, developed in the 1970s in the US (Harrison, 2010, pp. 186-187). The following quote from Friedman’s thesis, sums up his general view of the social responsibility businesses have in society: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources (…) to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, (…) engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” (Horrigan, 2010, p.92) Friedman’s thesis was simple and is still relevant to today, simply that businesses should act in order to increase their profit as they are meant to but without fraudulent behaviour, respecting the rules of the social contract. Deriving from Friedman’s thesis there is ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR), which simply states that businesses should be “taking responsibility for the economic, social, ethical, and environmental impacts of its activities”. An increasing number of companies have adopted CSR policies, in an attempt to help their community as well as diminishing to some extent certain negative impacts they could be causing e.g. pollution. (Harrison, 2010, pp.191-193) The importance of ethics for society and business alike is self explanatory, it simply stands to ensure behaviour which is both correct and beneficial for each entity which is affected. In fact it appears as though over the

Get Access
Get Access