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“Discuss therelevance of management ethics in a modern business context”.

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Introduction

"Discuss the relevance of management ethics in a modern business context" Ethics can be defined as moral principles or beliefs about what is right or wrong. These beliefs guide individuals in their dealings with other individuals and groups and provide a basis for deciding whether behaviour is right and proper (Beauchamp et al., 1979). From a managerial perspective ethics are able to guide managers to making moral decisions in a variety of situations. An ethical decision is a "decision that reasonable or typical stakeholders would find acceptable because it aids stakeholders, the organisation, or society. By contrast, an unethical decision is a decision a manager would prefer to disguise or hide from other people because it enables a company or a particular individual to gain at the expense of society or other stakeholders (Jones et al., 1998). Therefore it seems that in order for organisations to function fairly and in an appropriate manner ethical behaviour must be adopted. ...read more.

Middle

They decided to postpone any action in order to protect profits, and deny any responsibility for the safety of the product they produced. Pressure can often influence managers decisions. Managers are often under constant pressure to increase output and efficiency, as well as maintaining profits. Therefore they engage in unethical behaviour to reduce losses, as they did at Dow Corning. This can also happen if a supplier reduces the quality of its goods to firms, in order to keep its costs down. This is obviously unethical behaviour as it is deceptive and dishonest. However if they reduce the quality of their goods it is likely that firms will stop using them as their supplier. Eventually the unethical suppliers will lose all their customers, so receive no long term gain. That concerns whole firms and their decisions. If we look at individual managers in organisations we can see how unethical behaviour can spiral out of control and cause much damage. ...read more.

Conclusion

The most important step to encouraging ethical behaviour is through a code of ethics that are published regularly in news-letters and are given to every employee. Johnson and Johnson's credo is widely circulated, and all its employees know how they are expected to behave (Murphy, 1989). Through these ethical control systems employees are able to learn an organisation's ethical values. As long as those controls are in place and are taken seriously, organisations will do the right thing and behave ethically. Beauchamp, T.L and Bowie, N.E (1979) Ethical Theory and Business. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall. Jones, R., George, J. and Hill, C. (1998) Contemporary Management. Mcgraw-Hill. Decenzo, D. and Robbins, S. (2002) Fundamentals of Management. Pearson Prentice Hall. Galen, M., Byrne J. and Smart T. (1992) Debacle at Dow Corning: How Bad Will It Get. Business Week, 36-38. Dobson, J. (1999) Corporate Reputation: A Free Market Solution to Unethical Behaviour. Business and Society, 1-5. Murphy, P.E (1989) Ethics and Excellence. New York: Oxford University Press. I Julia Dickinson 1 ...read more.

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