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Chapter 3: Emerging Business Ethics Issues

Ethical Issue
A problem, situation, or opportunity that requires an individual or group to choose among actions. Failure to recognize an ethical issue puts corporations at risk.
Honesty
Truthfulness or trustworthiness.
Issues related to honesty arise when people perceive business as something where normal rules do not apply.
Fairness
The quality of being just, equitable, and impartial.
Equality
How wealth or income is distributed
Reciprocity
Occurs when an action that has an effect upon another is returned
Optimization
The tradeoff between equity and efficiency
Integrity
Uncompromising adherence to ethical values.
Ethical Dilemma
Problem, situation, or opportunity that requires an individual or group to choose among several wrong or unethical actions.
There is NO ethical choice.
Misuse of Company Resources
Leading form of observed misconduct
Time theft, unauthorized use of equipment, embezzlement, etc
Abusive or Intimidating Behavior
Common ethical problem
Intent is important in determining abuse
Bullying: associated with a hostile workplace
Lying (Three Types)
Joking without malice
Commission lying
Omission lying
Commission Lying
Creating a false perception with words that deceive the receiver.
Creating noise.
Omission lying
Intentionally not informing channel members of problems relating to a product that affects awareness, intention, or behavior
Conflicts of Interest
When an individual must choose whether to advance his/her personal interests, those of the organization, or some other group.

Individuals must separate personal interests from business dealings

Bribery
The practice of offering something in order to gain an illicit advantage
Active bribery
The person who promises or gives the bribe commits the offense
Passive bribery
An offense committed by the official who receives the bribe
Facilitation payments
Legal as long as they are small
Corporate Intelligence
The collection and analysis of information on markets, technologies, customers, trends, etc
Three Intelligence Models
Passive monitoring system for early warning
Tactical Field Support
Support dedicated to top management strategy
Discrimination
Illegal in the US
Anti-Discriminatory Laws
EEOC (Equal employment opportunity commission)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Affirmative Action Programs
Sexual Harassment
A repeated, unwanted behavior of a sexual nature perpetrated upon an individual by another.
Dual Relationship
Personal, loving, and/or sexual relationship with someone whom you share professional responsibilities
Unethical duel relationship
The relationship causes a conflict of interest or impairment of professional judgement
Environmental Issues
Significant concern in business
Air pollution (Kyoto Protocol)
Water pollution
Recycling
Alternative Energy
Fraud
Any purposeful communication that deceives, manipulates, or conceals facts in order to create a false impression
Accounting Fraud
Misrepresentation of company’s financial reports, mostly due to increased competition and pressures to perform
Marketing Fraud
The process of dishonestly creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing products
Puffery
Exaggerated Advertising claims
Difficult to distinguish from fraud
Implied falsity
An advertising message that misleads, confuses, or deceives the public
Literally false
Claims can be divided into non-establishment claims
Consumer Fraud
When consumers attempt to deceive business for personal gain
Ie price tag/item switching, lying to obtain discounts
Collusion
An employee who helps a consumer commit fraud
Duplicity
A Consumer duping a store
Guile
A person who uses tricks to obtain an unfair advantage
Financial misconduct
The failure to understand and manage ethical risks
Key problem in the recent financial markets
Govt regulation: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Insider Training (2 Types)
Legal insider trading
Illegal insider trading
Legal insider trading
Involves legally buying and selling stock in an insider’s own company, but not all the time.
Illegal insider trading
The buying/selling of stocks by insiders who possess material that is not public.
Intellectual property rights and privacy
Difficult to enforce
Identity theft is a growing problem
Challenge of Determining Ethical Issues in Business
Most issues become visible through stakeholder concerns.

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