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Introduction to Business Ethics

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Introduction to Business Ethics
* Gain an understanding of why business ethics is important. * Learn how business ethics fits into the broader discipline of philosophy. * Realize that the culture in which we live influences our thinking.

Business ethics, some would say, is an oxymoron. After all, the media presents, on nearly a daily basis, the shenanigans of corporate representatives as they ply their trade. Price fixing, anti-competitive behavior, fraud, deceptive advertising, and insider trading are but a few of the many questionable tactics found in the quivers of corporate moguls and their charges. Corporations and their activities have been fair game for attack, both factual and fictional. The level of corruption is epidemic in the estimation of many observers. This rather bleak picture is probably the one most familiar to what has become a very cynical populace. We have come to think of ourselves as current or potential victims of evil corporations. Is business evil incarnate? Of course it isn't. Is business completely innocent of the charges against it? Again, the answer is no. The truth lies somewhere in between. It is, after all, the modern enterprise, with all of its strengths and weaknesses, that has brought to larger numbers of people around the world, a level of material comfort and cultural opportunities than has ever before existed. Businesses must be doing something right.
In fact, while business has less than a stellar reputation, the vast majority of its activities are either positive or benign. Just look around. Can you not, at any time of the day or night, find food to eat at a local eatery or grocery store? Doesn't the money to purchase said food come from some enterprise that provides wages? When you turn the knob, doesn't water, hot or cold, come out? When you turn on the television or radio, aren't you presented…...

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