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The Role of Ethics in Business

In: Business and Management

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| The Role Of Ethics in Business | | | | 1/16/2014 |


In this paper I will discuss the role of business ethics as it relates to business operations and the challenges of starting and maintaining an effective business ethics program. I will begin with Jennings' (2012) definition of ethics in business and its role from his perspective. I will then make comparisons with other authors' opinions for discussion, including Peter Drucker’s (1981) take on business ethics and Carr’s (Jennings, 2012) viewpoint as well. How business ethics' role relates to the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ongoing challenges will also be discussed. I will conclude with my own comments on the relationship between personal and business ethics and my thoughts on how to start and maintain company ethical standards. Business Ethics And Its Role: Definitions and Discussion The concept of being ethical in business is a mercurial topic these days; given the expansive and rapid global reach of today's multimedia, it can take mere hours for a reputable business image to get tarnished because of one ethics-related incident. In his text, Jennings' definition of business ethics is "...not the study of what is legal but of the application of ethics to business decisions. (Jennings, 2012, p.45)" Many business leaders today focus on what is legally allowed--they are aware of the legal parameters within where they can operate, and simply execute their profit-driven strategies within that framework. As Jennings notes, operating simply within the law can lead to gray areas that are ambiguous, and these can raise ethical questions with regard to business (Jennings, 2012) and its responsibilities in today's arena. Thus, the role of ethics in business, as suggested by Jennings is to implement the very ethical standards that are composed and to maintain those...

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