Questions on corporate ethics and social responsibility

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This article talks about the importance of work-life balance in an organization and the ethical issues related to working late hours. It analyses the moral and ethical responsibility of an employer in this regard. Long work hours and work addiction have grown in the last few years. Several factors have come together to increase hours spent at work, the nature of work itself, and motivations for working hard, particularly among managers and professionals. The article then discusses as to why individuals, families, organizations and society should care about long work hours and work addiction. The article says that individuals and organizations have some choice here. This collection lays out these choices and hopefully encourages thought and discussion of their merits. Long work hours and work addiction do more harm to individuals and their families and do not make organizations more effective.

The article concludes with a brief summary of the diverse contributions of an international group of leading researchers in this area. This article addresses a number of issues related to work hours and work addiction. The ill-effects of working long hours include health-related illnesses, injuries, sleep patterns, fatigue, heart rate and hormone level changes as well as work life balance issues. Motives for working long hours such as joy in the work, avoiding job insecurity or negative attitude from a superior, employer, are addressed in detail, and a number of moderators shown to have affected the work hours and well-being relationship, are reviewed. These include reasons for working long hours, work schedule autonomy, monetary gain, choice in working for long hours. The article suggests a need for more research to better understand work holism and work addiction, as well as provides a number of organizational and societal suggestions for addressing long work-hour concerns.

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The Japanese have coined a term, ''karoshi,'' which refers to death from overwork and have specified the number of hours of consecutive and total hours needed to qualify as such a death. This is really sad, when people relate work to death. So profound is the presence of overwork that some individuals report ''leisure sickness,'' emotional and physical symptoms while on vacation or on weekends. About half of managers and professionals work during their lunchtime. It has been shown that managers who take a complete break from work during lunchtime are more productive. Most theories of work motivation taught to business students in MBA programs and executive development offerings have the

effect of enhancing work hours and workaholic behaviors. We need to bring about a change in this attitude and this is at the core of this article.

Reading 2: Ethical Issues relating to the health effects of long working hours

The purpose of this article is to explore the ethical implications of long working hours and shift work schedules on the health of the employees.

The article offers an overview of historical concerns about the adverse health effects of long working hours, and reviews the current state of knowledge about the health effects of demanding work schedules. It considers a number of specific ethical issues associated with long working hours, the issue of mandatory overtime and the potential for coercion in mandatory overtime arrangements; the use of 'on-call' work schedules as a way of circumventing overtime pay requirements or mandatory overtime regulations; the need to impose limits on voluntary overtime; the effects of long working hours on others; the inequitable distribution of employment opportunities; and the political basis for governmental regulation of working hours.

The article argues that overtime and long working hours have a number of adverse effects on the affected workers, their families, and society as a whole, and that therefore there should be a greater effort to protect workers (through voluntary efforts or through legislation). It concludes that if the pressure to work dangerously long hours begins to permeate employment relationships, some basic rights and privileges are in jeopardy; further, if people voluntarily take on demanding work assignments that compromise family relationships, the entire fabric of community and society will be tarnished.

2. Topic: Corporate Social Responsibility

Reading 1: Why Corporations Should Not abandon Social Responsibility.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy should function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism wherein business would monitor and ensure its support to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Consequently, business would embrace responsibility for the impact of its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. In addition to the above, CSR-focused businesses is expected to proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of their legal status. In essence, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. This article talks about the importance of CSR initiatives in matters of business.

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The practice of CSR is not without controversies. Supporters argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, because corporations benefit in more ways than one by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate profits. Critics, on the other hand, argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing. Corporate Social Responsibility has been redefined throughout the years. However, it essentially is titled to aid to an organization's mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for and will uphold to its consumers.

Some of the eminent personalities have advocated against the CSR initiatives. They believe that it is a wastage of resources and efforts. This article is a reply to all such people. The author says that while those against the efforts have raised some very valid points, the arguments they put are unconvincing. The notion of CSR is itself an extremely, valuable, and hard-won social asset. It is a vehicle for promoting transparency, more nuanced accountability, integrity, better communication, mutually beneficial exchange, and sensible development. In providing a language and vocabulary to critique business from both within and outside their boundaries, it has become a necessary condition for business ethics. It is especially important in a world of increasing global economics. However, it must be noted that it is an extremely fragile asset. Such claims that dismiss CSR in such a way, are dangerous and risky in ways that perhaps even the authors themselves are unaware. CSR is sustainable, unlike philanthropy and hence is the need of the hour. In putting forth his argument, the author cites the example of Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's recent book Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (2007), which rejects outright the call for increased corporate social responsibility. The authors, through this article try to pre-empt any such motive.

In conclusion we can say that the idea of CSR is consistent with the Eudaimonism theory of Business Ethics.

Reading 2: The ethical rationale for business for the poor

The article provides an interesting account of whether and how corporations can exploit business opportunities while at the same time helping to alleviate poverty among the poorest people in the world. The purpose of this article is to discuss the ethical rationale for adopting a 'Bottom of the Pyramid' (BOP) approach to including private sector businesses in ameliorating worldwide poverty.

The article explains what is meant by the BOP model, which highlights possible courses of action for companies to position themselves successfully in underdeveloped sales and markets at the bottom of the pyramid (where people live in extreme to moderate poverty) whilst simultaneously opening up opportunities for poverty alleviation by leveraging private business know-how and resources. It explores the concept of sustainable development and how it can be linked to the BOP approach, and provides a 'descriptive overview' of the organization's possible role as a citizen. Considers how Rawls' principles of justice provide an ethical foundation for such corporate behavior. The article examines the moral dilemmas that may arise for organizations that try to help alleviate poverty through the BOP approach.

The findings of the article argue that sustainable development at and for the BOP and organizations' responsibilities through corporate citizenship have a solid ethical foundation in the work of Kant and Rawls. From a normative-ethical perspective, poverty alleviation is an integral part of true sustainable development: new ways of sustainable consumption and production must be found to achieve sustainability's short-term (intragenerational) goal of meeting the needs of the present and its long-term (intergenerational) goal of meeting the needs of the future. This is consistent with the greater good of the greater number of people, the principle of Utilitarianism.

3. Topic: Gender Equality and Ethics

Reading 1: Are Men always picked over women?

This research examines the effects of minority qualifications on hiring decisions, and the effects of employment equity directives on hiring decisions, based on gender and gender role-stereotyping and the effects on the non-beneficiaries.

This study shows that non-beneficiaries treat the opportunity given to the disadvantaged as a reverse-discrimination and don't take it in a positive way.

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This study is based on the previous work by Oppenheimer and Wiesner and examines the effects of minority qualifications on hiring decisions, the various effects of employment equity rules when minority candidates are less qualified and the effects of different types and strengths of employment equity directives on hiring decisions. The results indicate that when employment equity is in place, people are increasingly more likely to hire underrepresented group members, to the extent that they are more qualified. Men appear to be treated in a positively biased manner, and are more likely to be hired when they are less qualified. Women are less likely to be hired when they are under-qualified, and in the absence of employment equity directives or when there is a suggestion that women are underrepresented. This is because men are viewed to be more aggressive and risk-taking in contrast to females who are considered fit for homely activities. Moreover, when employment equity directives are strengthened, there appears to be a subtle backlash for women but not for men.

Hence, ethically the firms do not knowingly do the harm and satisfy the basic law of business ethics. It is the nature of the human mind to behave in that way as proven above. The equity based hiring is , in fact, consistent with the Social Contract Theories of Business Ethics.

Reading 2 : The relative importance of ethics as a selection criterion for entry-level public accountants: Does gender make a difference?

Using accountancy as a back-drop, this article tries to unravel the ethical issues related to the selection criterion for entry-level public accountants. The article is based on a survey carried out amongst aspirants from both genders and then bases the results on the findings. Strangely, both males and females ranked ethics at the middle of the order.

The purpose of the article is to examine practitioners' perceptions of the relative importance of business ethics as a selection criterion for entry-level public accounting positions and to determine whether gender differences exist with respect to these perceptions. The article points out that, although gender differences in ethical conduct and attitudes have been the focus of much research attention, the subject of selection into entry-level positions has been largely overlooked.

The article uses data from a questionnaire survey completed by 342 public accountants in the USA. The survey instrument adopted a forced-choice format in which respondents were asked to allocate points to eight selection criteria: ethics, technical competence in accounting, communication, interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, professionalism, conceptual aptitude, and leadership ability.

Reports, inter alia, that there was some agreement between the male and female respondents concerning the relative importance of the eight criteria: both, for example, agreed that technical competence was the most important criterion, followed by communication and interpersonal skills, both placed ethics towards the middle of the scale, and both ranked professionalism and leadership ability as the least important criteria.

4. Topic: Ethical Issues in the Biotechnology Industry

Reading 1: The Ethical Challenges of Direct-To-Consumer Testing

The article aims to raise company and consumer awareness about the ethical concerns surrounding DTC genetic tests. The purpose of this article is to explore ethical concerns surrounding the direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing of health-related genetic tests and to report the results of an Internet search for companies offering DTC health-related genetic tests. The article examines, further, the current oversight of genetic tests in the USA and suggests ways in which biotechnology companies can offer their services to the public in an ethically responsible manner without increased regulatory oversight.

The article outlines the most frequently cited benefits of DTC genetic tests and discusses the potential harms related to these tests for the individuals themselves (for example, increased emotional distress and impact on the rest of the family) and for society in general (e.g. DTC advertising can promote genetic determinism). Considers how companies currently address ethical issues using data from an Internet search of Web sites that offer genetic services directly to consumers. Makes three recommendations for biotech companies to achieve high standards of ethical responsibility.

The reports that 13 sites offered health-related genetic testing for direct purchase by the consumer, and that a very small minority of these mentioned any kind of risks associated with their tests or provided genetic counselling services as part of the test procedure, and some sites offered tests with little evidence of clinical value.

The limitations of the research are that it offers no suggestions for future research.

The article recommends that biotech companies provide enough information for consumers to make an educated decision, only market genetic tests that have proven clinical value, and reduce the potential for misinterpreting test results.

Reading 2: Challenges for corporate ethics in Marketing Genetic Tests

The problem with public discussions of ethical issues related to the biotechnology industry is that they tend to treat "biotechnology" as a single, undifferentiated technology. Likewise, the pros and cons associated with this entire sector tend to get clubbed together, such that individuals and groups often situate themselves as either "pro-" or "anti-" biotechnology as a whole, which is certainly not a good thing to do, and this journal article takes a stand on this issue. Different biotechnologies and their particular application context pose very different challenges for ethical corporate decision-making. Even within a single product category, different specialty products can pose strikingly different ethical challenges.

In this paper, the article focuses on the single category of "genetic testing" and compare tests for disease susceptibility and drug response. The article highlights the diversity of ethical challenges - grouped under the broad categories of "truth in advertising" and "protecting intellectual property" - raised by the commercialization and marketing of these technologies. By examining social and technical differences between genetic tests, and the associated corporate ethics challenges posed by their commercialization, the intent is to contribute to the nascent business ethics literature examining issues raised by the development and marketing of genetic tests.

5. Topic: Whistle Blowing

Reading 1: Is Whistle blowing compatible with employee loyalty?

The article defines a whistleblower as a person who raises an alarm about wrongdoing in an organization or committee. Usually the whistleblower is from the same organization. The revealed misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).Whistleblowers frequently face retaliation, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group which they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law.

Whistle-blowing would appear to involve a conflict between employee loyalty and protection of public interest. As it means pointing a finger at the very fundamental existence of the organization in question. This implies that the whistle-blower is not concerned about the reputation of the organization. However, truth is far from it. Several business ethicists have, however, argued that this conflict is indeed merely apparent. According to the central argument to that effect, when the nature of employee loyalty is understood correctly, it becomes clear that whistle-blowing does not threaten employees' loyalty to their employer. This is because blowing the whistle about one's employer's wrongdoing and being loyal to them serves the same goal, the moral good of the employer. In this article, this philosophical argument for the conclusion that the moral problem of whistle-blowing is not real is assesed. The authors argue that the way of defending the view that whistle-blowing is not morally problematic is implausible and impractical.

Reading 2: Whistle blowing and rational loyalty

In the present day context, complex and decentralized corporations give rise to organizational needs for both loyalty and institutionalized whistle blowing. As it is the need of the hour. There is apparently some contradiction between the two needs, as perceived by many people. However, ethicists see a contradiction between both needs. This paper argues there is no such contradiction. It shows why earlier attempts to go beyond the dilemma are not convincing. The solution proposed in this paper starts from an organizational perspective instead of an individual one. The paper tries to achieve its intent by reframing the concept of loyalty into ldquorational loyaltyrdquo. This means that the object of loyalty is not the physicality of an organization, but its corpus of explicit mission statement, goals, value statement and code of conduct. An implication is that organizations are - as their side of the duty of loyalty - obliged to institutionalize whistle blowing.

Whistleblowers often pay a heavy price for exposing what they perceive to be organizational wrongdoing. This article considers the contradictory nature of whistleblowing by exploring the role of loyalty, trust and betrayal in explaining the retaliation that whistleblowers receive. It concludes that whistleblowing can only achieve its aims of addressing organizational wrongdoing without high costs for the whistleblower and the organization if organizational loyalty is reconceptualized as rational loyalty. And that is at the core of this article. This entails a consideration of the institutionalization of whistleblowing as authorized disclosure, how this could lead to a more rational approach to the understanding of the values of the organization and to what extent such an approach is feasible under the present circumstances.

6. Topic: Ethics in Marketing

Reading 1: What's wrong with Deceptive Advertising?

False advertising or deceptive advertising is the act of using false or misleading statements in advertising. Advertising has the potential to persuade people into buying something that they might otherwise avoid, governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising. Truth in labeling refers to essentially the same concept, that customers have the right to know what they are buying, and that all necessary information should be on the label.

In this paper a moral account of the legal aspect of deceptive advertising is presented. It is argued that no harmful consequences to the consumer need follow from a deceptive advertisement as such, nonetheless it is unethical, and is suggested instead that one should focus on the consequences of permitting the practice of deceptive advertising on the entire society. After a brief description of lsquodeceptive advertisingrsquo, the author moves to discuss the role of the reasonable person standard in its definition. One interpretation of this standard is empirical, aiming to objectify the quality of misleading nature of the advertisement. The author offers an alternative normative interpretation which aims to draw the line between the advertiser's responsibility and that of the consumer, between misleading and miscomprehension. The author then examines and rejects several possible moral grounds for condemning and prohibiting deceptive advertising. These include: harm, in the sense of welfare, to the misled consumer; harm to competitors; and a violation or a reduction of the consumer's autonomy. Finally, the author explains how the effect of the practice of deceptive advertising on society as a whole should inform our normative line-drawing between misleading and miscomprehension, and how it provides the basis for the moral evaluation of deceptive advertising.

Reading 2: What's Wrong with Computer-Generated Images of Perfection in Advertising?

This article talks about the ethical issues of using Computer-Generated images of perfection in advertising. Many a times advertisers use, these images to sell a product by harping on the image of perfection, when it is just a falsity. This article tries to unravel the ethical issues with such advertisements.

Advertisers often use computers to create fantastic images, something out of this world. Generally, these are perfectly harmless images that are used for comic or dramatic effect. Sometimes, however, they are problematic human images that are computer-generated images of perfection. Advertisers create these images by using computer technology to remove unwanted traits from models or to generate entire human bodies and what comes out is a rarity, something divine. They are images that portray ideal human beauty in physical form and in spirit.

In this paper, the author argues that the use of such images is unethical and against the law of fair business sense. He explains this by the common objections against advertising and by demonstrating how critics might argue that those objections apply to computer-generated images of perfection. In due course, the author demonstrates an ethically significant difference between computer-generated images of perfection and the images in ordinary ads. The author argues that although critics might use this fact to apply the common objections to the use of computer-generated images of perfection, the objections fail.

Finally, the author argues that despite battling the common objections, the use of computer-generated images of perfection is subject to an ethical objection that is based on aesthetic considerations. Advertisers are ethically obligated to avoid certain aesthetic results that are produced by computer-generated images of perfection.

7. Topic: Ethics in IT Industry

Reading 1: How to Encourage Customers to Use Legal Software

This article talks about one of the most rampant problems in the field of Information Technology today, that of software piracy. The article discusses on the implied ethics in the usage of such software and the ways in which customers can be encouraged to use legal software.

The purpose of the article is to discuss potential customer retention strategies whether it be through pricing, legal, communication or product strategies for legal software and how effective these might be for three groups of software consumers, dissatisfied switchers, satisfied switchers, and stayers. This study attempts to identify customer retention strategies for legal software and discusses their effectiveness for three consumer groups (stayers, dissatisfied switchers, and satisfied switchers). Although previous studies propose several antipiracy strategies, they do not discuss how to enhance customer intentions to use legal software, which is crucial for software companies. The authors provide four generic retention strategies developed from both antipiracy and customer loyalty literature. The results indicate lower-pricing, legal, communication, and product strategies all enhance customer purchase intentions toward legal software. The lower-pricing strategy is more useful for stayers and dissatisfied switchers, and the communication strategy is most useful for dissatisfied switchers. Both the legal and product strategies have similar impacts on purchase intentions across the three segments. From a firm perspective, a product strategy is most worthwhile and useful across all segments.

Reading 2: Online Auction Fraud: Ethical Perspective

Internet fraud is an all pervading issue very ubiquitous in this age of Internet and e-revolution. It is an issue that increasingly concerns a wide gamut of stakeholders, ranging from regulators to consumers, firms, and business ethics researchers.

In this article, one common form of internet fraud, the practice of shill bidding (when a seller in an auction enters a bid on his or her own item) is discussed. Shill bidding happens when a person tries to bid in an auction of his/her own item and thereby raising the payoffs. The significant incidence of shill bidding on eBay (in spite of the fact that it is illegal just as it is in live auctions) , came into light a few days ago, this exemplifies the current ineffectiveness of regulatory means as well as the lack of effective societal mechanisms to prevent online fraud. Further, the proliferation of shill bidding along with other types of internet fraud may have broader implications. If unethical behavior such as shill bidding becomes too widespread on the internet, regulators and other societal forces may deem it necessary to institute controls that will impact the entire online marketplace as well as the future development and regulation of business activities on the internet. The results indicate that shill bidding is perpetrated on eBay significantly more often than 0.1% rate of fraud as estimated by the firm. This suggests that regulators, users, and others stakeholders may become concerned enough to act. The impact of those responses on the internet of the future may affect a broad array of users beyond the unethical sellers on eBay.

The results indicated that the incidence of shill bidding in eBay Motors, Computers and Networking, and Health and Beauty was 18%, 15% and 28%, respectively. This is significantly higher than what the firm estimates. Concluding that the rate of unethical seller behavior is far in excess of the less than 0.1% that is commonly estimated by eBay and it is likely that some type of controls will have to be instituted. It warns that any government controls to eradicate shill bidding completely would probably need to be draconian and could destroy the anonymity and confidentiality of the Internet.

8. Topic: Ethics in Finance

Reading 1: Where Should the Line Be Drawn on Insider Trading Ethics?

Insider trading is a practice of the trading of a corporation's stock or ther securities (e.g. bonds or stock options) by individuals with potential access to non-public and confidential information about the company. In most countries, trading by corporate insiders such as officers, key employees, directors, and large shareholders is treated as legal, if such trading is done in a way that does not take advantage of confidential information. However, the term is frequently used to refer to a practice in which an insider or a related party trades based on material non-public information obtained during the performance of the insider's duties at the corporation, or otherwise in breach of a fiduciary or other relationship of trust and confidence or where the non-public information was misappropriated from the company.

Finance ethics has drawn increasing attention from both government regulators and academic researchers. This paper addresses the issue of insider trading ethics. Previous studies and papers on insider trading ethics have failed to provide convincing arguments and consistent results. In particular, the arguments against insider trading are based primarily on moral and philosophical grounds and lack substance. This study intends to establish and examine the relationship between the ethical issue and economic issue of insider trading. The authors argue that the ethics of insider trading is in spirit an economic rather than a moral issue. It is so far not clear to what extent insider trading may increase or decrease shareholders wealth. Until that is proven, we must take care to avoid over-regulating insider trading and not consider it unethical on suspicion alone.

Reading 2: A study of the link between a corporation's financial performance and its commitment to ethics

Corpedia, the creator of Ethics Index states that the organizations that live up to certain moral principles and codes of conduct are likely to be more profitable over time due to consumer support.

An index of seemingly ethical companies, including Starbucks, and Intel has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 370 percent over five years.

This article does exactly the same thing. It presents the findings of a study to measure the relationship between a public corporation's overall financial performance and its stated commitment to environmental issues, using the USA's 500 largest companies as the sample group. It discusses current trends in stakeholder accountability. The article outlines the background to management reporting on internal control (the processes an organization uses to achieve its objectives). Examines the companies' annual reports to shareholders; quotes from some reports (Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup, Du Pont and IBM) where the organizations have shown a strong commitment to encouraging ethical behaviour. It finds that the mean financial performance of companies with a stated commitment to ethics is higher than that of companies which did not make reference to ethics. The article argues that stated principles mean little without full and practical commitment from senior management.

9. Topic: Ethics and Morality

Reading 1: Spiraling Down into Corruption: A Dynamic Analysis of the Social Identity Processes that Cause Corruption in Organizations to Grow

The purpose of the article is to explore the influence of organizational factors on corruption and to present a theory of 'downward corruption spirals'. Contributes to the understanding of how corruption develops and grows in organizations.

The article explains the concept of the organizational dynamics of corruption. Drawing on Cressey's (1953) theory of trust violations and Social Identity Theory, it identifies three organizational factors (based on Cressey's rationalization, pressure and opportunity factors) that influence the occurrence of corruption in the workplace and cites these within a Social Identity Theory framework entitled the theory of downward corruption spirals.

The article proposes that there are three factors that lead to downward spirals of corruption: the spiral of divergent norms, the spiral of pressures, and the spiral of opportunity, and argues that these downward spirals, as 'self-sustaining deterioration processes', increasingly intensify both the likelihood and the scale of corruption.

The article discusses how managers can use these ideas to detect early warning signs and to help them avoid such situations in real life scenarios.

Reading 2: Truthfulness and Business

The purpose of the article is to demonstrate the intrinsic value of truthfulness in business and contest the hypothesis that truthfulness is only valuable to business either instrumentally or accidentally. It provides a better standpoint for understanding the public reaction to the failure of some industries to appreciate their concern over the need for truthfulness as a precursor to trust.

The hypothesis is contested by clarifying what the author means by truthfulness, providing a working definition of it, presenting three counterarguments to the assumption that there is only instrumental or accidental value in truthfulness in business, and illustrating the arguments with particular reference to a brief discussion of the current crisis of trust in the pharmaceutical industry.

The three counterarguments take the views that: if truthfulness does not have an intrinsic value, it cannot have an instrumental value either; as a virtue, truthfulness is both valuable for its own sake and instrumental in achieving further valuable goals; and business, unlike games such as poker, is a truthful practice. It concludes that the difficulties currently facing the pharmaceutical industry reveal the potential damage that can result from a failure to recognize the intrinsic value of truthfulness for a business.

10. Topic: Ethics in Business Management

Reading 1: Integrating Ethics into Management

This article helps to integrate the principles of ethics into management. The article tries to argue that application of the rules of ethics into the field of management is not only the right thing to do, but also profitable. Thus it is a win-win situation for the management.

The article argues that incorporating ethics into the strategic management process is not only a good thing, on the face of it, but also a profitable thing to do. The article presents a model of decision making which places an 'interest assessment' at its core which involves the analysis of the moral, social and legal obligations of the organization. It identifies the first step in integrating ethics into decision making as the identification of the interests that the organization serves (public and private interests); the second step as being the assessment of how these interests are best served, particularly the moral, social and legal issues involved; and the final step as integrating these identified interests and responsibilities into decision making.

The article sets out the assumptions on which this model is based. It illustrates the model by discussing it in relation to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the controversy over the safety of Dow Corning's silicone breast implants.

The article thus is consistent with the Utilitarianism principle of Business Ethics, as it shows that integrating ethics into management actually does good for the majority and is a desirable thing to do.

Reading 2: The Impact of Perceived Leader Integrity on Subordinates in a Work Team Environment

The article tries to examine and explain the extent to which a team leader's integrity and moral behavior influences the ethical decision making behavior of the team-members. And this is the uniqueness of the article.

The article basing itself on the literature, develops hypotheses articulating the influence of team leader integrity on three organizational levels, the individual team members, the team as a cohesive unit, and the organization as a whole. The methodology used was simple: the hypotheses is tested using data from 245 MBA students who completed a survey questionnaire (containing 12 ethical scenarios together with measures of perceived leader integrity and social desirability) either in class (within two months of finishing their MBA programme) or via email after they had completed the programme; each respondent had been part of a work team, with a team leader, that consisted of the same five to ten individuals for two consecutive years.

The findings of the reports amazingly suggest that the way team-members perceive leader integrity does actually have an impact on the ethical intentions of team members in all three situations, although the relationship was strongest in ethical situations impacting the team itself and the organization as a whole.

References & Citations:

Journal of Business Ethics:Vol 84;Jan-Feb 2009;Supplement 2

Journal of Business Ethics:Vol 83;Jan-Feb 2009;Supplement 4;December(3)

Journal of Business Ethics:Vol 84;Jan-Feb 2009;Supplement 3;Feb(1) 2009

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