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Ethical behavior is extremely crucial for an organization. This is because it builds a company’s image in the eyes of the consumer. This results the company in attracting many customers leading to high revenues in the end. For this reason, companies should ensure that they are following correct codes of conduct while conducting business. However, so many ethical issues many arise conflicting both the companies and the consumers. This is because they pose a great dilemma to the parties making it difficult to establish whether it is ethical or unethical. Therefore, establishment of ethical theories, what is morally right or wrong and corporate social responsibility is deeply discussed.
Alzola, M., 2008, When Urgency Matters. On None Discretionally Corporate Social Responsibility. Human System Management, 27: 273-282.
This article tries to explain morality of companies engaging corporate social responsibility towards the community. In most cases, companies think that when they are providing corporate social responsibility to the community, they are providing charity to the society. This is not the case; it is the duty or obligation of companies to provide corporate social responsibility to a community. For this reason, the article has come with a theory composed of four principles to be followed by companies when they are providing corporate social responsibility to the society. Additionally, using this theory, the article establishes how needs of a society are arranged from most pressing to least pressing needs. Therefore, companies will not have a problem in performing their duties.
The first principle is membership principle. It states that fortunate people of the same community have an obligation to help less fortunate members of the community. This is similar to a company in a particular community. In this case, it is part of the community. Therefore, companies should help the needy because they are capable of doing so without getting strained. Principle of ability is the second principle. This is where a company with the capability of helping people without straining should help the less fortunate. Principle of contribution is the third principle where companies should take aiding as an act of compensation and not as an act contribution. Finally, principle of fair play is the fourth principle where a company using unjust means has the obligation of helping victims of the unjust techniques.
Chapter 1. The Nature of Morality, 2007, In, Shaw, W. H., & Barry, V., Moral Issues in Business.
This chapter educates students and other leaders about morality. This is where the chapter is comparing morality with other quality traits of business. There are several points in this chapter explaining morality in business. The first comparison is between morality and ethics. According to morality, it is how people relate well with others. Ethics are principles that are universally followed in all departments of the organization. This way morality solves the problem of what is morally right or wrong by stepping in the center of the situation. Second comparison is between morality and non-moral standards. According to this chapter, morality is not factual as compared to standards. Standards have facts and they follow certain principles.
Third, etiquette and morality is the other comparison. Etiquettes are accepted norms of accepted behavior in a society. Additionally, etiquettes are unspoken and they are not written anywhere but society expects a person to follow. It is worth noting that etiquette does not have moral obligations. If the etiquettes are broken, they have moral implications. This is where the comparison arises. Fifth, religion and morality are compared. In this case, religious beliefs are presumed to be the correct morals to be followed. In all cases, this is true because all moral principles are based on religious principles. Finally, law and morality is the last comparison in this chapter. Laws are written by man to ensure that there is law and order. It is worth noting that law and morality are not the same. Something can be legally right but morally wrong. On the other hand, something can be lawful but morally wrong.
Crane, A. & Matten, D., 2007. Understanding Business Ethics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
This book is based on understanding business ethic as the title suggests. It has started with a simple definition of business ethics where it states that business should try to relate with other parties well regardless of the situation. In most case, organizations enter into ethical dilemmas making it difficult for them to have proper relationship with other parties. As a result, this destroys the company’s name. In the recent past, companies have closed down due to the practice of unethical behavior. In this case, the consumer does not want to be associated with a company that is not relating well with the other parties. Therefore, to solve the dilemmas there are ethical theories to help the managers developed by the book.
The first ethical theory is relativism. According to the book, this theory explains that ethical standards are based on the culture they are governing. In this case, when a company has many units in different nations, they are faced with cultural diversity. In this case, based on the theories of relativism, they are forced to follow ethical principal according to the cultures of the nations they are situated. This reduces the chances of having controversies. The only problem is that when two cultures are in dispute, it will be difficult to conclude. The other theories are absolutism theories. These theories state that ethical principals are universal among all the cultures. This creates a universal solution to problems across the cultures. The problem is that they tend to undermine cultures.
Velasquez, M., 2000, Globalizations and Failure of Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly, 10 (1): 343-352.
This article has started by defining how ethical dilemmas started. In this case, the root cause of all ethical dilemmas in business is globalization. In the past, when there was no globalization, it was extremely easy to solve ethical dilemmas. However, with the increase in global dilemmas, it has become extremely difficult to solve ethical dilemmas. The author of the article has started by defining globalization for purposes of helping readers understand the root cause of all dilemmas. Therefore, according to the author, globalization is the increase of operation units in more than one country creating a multinational. In this case, a dilemma arises when this company takes its unit to a developing country with many issues of its own. For instance, corruption is part of the government. This results in ethical dilemma if the company makes deals with this government yet it is for the good of all the people.
To solve these ethical dilemmas, the article has introduced certain ethical theories that can be helpful to the management of these companies. The first ethical theory is the theory of relativism. In this situation, management should use ethical principles based on different cultures to solve problems relating to each culture. The second theory is absolutism. This is where the managers tend to think that there are universal ethical principles applicable to all cultures. In this case, the management should use them to solve the problems. However, the author has concluded by indicating that these theories contain flaws leaving the managers in a dilemma. For this reason, scholars must try to be creative and imaginative in coming up with ethical theories to solve this issue quickly.
Visser, W., 2010, The Evolution and Revolution of Corporate Social Responsibility, In, Pohl, M., & Tolhurst, N., Responsible Business: How to Manage CSR Strategy Successful. New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.
The article has started with an excellent history of how corporate social responsibility started. It shows how CSR grew from the 1950’s until present. According to the author, the purpose of this is to show strategies that were applicable in the past leading to immense growth of CSR. Recently, CSR may be seen to be doing well but according to the author, it is failing terribly. Strategies used in the past have changed together with managers leading these companies. The management does not support these strategies since they are uneconomical and crises are growing faster than CSR leading to failure. For this fact, the author has come up with a proposal of new strategies to be employed.
First, companies have to do away with CSR completely and accept to bury it as a dead horse. After this has been done, managers need to ask themselves what is the purposes of the business. Additionally, they need to clarify all their business needs. In this case, managers will take profits as the first answer but that is not the case. The main reason is to serve the community by ensuring their welfare in providing high quality goods and service without destroying the environment. Therefore, if they happen to erode the environment, they should take the necessary measures to revert the situations. In this case, they are performing CSR strategies effectively.
According to the above analysis, morality, ethical theories and corporate social responsibilities are all dependant on each other. Morality is mistaken by so many people to mean differently. However, it states that people should have excellent relationship with one another at all times. Ethical theories are there to help managers to solve ethical dilemmas existing in a company while corporate social responsibility is a duty for companies to the society. It can be clearly seen that when companies started going global issues affecting ethics and corporate social responsibility arose making it difficult to solve them. If this continues, companies will no longer be able to operate efficiently due to the dilemmas they face. For this reason, scholars of this topic should abandon implementing the old ways and establish new strategies that align with global changes in business that are continually occurring every day.
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