- What might be some other deterrents to ethical behavior in the business context, besides those discussed in this Focus on Ethics feature?
- Can you think of a situation in which a business firm may be acting ethically but not in a socially responsible manner? Explain.
- Why are consumers and the public generally more concerned with ethical and socially responsible business behavior today than they were, say, fifty years ago?
- Suppose that an automobile manufacturing company has to choose between two alternatives: contributing $1 million annually to the United Way or reinvesting the $1 million in the company. In terms of ethics and social responsibility, which is the better choice?
- Have Internet chat rooms and online forums affected corporate decision makers’ willingness to consider the community and public interest when making choices? Are corporate decision makers more apt to make ethical choices in the cyber age? Explain.
In Chapter 5, we examined the importance of ethical standards in the business context. We also offered suggestions on how business decision makers can create an ethical workplace. Certainly, it is not wrong for a businessperson to try to increase his or her firm’s profits. But there are limits, both ethical and legal, to how far businesspersons can go. In preparing for a career in business, you will find that a background in business ethics and a commitment to ethical behavior are just as important as knowledge of the specific laws that are covered in this text. Of course, no textbook can give an answer to each and every ethical question that arises in the business environment. Nor can it anticipate the types of ethical questions that will arise in the future, as technology and globalization continue to transform the workplace and business relationships. The most we can do is examine the types of ethical issues that businesspersons have faced in the past and that they are facing today. In the Focus on Ethics sections in this book, we provide examples of specific ethical issues that have arisen in various areas of business activity