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Business Ethics Essay

1721 words - 7 pages

Improving and Sustaining Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility !

Business Ethics is emerging as one of the greatest recognized needs in business

today. No other element in business life can profit so greatly for such a small investment. Ethics and corporate responsibility not only describes what a company does internally, but also shows what they did externally. If a company lack this, it can cost business dearly. In order to start looking at how to improve and sustain business ethics, we must first ask what ethics itself is. In a simple definition, ethics involves learning what is right from wrong. Then taking that knowledge and acting on what is right. However, that’s not as ...view middle of the document...

One consumer can view one thing as ethically correct while another could disagree (i.e. animal products). The overall public opinion, however, affects companies tremendously. This could make a very profitable company bankrupt while making a very small company huge. There is not an exact definition of business ethics and corporate responsibility."

Some would define business ethics and corporate responsibilities as the following: " “Business Ethics: Moral principles concerning acceptable and unacceptable behavior by business people. Executives are supposed to maintain a high sense of values and conduct honest and fair practices with the public (2).”"

“Corporate Responsibility: the responsibility a business has to its employees, customers, shareholders and adhering to the law (3).”"

The definition for business ethic goes to show that they are based on morals. Morality is the only way that ethics should/could be based. Being honest and fair shows the general public that the company is very dependable and conducts business in a way

Page 3 of 7 that consumers can respect. The definition for corporate responsibility shows that the business needs to keep people that help it operate (employees, shareholders, etc.) happy and content. This allows the company to function better as a whole."

" Lets examine the Ford Pinto as an example. The Ford Pinto was a car that Ford made in the 1970s (4). Ford knew the car would catch fire in a crash but still pushed ahead with production. This was a huge story in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, as a lot of concerned citizens and family members came forward with lawsuits. The car manufacturer was put under a microscope and needed to act quickly and ethically. The CEO of Ford at the time was Lee Iacocca. His inability to respond to the public’s questions and concerns cost the company big time. Ford defended their choice of pushing ahead in production, and had actually made a cost benefit analysis that proved it would be cheaper to pay off lawsuits than fix the defect. At least 27 people died because of the fatal defect. The fact that they did not stop production shows that the company did not care enough about people’s lives, but were more concerned with making a profit. This did not sit well with the general public which caused many everyday drivers to start buying other makes and models."

" This is one of the prime examples of where a company neglected all ethics and corporate responsibility. Ford would have still be blamed for killing its consumers but they could have been off the hook had they of reacted quickly enough. The company did not seem to care. They failed to show concern, leadership, involve the media and failed to respond to the publics demands. Ethically, they failed in all areas that would pertain

Page 4 of 7 to a consumer or possible consumer’s ideology. Corporately, they failed to keep their employees up to date and failed to fill stockholders and associates involved; they...

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