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Failure in business ethics is a real threat to the future of every corporation. Business ethics as an issue is a hundred times more powerful than the internet or globalization and can destroy your business in a week. To make matters worse, standards of business ethics are changing rapidly in response to random events which capture public imagination. In business ethics, what was good is becoming bad and what was considered bad is now good. Standards for business ethics that have worked for decades are looking old fashioned or immoral while other practices that raised questions are becoming totally acceptable.
So what is going to happen next in business ethics? How can corporations use business ethics to restore confidence and protect themselves against tomorrow’s headlines? What will be the new “Gold Standard” for business ethics and corporate governance? How much further than legal minimum requirements for business ethics should corporations go to ensure sustainable success? When business ethics goes wrong who gets blamed? Impact of media allegations of dishonesty, fraud or corruption of senior executives or directors – and how to protect business ethics reputation .
Why goalposts for business ethics will go on changing, and how to get ready? are all the questions to be pondered upon . Methodology of Inquiry should be able to reflect upon all above mentioned issues. Ethical decision making is about deciding between two rights. Leadership requires doing the “right thing” for the people of the organization, the organization itself and those the organization supports. But, what is the right thing? When faced with the difficult decision of choosing between two rights, some people seek the easy way out; avoidance, delay, or compromise.
Ethical decision making is required when you face a decision about whether to do something that the organization, the profession or society considers right but which conflicts with your strongly held values and principles. What should you do, go with the flow and obey the wishes and pressures of the organization, the profession or society? Or should you act in accordance with your own values, principles and moral or ethical beliefs at the risk of your job, your career and your social standing?
Ethical decision making is required to resolve ethical dilemmas or moral ambiguity between your own values and principles for living. Doing our part to create a more just and loving world for all mandates a strong commitment on the part of Ethical Societies and their members to their surrounding communities are something that is actually needed . Applied ethics in effective inquiry system consists of the analysis of specific, controversial moral issues such as abortion, animal rights, or euthanasia. In recent years applied ethical issues have been subdivided into convenient groups such as medical ethics, business ethics, environmental ethics, and sexual ethics.
Generally speaking, two features are necessary for an issue to be considered an “applied ethical issue. ” First, the issue needs to be controversial in the sense that there are significant groups of people both for and against the issue at hand. The issue of drive-by shooting, for example, is not an applied ethical issue, since everyone agrees that this practice is grossly immoral. By contrast, the issue of gun control would be an applied ethical issue since there are significant groups of people both for and against gun control. The second requirement for in issue to be an applied ethical issue is that it must be a distinctly moral issue.
On any given day, the media presents us with an array of sensitive issues such as affirmative action policies, gays in the military, involuntary commitment of the mentally impaired, capitalistic vs. socialistic business practices, public vs. private health care systems, or energy conservation. Although all of these issues are controversial and have an important impact on society, they are not all moral issues. Some are only issues of social policy. The aim of social policy is to help make a given society run efficiently by devising conventions, such as traffic laws, tax laws, and zoning codes.
Moral issues, by contrast, concern more universally obligatory practices, such as our duty to avoid lying, and are not confined to individual societies. There should be an honest and ethical conduct including the handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships ; full , fair , accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in reports that a company files with the Commission . Accountability for adherence to the code hastens the system of inquiry of the paper. The system of inquiry should be so effective and quick that no time should be wasted at any level of inquiry.
System of inquiry is thus not a set of hard and fast rules which once made are to be followed blindly. It in fact is a framework which needs to be firstly made seeing all perceptives and then renewed from time to time as per sociological requirements and most importantly rules should be kept flexible as the rules are for the people not that the people are for rules . Essential elements of an ethical frame work – include contextual input , purpose with actions at issue , path finding function , problem solving function , implementing function quality judgment and lastly its output.
Thus , systems inquiry incorporates these inter- related domains of disciplined inquiry systems theory. Systems methodology provides us with a set of models , strategies , methods and tools that instrumentalizes the whole systems inquiry. In today’s highly competitive , performance – driven business climate , regulations are not enough ; professional codes are not enough ; the old model of business ethics is not enough – what is required is a framework – that must be able to identify the ends as well as the means.