Business ethics involves the examination of ethical principles that occur in the business environment. Both internal and external stakeholders expect the business to uphold the required ethical standards in the course of its interactions and fulfillment of its objectives. More so, business ethics covers ethical issues relating to the profit-maximizing behavior and the response of the business to non-economic matters. Business leaders need to understand how to deal with the different ethical dilemmas they are likely to face within their businesses. Consideration of ethical approach to dilemmas ensures that unethical practices are observed and right decisions are made for the success of the business. Personally, I have had diverse experiences that make it easier for me to file a dissenting opinion on the entire topic of business ethics. Concepts learned in class have also been instrumental on the way to understanding of business ethics and the required ethical principles within organizations.
This essay presents a summary of my ethical position from my experience, knowledge, and lessons from classes. More so, the essay indicates the basis of my opinion and its application.
Summary of my Ethical Position from Experience, Knowledge, and Class Lessons
From my experience, I have seen some businesses focused on the profitability while ignoring the social responsibility motive. This makes it difficult for them to be of benefit for the society that supports their operations. My ethical position is that businesses must be ready and willing to support communities in which they operate through the provision of social advantages and other programs that support the functioning of the society. O'Sullivan, Smith, and Esposito (2012) affirm that it is unethical for a business to focus on the profit-making motive while ignoring the needs of the society. I believe that every business has the responsibility to ensure the adequate support for the society in which it operates as a sign of appreciation and respect. This position is based on philosophy, which indicates the responsibility of businesses toward the society. In line with the philosophical basis, all businesses should be ready to understand the necessity of ensuring their internal and external stakeholders that they are moving in the right direction. Ignoring the significance of the society results in conducting unethical business practices. Business is able to succeed only in cases where it is able to respect the position of its stakeholders and ensure them that it succeeds in this competitive world. Matching the profit objective with the social responsibility objective makes business more successful and ethical in its practices.
In line with the knowledge I have gained over the years, I still hold the position that community support is the best ethical practice that businesses can uphold. It is the best way for business to prove its loyalty to ethical standard. I have gained a wide knowledge concerning some of the largest companies around the world. According to Ferrell and Fraedrich (2014), Walmart Inc. have continued to succeed because of the positive ethical standards they have toward community support. They believe that the best way to be successful in the business environment is to gain the faith of the people. I am acquainted with different social programs such as sponsoring the education of orphans or supporting the elderly people within the society. This is a good gesture to illustrate the commitment to corporate social responsibility. The philosophical basis supports this position effectively because it illustrates some companies that have succeeded because of their adherence to this ethical practices. Society should always be treated as an external stakeholder. The establishment of community practices should be the issue of the high priority with the community on top of the list.
I have also learned a lot from this class. It presented me an effective opportunity to understand an ethical approach to corporate social responsibility. In line with what I have learned from classes, the ethics of supporting society can be improved in different ways. One of the most significant ways of boosting the business ethics relating to supporting the community is by creating effective communication channels within the organization. Ghillyer (2013) reiterates that organizations are supposed to have clear communication channels that will give them the chance to promote corporate social responsibility as part of their ethics. Availability of such channels will give them the opportunity to reach out the society hence establishing relevant needs that should be met. The second approach to observing this ethical position concerns the dedication of finances to community projects. Companies should be ready to set aside part of their profits to the entire practice of corporate social responsibility. This will ensure that they do not concentrate only on the profit objective, but spread out to satisfying the requirements of the society. It will also help to avoid any inconveniences hence ensuring that both profit and non-economic goals are realized by the company. Therefore, businesses should be driven by the philosophy of assisting the society that supports their operations because they cannot operate in a vacuum.
Applying in Today’s World and in the Future
As noted earlier, the basis of my view is philosophy. This might be applied in today’s world by assisting businesses understanding on how to come up with strategic plans that would ensure all stakeholders are satisfied in the best possible manner. It is worth noting that many businesses are yet to understand the process of developing an effective plan that accommodates ethical standards of corporate social responsibility and assisting the community. The use of a philosophical approach can be applied today in plan formulation with adherence to ethical standards.
This can also be applied in the future especially in the formulation of company visions and missions. Trevino and Nelson (2010) opine that every company will need a philosophical basis on matters relating to society support when formulating a vision and mission statement. This will give them the opportunity to design effective mission statements that envisage the significance of community and the need to contribute to its well-being. Considering this principle while creating of mission and vision statements will play an instrumental role in avoiding ethical dilemmas within companies in the future.
In conclusion, I want to mention that my position is that companies should avoid prioritizing the profit motive in favor of non-economic benefits like community support. Ethical standards and practices are illustrated effectively through commitment to the needs of the society in which the company operates. From my experience, I have seen many companies that are not concerned about the needs of the society. However, it is naturally that they understand the ethical factors surrounding this matter. More so, knowledge gathered from different researches and materials brings out the view that most successful companies have been on the leading line when it comes to society support. A key example of this statement is Walmart Inc. that has been moving toward its goals as it supports the community. Lessons from the class have also presented me the opportunity to understand steps that can lead a company toward meeting this ethical practice. It can be achieved through fund commitment and strategic decision-making. Overall, the society should never be ignored in the course of company operations, as it forms part of unethical practices.
- Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2014). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Boston: Cengage Learning.
- Ghillyer, A. (2013). Business ethics now. Boston: McGraw-Hill Education.
- O'Sullivan, P., Smith, M., & Esposito, M. (2012). Business ethics: A critical approach: Integrating ethics across the business world. London: Routledge.
- Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2010). Managing business ethics. Chicago: John Wiley & Sons.