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Corporate Social Responsibly Essay

Ethics to me means having and using ones morals to do the right thing. Ethics is so important in business because it gives a company credibility. When a company has credibility the consumers trust the company and will tend to buy from the company more regularly. Many employers want guidelines to help them in their decision making process, so experts came up with some approaches. They are the Utilitarian Approach, The Rights Approach, and The Common-Good Approach. Corporate Social Responsibly seems to have an unlicensed marriage to ethics. The idea behind ethics is to reach and surpass the call of duty, and Corporate Social Responsibility is about doing more than just making a profit. With the rise of multi-national corporations and the importance of ethics an International Code of Ethics was created. Ethics has such a big impact on whether a business is a success or a failure. So personal, professional, and global principles were created by experts to guide managers in their trip to the top of the corporate ladder.

Ethics is the interactive study of moral obligation and principles involving right versus wrong. In a new survey of 1,324 US employees, 48% admitted to due at least one of

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the twenty-five unethical questions asked. Pressure from superiors is the biggest excuse for unethical decisions. Also, employees desire clear ethical standards in ambiguous or unclear situations. Philosophers have developed many different approaches to help deal with moral issues. Here are three I felt were extremely important. The Utilitarian Approach Utilitarianism was brought about in the 19th century by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. For this approach to work you must first identify the various courses of action available to us. Second, ask who will be affected by each action and what benefits or harms will be derived from each. And third, choose the action that will produce the greatest benefits and the least harm.

The ethical action is the one that provides the greatest good for the greatest number. The Rights Approach The second important approach to ethics was concocted by 18th-century thinker Immanuel Kant, who focused on the individual’s right to choose for herself or himself. People are not objects to be manipulated; it is a violation of human dignity to use people in ways they do not freely choose. Says Kant, “What makes human beings different from mere things is that people have dignity based on their ability to choose freely what they will do with their lives, and they have a fundamental moral right to have these choices respected.” The Common-Good Approach This approach to ethics assumes a society comprising individuals whose own good is inextricably linked to the good of the community. Community members are bound by the pursuit of common values and goals.

The common good is a notion that originated more than 2,000 years ago in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. More recently, ethicist John Rawls defined the common good as “certain general conditions that are…equally to everyone’s advantage. In this approach focuses on making sure that the social policies, social systems, institutions, and environments on which we depend are beneficial to all. Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as “the idea that business has social obligations above and beyond making a profit.” This is a somewhat controversial issue in the business world. Some people feel that business is either part of the solution or part of the problem, and that if business strives, so will the economy, and thus society. Other people say that business already has enough power over American life. These people feel that business controls what, how and where we eat, shop, and live.

They also say that if managers are busy with social problems less time will be spent on the business’s economic goals. In 1994, the Caux Round Table in Switzerland developed an International Code of Ethics. The code is broken up into seven principles. The first principle deals with the idea that businesses must play a role in improving the lives of all their customers, employees, and shareholders by sharing the wealth they have helped create. Principle two states that “ businesses who have established themselves in foreign countries “should contribute to human rights, education, welfare, and vitalization of the countries in which they operate.” Principle three says that a business should identify the fact that sincerity, truthfulness, and the keeping of promises, will add to their credibility and make them a more stable and recognized. The fourth principle says that businesses should respect and honor all international and domestic rules. Also some legal behavior may not be accepted in certain cultures, so shy away from it. Principle five deals with the idea that businesses should support multilateral trade systems of the GATT/ World Trade Organization and other organizations of that liking.

The sixth principle talks about protecting and if possible improving the environment. The seventh and final principle says that businesses should under no condition be involved in any way with bribery, money laundering, or other corrupt practices. Principals are shaped by one’s environment. Consequently a business environment can shape the employee’s and the employer’s principles. If managers run the business ethically, then the employees will follow the lead and work with morals and ethics. Listed below are principles of personal, professional, and global ethics. Principles of Personal Ethics Personal ethics is sometimes called morality, because they reflect general expectations of anyone in any society. These are the principles we try to teach our children, and expect of one another at all times. Personal Ethics principles include: Concern for the well being of others. Respect for the autonomy of others. Being trustworthy & honesty. Willing to comply with the law (with the exception of civil disobedience).

Basic justice; being fair. Refusing to take unfair advantage. Benevolence: doing good. And finally preventing harm. Principles of Professional Ethics In addition to what we should all aspire to do, individuals acting in a business field take on an additional weight of ethical responsibility. For example, professional associations have codes of ethics that describe required behavior for a professional practice such as medicine, law, accounting, forestry or engineering. These written codes provide rules of conduct and standards of behavior that are generally based upon the principles of Professional Ethics, which include: Impartiality; objectivity. Openness; full disclosure. Confidentiality. Fidelity to professional responsibilities. Avoiding potential or apparent conflict of interest Principles of Global Ethics Every person influences the world by simply existing; and it is always wise to ” think globally.”

An added measure of accountability is placed on globally influential enterprises such as governments and transnational corporations. (Responsibility comes with power whether we accept it or not.) One of the burdens of leadership is to influence society and world affairs in a positive way. Can a person (or company) truly be ‘successful’ while causing human suffering or irreparable environmental damage? The answer is yes with the help of ethics. Principles of Global Ethics include:Global justice (as reflected in international laws). Society before self / social responsibility. Environmental stewardship. Interdependence & responsibility for the “whole”. Reverence for place Ethics is like the foundation for a successful business. If ethics didn’t exist then businesses would be corrupt, consumers would be uncertain of the quality of the products they were buying, and chaos would reign in the business world. The business world would cease to exist without ethics to keep businesses on the straight and narrow. I think that morals play a big part in ethics. Ethics is kind of like the fence that keeps the cattle in line, except it keeps businesses in line.

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