Examine the views of one religious belief on business ethics

Authors Avatar

Charley McCarthy

Examine the views of one religious belief on business ethics

(20 marks)

  Christianity contains an extensive collection of teachings, primarily those contained in the New Testament, which deals with the ethical side of running a business. Within businesses, companies usually have a main aim of making as large a profit as possible, and can sometimes use ways of doing so that could be considered as being immoral, for example employing child labour, damaging the environment or using blackmail and bribery. Within businesses there are many people involved, such as the employees, the stakeholders, the shareholders and the directors. Between these people, many conflicts can occur, and everybody cannot be made happy, e.g. if employees were given higher wages, the company manager would make less profit. Business ethics are partly created to limit such conflicts of interest whilst promoting harmonization (Henry Sidgwick). Of course, the manager of a business does not want to make too much sacrifice, but also often does not wish to be unethical, in which case in may be possible the come up with a third midway or alternative option. Rushworth Kidder refers this to as a ‘trilemma’. To help decide what is ethical and what is not, Christians have created their own code of moral business running, with rules such as ‘See that shareholders are kept informed of all major happenings affecting the company’ and to ‘Not tolerate any form of bribery, extortion or other corrupt or corrupting practices in business dealings’.

Join now!

  There are various examples of things that companies have done which Christians would consider unethical. One famous example if the Nestle baby milk scandal. This involved Nestle convincing mothers in the third world that their breast milk was unsuitable for their babies and that bottle milk would be healthier. They promised ‘modernization and heightened success’ through media and publicity stunts, and gave free bottle milk samples to mothers. Whilst using this, their breast milk dried up, resulting in their children dying once they could no longer afford to buy the bottle milk. This caused 35,000 deaths whilst boosting Nestlé’s ...

This is a preview of the whole essay