Friedman has said, ‘The only entities who can have responsibilities are individuals. A business cannot have responsibilities. So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilaties in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no, they do not.” A multi-country 2011 survey found support for this view among the “informed public” ranging from 30-80%. Duska views Friedman’s argument as consequential rather than pragmatic, implying that unrestrained corporate freedom would benefit the most in long term. Similarly author and business consultant Peter Drucker observed. There is neither a separate ethics of business nor is one needed”, implying that standards of personal ethics cover all business situations. However, Peter Drucker in another instance observed that the ultimate responsibility of company directors is not to harm anyone. Another view of business is that it must exhibit corporate social responsibility (CSR): an umbrella , term indicating that an ethical business must act as a responsible citizen of the communities in whicV it operates even at the cost of profits or others’ goals. Nowadays corporate entities are legally treated as persons in some respects. For example, they can hold title to property, sue and be sued and are subject to taxation, although their rights offree speech are limited. This can be interpreted to imply that they have independent ethical responsibilities. Duska argues that stakeholders have the right to expect a business to be ethical. If business has no ethical obligations, other institutions could make the same claim which would be counter productive to the corporation.
Ethical issues include the rights and duties between a company and its employees, suppliers, customers and neighbors, its fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders. Issues concerning relations between different companies include hostile takeover and industrial espionage. Related issues include corporate governance corporate social entrepreneurship; political contributions; legal issues such as the ethical debate over introducing a crime of corporate manslaughter; and the marketing of corporations’ ethical policies.
Q.2. Enumerate the recent evolving ethical values in business ethics.
Or Write a note on evolving ethical values. (2011)
Ans. The recent evolving ethical values in business ethics could be listed as under: Thegrowing attention to arid awareness of business ethics can be attributed to a number of factors. These include the increased globalization and decentralization of business; an expanded corporate response to ethics; and the influence of various stakeholder groups focusing attention on both ethical successes and challenges.
- Global Economy: With the globalization of the economy and the media and the growth of the Internet, companies are increasingly being held accountable for their ethical conduct and the conduct of their business partners throughout the world. In addition, a range of new economic issues such as the shifting of production to developing economies, what constitutes a “living wage,” and how companies respond to cultural differences, is being cast in ethical frames by a variety of advocacy groups.
International Agreements and Actions : A number of governmental and nong overnmental organisations and associations have joined in international agreements to fight against corruption and bribery around the world. International agreements relating to corruption include the 1996 Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the 1997 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s “Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.” In addition, numerous countries are developing their own anti-corruption and bribery standards.