business ethics

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business ethics,

the study and evaluation of decision making by businesses according to moral concepts and judgments. Ethical questions range from practical, narrowly defined issues, such as a company's obligation to be honest with its customers, to broader social and philosophical questions, such as a company's responsibility to preserve the environment and protect employee rights. Many ethical conflicts develop from conflicts between the differing interests of company owners and their workers, customers, and surrounding community. Managers must balance the ideal against the practical—the need to produce a reasonable profit for the company's shareholders with honesty in business practices, safety in the workplace, and larger environmental and social issues. Ethical issues in business have become more complicated because of the global and diversified nature of many large corporations and because of the complexity of government regulations that define the limits of criminal behavior. For example, multinational corporations operate in countries where bribery, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and lack of concern for the environment are neither illegal nor unethical or unusual. The company must decide whether to adhere to constant ethical principles or to adjust to the local rules to maximize profits. As the costs of corporate and white-collar crime can be high, both for society and individual businesses, many business and trade associations have established ethical codes for companies, managers, and employees. Government efforts to encourage companies to adhere to ethical standards include President ClintonClinton, Bill
(William Jefferson Clinton), 1946–, 42d President of the United States (1993–2001), b. Hope, Ark. His father died before he was born, and he was originally named William Jefferson Blythe 4th, but after his mother remarried, he assumed the surname of his
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's Model Business Principles (1995), in a program overseen by the Dept. of CommerceCommerce, United States Department of,
federal executive department charged with promoting U.S. economic development and technological advancement. In Feb., 1903, the Congress established a Department of Commerce and Labor empowered to investigate and report upon the operations
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.

Bibliography

See M. Clinard and P. Yeager, Corporate Crime (1980); R. Berenbeim, Corporate Ethics (1987); C. Walton, The Moral Manager (1988); P. Baida, Poor Richard's Legacy (1990).

References in periodicals archive ?
It covers the principles of ethical thinking, including professionalism, truth, honesty, trust, rights, rules, and utilitarianism; moral development, codes of ethics, conflicts of interest, whistle-blowing, and moonlighting; strategies and tactics in public relations related to social media (a new chapter), traditional media, persuasion, propaganda, advocacy, and good causes, as well as the ethics of ghostwriting and plagiarism; and the role of public relations in the ethics of organizations, including ethical dilemmas, decision-making tools, corporate ethics programs, and public relations leadership (a new chapter).
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The Ethisphere Institute, an independent centre of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance, has recognised NextEra Energy Inc.
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Ralston also acted as director of compliance, responsible for the development and management of Schlumberger's global corporate Ethics and Compliance Program.
Corporate ethics and auditor ethical decision-making have garnered considerable attention in academic research following the corporate scandals of the early 2000s, the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, and the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
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Keidanren's charter of corporate ethics on recruitment and employment of new college graduates:
Let me explain in brief what corporate ethics is, it is "a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment.
based international think tank dedicated to advocating best practices in business in such areas as corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility, as well as social and environmental issues.

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