Essay about Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Essay about Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

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This paper will compare and contrast the various interpretations of four separate authors in respect to ethics and social responsibility as they apply to business. The four articles to be reviewed are; “The Social Responsibilities of Business is to Increase its Profits” by Milton Friedman, “The Relevance of Responsibility to Ethical Business Decisions” by Patrick E. Murphy, “What is ‘business ethics’” by Peter F. Drucker and “To Be Ethical Not To Be: An International Code of Ethics for Leadership” by Ala’ Alahmad. Each of these articles represents the author’s interpretations on the interplay between “business ethics” and “social responsibility” supported by both external and personal research. Although none of the authors represent themselves as being opposed to ethics or responsibility in general, there appears to be opposition in the attempt to silo these two topics into a separate, distinct business application rather than maintain them as applicable to individuals’ separate of any corporate (or business) relationships.
Before evaluating the writing of these authors, it would seem appropriate to state the generally accepted definitions of the terms “social responsibility” and “business ethics”. Paraphrased from several different sources, business ethics can be defined as the written (and frequently ‘unwritten’) principles that guide the actions and decisions of a company. Mainly driven by the organizational culture, they determine both the good and bad behavior and set the standards for decision making. In its most basic form, business ethics comes down to knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do what is right because it is right rather than simply avoiding what is wrong because of its negative r...

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...e the foundation of actions whereas social responsibilities are moving targets that seem to change with every new special interest group or political swing. It only seems appropriate that this relationship should not be grouped into the same discussion forum.

Works Cited

Alahmad, Ala. (First Quarter 2010). To Be Ethical Or Not To Be: An International Code Of Ethics For Leadership. Journal of Diversity Management; 5, 1; ABI/INFORM Globalpg. 31
Drucker, Peter F. What is"business ethics"? (1981). Public Interest, 63, 18-36.
Milton Friedman. (1970, September 13). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits. The New York Times Magazine. Copyright @ 1970 by The New York Times Company.
Murphy, Patrick E.. (2009). The Relevance of Responsibility to Ethical Business Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics. DOI 10.1007/s10551-010-0378-4

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