Business Ethics Memo

In my attempt to classify the parties involved or affected by business, I have generated a growing list of roles, which may be of use later. Finally, I’ll share how you can increase your success in ethics through leading by example, and how you can spot potential ethics violations, before they do significant harm to your business. The course uses a casuistic method where practical examples and moral dilemmas form the basis for individual assignments and classroom dialogue. This include question about the morality of capitalism or of the laws, regulations, industrial structures and social practices within the country operates. In fact, there is a strange shortage of philosophical literature on business ethics.

The key issue surrounding exercise of corporate power is whether companies ethically can fund and support certain political action committees whose efforts may benefit their businesses but cause social harm. In instances where the actor executes upon a decision made by another party, the ethics of his participation are primarily derived from his independent decision to comply with the orders he has been given. In a business context this puts limits on the aggressive strategies that managers can use in pursuit of profit. In this case, business is not enough just to follow the law but also moral considerations.

Ethical business conduct is about values and integrity as well as compliance and risk mitigation. Practices and social responsibility programs are more accessible and more interesting for small business enterprises. He’s the one who first introduced me to the then-editor of Canadian Business and got me this gig. And in both business and in baseball, the rules — both written and unwritten — serve to protect a range of stakeholders.

While ethics deals in generalization, with the intention of application in specific situations, it applies to the decision making process – which itself may bear further consideration – which is done on the level of an individual firm. Doing business ethics well means being familiar with results in these disciplines, or at least being aware of gaps in one’s own knowledge.

The arguments tend to go as follows: (1) there are serious problems in the world, such as poverty, conflict, environmental degradation, and so on; (2) any agent with the resources and knowledge necessary to ameliorate these problems has a moral responsibility to do so, assuming the costs they incur on themselves are not great; (3) firms have the resources and knowledge necessary to ameliorate these problems without incurring great costs; therefore, (4) firms should ameliorate these problems.