BUSINESS ETHICS - PART A
Ethics has been taken up, debated over, explained, examined and analyzed by different forums in different contexts. However, with the emergence of capitalism, in particular, its consolidation, through its latest form of development in globalization as a reorganization of capitalism, with its essentially consumer culture and all its pros and cons amidst a world system scenario it has evoked a surge of interest in this particular domain of carrying out business in an ethical way. Today business ethics is also as much a cynosure of discussion as sustainability and profitability.
Since the dawn of history this word and topic has had an important place in all the scholarly discussions. It also has its presence as an important tenet in most of the religions. The meaning of the word "ethics", in the Aristotelian moral philosophy tradition is "human actions from the point of view of their rightness or wrongness" (Bourke, 1951), or "the body of principlesÃ¢ÂÂ¦.which
could serve as an adequate guide for wise choice" (Baylis, 1958). William Lillie (1971) says "Ethics is a normative science of the conduct of human being living in societies- a science which judges this conduct to be right or wrong to be good or bad, or in some similar way".
However, a postmodernist skepticism in the dualistic way of thinking (rooted in the enlightenment period and taken up by the dominant discourse of the western academia) opens up complex appreciation of a more complex reality, ever changing and imbued with contextual dilemmas conflicts and contradictions. To think of ethics as integrally intertwined with and important in the context of business is to stop making simplistic watertight dualistic compartments: science/arts, private/public, personal/political, practical/emotional, rational/reasonable (as if rationality is an abstracted notion devoid of an ethical consideration, in whatever way ethics is...