5.1 Ethics and Business Ethics Defined
- What are ethics and business ethics?
A goal of the chapter is to present ethical principles, guidelines, and questions that inform our individual decision-making and influence actions we can take with regard to questionable ethical situations and dilemmas. We also present and illustrate how business leaders, corporations, and organizations internationally have responded and are responding to questionable ethical problems with the environment in their communities through responsible corporate governance and alliance with concerned stakeholders. Ethics is both local and global; it begins with the individual, moves to the organizational, and reaches to international and global levels of societies.
5.2 Dimensions of Ethics: The Individual Level
- What are the types of values that motivate ethics at the individual level?
Ethics at an individual level may seem to involve only the individual, but it is a holistic process. There may be high pressure from coworkers, managers, or any other constituent of business culture to be unethical. Individuals may hate such pressures, and they tend to work to avoid the dilemmas.
5.3 Ethical Principles and Responsible Decision-Making
- What are the major ethical principles that can guide individuals and organizations?
There are many approaches for both individuals and organizations to take with regard to ethical principles. They are utilitarianism; universalism, which is a duty-based approach; a rights approach, which takes a moral and legal approach; justice; virtue; common good; and finally the ethical relativism approach.
5.4 Leadership: Ethics at the Organizational Level
- Why is ethical leadership important in organizations?
After the failures of Enron and other organizations, people have started emphasizing the concept of ethical leadership. An organization can incorporate ethical practices only if its leaders enforce ethical values into the organization. While such basic concepts of ethics such as being honest are crucial to ethical leadership, a modern approach is to take the servant leadership approach, where the leader serves the interests of all stakeholders in an ethical manner.
5.5 Ethics, Corporate Culture, and Compliance
- What are the differences between values-based ethics and compliance in organizations?
A compliance-based ethical approach is simple and direct. It provides a basic integrity to the participant since it is spelled out in clear terms. If the individual or organization exhibits destructive behaviors, their rights can be restricted. An integrity-based ethics code fills the receiver with demands based on the highest expectations.
5.6 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- What value do CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs offer to organizations and society?
Corporate social responsibility is about an organization taking responsibility for the impacts of its decisions and activities on all aspects of society, the community, and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is about contributing to the health and welfare of society and operating transparently and ethically. More importantly, this way of operating should be embedded in the business, rather than an afterthought.
5.7 Ethics around the Globe
- What are ethical issues we encounter in the global environment?
Some of the most common ethical issues organizations encounter globally include outsourcing, working standards and conditions, workplace diversity and equal opportunity, child labor, trust and integrity, supervisory oversight, human rights, religion, the political arena, the environment, bribery, and corruption.
5.8 Emerging Trends in Ethics, CSR, and Compliance
- Identify forecasts about contemporary ethical and corporate social responsibility issues.
Among the emerging issues in the area of ethics are in the area of harassment in the era of #MeToo. Organizations and individuals are also more accepting of their roles in assisting with such things as natural disasters and national emergencies. Finally, there is increasing attention to issues of compliance and governance to ensure that organizations meet their stated ethical standards.