Business ethics is a diverse field that cannot be defined with a single definition. This area addresses numerous issues, problems, and dilemmas within the management of businesses. Does this through numerous perspectives and methods. Of course, in order to present the complexities of business ethics, we must explore the types of issues that business professionals are continuously confronted with. To understand one must
know the definition of corporate ethics as well as knowing what the ethics of responsibility are. After defining what ethics are, we then need to see how these are played out within management. This will show the decline and fall of business ethics over time and how whistle blowing has played its part. Business ethics not only portray humans, but also how businesses treat the environment.
The majority of European and U.S. CEO's and higher ranking managers define corporate ethics as a subject that is to be dealt with at three levels; (1) the corporate mission, (2) constituency relations, and (3) policies and practices. The corporate mission is the most easily recognized and widely applicable category. Executives say that the enterprise in which they are engaged in, and the products or services that they market, should serve an essentially ethical purpose and that a companies first ethical responsibilities are defined by the nature of their objectives (Madsen and Shafritz, 1990).
Managers also speak of constituency relations when formulating their company's ethical standards. This usually requires the creation of statements of corporate responsibilities for each individual company. Most of the codes describe the company's commitment toward certain groups rather than prescribing ethical conduct for specific situations. Madsen and Shafritz, in the textbook Essential of Business ethics quoted a former chairman of a large Japanese company when he said,
Our responsibility is not only to our stockholders, but also to our client,
our employees and their families, our local community residents, and all of
society at large. Our profit comes about through our effort to promote the
prosperity of the community as a whole. (p.15).
There are many differences of opinion in the role that ethics ought to play at the third level of evaluating policies and practices. This is because every person within a corporation may be held to a different set of ethical standards depending upon the position they hold. Not all have the same feelings about the ethical standards that one individual may have even though they all know what position he holds and what his job is. This can lead to potential conflicts between corporate ethics programs, management roles, and individuals.
Many sermons have been preached about the ethics of business and the ethics of businessmen. Of these, one topic is plain. This is the use of everyday honesty. Businessmen are...