Any business venture primarily seeks to make maximum profit at the least possible cost. In order to earn a profit, a business produces goods or provides specific services and engages in exchange, that is buying and selling. Most businesspersons believe that business involves a willing buyer and a willing seller and this has made them to be less concerned with ethical issues that they may be obliged to observe (De George, 2006).
However, business practices have been brought to the realization of the importance of business ethics and how it can influence the community and organization either positively or negatively (Newton, & Ford, 2008). This paper will describe what business ethics is as well as explain three ethical issues within the modern business environment that do affect the community and organization.
Ethics as a discipline has a long and an impressive history. It involves issues touching on morality, the sense of right or wrong. Business sector is not an exception when it comes to ethical issues due to its vast involvements especially with human beings. A business venture is neither separable from the society nor is it imposed on it; instead, it is an integral part of the society necessary for human survival.
Business ethics, therefore, can be defined as a consideration of right and wrong conduct in the world of business; a keen evaluation of decisions made by businesses in accordance with the recognized moral concepts and judgments. Unethical issues in business activity include; cases of fraud, inflated business accounts, and misrepresentation.
Business ethics is as national, international, or even global as business itself is and for that matter, no arbitrary geographical boundaries can limit it. General ethical codes and principles have been formulated with an aim of defining clear boundaries on what business activity can be considered moral or immoral.
There are several ethical issues in today’s business world which affect the community and organization significantly. Some of them include; the competitive business market for outstanding employees, the internet, and corporate responsibility (Newton, & Ford, 2008). These business ethics encompass the role of a business venture or company in the society. Human rights activists and other pressure groups are pushing most companies to be more considerate of their corporate responsibility and business ethics.
Concerning the employee issue, modern business ventures have made attempts to pursue sound and ethically upright procedures in handling their clients. The greatest challenge, however, comes when they fail to meet the needs and the rights of their workers. Any employee should feel secure in his or her place of work but of late, this has not been the case due to rampant employee lay offs by both small and big companies especially in the United States.
This has resulted in increased unemployment due to loss of jobs and hence affecting the community negatively. It has also led to the exploitation of workers through slave labor, especially in third world countries. This, in addition, can do nothing more than hurting the organization’s reputation.
Technological advancement has seen the internet become one of the major business ethics in the modern world (De George, 2006). A large number of people are making money through online jobs like never before. Internet businesses should therefore maintain the trust that their clients have in them. The ethical issue in question is the temptation for the business owners to cheat on the customer. Such action will seriously harm the client as well as the organization since it will gain a negative reputation.
Corporate social responsibility carries with it significant ethical concern. A company or any business venture can decide to directly contribute to the general well-being of the society by initiating and financing developmental projects (De George, 2006). This step has been taken by a number of companies and corporations and it has not only increased the companies’ reputation rating but also improved the living standards of the people in the locality.
This paper has explained the meaning of business ethics and pointed out the three major ethical issues within today’s business environment. It has also gone ahead and elaborated on the possible consequences of these issues on the surrounding community and the organization itself.
De George, R. T. (2006). Business Ethics (6th ed.). Prentice Hall.
Newton, L. H. & Ford, M. M. (2008). Taking Sides: Clashing views in business ethics and society (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.