Ethical Standards in business ethics – Concept Ethical standards are the principles of business conduct by which the propriety of business activities may be judged in terms of right or wrong. It is difficult to lay down a universal code of ethical standards, because they primarily depend on time, circumstances and culture. Some of the general ethical standards of business are given below. 1. Follow the business rules honestly. 2. Equal distribution of business income among van groups. 3.Human behaviour with workers and security 4. Avoid unfair competitions. 5.Follow general business tradition 6. Follow fair price policy 7.To make all business activity welfare oriented. 8. Fair selection to the extent of looking into the personal problems of employees. 9.Service first and profit next 10. Satisfaction to customers 11. Well being of the community 12. Dignity of human labour 13. Business must just, humane efficient and dynamic. 14. Social rule of business. Some of the important ethical standards of business contained in the code, premium non nocere (a Hippocratic Oath of the Greek physician) are as follows. 1. Do not cheat or deceive the customer. 2. Do not destroy or distort competition 3. Do not tarnish the image of competitions by unfair practices 4. Sincerity and accuracy in advertising, labeling and packaging 5. No hoarding, black marketing or profiteering 6. Due payments of taxes and discharging other obligations promptly control 7. No formation of cartel agreements to production, price etc to the common disadvantage 8. Making genuine records of business available to all authorized persons as and when needed by them. 9.Fair wages and fair treatment to employees 10. No kickbacks or pay off to any body. The principles of business ethics developed by various well know authorities like Cantt, J.S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, Plato Thomas Garret, Woodrad, and Wilson etc are given below: 1. Sacredness of means and ends: This is the first and most important principle of business ethics It emphasize that the means and techniques adopted to serve the business ends must be sacred and pure. That means, a good end cannot be attained with wrong means, even if it is beneficial to the society. 2. Not to do any evil: This principle of business ethics indicates that it is unethical to do a major evil to another or to oneself, whether this evil is a means or an end. According to Cantt, good opinion and good wishes should be the focal point of all the business activities. 3. Principle of proportionality: It is unethical to permit a major evil to another or to oneself without proportionate reason. À proportionate reason exists when the good willed as a mean or end equals or out weights the harmful side effects, which are not willed as either means or end. The principle suggests that one should make proper judgment before doing anything so that others do not suffer from any loss or risk of evils by the conduct of business. The following factors must be considered while making proportional judgment a.the type of goods or evils involved b.the probability of effects c.the urgency of the situation d. the intensity of one’s influence over effects e. in the availability of alternative means. 4. Non-co-operation in evils: Unethical means may be adopted to achieve an end in a number of business situations. Actually it is an unethical act. Therefore, one should not co-operate with anyone for doing evil acts. 5. Co-operation with others: It is another important principle of business ethics. This principle clearly points out that a business should help others only in that condition when other deserves for help. 6. Publicity: According to W. Wilson, anything that is being done or to be done, should be brought to the knowledge of everyone. It everyone knows, none gets opportunity to do an unethical act. 7. Equivalent Price: This principle is given by W.Wilson. According to him, the people are entitled to get goods equivalent to the value of money that he will pay. 8. Business consciousness:As per this principle, the businessman should give importance to his/her inner voice, which is arising out of subconscious mind. 9. Service motto: A businessman must be guided by service motto. 10. Universal value: According to this principle the conduct of business should be done on the basis of universal values. 11. Human dignity: As per this principle, man should not be treated as a factor of production. Human dignity should be maintained. 12. Autonomy: Business should have autonomy. 13. Promise keeping: This principle suggests that businessmen should not hurt the interests of other businessman. 14. Non-violence: If businessmen hurts the interests and rights of the society and exploits the consumer by overlooking their interests this is equivalent to violence and unethical act. Ethical standards and issues in business The ethical standards and issues of a business are dynamic. It is so because these standards and issues are basically based on the existing socio-political and economic syst which are dynamic in nature and change rapidly. There a time when ethical standards of business were set the state law. But, since the beginning of the 20th cen government and religious institutions are not able understand the changing complexities of busines Therefore, business itself, started to develop their o moral philosophy, by bearing in mind the state policie rules, regulation and social needs. Since business exi and operate within the society, and it is a part of subsystem of society, its functioning must contribute to the welfare of the society. That means the social responsibility of business in increasing day by day. The social responsibility places a heavier responsibility on the business community to meet ethical values. According to Prof. Bowen, the main ethical standards and issues are: 1. The question regarding distribution of income: It involves (a) Problem of income distribution blue (b) Long run cost (c) Distribution of net profit 2. Other ethical issues are: (a) Honesty and legal provisions (b) Working conditions and labour profit (c) Social costs and values (d) Advertisement and sources of public relation tollel E (e) Economic stability (1) Relation with government – slibris isol13 (9) Others The following are the main ethical issues of business. 1.issues relating to objectives of business: All issues wted with objectives of business are included in business . Whether to achieve maximum profit or not or whether to charge high price or reasonable price etc. are ethical issues. 2.Issues regarding honesty: It is the moral responsibility of business to act honestly and with legality. False claim through advertisement, not to present correct information etc are some of the dishonest activities. It is against business ethics. 3. Issues related with price policies: Problems related with charging high prices, discriminations in price etc are some of the issues related with business ethics. 4. Issues regarding employees: Business concerns have moral responsibility towards its employees. Physical working conditions like air, water, temperature, safety, monotony, working hours, motion etc and psychological working condition like promotion, job satisfaction, transfer, security etc are some of the moral issues regarding labour. Ethical and moral standards must be applied on these cases. 5. Issues regarding consumers: A number of issues are related with consumers. They are also considered on ethical grounds. It includes a. price, quality and utility of goods b. correct measurement and weight C. price of goods d. warranty and condition on sale of goods e. misleading advertisement f. protection of consumer rights etc 6.. Issues regarding economic stability: Business must contribute to economic stability and development of nation. Maintaining employment level, refrain from economic fluctuation are some of issues where the standards are to be applied. 7. Issues relating to creditors: Timely repaym maintaining proper accounts, strict observation of te and condition etc are some of the issues related w creditors where ethical and moral standards to considered. 8. Issues relating to government: Timely payment tax, proper assessment of tax, maintenance of proper books of accounts, donation to political parties, dissolution or information of business etc are some of the issues which require consideration on ethical grounds. 9. Issues relating to society: A certain section of the society residing around the business premises has influence in the function of business concern. These people have many issues like health, their education, standard of living, welfare employment, environment protection, waste removal, water and air pollution etc. All these issues cannot be solved by government on the basis of rules and regulations. So to solve these issues, ethical and moral standards have to be applied. 10. Issues concerned with national interest: Existing and new business should provide top priority to national interest. It may be priority to national schemes, employment opportunities, development of backward areas, balanced regional growth, expert, international cooperation etc. These issues must be gain due consideration 11. Issues relate with distribution of income: A business firm earns profit through the collective efforto Tabourers, supervisors, managers etc. Therefore pion must be equitably distributed. So this is an ethical issue. 12. Other ethical issues: Moral issues related when human behaviour towards employees, competitors, du medical and other educational institution etc are some of the other ethical issues.
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