Today's society is governed through the implications of rules, legal restrictions that tell you if something is considered, in the eyes of society, to be right or wrong. All of these rules were created to uphold and maintain a ridged idea of ethical and moral values. For example the "10 commandments" which are thousands of years old, were created to teach ethical values, the difference between right and wrong. But who determines what is considered ethical? And what affects ones decision to act ethical or unethical? The answers to these questions will be discussed later.
Webster's new world dictionary defines ethics as "the study and standards of conduct and moral judgment" and "the system of morals of a particular religion, group, etc" (1). The understanding of human standards and moral judgment has greatly influenced modern business. Most modern Business' pay careful attention to ethical values and follow an ethical code of conduct. However these ethical values were not always acknowledged, slavery is a good example of this. With the emergence of the industrial revolution, new ideas about management and ethical practices came into effect, eventually resulting in major benefits to employers and employees.
In the early 1800's, the industrial revolution well under way, managers of industrial factories cared little about the well being of their workers. There main concern was with achieving the greatest amount of productivity. Managers accomplished this by matching workers skills with job related skills. For example, for a job that required allot of heavy lifting would go to an individual who is physically fit (2). This act of matching skills is referred to as the "scientific management movement" it provides goo...
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...ority of people would see as acceptable. If they were in the same situation what would they do, or want to be done. This method of determining what is ethical is the most democratic. Putting your self in others shoes may aid in finding an adequate solution. Most employees if asked about their beliefs would see firing someone for stealing staples to strong of a punishment, a stern lecture may be sufficient.
Now that the three ethical theories of determining if an action is ethical or not are understood, it is clear that what is ethical to one person may not be to another. Modern business will use there existing knowledge about human relations to deal with ever changing ethical views. While the understanding of ethics has changed allot since the beginning of civilization, it will continue to change as new cultural norms are developed.
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