The chronology is taken, with permission by the publisher, from Chapter 5 of my book. Early dates and attributions are uncertain. Quotes are often simplified or put into modern English. For more on an item, try my book's index or bibliography, or a Web search.
Varieties of business ethics Many people engaged in business activity, including accountants and lawyers, are professionals. As such, they are bound by codes of conduct promulgated by professional societies.
Many firms also have detailed codes of conduct, developed and enforced by teams of ethics and compliance personnel. Business ethics can thus be understood as the study of professional practices, i.
This entry will not consider this form of business ethics. Instead, it considers business ethics as an academic discipline. Business ethics as an academic discipline is populated by both social scientists and normative theorists.
This is reflected in the attendees of academic conferences in business ethics and the types of articles that are published in business ethics journals. Social scientists—who at this point comprise the largest group within the field—approach the study of business ethics descriptively.
They try to answer questions like: Does corporate social performance improve corporate financial performance, i. I will not consider such questions here.
This entry focuses on questions in normative business ethics, most of which are variants on the question: What is ethical and unethical in business? Considered only as a normative enterprise, business ethics—like many areas of applied ethics—draws from a variety of disciplines, including ethics, political philosophy, economics, psychology, law, and public policy.
This is because remedies for unethical behavior in business can take various forms, from exhortations directed at private individuals to change their behavior to new laws, policies, and regulations. One is that the means of production can be privately owned.
A second is that markets—featuring voluntary exchanges between buyers and sellers at mutually determined prices—should play an important role in the allocation of resources. Those who deny these assumptions will see some debates in business ethics e. Merck and Wal-Mart are examples of the first type organization; Princeton University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are examples of the second.
Business ethicists sometimes concern themselves with the activities of non-profit organizations, but more commonly focus on for-profit organizations. Indeed, most people probably understand businesses as for-profit organizations. Corporate moral agency One way to think about business ethics is in terms of the moral obligations of agents engaged in business activity.
Who is a moral agent? To be precise, the question is whether firms are moral agents and morally responsible considered as qua firms, not considered as aggregates of individual members of firms. In the business ethics literature, French is a seminal thinker on this topic. He bases this conclusion on his claim that firms have internal decision-making structures, through which they 1 cause events to happen, and 2 act intentionally.
Donaldson claims that firms cannot be persons because they lack important human capacities, such as the ability to pursue their own happiness see also Werhane Other responses denied that firms are moral agents also.
Velasquez argues that firms lack a necessary condition of agency, viz. In later work, French recanted his claim that firms are moral persons, though not his claim that they are moral agents. Discussions of corporate moral agency and moral responsibility have largely faded from the business ethics literature as of But they continue to receive attention in the mainstream philosophical literature, where they are treated with a high degree of sophistication.
Here the focus is on collectives more generally, with the business firm playing a role as an example of a collective. As in the business ethics literature, in the mainstream philosophical literature a key question is: What are the conditions for moral agency and responsibility, such that collectives qua collectives, including firms, do or do not satisfy them?
This view has strong intuitive appeal. We routinely say things like: On the other side are writers who deny that firms can be moral agents, such as GilbertS.Factors Impacting Business Management - Halliburton is one of the chief oilfield service businesses in the world.
The organization primarily serves the upstream oil and gas industry with an all-inclusive range of services, from the place of hydrocarbons to the construction of oil and gas.
The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite Kindle Edition.
Dec 17, · The Year of Outrage Slate tracked what everyone was outraged about every day in Explore by clicking the tiles below, and then scroll . “What is Business Ethics?” Essay Posted on July 5, Business ethics Business ethics (also corporate ethics) Corporate business executives have a responsibility to their shareholders and employees to make decisions that will help their business make a profit.
But in doing so, businesspeople also have a responsibility to the. At present, there are at least five journals devoted to the field (Business Ethics Quarterly, Business Ethics: A European Review, Business & Society, Business & Society Review, Journal of Business Ethics), They have considered how business communities must be structured to help their members flourish (Hartman ; Solomon ).
As we have seen in the United States in vibrant real time over the last several years, the media have become a battleground for the powerful to fight it out with the goal of altering public.