Considering Ethics when Making Business Decisions

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Considering ethics when making business decisions: The thin line between strategic and immoral alternatives Business decisions are made with the bottom-line concept as the primary focus. As definitions of business and business ethics evolve, the concept of this focus also reshapes the decision and the decision making process. Case studies have shown that decisions are made by management that involves individual perception as well as business goals. Some scholars such as Drucker (1981) and Friedman (1970) dissent as to what that focus should encompass. The definition of business ethics is the region of the organization that narrowly defined by the goals of the organization itself. Though most organizations readily acknowledge its obligations and responsibilities most disagree as to where the loyalty and full responsibility lies. Consideration as to where the line is to be drawn between the company’s responsibility to its stakeholders and moral responsibility to the community. What decision is made and how that decision is made, is to be seen in the outcome and possible consequences of that outcome. While a business’ obligation to stakeholders are typically measured by financial results, the moral and ethical decisions are judged by the responses made by the community. To explore this theory, the case of Mrs. Folole Muliaga is examined. The case study of Mrs. Muliaga details a scenario about a low income family with an ill mother that ends in a tragic outcome. In terms of morals and ethics in business decision making, this case entails “characteristics of high-quality teaching cases” as described by Bridgman (2010). In this case, according to Bridgman (2010) and Eweje and Wu (2010) Mercury Energy decided to disconnect the serv... ... middle of paper ... ...- 0759-3 Drucker, P. F. (1981). What is "business ethics"? Mckinsey Quarterly, (3), 2-15. Eweje, G., & Wu, M. (2010). Corporate response to an ethical incident: the case of an energy company in New Zealand. Business Ethics: A European Review, 19(4), 379-392. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8608.2010.01596. Friedman, M. (September 13, 1970). The social responsibility of business is to increase profit. The New York Times Magazine. Rossy, G. L. (2011). Five questions for addressing ethical dilemmas. Strategy & Leadership, 39(6), 35-42. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10878571111176619. Thiroux, J.P., & Kraseman, K.W. (2009). Ethics: Theory and Practice (10th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Wickham, M., & Donohue, W. (2012). Developing an Ethical Organization: Exploring the Role of Ethical Intelligence. Organization Development Journal, 30(2), 9-29.
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