What is Business Ethics? What is Business Ethics? Business ethics is a management discipline born out of the social awareness movement of the 1960s’ that has improved society substantially. Business ethics is also the “study of ethical dilemmas, values, and decision making in the world of commerce that addresses environmental, social, and governance concerns” (Academic Info, n. d. ). A business or organization builds integrity and trust with society by demonstrating sound business ethics in its mission to provide a good or service to the market.
As part of its commitment to restore the environment and habitats in the Gulf Coast region, BP today announced that it will donate the net revenue from oil recovered from the MC252 spill to create a new wildlife fund to create, restore, improve and protect wildlife habitat along the coastline of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. (“Press Release”, 2010, p. 1) This is a fine example of a business accepting responsibility for its actions with the environment as its number one concern in this ethical dilemma.
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The ethical issue here is whether or not to continue off shore drilling knowing the extent in which the danger exist of another disaster of this magnitude to happen again. Should oil companies take the initiative to self monitor or even discontinue offshore drilling to preserve the business integrity and standing in the eyes of society? The behavior of employees and members of businesses and organizations are a reflection of the business itself and presently of concern in the corporate world is time theft as it seems to be acceptable among those who would take advantage of the honor system in keeping their time.
Organizations have long struggled to find ways to reduce the occurrence of unethical behaviors by employees (Henle, Reeve, & Pitts, 2009, p. 53). Time theft is, unfortunately, is a common and costly form of ethical misconduct in the workplace reinforced by social pressure. Ethical researchers use the theory of planned behavior to examine the reasons behind time theft that comes in the forms of employees reporting to work late, extended breaks, day dreaming, and surfing the Internet on company time.
An example of positive ethical behavior by a business or organization is a company supporting the community by sponsoring charitable organizations that affects the well being of the community and builds consumer confidence. Safeway Foods, Inc. is such a business. Safeway donates perishable and non-perishable foods before the food reaches the shelf expiration date to Project Open Hand, a not-for-profit organization that serves the disadvantaged such as the homebound and critically ill patients and people living with HIV and AIDS.
Project Open Hand provides food and nourishment to improve the quality of life for the men, women, and children it serves. (“Mission Statement”, n. d. , para. 1) The food is either used in the preparation of hot meals or stored in the food bank to be distributed to Project Open Hand’s clients. By supporting Project Open Hand and other food banks in the Bay Area, Safeway represents a business with good moral values and principles that display positive ethical behavior in the community and sets a standard of sound business ethics by which other businesses can emulate.
References Academic Info. (n. d. ). . Retrieved from http://www. academicinfo. net Henle, C. A. , Reeve, C. L. , & Pitts, V. E. (2009, December 18). Stealing Time at Work: Attitudes, Social Pressure, and Perceived Control as Predictors of Time Theft. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(1), 53-67. doi: 10. 1007/s10551-009-0249-z Mission Statement of Project Open Hand. (n. d. ). Retrieved from www. openhand. org/pages/about/who/mission. html Press Release June 8, 2010. (2010). Retrieved from http://www. bp. com/genericarticle. do? categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062799