Ethics And Social Responsibility Essay

1116 words - 5 pages

Ethics and social responsibility are a part of everyday life around the globe. From the time a business begins, ethics and social responsibility play an important role in deciding what direction that business will take, and how the company will turn a profit. Ethical behavior is critical to strategic planning for businesses. In order to be successful, businesses must consider themselves a part of the business community, as well as society. Making money is not unethical; however, money cannot be the driving force of ethical thinking within a business (ethics.org, 2008).This paper will discuss the statement "strict government regulations are necessary to make companies behave ethically". An ...view middle of the document...

Having a corporate guideline on expected ethical behavior is what assists employees in determining exactly where the line is in the ethical sand. Those who choose to stretch the interpretation of these characteristics within the ethical guidelines are the ones who find themselves out of work. A company who is not enforcing its own guidelines can find themselves facing a wounded, and not so forgiving, public.Social responsibility "occurs when a retailer acts in the best interests of society -- as well as itself. The challenge is to balance corporate citizenship with a fair level of profits" (Prenhall.com, n.d.). Here is where tricky situations occur. How does a business balance the best interest of society while creating a fair level of profits? One answer is through philanthropic efforts. Sure a company may have a slow start, and the feasibility of philanthropy may not enter the financial picture until later, but creating a business on a solid foundation of social responsibility can certainly pave the way to success. Many small businesses volunteer their efforts until such time when they can afford to give back to society and make the world, or even their own society, a better place to live (Green, M. 1997).Examining the statement "strict government regulations are necessary to make companies behave ethically" invokes concerns regarding why certain regulations were not already in place, and how companies could, and still can, get away with unethical practices. As of this year, poor ethical practices within the business world are still making headlines. For instance, the head of the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington, D.C. was reported as violating 14 ethical and conflict-of-interest policies (ethics.org, 2008).With the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on July 30, 2002, society breathed a weighted sigh of relief knowing that there was now a provision in place to hold companies accountable for unethical monetary practices (Lander, G.P. 2004). However, looking at the Smithsonian situation, did we take that sigh too quickly? I believe the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a step in the right direction, but also feel it came a little too late. Government intervention puts those who have the visceral fortitude to behave unethically and immoral in the spotlight. Gone are the days of hiding behind corporate...

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