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business ethics
the conduct by which companies and their agents abide by the law and respect the rights of their stakeholders, particularly their customers, clients, employees, and the surrounding community and environment
the extent to which a company conducts its business operations in accordance with applicable regulation and statutes
corporate culture
the shared beliefs, values, and behaviors that create the organizational context within which employees and managers interact
corporate social responsibility (CSR)
the practice in which a business views itself within a broader context, as a member of society with certain implicit social obligations and responsibility for its own effects on environmental and social well-being
a normative ethical theory suggesting that an ethical decision requires us to observe only the rights and duties we owe to others, and, in the context of business, act on the basis of a primary motive to do what is right by all stakeholders
ethical relativism
a view that ethics depends entirely upon context
the standards of behavior to which we hold ourselves in our personal and professional lives
the value of a business beyond its tangible assets, usually including its reputation, the value of its brand, the attitude of its workforce, and customer relations
the adherence to a code of moral values implying trustworthiness and incorruptibility because there is unity between what we say and what we do
long-term perspective
a broad view of profit maximization that recognizes the fact that the impact of a business decision may not manifest for a long time
normative ethical theories
a group of philosophical theories that describe how people ought to behave on the basis of reason
an individual or institution that owns stock or shares in a corporation, by definition a type of stakeholder; also called stockholder
short-term perspective
a focus on the goal of maximizing periodic (i.e., quarterly and annual) profits
social contract
an implicit agreement among societal members to cooperate for social benefit; when applied specifically to a business, it suggests a company that responsibly gives back to the society that permits it to incorporate, benefiting the community at the same time that it enriches itself
individuals and entities affected by a business’s decisions, including customers, suppliers, investors, employees, the community, and the environment, among others
an individual or institution that owns stock or shares in a corporation, by definition a type of stakeholder; also called shareholder
a normative theory of ethics suggesting that an ethical act is the one whose consequences create the greatest good for the greatest number of people
virtue theory
a normative theory that focuses on proper conduct guided by the training we received growing up
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