Standard Policies and Principles for Regulating Human Conduct
To come up with standard business ethics which will be fair to all parties involved, several philosophers and other scholars for many decades have tried to come up with various standard models for regulating interaction and relationship in the three levels of business ethics including, micro-level, mid-level and macro-level. To discuss the formation of various standard models used in the three levels of business ethics, we will introduce our topic of the research which is business ethics, followed by the institutional history of Business Ethics and Intellectual agenda which gives out the history and concept of business ethics from the ancient period. This will be followed by the Dominant tread in business ethics including the micro-level, mid-level and macro level of business ethics and finally, we will give a general conclusion of our research on business ethics.
Introduction Business activities and the individual involved in business need to be various rules and regulations to facilitate fairness in business practices. Activities such as bribery in business, offering low-quality products or use of child labor to carry out business activities are some of the business activities which should be avoided. The analysis of employer and employees relationship was as a result of the industrial revolution, (Williamson et al, 2014). During this period there was individual ownership of wealth, unlike communal ownership which encouraged management of social wealth on society ownership. Claim on how an employer should treat their employees was highly discussed which will be seen contained the today’s business ethics. Other human relationships practiced in the past such as slavery and colonialism are used in coming up with better principle used in business ethics as it condemns all human exploitation associated with slavery and colonialism.
And hence business ethics about the historical human interaction may be termed as rules for presentation of human right violation which have been framed within the international supply chain. Unlike in the past economy where business ethics were not highly put into consideration, today’s business ethics and practices are used in defining the face of a given business organization before the society. Business ethics in the current economy are also regulated by various agencies to ensure that there is fairness in business practices and relations. Even though some business schools in the past and particularly business schools in America used to teach business ethics, there is nothing to be identified any scholarly associated source which could be associated to business ethics and its practice in the society that can be associated with 18th or early 19th century scholars, (Williamson et al, 2014).
The only writing which can be taken to be business ethics article and which has standard referenced work is the massive encyclopedia of philosophy. This early philosophical encyclopedia addressing business ethics was edited by Edwards Paul and published in 1967. Their works have been used in many research works relating to business ethical and moral relations for as reference works. There is also a published textbook of business ethics which contains these modern scholars’ philosophers who extended the knowledge of business ethics. The concept of business ethics and the moral relation was further organized by activists, consultants and other independent corporates which involve public relation departments other than moral philosophers. There are various scholarly organizations that have highly contributed to the growth and development of various concepts in business ethics including European Business for Ethics Networks and the society of business ethics.
Publishing of various issues associated with business ethics was highly published by Journal of business ethics from 1982. This level of business ethics focuses on individual’s rights and obligation they possess; the actions are permitted for them as well as the virtues and character traits which employees should possess. It also includes possible ways of any confusion regarding employee interaction. Mid-Level business ethics from the broadest sense of ethics focuses on policies, activities, government or firm’s structure, professional association, non-government organizations as well as industry associations. This level of business ethics is concerned with evaluating activities of the above entities, their responsibilities, rights, permissions and their obligation. For instance, whether they have proper and accepted structures, rules, culture, and authorities.
For instance, how firms, regulatory agencies, and markets operate. Business ethics must also understand the appropriate factors which are negatively affecting health relationship in any system of firms before coming up with ethical theorizing for regulating markets shared by such system of firms, (Bek-Thomsen et al, 2017). Such factors include the structure of competition in such system that is likely to produce benefits. This is because some institution may deliberately require or allow individuals to take part in activities which may be considered unethical in other contexts. Discussing and illustrating traditional and “every day” norms are the main role of business ethics. But focusing on the modern theories of virtue, for instance, the theory of Adam Smith on moral (Wicks, 1996) which focuses on individual virtues such as honesty, temperance, industriousness as well as prudence.
Focusing on virtue ethicists, for instance, this paints an image of fair-minded, prudent and courageous and effective leadership which is mounted and developed by organizational behavior as well as empirically minded colleagues in a given department. This reflects how the firm which hires a virtuous manager has high chance to succeed. This is also reflected in other books of business ethics such as How personal integrity leads to corporate success (1999) written by Philosopher Robert, (Bek-Thomsen et al, 2017). In which an integrity manager is a given firms is taken as the agent of the success of such firm. These theories require the observation of both organization and professional rules when handling issues faced with a dilemma. Thus, one will be required to honor one rule in professional or organization and act against other rules which will not have highly affect the firm negatively, (Bek-Thomsen et al, 2017).
The ethical decision making which individual (employees) may adopt can only be discussed in macro- level of business ethics as it defines how firms are structured, governed and regulated. Another method that employee or a professional can apply to solve any conflicting situation is by application of cognitive psychology. It focuses on individual interest in the available alternatives of solving a given conflicting situation. It is sufficient to state that the theories of “stakeholder” apply mostly to the parties that relate directly to the firm. Such parties include customers, investors, suppliers and surrounding community to the firm. Stakeholder theory is directly associated with Freeman as its founder. In his theory, he linked the ownership of the firm to the investors and concluded that the only key purpose of the firm is to serve the interests of its owners.
Therefore, the managers of a firm have a right and obligation by the law to advance owners interests in the firms by use of any applicable method. The mid-level debate in many business ethics book covers most of its topics in the form of essays (specified ones) and gives out many debates that focus on firm’s policies or the attempts by the stakeholders to take full control of the activities conducted by the firm together with its employees. Other topics which are covered on the mid-level business ethics include; possible ways of establishing accountability or responsiveness in a large hierarchical organization or firm. All the mid-level issues are bound to be applied on management and running of a firm operating in competitive markets.
Macro-level business ethics focuses on the market systems especially in a democratic society It is well known that market is associated with principles of liberty. Such principle applies to the maximization of utility and property rights. These are also the consideration of traders’ freedom and hence progressive business ethics about market should not undermine freedom and interaction of employees and customers. Although government regulation on the market as proposed by many philosophers may not be the best in market regulation since it will never eliminate all the unethical practices, it is considered the best alternative as it does not violet basic liberties including freedom of speech and privacy. Conclusion It is sufficient to conclude that, although most of the philosophers and business ethicists have tried to formulating standard models which can be used to regulate both social and political relationship in micro-level, mid-level and macro-level of business ethics.
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