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Business Ethics: Assigned Articles Day 2 discussion.

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1 Business Ethics: Assigned Articles Day 2 discussion

2 Summary Ethical decisions –Are varied –Occur at different levels of an organization –Can have negative consequences Ethical involve trade-offs –Personal gain –Consequences on stakeholder(s)

3 Ethical Decision Making We applied the model on p.88 –Attempted to clarify what the decisions were –Who were stakeholders and their interests –How were stakeholders affected –What were available alternatives We did not identify what additional information or facts could have helped us make a better evaluation.

4 Ethical Theories The articles gave us opportunities to see how these theories can be applied. For example: –What were consequences actions on customers? –Rights of competitors? –What are duties of individuals involved? –What should have been the right thing to do?

5 Influence of Organizational Culture How can these decisions have been made? What are likely influences on individuals? (“Greed” is an all encompassing, but simplistic answer. We need to understand how to prevent or avoid these decisions within an organizational context.)

6 Towards an Ethical Culture On a sheet of paper: what can a well- intentioned CEO do to create an Ethical Culture?

7 Corporate Social Responsibility Do you agree with Milton Freedman, that the pursuit of profits contributes to society’s good? What do three models say? –Corporate citizenship –Social contract –Enlightened self interest Is it all about reputation management?

8 The following slides are what I intended to use to in my conclusion in today’s class. These can also be found in the file containing Chapter 5 notes.

9 What should a business do? Business has the social responsibility to obey the law. Philosophers would contend that we have responsibilities beyond the law and they distinguish between different types of responsibilities, on a scale from more to less demanding and binding. –First, we have responsibilities not to cause harm to others. –A second, perhaps less binding responsibility, is to prevent harm even in those cases where one is not the cause. –Finally, there might be responsibilities to do good.

10 Philosophical priorities in CSR Do good Maximize economic, social and environmental value Do no harm Even in those cases where one is not the cause Do no harm Avoid economic, environmental and social harm

11 Corporate “Responsibilities” Even when not explicitly prohibited by law, ethics would demand that we not cause avoidable harm. In practice, this ethical requirement is very close to responsibilities established by the precedents of tort law. Beyond the responsibility to obey the law, a second level of responsibilities would hold that business has a social responsibility not to violate anyone’s rights. But there are also cases in which business is not causing harms, but could easily prevent harms from occurring. A more inclusive understanding of corporate social responsibility would hold that business has a responsibility to prevent harms.

12 A Responsibility to “Do Good?” Perhaps the most wide-ranging standard of CSR would hold that business has a social responsibility to do good things and to make society a better place. Many of the debates surrounding corporate social responsibility involve the question of whether business really has a responsibility to support such good causes. –Some people argue that, like all cases of charity, this is something that deserves praise and admiration, but it is not something that every business ought to do.

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