Business Ethics: Critical Legal Thinking

Ethics Important in Business

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Business Ethics: Critical Legal Thinking

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Ethics in business are about distinguishing between the right and the wrong and adhering to the ethical principles. Why are ethics important in business?
We have seen successful businesses fail, we have witnessed profitably running businesses suffer from a downfall and some seemingly effective corporates receive a great fall in their profits and popularity. One of the main reasons behind these surprising failures was the lack of business ethics. A true understanding of the right and the wrong and the ability to distinguish between them is ethics. Ethics is an important part of life and running a successful business is no exception to this. To become successful, a business needs to be driven by strong ethical values. The mindset of a businessman creates a mindset for his/her company, which in turn sets the work culture of the business organization. For a business to prosper and maintain its wealth, it ought to be founded on certain ethical principles. A business that is based on ethics can run successfully for long years. Moneymakers who do not heed to ethical values can only earn a short-lived success. To last long in the market, business ethics is essential.

Ethics Important in Business
For a business to achieve long-term profits, customer relationship is of utmost importance. To gain a long-term relationship with customers and achieve customer return for the business, the business needs to be based on ethics. The trustworthiness of a business, its customer service, its customer care, its way of dealing with customers and its urge to retain their old customers, is a part of the business ethics. Business ethics leave a long-lasting impression on the customers and the impression on their minds builds trust, fetching a business more customers while retaining the older ones.

Most of us are concerned about making money for our business and we cater to the legalities in business. But we seldom bother to base our business on ethics. At times, ethical duties of businessmen and project managers could be more abiding than even the business laws. Ethics is a far-reaching concept and goes beyond the idea of making money legally. Ethical values are way ahead of earning money. Ethics is more about earning long-lasting relationships in business.

People who seek motivation behind being ethical should understand that they are ethical by definition. Ethics is an integral part of running a business and hence ethical values accompany business by default. Without following certain ideals in business, one cannot become successful. Success that is attained without a foundation of strong ethics is bound to be short-lived. A business cannot continue to prosper without an ethical base. A few successes can be coincidences or flukes but persistent success can only be a result of a strong foundation of ethics.

The benefits given by the business organization should not be used in an unfair manner. The use of company resources for personal benefits and taking an undue advantage of business resources is completely unethical. Using the wealth of the business for personal reasons is not ethical. Using company funds for personal reasons is unethical. A thoughtful and a careful utilization of company resources is a part of business ethics. A vigilant and a prudent use of resources is an essential component of ethics in business.

Accepting bribes, pleasing the so-called ‘important’ clients, favoring a part of the customers while being unfair towards the others is against business ethics. The primary aim of business is not just to maximize profits. It is rather to cater to the needs of society and work towards benefiting the masses.

Experts in business management and researchers have endorsed the need for businessmen and company professionals to study ethics. They have asserted the importance of founding business on ethical values and following them. They have urged management professionals to adhere to ethics and accept it as a part of business. Ethics remain being important in business and strong ethical values shall take the business a long way!

After reading the above and your textbook on Business Ethics -answer the following questions in an essay format.

1. When a corporate behavior is questioned, which school of ethics would be most appropriate to examine for the above cited article?

2. Locate an example of a company examined because of their corporate reputation. Determine whether their behavior was unethical.

3. What standard of ethical behavior should be applied to your example mentioned in question #2?

4. How could the corporate entity in both the article above and in your example prevented the unethical behavior?

5. If you were in a position of judgement to respond, what would you do?

References:
Cheeseman, Henry (2007). Business Law: Legal Environment, Online Commerce, Business Ethics, and International Issues. 6th Edition Pearson – Prentice Hall. Chapter 42.
Oak, Maneli (2008). Ethics in Business. Buzzle.com

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