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Business Ethics An Oxymoron Essay

954 words - 4 pages

Ethics is concerned with "doing the right thing" but moral standards differ between individuals depending upon their upbringing, traditions, religion, social and economic situations, and so on. Hence, the existence of gray areas. Therefore, state the “moral” problem in a simple manner and review feedback so that an acceptable decision can be made with minimal overall harm/loss—i.e., we are concerned with “Pareto optimality,” which is related to the net balance of benefits over harm for society as a whole.

Economic theory is concerned with the efficient utilization of resources to satisfy consumer wants and to maximize profit and satisfaction. Pareto optimality exists at the point where it ...view middle of the document...

, rather than only stockholders.

Making false promises and unreasonable demands on employees and others, preventing participative management, talking about the "green" approach as a public relations exercise, rather than adopting a "green" approach, is unacceptable. Ethics is conscience-based, knowledge-based and attitude-based, and not suited to some individuals, who, by their very nature, have consistently demonstrated selfishness and greed.

Can any ethics training program prevent Bernie Madoff, Vincent Lacroix, Conrad Black, etc. from being themselves?

No, but a well-designed & implemented program can
(a) help good people to do the right thing consistently
(b) make it more difficult for wrong-doers to succeed &
(c) raise people’s ethical IQS*.

Business ethics is concerned with dealing with dilemmas that sometimes do not have a clear indication as to what is right or wrong e.g. potential conflicts of interest, wrongful use of resources, mismanagement of contracts, false promises and exaggerated demands on resources which include personnel.

Right and wrong are black and white - pure and simple. Our ethical system and behaviour are a function of several factors, including our cultural background, upbringing, education, ego, environment, circumstances and the related stress. Hence, the development of gray areas i.e. areas where explicit rulings or guidance is not available Looked at in another way, there are shades of black and shades of white, just like when you go to a paint shop to buy black paint or white paint or when you go to a clothing store to buy a black suit or a white suit. If you find that your ethical standards are higher than those of most people, you should follow your own standards.

It is possible to improve, from an ethical point of view. As we mature into adulthood, we develop an ego and try to use our communication skills to justify our behaviour, while focusing on our own goals. With our ego-based approach, our innate selfishness, and the influences of friend and environment come many gray areas. One's image...

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