Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

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Transcript Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Business Ethics
Social Responsibility
Chapter 4
What is Ethics?
• Ethics is the set of
moral principles by
which people conduct
personally, socially, or
What is Ethics?
a set of guidelines about
how a business should
conduct itself.
• Using ethical business
practices means that for
any business to be
successful, it must
operate legally, ethically,
and humanely
Legal Responsibility
• Sweatshops – factories
that have unsafe working
conditions, treat workers
badly, and pay poorly.
Legal Responsibility
• OSHA – Occupational
Safety and Health
Administration a division
of Dept of Labor – sets
and enforces workrelated health and
safety rules.
Subject to fines,
lawsuits, and new
Legal Responsibility
• Code of Ethics – Businesses
police themselves by following
a code of ethics.
– A set of guidelines for
maintaining ethics in the
workplace. Professional groups
such as doctors, lawyers,
journalists, and teachers have
their own code of ethics.
– Covers everything from
employee behavior to
environmental safety
Ethics as Good Business
• Unethical business practices
– Lying
– Offering merchandise it knows
is substandard
– Treating customer unfairly
– If illegal may go to jail, fined..
– If you violate code you may be
fired or lose your license
– Lose customer’s trust, lose
Important Ethical Questions
• Is it against the law? Does it violate
company or professional policies?
• What if everyone did this? How would I
feel if someone did this to me?
• Am I sacrificing long-term benefits for
short-term gains?
Making Decisions on Ethical Issues
Not a quick task, takes hard thinking….
• Identify the ethical dilemma
• Discover alternative actions
• Decide who might be affected
• List the probable effects of the
• Select the best alternative
Social Responsibility
• The duty to do what is
best for the good of
– Provide safe products
– Create jobs
– Protect the environment
• Conflict of Interest
– Business tempted to put
profits before social
Responsibility to Customers
• Offer a good safe product or service at a
reasonable price.
• FDA …Food and Drug Administration
– Government agency protects consumers from
dangerous or falsely advertised products.
• Poisoned Tylenol capsules…
alerted the public,
recalled the product,
changed to tamper-proof bottles
Responsibility to Employees
• Laws protect employees from child
labor abuse, rights of workers to
• Equal Pay Act – 1964
– Requires that men and women are paid
the same wages for doing equal work
• American with Disabilities Act
– bans discrimination against people with
physical or mental disability
Responsibility to Society
• EPA… Environmental Protection Agency
– Federal agency enforces rules protects the
environment and control pollution