Analysis of Business Ethics Readings

Business ethics requires the view of all business activities through the lens of the moral values to determine their acceptability in society. For smooth business operations, all business actors must understand various issues such as the personal aspects of the business including family, sex, marriage and friendship, individual rights, and the moral values ascribed by the society within which the business operates. “It’s Not My Problem”: The Concept of Responsibility (Chapter 8) The concept of responsibility is applied in business in different ways in which every actor in the business world has a role to play. The different forms of responsibilities in the business field include consumer responsibility, corporate responsibility, and shareholder responsibility. The view of these responsibilities through the business ethics lens converts them into moral responsibilities and prima facie obligations. In this case, all business actors are obliged to ensure fulfillment of such responsibilities in orders for the business undertakings to have constructive ends or positive impact on the society. Lange and Washburn (2012) have explored the meaning irresponsible behavior in the business world to divert attention from what corporate social responsibility implies, to what business actors do that is against the expectation of responsible behavior. The information covered by the two authors closely relates to information covered in this chapter in which much emphasis has been put on the different responsibilities and the misunderstanding of the responsibility concept in business. According to Lange and Washburn (2012), business responsibility is deeply rooted in the external expectations and the perception of the people experiencing the business activities. The survival and success of a business organization or venture greatly depend on the widespread external perception as to whether the organization acts in a socially responsible manner and the ability to meet external expectations. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the responsibility concept in business does not imply going against self-interests in the business venture but the need to strike a balance between self-interests and societal interests. The greatest dilemma in business ethics revolves around the conflict of responsibilities, where an individual’s power may be limited by external expectations or responsibilities. Social Responsibility and the Stakeholder (Chapter 9) Social responsibility in the business world refers to the different roles that businesses and actors in the business world have by virtue of operating within the society. The concept of corporate social responsibility encompasses the social concerns of stakeholders and the economic interests of business owners and shareholders. The corporate world and the society directly depend on each other, where the society cannot function in absence of economic and social roles of corporations while at the same time corporations cannot exist without the society. The stakeholder approach in business social responsibilities ensures that business owners commit to serving broader interests, in addition to the business economic and financial interests. Business organizations and other business actors have a duty to their stockholders as well as the society within which the business activities take place.