Outline the arguments for and against bringing ethics and corporate social responsibility into business The question of whether or not to bring ethics and corporate social responsibility into business is an ongoing one . “Business ethics is the study of proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial issues such as bribery, discrimination and corporate social responsibility” (www. investopedia. com/terms/b/business-ethics. asp). The objective of this essay is to discuss the arguments for and against bringing ethics and corporate social responsibility into business.
There are three arguments against bringing ethics into business. The first argument is that the availability of free markets and the pursuit of profit can be guaranteed benefit to all members of the community (Velasquez, 1998). This means that regardless of ethics, companies can contribute to the production requirements of the public. For example, there are some companies in Saudi which contribute to the provision of some modern medical equipment to the general hospitals to improve the health care.
There is a counter-argument to this. Most companies have as their target only profit and the reduction of costs without paying attention to the interests of society. For instance, some factories flow chemical waste in rivers and lakes, therefore affecting fish, which is considered an important food source for humans. The second argument is the loyal agent’s argument (Velasquez, 1998). In some cases in business people have the right to reject something which is conflict with their ethics.
For example, a Muslim woman was working in a clothing store and the boss asked her to take off her headscarf and adorn herself to attract customers, but the woman told him that her religion did not allow her to do that and the manager tried forcing her. Then she left her job and resorted to the law and won the case. In terms of the counter-argument, behaviour in business is covered by law of agency which states that in business, ethics have to be considered. The third argument is related to the law. Velasquez (1998) says that the law is all that is required in order to be ethical.
This means that it should be enough for people to obey the law but the law and ethics are not the same for everyone. When it comes to the counter-argument there are aspects in ethics which is in some countries are legal but other countries would consider immoral. The laws of Saudi Arabia for example, require that business discriminate against women in ways people in other countries would not agree are ethical. However, there are four arguments in favour of ethics in business. The first argument is that all business should be based on morality which is achieved by humans (Corballis, 2011).
This means that each person has factors that help him to do the right. The second argument argues that business cannot exist without ethics standards (Corballis, 2011). This means that standards of morality should be available for the continuation of work. There is a counter argument to this. There is a counter argument to this because business could collapse if stakeholders behaved unethically. The third argument is that ethics produce profit. According to Corballis (2011), there is evidence that certain companies have combined the ethical and the economic together.
They make a profit and they are apparently ethical such as Hewlett- Packard, Levi Strauss and Starbucks. In terms of the counter-argument, this is a cynical view because a company which has ethics should not necessarily say that. The last argument is reward and punishment in business. Companies that have ethics they will be rewarded in turn will boycott companies that do not behave morally (Corballis, 2011). There is evidence of this: people still believe The Body Shop is totally ethical because the owner of this factory who is a woman was based in the manufacture of its products on natural products.
However, when the company grew and it became big, it was coveted by one of the major companies which bought the company from the owner. Therefore, they did not change the principal name and people believe it still has the same ethics. When it comes to the counter-argument, companies pay a huge amount of money to specialists for publicity and advertising to hide their unethical dealings, such as HSBC. In conclusion, this essay has discussed above the arguments for and against bringing ethics and corporate social responsibility into business.
From the above arguments, it can be seen that the arguments which support the importance of a morality in business are the most convincing because business without ethics will collapse. References:- – Corballis, T. , (2011), Argument for and against business ethics and corporate social responsibility, lecture given at Middlesex University. – Velasquez, M. G. , (1998), Arguments for and against Business Ethics, Business Ethics, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. – Investopedia. com/terms/b/business-ethics. asp, Retrieved August 7, 2011 from http://www. investopedia. com/terms/b/business-ethics. asp.