Business Do Not Have To Be Ethical They Are Guided By The Law. Discuss?

1271 words - 6 pages

Business Ethics'Companies do not have to be ethical, they are guided by the law; business ethics is an unnecessary consideration'To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your argument with company responses to ethical responsibility.Ethics are the moral principles that should underpin decision-making. A decision made on ethics might reject the most profitable solution in favour of one of greater benefit to society as well as the firm.Ethical dilemmas in business include:- Should advertising agencies accept cigarette advertisers as clients even though they offer large sums of money and high employment levels,- Should a producer of chemicals sell the chemicals to an overseas ...view middle of the document...

There are some companies that are guided by the law and ethical codes who disrespect ethical boundaries.Ethics is concerned with the study of morality, practices and activities that are considered to be right and wrong, together with the rules that govern those activities.'Business ethics can be seen as an example of applied ethics just as medical ethics is about the application of general ethics to the human activity called medicine, business ethics seeks to explore the implications of general ethics for the conduct of business'By taking this view you reject the view that moral principles have no bearing on business. The application of ethics is complicated by the fact that ethics mainly deals with good or bad conduct on the part of individuals, causing possible difficulties in applying these ideas to companies. Companies need to be regarded as if they are individual people.Sir Francis Bacon stated it well: "Every man is a debtor to his profession from which they seek to receive private countenance and profit. So too do they have the duty to endeavour themselves by way of amends to be a help to the public." Accounting ethics furthers this dual objective. Does this then exclude whole companies?Personally I do not agree with this statement because companies have an ethical responsibility to their employees, investors and the environment as a whole. Companies set out mission statements in which they promote ethics in the work place such as fair treatment to their employees and ethics outside the work place such as protecting the environment and fair trading. A company that has promoted this is Cadbury Schweppes.Cadbury Schweppes response to ethical responsibility.'Good ethics and good business go together naturally. We firmly believe that our responsibility and reputation as a good corporate citizen plays an important role in our ability to achieve our objective of growing value for our shareowners'.The company also states 'As a responsible corporate citizen, Cadbury Schweppes plc aims to act in a socially responsible manner at all times by: Respecting the economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights of those involved in our operations; Complying with all local human rights legislation; Implementing programmes across our global operations and with our supply chain partners'Cadbury Schweppes state that they expect honesty, openness and courtesy from all employees in their business dealings. This means everyone must act in an ethical way and respect the dignity and human rights of other colleagues and the people they do business with.These principles...

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