1. Define business ethics. Who determines whether a business activity is ethical? Is unethical conduct always illegal?Business ethics is the principles that determine the acceptable conduct in the business workplace. Customers, competitors, government regulators, interest groups, and the public determine whether a business activity is ethical. No, not all conduct is always illegal.
2. Distinguish between ethics and social responsibility.
Ethics is the conduct that is acceptable in the business area and social responsibility is the business’s obligation to make a positive impact on society and lower its negative impacts.
3. Why has ethics become so important in business?Ethics has become so important in business because it builds trust among individuals and in business relationships, which leads the company and its employees in a comfortable environment. This also helps the business to have confidence that their employees are happy in their work area.
4. What is an ethical issue? What are some of the ethical issues named in your text? Why are they ethical issues?An ethical issue is a problem that a person needs to choose from several actions that may be considered right or wrong. Some ethical issues discussed are lying, abusive behavior, violations, stealing, sexual harassment, and many others. These are ethical issues because each of these issues can damage the workplace and the production of the company.
5. What is a code of ethics? How can one reduce unethical behavior in business?A code of ethics is formalized rules that a company expects of its employees before they start to work there. One can reduce unethical behavior in business by giving the employees advanced information on which conduct is acceptable and which isn’t. This helps for future problems with employees.
6. List and discuss the arguments for and against social responsibility by business (Table 2.8). Can you think of any additional arguments (for or against)?Arguments for social responsibility are since businesses may help create a few social problems, they should help solve them also. Other arguments are that the businesses have the funds to help the social arguments; businesses should do their fair share to help others; and it can prevent increased government regulations.
Arguments against social responsibility are that the managers of the companies are only concerned with making a profit. Another argument is that it may give the business too much power then it should have. Other arguments against social responsibility are that social problems are the responsibility of government agencies and those businesses may not have the expertise to make decisions about social problems. An additional argument I would say is that every company should be required to give some kind of donation to a school or charity at least once a year because they are making money and should help others also with their profit, this would be better for their companies recognition.
7. What responsibilities does a business have toward its employees?The responsibility a business has towards its employees is to provide a code of ethics to solve any future problems towards the employees. They should also have to pay them a decent salary for their work, and give them information about the company’s happenings. Also, employees want to be listened to by someone who is in a higher position.
8. What responsibilities does business have with regard to the environment? What steps have been taken by some responsible businesses to minimize the negative impact of their activities on the environment?The responsibilities businesses have regarding the environment are animal rights and pollution. Businesses have created positions in their business for enivornmental affairs. The businesses try to eliminate the waste practices they use and the emission of pollution or the chemicals they use if they are harmful to the environment. Many companies have turned to alternative energy sources.
9. What are a business’s responsibilities toward the community in which it operates?A business’s responsibilities toward the community it is in are through donations to organizations and to give money to schools to provide better education. Companies also provide scholarships to students, support for teachers and computers for students. Also businesses are providing trainings for the unemployed.
Book: Business Organization and Management