Ethical and Moral Decisions in Business

1560 Words7 Pages
Ethical and Moral Decisions in Business Ethics alone tend to be defined as a moral code of conduct that is perceived to be the right thing to do. An ethical decision means doing what is right, as apposed to assessing the most profitable course of action. In the past, free market ideology was that corporations were kept responsible to customers, shareholders, workers and society by customer and investor behavior, seen in share price. Millions of individual “voters” in the market place ensured they behaved. “Bad” corporations were punished by selling. “Good” corporations were rewarded by buying. “Market forces will sort it all out”. This ideology weakened the idea of business ethics and accountability as the most profitable and secure were the best for investment and how they held and maintained this position wasn’t a consideration. Today, the increasing involvement of the media in business affairs has resulted in members of the public being more informed and less tolerant of what they consider to be immoral behaviour. The amount of information available to the general public has increased due to the actions of pressure groups and easy access through evolving technology. This trend has meant that businesses have been reluctant to indulge in behaviour that may be considered unethical. Businesses in vast numbers are joining the Institute of Business Ethics, which encourages an ethical approach to wealth creation. One approach to this has been through the introduction of ethical codes of practice. An ethical code states the ways in which a business should behave when faced with decisions that have a moral or ethical dimension. Comm... ... middle of paper ... ...nces is that the attentions of the media and pressure groups might reveal the superficial nature of their principles. This would be a public relations nightmare, causing substantial damage to the business reputation and profits. So what is going to happen next in business ethics? How can corporations use business ethics to restore confidence and protect themselves against tomorrow’s headlines? What will be the new “Gold Standard” for business ethics and corporate governance? How much further than legal minimum requirements for business ethics should corporations go to ensure sustainable success? Whatever happens it will all just be the next image that is in-keeping with public requirements and profit will always remain the driving force behind business. Economies and society simply wouldn’t survive any other way.
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