Week 1 Dq Fin 571

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Date Submitted: 05/02/2013 02:33 PM

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Discussion Question 1-1

What is ethics? If you follow all applicable rules and regulations, are you an ethical person?

Business ethics in thought is relative to the guided or principled attributes of a business and the manner in which they conduct business-related transactions. According to the course text, “ethical behavior can be a necessity for firms to operate profitably and to survive” (pg. 39). Practical application of ethical behavior in business encompasses a wide range of business activities. In my company business ethics comes into play when it comes to trade compliance. The promotional item that I manage is produced in countries like China and Indonesia. As part of managing our customer’s global supply chain our compliance department must ensure that the customs valuation of the items is categorized correctly so that the right tariff is placed on that item. Failure to do so can result in significant fines for the company and other legal ramifications.

I think relative to business “following the rules” does not necessarily deem you an ethical person but it does aid you in making ethical decisions. Business is not black and white; there is sometimes a lot of gray area where the rules have yet to apply. In those cases your ethical understanding are not only relative to the rules but your understanding of how your decisions impact the business and its stakeholders. For instance, I posed the question to our compliance group whether or not a hair clip that is designed to go along a food item as a ‘toy” is really a toy. This is significant since the tariff on a hair accessory is significantly higher than the tariff placed on a toy. Based on the broad definition of what a toy is it can be argued that the hair accessory is not a toy since there is no tangible entertainment value for the item. But for a little girl it is entertaining her as it provides her with entertainment in an inventive capacity. We could have simply placed the lower toy valued...