Is ethics in business pointless?
Therefore, it should not be interpreted that ethics in business is entirely pointless, even after countless corporate malpractices. This belief is supported by numerous writers, who have shown that many business practices command the upholding of basic ethical standards, such as co-operation, trustworthiness, and honesty. Business Activity would otherwise be impossible if employees refused to help each other; if corporate directors always lied; or if buyers and sellers never trusted each other. Equally, it would be wrong to assume the subject of business ethics is in some way naïve, due to numerous scandals bringing to light corporations’ wrongdoings. On the other hand, it can also be disputed that the matter of business ethics mainly exists to provide people with some answers to rationalise specific decisions, in order to identify actions as ethical or unethical.
However, you may look at it there seems to be sufficient evidence to indicate that business ethics is a phenomenon, and as a topic, should not be considered an oxymoron. Even though there may be considerable amounts of controversy surrounding what exactly constitutes as ‘ethical’ business practices, it is feasible to provide a reasonably acknowledged definition of business ethics according to Crane and Matten. They regard the subject of business ethics as;
“The study of business situations, activities, and decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed”.
It is also worth mentioning that by ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ Crane and Matten mean morally right and wrong, instead of, for instance financially or strategically right or wrong. Additionally, by ‘business’ ethics, they not only mean commercial businesses but also charities, pressure groups, government, as well as other organisations, that should essentially be following the same standard of conduct, in regard to ethics.