There are a million ethical issues in today’s businesses and unfortunately there is no perfect decision measurement for all these issues. Those in international businesses are much more complicated and much more delicate, along with being tenfold in numbers.
Economics suggests that business and production do not go hand in hand with environmental and societal ethics, due to the two being mutually exclusive events. Why it is so, can form a subject matter of a thesis so will not be a debate matter for this particular article. This article though, discusses the various ethical issues in the business that affect all business workplaces, whether they are local or international. Let us have a look at the ethical issues in business, that are listed below in random order of importance. In business ethics, there is hardly a proper line which can be held on to like the Bible, for ethics often sacrifices profits and the idea is to find the optimal balance between the two, so that the business conscience is clear and the profits are reasonable.
Business ethics is a behavior that all businesses stick to. Also known as corporate ethics or professional ethics, it incorporates moral guidelines as also the problems a business entity frequently faces. The term ‘business ethics’ became popular in the U.S. in the early 1970s.
The Society for Business Ethics, a global institute that deals with business ethics and application of moral principles was formed in 1980. Businesses started specifying their ethical principles from the late 1980s, perhaps to stay away from scandals in businesses.
If business ethics and values are left to the self of business houses and entrepreneurs, society may have many dead weight losses to bear. A few producers can collectively skimp on supply to increase market prices, a few strong buyers may collectively reduce demand till prices fall and a single entity can capture the entire supply chain and refuse its services to the free market and reserve them for the best price. To top it, the labor market can unite and ask for unreasonable increases in wages and the public transport unions can stand up for price hikes. Who decides whether all this is reasonable and hence ethical, or unreasonable and thus unethical? Who says that an earner who earns lower than the minimum wages is entitled to a wage increase even by somewhat unethical measures that require some employer arm-twisting? Who decides that a person who already earns millions in profits is not entitled to reducing worker wages to earn higher margins because it is unethical? See what I mean, ethics changes depending on which side you view them from. What may be absolutely right for you may be a gross injustice for me. So if the market is left to its own individual mechanics, the most important ethical issue of all will be that all those in strong positions will always be the ones manipulating the weaker ones. This is where business ethics comes in as a self-regulatory mechanism on the stronger players in the economy. Let us now move on to certain routine ethical issues that almost every business has to face.
The problem with ethical issues is that they are not only routine and frequent, but they are also more widespread, i.e. throughout the whole industry rather than being confined to a particular business.
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