Ethical and Moral Issues in Business

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Date Submitted: 08/21/2011 11:49 AM

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The difference between ethics and morals can seem somewhat arbitrary to many, but there is a basic differences. Morals are defined by personal character, while ethics stress a social system in which those morals are applied. In other words, ethics point to standards or codes of behavior expected by the group to which the individual belongs. This could be national ethics, social ethics, company ethics, professional ethics, or even family ethics. So while a person’s moral code is usually unchanging, the ethics he or she practices can be other-dependent. Ethical and moral issues in business are a very controversial topic. The opinion of what is and is not acceptable varies from person to person. But, contrary to popular belief ethics and morals are very important to the success of the business. There have been numerous issues and incidents that prove there is a need for ethics and morals in the business world. Without ethics and morals greed and self preservation would surely rule us all. There are incidents in the workplace where ethics and personal morality clash. Corporate greed plays a big part in the ethics and morality of business. The ethical guidelines created by these corporations are often blurred by their own employees. It is hard to be a “whistle blower” when so much is at stake. Most individuals know the difference between right and wrong, but their own greed and the need for self preservation clouds their judgment. The Enron scandal is a classic example of an ethical and moral incident in the business world. Enron executives Jeff Skilling and Kenneth Lay, along with attorney Arthur Andersen tried to hide millions of dollars in debt. The problem was that the company leveraged itself through debt, which it used to grow its noncore wholesale energy operations and service business. Eventually the stock price fell and off balance sheet liabilities put pressure on debt agreements, this eventually led to credit downgrades.

Define personal ethics. Ethics...