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Paper Topic:

Business Ethics

Business Ethics

Business Ethics is referred to as the study of what constitutes right and wrong , or good and bad , human conduct in a business context (Shaw 2004 :5 . Most of the time , business owners experience ethical dilemmas that challenges their decision making process . Some of the issues that they have to resolve are related to the operations of their business as well as in the handling of their employees . These could be exemplified by the dilemma of whether they would sacrifice quality for quantity or if they would lay off some

of their employees to increase profit However , the field of business is always under extreme pressure . People who are involved in it have to adapt to the rapidly changing pace of business operations . Businessmen /women only have limited time in analyzing and contemplating in to arrive at an ethically sound decision . Being the case , understanding the different schools of thought as it apply to business ethics is very beneficial because this would aid in making the appropriate ethical behavior and ethical decisions . The various schools of thought are namely : Universalism , Relativism , and Social Contract Theory


The Universalist perspective towards ethical decision-making is synonymous to the Golden Rule . This approach is made up of two steps First , the individual responsible in making the decision should contemplate on whether a specific action is applicable to all people at all times . Second , the individual should assess oneself if he or she would agree that this same action or rule will be applied to him or her (Poznak Law Firm Ltd

A good example of this idea as it applies to business is whether a business owner would evade paying taxes or not . The business would first ask his /herself whether tax evading would be beneficial for him or her and everyone else . If the answer is yes , he or she will ask his /herself whether it is justifiable that the government would not be able to improved infrastructure due to the lack of funds due primary to tax evaders . The universalism school of thought is grounded in the idea of reciprocity wherein in making a decision the person should put into consideration the effects of his or her actions to oneself as well as to other people . A person should only do something when he or she is well aware and willing that this same action will also be applied to him or her


The view of relativism emphasizes that there are different perspectives of ethics in each society . This approach gives due consideration to the fact that cultural or national boundaries have a strong influence on how ethics is viewed . Ethical relativism considered that each society 's interpretation about ethics is legitimate . This idea only explains that ethics is also affected by the diversity of people around the world Cultural differences are also the reason why there are different norms and moral practices that people follow (Velasquez et al , 2008

This school of thought is widely observable...

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