What Are Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethical Behavior in Business?”

1741 WordsMar 24, 20137 Pages
Essay: “what are advantages and disadvantages of ethical behavior in business?” Business Ethics Some commentators, such as Milton Friedman, believe that the "primary and only responsibility of business is to make money" while abiding by the law. Supporters of this point of view argue that companies' self-interested pursuit of profit benefits the whole of society. Profitable businesses clearly benefit shareholders, but other commentators, such as Edward Freeman, argue that businesses should also benefit other stakeholders. Stakeholders are people and groups with whom the business has a relationship. This includes shareholders, but extends out to include employees, their families, the community within which the business operates,…show more content…
In some industries, this can cost the business a significant amount of money, such as restaurants whose employees steal food from the storage locker or freezer. Avoid Legal Problems At times, a company’s management may be tempted to cut corners in pursuit of profit, such as not fully complying with environmental regulations or labor laws, ignoring worker safety hazards or using substandard materials in their products. The penalties for being caught can be severe, including legal fees and fines or sanctions by governmental agencies. The resulting negative publicity can cause long-range damage to the company’s reputation that is even more costly than the legal fees or fines. Companies that maintain the highest ethical standards take the time to train every member of the organization about the conduct that is expected of them. Disadvantage: Polarization of Society Because it offers such an integral look into human nature, ethics -- as a branch of philosophy -- tends to create divisions among those of varying opinions. Within the United States, the reverberations of this effect are at the core of government policy. Two groups, such as Pro-Choice and Pro-Life, work from similar facts and land on different notions of what is ethically and morally "right." These rifts within society may slow down legislation and other government progress. Advantage: Simplification One advantage of any firm ethical system is that when the time comes to make a decision, there
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