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Book Review 9

Page history last edited by caloy 15 years, 11 months ago



Corporate Governance and Ethics


    The conduct of companies, and the systems by which they are controlled and regulated, are central areas of investigation for business ethics. The actions of companies, particularly public corporations, can have large consequences, making concepts of responsibility and accountability important. We have seen that the relationship between the board and the shareholders leads to a number of problems. Managerial domination of boards leads to agency issues, which generate ethical concerns.


Finding Meaning in the Organization


    Employees at all levels experience moral issues in the workplace. These may be different in nature depending on their level in the business organization, but some guidance on how to respond in such situations is needed if the integrity of the organization and the employee is to be maintained. The contract of employment is a starting point but, as such, it does not reflect the values of corporations or give meaning to work. Business values are best judged by the actions taken by the corporations, as well by their written or oral statements. The issues are practical, changing only according to size on time by large corporations is often critical for the survival of smaller firms.


Codes of Ethics


    Companies to set out what they believe to be their social responsibilities, and to establish standards of good conduct for their employees can adopt ethical codes of practice. These codes may have many advantages in terms of both public relations and creating an environment in which the ethical concerns of employees can be raised openly. Many difficult questions may be faced when adopting a code, such as who should be involved, what areas should the code cover and how should it be enforced? In at attempt to account for the moral and practical problems, which may be involved, it may be productive to emphasize the nature of code implementation, both in its formulation and its enforcement.

    However, even the best-worked code will still be inapplicable to a wide range of moral concerns in business. For one thing, codes are almost useless to individual employees who are faced with their own particular dilemmas.

    Also, codes cannot be used to address the deeper social problems, which give rise to many of the moral problems in modern day business.

Reference: Current Issues in Business Ethics, Author: Peter W.F. Davies



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