Many argue capitalism is immoral, while others quickly bring them down with the disdainful “socialist”, or worse, “communist” label. But is capitalism to be left on its own, self-regulating and hopefully generating the best-possible society, if only we stopped interfering? Business ethics is becoming ever hotter, as more and more people come to think that an economic system, whatever its name, should be in place primarily to provide well-being to the society as a whole, not just to the chosen ones. So if capitalism rages around conveniently exempted from moral choices, here we are, discussing what is ethical and what not, hoping to blend some ethical angle into business decisions too.
In this post I give some examples of ethically delicate situations or of typical unethical business practices, whether they are on the part of corporations or on that of their staff as individuals. Because business ethics is not just the morality we would like to instil in corporations’ decisions regarding the rest of the society; if we are to introduce the moral angle, then we must pull it through. The ethical dilemma also applies to the corporation’s relations to other companies, or to its own staff, while the staff themselves are prone to coming up against ethical choices – being accountable to their employer, often also accountable to the society.
So don’t sit back; business ethics is not just for “them” – the big corporations and their immorally wealthy and mighty top executives. Business ethics is for everyone, for we are all equal, aren’t we, in front of the law, in the face of morality.