Ethics in Business

Ethics in business is a matter that is discussed extensively across the world. However, this is a matter that still baffles many individuals regarding to different organizations and individuals. An individual should be able to conduct himself in different situations. Thus, this essay examines different context where ethics is applicable, especially in business cases. This essay does so through examining five different articles that discuss ethics. For instance, the article by Alzolla (2008) touches on matters regarding ethics in the global business arena and how multinational and other business entities need to conduct themselves. The article on environment by Shaw examines how organizations should factor in ethics in their activities with aiming to improve the environment. On the other hand, Caroll (2004) is of the opinion that ethics is a problem especially now when firms undertake their activities globally. Thus, the article observes ways that an organization can manage its activities ethically with international stakeholders.

This essay examines the issue of ethics in different business areas providing an annotated bibliography of five articles

  1. Alzola, M. (2008), p 273-282. When urgency Matters: On non-Discretionary Corporate

Social Responsibility. Fordham University: New York.

In the article, the author argues that scholars and social activists were instrumental in pointing out business flaws. In turn, this has pushed many firms to try and address the matters that have been pointed out by different scholars and social activists. The author advances, that organizations are inclined to address social issues as a matter of duty, and proposes four ways, which can help the firms in addressing the societal issues. These include agents of justice, contribution, fair play, and membership.

The author employs different frameworks to support his arguments, they are: stakeholder theory, corporate citizenship, corporate governance, and sustainable development. According to the author’s opinion, the theoretical framework serves the indicating basis of the obligations and virtues bestowed to business executives. The author’s argument is convincing in that, the business executives are charged with the responsibility

 ensuring myriad of organization’s ethics. This is because they are in a position to make decisions that influence significantly the organization’s activities. In addition, the author’s arguments are convincing since the author indicates that society influences  the firm’s social responsibilities, which include ethical, economic, discretionary, and legal responsibilities.

  1. Caroll, B. C. (2004), p. 114-121. Managing Ethically with Global Stakeholders: A Present and Future Challenge. Academy of Management Executive: California

The author examines how managing business entities pose a given challenge that global stakeholders should be factored. Caroll (2004, p 115) asserts that, it is essential for executives to realize that they operate one world, for a business to survive the global challenges. In this sense, one world means a global village. Thus, the author outlines various entities that form the global village, which include governments, community, environment, consumers, employees, and employers. Caroll (2004) argues that global corporate responsibility and citizenship are always essential for the success of a firm.

The author’s argument regarding CSR is convincing as the author employs two models to substantiate his claims. These models are: the contingency model and stakeholder model. Caroll (2004) asserts that both of these models consider discretionary, economic, ethical, and legal expectations of the society to form the social responsibility of a business.

  1. Shaw, B. S. (2009), p 386-410. The Environment: Business and Society.

In this article, the author expounds on business issues that have an ethical impact on the environment. Thus, the author takes researches on water, agriculture, nuclear energy, air, and climatic change. Shaw (2009) observes that, business activities, in one way or the other, lead to the pollution of the environment.

One of the arguments advanced by the author is that tempering with the ecosystem has adverse effects on people. Some of these effects can be seen now, sometimes it take time for them to materialize. The argument is remarkably convincing as the author draws the example of the oil spill that expanded into the Gulf of Mexico. The author claims that this lead to plenty of fishes were found dead, it badly affected marine life and messed the source of food for humans. The second argument by the author is that human beings lead to pollution of the environment through their irresponsibility. Shaw (2004, p 393) blames reckless dumping of wastes in rivers and burning of forests. This is convincing because burning forests had a considerable effect on the environment as the weather patterns have considerably changed.

  1. Velasquez, M. (2000). P 343-352. Globalization and Failure of Ethics. Business Ethics

Quaterly: New York

The author cites globalization as a multinational enterprise, a direct investment in a foreign country. Globalization increases by 13 % every year, with over 54000 companies globalizing in diverse cultures through foreign investment. It, however, has brought problems especially correlations between the multinational and host workers, with ethical implications investing in a government where corruption is abhorred or to a nation not living at peace. Without critical assessment about the context of justice, the distinction between the just and the unjust is jeopardized by the fundamental diversity of cultural contexts. It is difficult to tell the business atmosphere of a country and rate it in terms of humane unless a multinational manager sets principles which will assist in sound judgment, with contemporary ethics creating a barrier to functionalism of the multinational manager(Velasquez, p 346). Some cultural basics do not draw the line between the right and the wrong, and with diversified cultural norms, making it even harder for contemporary ethics to curb the foreign cultural modes in which globalization put the key players in this field,  moreover there is an acute shortage of universal norms prevalent to everyone. This problem has had a big back lash even from the ethicists. “Particularists”, for instance, hold an approach based on the fundamental rights of the community in having preferences for legitimate justice. It universally erodes the moral principles. The only hope for the universal norms besides morality remains logic. Human right affairs, on the other hand, root its solution in preference to individual’s rights, instead of community one’s. It faces a challenge as most communities still hold on to the rights based on the cultural norms, which must be held including the rights of aliens or other minor social group. This is a setback to globalization and to the growth of international business as it gives no freedom in expressing themselves to the concerned parties.

  1. Viser, W. (2010), p 1-9. In: Responsible Business: How to Manage a CSR Strategy

Successful. John Wiley and Sons: London

It has been practiced by the ancient Vedic for more than 4000 years. Its modern concept can be attributed to inventions, for example, the software. It entered into public domain in 1950s with Bowen landmark and latter strengthened by Rachel Carson working in the chemicals industry in the 1960s in silent spring. In 1970s, the first   CSR code with legal, economic and ethical responsibilities were brought to light, and then in 1990s CSR was ISO certified. Its track sustainability, however, depends on the business impact of the society and the nature of the planet. For instance, Viser (2010, p 5) points out how the degradation of the ecosystem has an impact on society. Basically, one out of ten people had to lash out a bribe in 2007 for a favor in services. The failure of the CSR, however, emanates from incapability to pace with its increasing demands known as incremental CSR whose milestones are based upon a speed and skill. The second curse facing CSR is the peripheral; where the management commitment is low due to financial constrained backlash. Uneconomic CSR is also a curse in terms of meager resource outcomes. The best way forward is to let the old system go and find a new befitting system that will see a new spin towards revolution and this entirely depends on a shift from shareholder-value business, prone to frequent elimination of the CEOs and price fluctuation.


In conclusion, the global ethical theory gives the way forward and action plan, which tries to acute chances of vulnerable destruction of the ecosystem. It gives economic, social, physical and physiological history and reasons for the downfall of the essential paradigm of mankind and the possible action plan too. The global business ethics relays the steps towards attaining a global world that is free from economic constraints such as cultural factors that hinder foreign investment. The environmental ethics tries to cultivate a polluted free environment that is conducive for macro and microbial activity as it also opens possibilities to technological invention, what would help to maximize  utilization of natural resources without depletion. Hence, it gives the platform for past, modern and future ideas on how to improve our world. However, it does not give the limit of time within which the stipulated suggestions need to take up. It is essential to increase the number of researches to be done, in order to give society more valuable recommendations. There is no need in stipulated time limits to close down on open ended noble jurisdictions, which, if implemented in time, might go a long way towards improving the fauna and flora for coming generations.