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European and U.S. CEO’s Essay

Business ethics is a multifaceted field that cannot be defined with a single definition. This area is addresses numerous issues, problems, and dilemmas within the management of businesses. And it 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 confronted with all the time. In order to do, the definition of corporate ethics must be known 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 to humans, but also to how businesses treat the environment.

The majority of European and U.S. CEO’s and senior managers view corporate ethics as a subject that is to be dealt with at three levels, each more specific than the last. They include: (1) the corporate mission, (2) constituency relations, and (3) policies and practices. Of these, the corporate mission is the most easily recognized and widely applicable category. Executives say that the

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enterprise in which they are engaged in, and the products or services that they market, should serve an inherently ethical purpose and that a companies primary ethical responsibilities are defined by the nature of their objectives. Managers also speak of constituency relations when formulating their company’s ethical standards. This usually requires statements of corporate responsibilities. Most of the codes describe the company’s commitment toward certain groups rather than prescribing ethical conduct for specific situations.

This is shown I the comments of a former chairman of a large Japanese company when he states from the manual Essential of Business ethics, “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 toward a different set of ethics depending upon the position that they hold. And not all have the same feelings about the ethical standards that one individual may have even though they all know what position that he holds and what his job is. This can lead to potential conflicts between corporate ethics programs and management roles.

Many sermons have been preached about the ethics of business and the ethics of businessmen. Of these, one topic is plain. That is the use of everyday honesty. As businessmen, we are constantly told that we should not cheat, steal, lie, bribe, or accept bribes. Men and women do not gain exemption from these rules just because of their jobs or positions within a business or society for that matter. As such, when these individuals do break the rules of ethics, they should be severely punished for their actions as well because of the jobs they do or the position that they hold. In today’s fast paced world of business, there seems to be a rise in the number of white-collar crimes. More and more companies are receiving a lot of publicity about unethical and illegal practices. There seems to be a profit at any price mentality being carried out among the business professions today. And investment banking seems to be getting the most of this bad publicity.

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