Why does a student have a problem with writing an essay on a similar topic? Probably, because business ethics is a relatively young science that continues to develop rapidly and change every day. What was relevant yesterday, may quite possibly be outdated today.
It should be noted that this subject is compulsory not only at specialized business schools, but also in many universities. It has become an integral part of training economists, managers, specialists in the management of public organizations and public service.
Business ethics in a broad sense is a set of principles and norms that should guide the activities of organizations and their members. It includes phenomena of different orders: ethical assessment of both the internal and external policies of a firm as a whole; moral principles of the members of a firm; professional morality; moral climate in a company; norms of business etiquette, etc.
Interestingly, the general basis of business ethics is the understanding of labor as a moral value. And labor becomes moral value if it is perceived not only as a source of means of subsistence, but also as a way of shaping human dignity. At the same time, traditional ethical problems are solved:
- The problem of moral choice turns into the problem of choosing a profession;
- The so-called vocation problem; the problem of the meaning of life becomes a problem of the meaning of professional activity;
- Moral debt is considered as a professional debt;
- Moral responsibility is refracted through professional responsibility;
- Professional qualities of an individual receive a moral assessment.
In general, a set of ethical rules and norms of conduct shared by participants of a corporate society (shareholders, directors, managers, employees) is formalized through business ethics documents, through which certain models of behavior and joint activity are created, as well as corporate mechanisms that ensure their application by participants of the corporate society in relations between themselves and with the external environment (state, business partners, etc.).
Modern universal principles of business ethics are based on the axioms of world philosophy and are tested by the centuries-old practice of business relations:
- Never do what is not in your long-term interests or interests of your company. The principle is based on teaching of ancient Greek philosophy about personal interests, combined with interests of other people, and the difference between long-term and short-term interests.
- Never do what you should not say is truly honest, open and true, which you can proudly announce to the whole country. The principle is based on the views of Aristotle and Plato on the personal virtues of honesty, openness and moderation.
- Never do what is not good, which does not contribute to the formation of a sense of community and work for one common goal. The principle is based on the standpoints of world religions calling for goodness and awareness of interconnection and interdependence.
- Never do anything that violates the law, because the law presents the minimum moral standards of society. The principle is based on the teachings about the role of a state as an arbiter in the competition between people for good.
- Never do anything that does not lead to a greater good, rather than harm to the society in which you live. The principle is based on the ethics of utilitarianism – the practical use of moral behavior.
- Never do what you would not want to recommend to others who are in a similar situation. The principle is based on the imperative of Kant about the universal norm.
- Never do that which infringes on the rights of others. The principle is based on the views on rights of an individual.
- Always act in such a way as to maximize profits within the framework of the law, market requirements and with full consideration of costs, because the maximum profit, if these conditions are met, indicates the greatest efficiency of production. The principle is based on the economic theory of the optimal transaction.
- Never do anything that could hurt the weakest members of society. The principle is based on the rule of distributive justice.
- Never do anything that would interfere with the rights of another person to self-development and self-realization. The principle is based on the theory of expanding the degree of individual freedom necessary for the development of society.
Principles of Business Ethics
- The central place of the so-called gold standard is universally accepted: "In the framework of official position, in relation to one's subordinates, to leadership, to colleagues at the service level, to clients, etc., one should never be allowed such actions, which one would not like to see in relation to oneself".
The order of the principles considered below is not conditioned by their importance:
- Equity is needed when the staff is provided with the necessary resources for their work.
- Ethical violation must necessarily be rectified, regardless of when and by whom it was admitted.
- The maximum of progress – employee behavior and actions are recognized as ethical if they contribute to the development of a firm from a moral point of view.
- The minimum of progress – actions of employees are recognized as ethical if they do not at least violate ethical norms.
- Ethical is the tolerant attitude of employees of a certain organization towards moral foundations and traditions of other organizations, regions, countries.
- The reasonable combination of individual and ethical relativism with the requirements of universal ethics.
- Individual and collective principles are equally recognized as the basis for the development and adoption of decisions in business relations.
- Do not be afraid to have your opinion when dealing with any service issues (non-conformism should remain within reasonable limits).
- No forms of violence, pressure on subordinates can take place.
- Persistence of impact – ethical standards can be successfully implemented in the company through continuous efforts on the part of management and all employees.
- When influencing someone (subordinate, consumer, etc.), it is necessary to take into account the strength of possible counteraction.
- Expediency of advancing trust is the competence of an employee, the sense of his or her duty, and so on.
- Striving for conflict-free atmosphere.
- The availability of freedom, not limiting freedom of others.
- The principle of staff promotion of ethical behavior of others.
- Inadmissibility of criticism of the "internal" and "external" competitor.
Possible Topics for Selection
As you already understood, this is such a broad topic that you will not find it difficult to choose a theme that will be interesting to you. If you love history – explore the origins of this science, in case you love analysis – analyze the work of an enterprise with illustrations of engaging business ethics, if you are fond of innovation – look for the latest information reflecting the current changes in this science.
- The origins of business culture.
- Socio-psychological and moral-ethical portrait of a modern ideal entrepreneur.
- Traditions and innovation as features of the formation of business ethics.
- Rules for preparing a public speech.
- The concept of conflicts, their classification, causes, structure.
Do not forget about such a branch as corporate ethics. This concept will take quite a lot of time to delve into and might be a full-fledged topic for your essay.
Choose what you like, and write about it with pleasure.