Ethics and Social Responsibilities
Ethics are moral principles and judgements that many people believe
should be considered when a business makes any decision (for example,
what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? What is ‘good’ and ‘bad’?). Social
Responsibilities are the duties that a business has towards the people
who are affected by its activities, for example, customers, employees,
suppliers, and the local community.
A ‘good’ business is deemed to be one which acts in a socially
responsible fashion, and takes ethical decisions and actions at all
times. It minimises waste, it creates wealth, it treats its employees
well, it respects the environment, it does not employ ‘fat cat’
executives, it is efficient in its use of resources, it meets
consumers’ expectations and it returns some of its profit to the
community in which the sales are generated.
Topical ethical issues in today’s business world include:
1. The exploitation of cheap labour in foreign ‘sweatshops’.
2. The use of child labour.
3. Dealing with corrupt foreign governments and businesses.
4. Causing damage to the environment.
There are many advantages that businesses can gain from taking a
highly ethical and socially responsible stance:
1. Attracting and retaining high quality employees.
2. Attracting new consumers.
3. Generating good publicity.
4. Attracting ethically-minded investors.
However, taking a highly ethical and ...
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