Another extrapolation from Maslow is that action is motivated by the needs or interests of the actor, and that ethics is considered in terms of the impact of that action in terms of its consequence to other parties. The theory of rights covers entitlements of business partner, customers, communities, and other parties as established by laws, court rulings, and social conventions. I believe I’m part of something bigger – my company, my family, my relationships, my country, my world – and that I have a responsibility to be in service at all times (well, as often as I’m humanly able). The category of greatest interest to ethics are those actions deemed questionable – where an actor seeks to benefit himself and accepts that there are negative consequences to others.
Business ethics is a specialized study of moral right and wrong in doing a business. So miners keep getting injured and dying, and fines have come to be seen as a cost of doing business. This tends to be a difficult subject, and the focal point of much consideration and argument, and a fundamental consideration to ethics. Managers and employees, then, have a responsibility to serve the company they work for by striving to make money for it. The very act of seeking profits is, according to Friedman, a moral act.
Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a multidimensional study of one of the biggest business scandals in American history. Business ethicists sometimes concern themselves with the activities of non-profit organizations, but more commonly focus on for-profit organizations. Sison, A.J.G. & J. Fontrodona, 2012, The Common Good of the Firm in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition”, Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2): 211-246. Donaldson, T. & T.W. Dunfee, 1999, Ties that Bind: A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press. Alex: So you’re talking about corporate social responsibility, CSR as it’s known.
Koehn, D. & B. Wilbratte, 2012, A Defense of the Thomistic Concept of the Just Price”, Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(3): 501-526. Alex: Well I think it’s up to the owners of the business to decide how they want to run their business. Members of the community have no obligations to the business, nor does the business have any obligation to them. Starbucks makes conscious efforts to be a responsible company and conduct business in an ethical manner.
As philosopher Joseph Heath has convincingly argued , this idea of constrained competition serves as a strong foundation for an ethics of business grounded in the goals of markets themselves. When there is no social connection between the individuals, the motivation of the other person to intervene is less defensible. Questions to which Alex Oliver should know the answers: he runs The Forum for Philosophy in Business at Cambridge University.