Why Are Business Ethics Important Commerce Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Nowadays for the company or the business man, making more money is not their only target because they should pay attention to other important issues .Therefore business ethics emerge as very significant for modern society and Modern Corporations. Further more, if they make decisions in business ethics, then these companies will have good reputations. This can be very helpful long-term. This essay focuses on how Apple company using business ethics and how Apple motivates their employees. In this essay, I have very clearly defined business ethics. Then it will talk about why business ethics and motivation are important. On the other hand, Motivation is a vital factor in an organization��s success. It is defined as the energy that drives an individual to continue working on something. By developing motivation, the management is able to create a pool of workers who are passionate, hard working, ambitious, and committed not only to their jobs but also to the goals of the organization. Lastly, motivation is encouraged by promoting needs such as pay, job security, interesting work environment, and healthy relationships among peers. This essay, which is composed of three parts: why business ethics and motivation are important, the literature review and some research of how Apple company using business ethics and how Apple motivates their employees.

Why are business ethics important

Business ethics is currently a very prominent business topic, debates and dilemmas surrounding business ethics have attracted a lot of attention from various quarters. The only reason that business ethics is becoming more and more important and it has had a big impact on our communities. According to my research, there are many reasons why business ethics might be regarded as an increasingly important area of study. In summary, I can suggest the following reasons why a good understanding of business ethics is important. Firstly, the power and influence of corporations in society is greater than ever before. Evidence suggests that many members of the public are uneasy with such developments (Bernstein, 2000). For instance, one recent poll of more than 20 leading economic nations revealed that almost 75% of residents believed large companies had too much influence on the decisions of their government (Cywinski, 2008). Secondly, business has the potential to provide a major contribution to our societies in terms of producing the products and services that we want. It also provides employment, paying taxes, and acting as an engine for our world development. As a 2008 global survey conducted by McKinsey shows, about 50% of business executives think that corporations make a mostly or somewhat positive contribution to society, while some 25% believe that their contribution is mostly or somewhat negative (McKinsey Quarterly, 2008). Thirdly, business malpractices have the potential to inflict enormous harm on individuals, on communities, and on the environment. For example, the BP gasoline company, because it made a mistake, polluted large acreage of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Further more, few businesspeople have received formal business ethics education or training. Business ethics can help to improve ethical decision-making by managers or decision makers. The knowledge of business ethics can help them to correctly identify, diagnose, analyze, and provide solutions to the ethical problems and dilemmas they are confronted with.

Why are motivations important

First of all, the term motivation derives from the Latin word movere, meaning ��to move�� (Tansky, 2003). To be successful or even more successful, nowadays both private and public corporations need to maximize the use of their employees�� skills. ??nar, Bekta?, and Aslan (2011) said Employees were considered as solely one of the inputs during the factories production process in the initial stages of the industrial revolution. And further more, human resource management is the most critical part for any organizations in today��s highly competitive business environment. Therefore, make the organization effective through motivating employees that is the primary task of any managers. It is obvious that motivation can be main factors that determines the work performance of employees. And therefore an organization's success mostly depends on the highly motivated employees. But how do we motivate our subordinate? Maslow need theory already solved some of these problems. If we know what drives the people, then we are able to make them to do what we want (Owens, 2004; Eren, 2007; Ko?el, 2010). Moreover, Kulkarni and Chiniwar (2009) said the Hawthorne Studies began the human relations approach to management, and then the needs and motivation of employees become an important topic for managers. On the other hand motivation is a framework in so many aspects because people are usually motivated by different combination factors. Reinholt (2006) argues that the organizational science literature on motivation has been polarized into two main aspects; the organizational economic position focusing on extrinsic motivation and the organizational behavior position emphasizing intrinsic motivation

Literature Review

One of the keys to successfully achieving organizational goals is to have fully motivated employees. According to Edward Staren (2009), motivators who implements positive reinforcements are more likely to produce desirable outcomes as compared to those who use negative ones. He also argues that factors of motivation vary on the individual level, which means that an effective manager has to recognize the needs of every employee in order for them to drive towards satisfaction on their work.

Richard Clark (2002) points out the issues in addressing motivation are different when it comes to individuals and team-based organizations. He furthered that satisfying motivations in groups is more complex because the management has to find a common interests or goals from the members of the group before addressing them as one. Work environment is also important in motivating people. Other motivators include fair compensation and sufficient benefits such as insurances and performance-based incentives. In a study conducted by Poornima (2009) on employees in the IT industry, he concluded that both monetary and non-monetary rewards are not only crucial but also crucial in building satisfaction. In his study on software development staff in India, Poornima found out that monetary rewards are not always an effective motivator especially if the employees have already achieved their physiological needs. Michael Pepe (2010), on the other hand, identified extrinsic motivational factors to contribute to decreasing employee job satisfaction and commitment to work. Using a combined sample of 46 managers and clerical staff at a supermarket store, Pepe found out that as employees increase their perception on Supervisor��s support, their satisfaction towards work also increases. An empirical study by Mannenetr and Kaen (2010) conducted for the tourism industry of Thailand and Laos showed similar results of positive working behavior if accompanied by effective motivational factors. Upon drawing a sample consisting of 140 workers who came from both the hotel business and travel agencies, the authors supported their hypothesis by coming up with the following results: (a) that the working behavior of people working for travel agencies and hotel businesses had the same rank level, (2) that the work motivation of personnel working for travel agencies has a direct and positive relationship with their work behavior, and (3) the working attitudes of personnel in the hotel business also had a positive relationship with their motivation at work. Their study showed that positive reinforcements will then result to positive motivation, thus exhibiting better and positive attitudes in the workplace. Similarly, a descriptive survey approach conducted by Joseph and Dai (2010) identified factors that stimulate employees to work at their workplace. The study is able to demonstrate through a sample of 143 participants that positive motivators identified were: good pay, appreciation of their work, and job security are drivers of employee motivation.

To measure the impact of motivation at work, Tremblay, Blanchard, Taylor, Pelletier, and Villenueve (2009) used Work Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Scale (WEIMS) to identify its value in organizational psychology. Their study was double purpose: first, to assess if WEIMS is an efficient tool in measuring motivation level and second, to assess factors affecting motivation among workers (military = 465; civilians = 192). Their findings found that WEIMS is reliable and practical in producing valid results in measuring motivation in organizational psychology setting. Houts, Keppler, and Kalfayan (2010), on the other hand, focused on motivation theory, corporate culture, and employment law in relation to organizational behavior, human resource management, and ethics. The case study researched a true-to-life lawsuit filed against a company due to inappropriate ��team building�� exercise implemented among the female employees. The authors have exemplified that motivational factors may be used in the wrong direction to exploit employees and cast aspersions on them.

On the other hand, I have found some information about business ethics. In my opinion, business does not have just one single goal, which is adding economic value. Every company wants their business keep profitable, that means sustainability. Andrew and Dirk (2004) said sustainability refers to the long-term maintenance of systems according to environment, economic and social considerations. This is the best way or the only one way to make a business keep survive in the modern society. The concept of sustainability is generally regarded as having emerged from the environment perspective, most notably in forestry management (Hediger, 1999). The environment part is the basic principle of sustainability. It concerns the effective management of physical resources that are conserved for the future. Meanwhile, all biosystems are regarded as having the finite resources and finite capacity. As this reason, sustainable human activity must operate at a level that does not threaten the health of those systems. That means we have to build a world for our posterity that can really enjoy the same living standards as us. So the Mine Companies, Oil Corporations, and steel manufactures should focus on this important issue. On the other hand, economic sustainability focuses on the economic performance of the corporation itself. For instance, the responsibility of management is to develop, produce, and market those products that can secure the long-term profitability of the corporation. That means management of the corporation should include the business ethics concepts, and the top managers or decision makers should understand what business ethics is. Because it definitely can help them make ethical decisions. The development of the social perspective on sustainability has tended to trail behind that of the environment and economic perspectives (Scott, Park, and Cocklin, 2000). The key issue in the social perspective on sustainability is that of social justice. Because corporations are the most important engines of economic development, so they have the duty to help people to establish the just and equitable world. Some of goals such as ensuring environmental sustainability, eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and achieving universal primary education. It is very difficult to achieve the goal, but all the companies have to try their best to do it.

Secondly, corporate social responsibility still a big part for business ethics .Making a positive contribution to society might be regarded as a long-term investment in a safer, better and more equitable community, which subsequently benefits the corporation by creating an improved and stable competitive context in which to do business (Porter and Kramer, 2006). For a company, the social responsibility is really important, and this is the most significant issue in business ethics. Corporate social responsibility that includes economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities (Carroll, 1991). Therefore, if a company accomplishes all the duties, then this company will have a very good reputation and it will help it get the long-term competitive advantage. First of all, economic responsibility is the most basic principle in corporate social responsibility. Because companies have their own shareholders who demand a reasonable return on their investment. And then, these bosses have their employees, so the employees want safe and fairly paid jobs. Both of them have customers who demand good quality products at a fair price. The legal responsibility of corporations demands that businesses abide by the law and never break the law or constitution. Carroll (1991) suggests that the satisfaction of legal responsibilities is required of all corporations seeking to be socially responsible. On the other hand, ethical responsibility obliges companies to do what is right, just and fair. Carroll (1991) argues that ethical responsibilities therefore consist of what is generally expected by society over and above economic and legal expectations. The last responsibility is philanthropic, this aspect of CSR addresses a great variety of issues, such as charitable donations, support for local schools or hospitals and taking more care about employees and their families.

Lastly, ethical issues in the firm-employee relation. So it��s the ethics inside the company. Every company has its own staff, so all the bosses try to motivate their employees and therefore they will be working so hard. But if they do not have a good relationship, maybe a boycott will happen and it will be harmful for the corporation. So, the ethical issues in the firm-employee relation can assist with investors building a modern company. A first important area is the information policy of the corporation (Hopkins and Hopkins 1999). It can be contended that employees have a right to know about the reason for downsizing a company and redundancy. If the company fires the employees, the company should make the compensation package regular, because they become unemployed people, so they need enough money to bridge the time for finding a new job. Moreover, employees might take control of individual decisions relevant their own jobs, they are not only a pawn of the employers. Employees are also allowed to express their views on decision taken by employer. So a boss or CEO for the company, he is not the only one decision maker or dictator. Their staffs also have the rights to make decisions. Therefore, I think employees have a full and codified right to determine major decisions n the company.

How Apple Company Motivates employees and business ethics

Apple Inc. the one of the most successful multinational corporation, world��s third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia. Fortune magazine��2009�� named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2012. However, the company has received criticism for its contractors' labor practices, and for Apple's own environmental and business practices. But, as we all known nothing is perfect, so we can still learn some good stuffs about ethics and motivation from Apple Inc.

Apple has been committed to the highest standards of social responsibility across its worldwide supply chain. It has been insist all of its suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and moreover use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. We��ll terminate our relationship with those suppliers which don��t respect the code or they refuse to take corrective actions based on audits ("Apple supplier code," 2012). To respect labor and human right. Apple��s suppliers must uphold the rights of their workers. Apple does not tolerate involuntary labor, underage labor, excessive work hours, or discrimination. And as a member of the Fair Labor Association, Apple is setting a new standard in its industry for transparency and oversight. Moreover, Apple��s suppliers must create a safe and healthy work environment for their workers. Safety equipment, proper ventilation, and emergency procedures are just the beginning. On the other hand, Apple��s suppliers must use environmentally sound processes, including managing hazardous substances, treating wastewater, and limiting air emissions. It��s all part of a commitment that starts with product design and continues through manufacturing and beyond. Lastly, the most important part for Apple is fostering and enforcing ethical practices. Apple has established ethics training programs for managers that cover proper recruitment of foreign workers, record-keeping and documentation of business practices, worker ID checks and age verification, tracking of working hours, and general management responsibilities. Apple-designed training programs have educated more than one million supply chain employees about their rights as workers, local laws and occupational health and safety (Apple, 2012).

Look at how Apple motivates employees. In relation to creative organizations like Apple it is argued that the key success factor is employees�� motivation and therefore Apple need to be rewards employees in order to foster creative thinking and sustain high motivation (Tiddand Bessant, 2009). On the other hand, Kaplan& Norton (1993) said Apple makes a comprehensive employee survey for its departments every two years. The survey questions are only concerned with how well employees understand the company's strategy. Apple motivates people depend on the result of the survey. It offers, such as product discounts or insurances (Apple, 2010).This policy can retain more and more employees work for Apple. Moreover, Steve Jobs, Apple��s CEO, argues that the latter is the gravitational force that puts all the bright and creative people together (Burrows, 2004). By the way, money and gifts are both good things to motivate people. For example, Apple��s employees receive d a free iPod Shuffle or iPhone as a thank you for their achievements (Apple Insider 2005; Meinck, 2007).

So now we can easily to find that Apple has a good policy or systems to do motivate employees and doing ethical business. As far as I concerned, Apple will innovate more and more new high tech products and soft wares. Because Apple��s motivation policy will attract more knowledge people come to work for it. In the future, Apple will become a good example of business ethics, and then organizations will learn business ethics from Apple. Therefore, in my opinion Apple will lead our future.


Hope we can learn some about motivation and business ethic, and some good example from Apple. Motivation is a result of equally combined efforts of positive reinforcements and the personal goals of an employee. The literature review tells that there is a direct correlation between motivational factors and working behaviors of personnel. Theories such as Maslow��s Hierarchy of Needs, Equity Theory, and Goal Setting Theory help in understanding how motivation is formed and achieved through positive and negative reinforcements. It is also important for effective managers to realize that not all employees are aware that they are already unmotivated towards their work. On the other hand, business ethics is very important for the company in the modern society. Both developing and developed countries must focus on the theories and concepts. It is very difficult to make all the businesspeople doing ethical business, but I think in the future, it will be come true. Our human will build a perfect world.