"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Business Ethics

Business ethics, the movement away from immoral practice within corporations, began around the 1960s when corporate social responsibility also came into play in the corporate sector. As a result of public pressure, many companies began to create ethics codes within their business in order to feed the growing need for guidelines to unethical practices. In the United States, the government began to set guidelines for the new movement with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination illegal. In order to better follow the new laws, many companies added new employees to human rights sectors in order to institute the regulations. Over the following years more U.S. regulations enforced and demanded ethics in business, and many companies, including General Motors, began instituting new regulations for overseas sectors of the company. The history of business ethics goes on and on, not only in the United States, but also all around the world, and we can only imagine that it will continue far into the future.

Moving into the twenty-first century, we are seeing the trend towards a very corporate lifestyle, where large and less personal corporations are taking control of society. In order to protect both the employees and the consumers, it is important that each company is under regulations to practice ethical business, since without such regulation the impersonal companies could exploit the people. Business ethics promises a steady and fair future for society, as everyone’s basic rights are protected from immoral business practices. Business ethics does not only play an important part in today’s society, but also in the future, where larger companies will warrant stronger protection for society. There is a long future for business ethics.

Leaders of the twenty-first century should concentrate many resources on maintaining strong business ethics within their companies, since society calls for growing interest in moral practices. In a world where ridiculously low wage and improper working conditions are becoming more and more exposed, it is important for today’s leaders to emphasize the ethics of business. Today’s leaders who follow proper business ethics will go down in history as key factors in the development of stronger and more society-oriented business. Leaders practicing strong business ethics will gain the respect of society, a respect that can even promote business within the company. Within the human resources division of most major companies there is a person or team devoted solely to the institution of business ethics, proving to society, which is demanding more from companies on the human level than ever before, that the company is worthy of praise and therefore increased business.

Business ethics has just begun to be practiced widely, and now that society demands it more, there is no stopping it in the future, when it will be a main focus of many successful companies.

1 comment:

marie-france chartier said...

Business ethics is a very important topic in today's world. It is even more so because of globalization and the fact that many companies today now venture aborad. Various countries have different ethical systems and that can often create problems in companies. Which ethical systems to follow is a repeated question in these situations.

I think that ethics, today, is still not regarded as a priority by businesses and individuals, which is a big mistake. Yes, steps have been taking by companies to have an ethical code but it is, in my opinion, still tabou.

Awarness of ethical issues should therefore be taught early in school and discussions between variouds parties should be encouraged.