Is Business Ethics” An Oxymoron?
I’m wondering how many people out there still believe sales to be a job that is focused on making money? Margolis, J.D. & J.P. Walsh, 2003, Misery Loves Companies: Rethinking Social Initiatives by Business”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2): 268-305. And to return to the original point, that if the action an individual undertakes to fill a need has no impact on any other party, his actions are of no interest to ethics.
The Journal of Business Ethics publishes only original articles from a wide variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives concerning ethical issues related to business that bring something new or unique to the discourse in their field. Focusing solely on the bottom-line of your business is no longer tenable for most business leaders and strategists.
Another important approach to the study of business ethics comes from Kantian moral theory (D.G. Arnold & Bowie 2003; Bowie 1999). When ethics is considered in the context of religion, the value of human life is subordinate to spiritual matters. However for some, business has no meaning apart from some profit maximization method.
Most business ethicists would accept that, in most cases, the prices at which products should be sold is a matter for private individuals to decide. All employees share the responsibility for ensuring that our company meets its Corporate Social Responsibility worldwide.
Dan knows his company will back him if he calls and tells the truth, even if it results in a loss of business. You hear about the ideas of moral agencies, moral personhood and moral responsibility and they all go together in some kind of package. Compliance with an order does not usually exonerate the actor from bearing responsibility for the consequences, though it is generally considered to be a mitigating factor.