What is Business Ethics?

What is Business Ethics

Ethical Principles Practiced in Business

Business ethics is gaining a lot of relevance in 21st-century businesses. It is concerned with how the company relates to the outside world.

Business ethics is a form of applied ethics that scrutinizes ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that occur in a business environment. In the more conscientious marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (referred to as ethicism) is mounting. Also, pressures for the application of business ethics are being exerted through the enactment of new public initiatives and laws.

What is Business Ethics?

Business ethics demands that a company examines its behavior towards the outside world. It takes into consideration morality, ethical reasoning, and ethics application. For instance, the business manager's moral philosophy of situations does affect the manager's ethical beliefs. Moral philosophy pertains to the overall guiding belief system behind the individual's perception of right or wrong.

It is important to be acquainted with moral philosophy, ethical reasoning, and especially the application of ethics to business and management. Ethical theories and concepts are important to resolving moral problems confronting the business. Employees and managers must integrate moral concerns into their decision-making process.

Business Ethics as a Field of Study

Business ethics has developed into a new field of study, not just a subject under philosophy, law, and business. It is, therefore, necessary to have a comprehensive and systematic account of morality and ethics for business managers. Business ethics clarifies moral issues that would have been ignored, and moral dilemmas are being made to undergo rigorous ethical analysis, rational argumentation, and ultimately, resolution.

By ethically resolving moral problems confronting the business, managers are better able to understand and classify their own moral beliefs and better equipped to develop a critical and reflective personal morality. Moral issues are treated not only as philosophical questions but also as fundamentally important, practical, business questions for managers. Ethics should be approached as a branch of philosophy, morality, leadership, and stakeholder value-driven behaviors.

Moral Philosophies: Relativism and Idealism

People's moral philosophies generally influence their moral judgments such as assessments of whether a given situation is viewed as ethical or unethical and subsequent behavior. Schlenker and Forsyth assert that individual approaches to moral judgment are based on two moral philosophy dimensions: relativism and idealism.

Relativism refers to the degree to which people reject universal moral rules, norms, or laws when making moral judgments. Idealism is when moral judgment is based on the degree of a person's concern for the commonwealth --- public welfare (avoidance of harming others); that is, his or her moral judgment of a given action is based on the outcome -- either a positive or negative impact on others.

People who are highly relativistic reject the universal laws or rules; their natural reaction is that of skepticism or disbelief. They assume there are no moral laws or absolutes but that the situation and individual, the time and place contribute to the moral action. Personal perspective is of utmost importance to them.

On the other hand, individuals low on relativism, believe in the idea that one should act in accordance with moral principles or idealism. A person who is strongly idealistic believes that harming others should be avoided; and desirable consequences should be the end-goal. Less idealistic persons may accept that adverse outcomes in some actions is expected – both bad and good consequences.

Business ethics is concerned chiefly with ethics and morality which would help the company tackle moral issues confronting the business.

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