Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

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The notion of ethics deals with people’s behaviors within a company. Social responsibility involves a company’s moral obligations and the manner in which the organization makes its decisions. Although ethics and social responsibility are similar on a conceptual basis, each has its own unique characteristics that express their differences and its independence of the other. Ethics and social responsibility have to be present and coincide with one another for a business to be ethically sound.

Ethics is the application of one’s personal beliefs and the impact on how a person makes decisions regarding the relationships involving a company. The most common agents that involve a person’s decisions are owners, employees, customers, clients, suppliers and communities, according to Robert Audi (Audi, 2009). A person’s beliefs are often the determining factor in whether an action is considered right or wrong. Although ethics are often not explicitly displayed, a person with any sort of moral belief tends to have a grasp about what is considered ethically right or wrong. These obligations attempt to create a mirror image of how one would expect to be treated themselves. Audi states that there are ten moral obligations that serve as a model for how to assess ethical dilemmas. The following obligations are moral obligations that help to assess ethical dilemmas: justice, non-injury, fidelity, veracity, reparation, beneficence, self-improvement, gratitude, liberty, and respectfulness (Audi, 2009). Once these moral obligations are engraved into someone’s mind, it is much easier for a person to make a decision based on ethical grounds.

Financial reporting is an example of an ethical problem for an organization or business. Many busin...

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... Ethics are mainly used by individuals as guidance in making ethical decisions. Social responsibility is dependent on ethics, but ethics is independent of social responsibility and can stand on its own.

Works Cited

Audi, R. (2009). Business Ethics and Ethical Business. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Berenbeim, R. E. (2006, May 12). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Vital Speeches of the Day, pp. 501-504.

Carroll, A. B. (1996). Business & Society: Ethics and stakeholders management. Cincinnati: South-Western College Publishing.

James E. Post, A. T. (2002). Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics (10th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Reed, B. (2011). The Business of Social Responsibility. Retrieved from Dollars and Sense Real World Economics:
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