Define Ethics. Ethics refers to the moral values that govern the appropriate conduct of an individual or group. Ethics speaks to how we ought to live, that is, and how we ought to treat others and how we ought to run or manage our own lives. It helps people differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, between just and unjust. Ethics is normative in nature, that is, it focuses on what ought to be the case rather than what is the case. People learn ethical norms at home, school, in social settings as they grow up.
However each individual has a different interpretation of these norms as they are affected by the individual’s life experiences. Philosophers have tried to define ethics in a number of ways. Socrates defines ethics as deciding “How one should lead his life”. Aristotle refers to ethical system as being “self-realizationism”. To sum up ethics can be defined as rules for distinguishing between what is morally right and wrong, what is responsible and irresponsible, and what is good or bad in general. What are business ethics? Business ethics relates to the application of ethical norms to business.
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It tries to answer questions like, whether a corporation should consider only the interest of its stakeholders when making decisions or should their decisions take into consideration the impact on the larger society as well. General business ethics generally involve application of ethical norms to issues concerning relation between companies, between companies and workers and between a company and the society at larger (corporate social responsibility). The importance of business ethics has increased over the years with the market becoming more conscience focussed.
Why do you need business ethics? With the increase in the market competition and globalization business ethics are needed to ensure that the leaders of today’s organisations understand the importance of following ethical and moral norms in business. This include governance by ethical standards, use of ethical decisions to continue business, using ethical behaviour to increase productivity and using ethical autonomy to have less intervention by regulating authorities. Included with this notion, however, is also the criticism of multinational orporations that use child labor or pay pitifully low wages to employees in less developed countries or who utilize suppliers that run sweat shops. Thus business ethics would help leaders examine the ethical problems and principles that arise in the modern business environment. What are good and bad ethics? If ethics are rules or value to live life by, good ethics are rules which lead to good outcomes and bad ethics are rules which lead to bad outcomes. Now these could either be outcomes for the individual or for society.
For the individual, a good or effective set of ethics is one which leads to his or her happiness and well being. If everyone, or most people, follow such ethics, it will lead to a relatively harmonious life for everyone. A good set of ethics should also be based on sound reasoning or logic so that it works in almost every situation we are likely to be faced with. Bibliography Richard T. De George , “A History of Business Ethics” David B. Resnik, J. D. , Ph. D. What is Ethics in Research & Why is It Important? http://www. onlineethics. org http://www. chumirethicsfoundation. ca/main