§Do large companies incorporate an ethical dimension into their decision making process because failure to do so will lead to failure?

Essay by rosie04University, Bachelor'sC+, February 2004

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Business ethics is a relatively new, but rapidly growing area of the business world in recent times. There may be many reasons why businessmen, who are stereotypically known for their cut throat, dog eat dog attitude, have seemingly gained a social conscience. One such reason being put forward for this upsurge in the addition of ethical dimensions to the decision making process within companies, is the simple fact that without incorporating ethics the business will not perform well in financial terms.

Ethics has become a topical issue of late for many reasons. Some of these being; its incorporation to annual reports, greater regulation through bodies such as the FSA, growth of ethical investment trusts and greater medial scrutiny. In order to adjudicate on the reason for this progressive advancement of ethics in the business society, a clear definition of the term itself must be found. Morf at al (1999), defined business ethics as "the moral principals that individuals inject into their decision making process and that help to temper the final outcome to conform with the norms of their society."

This description of the term shows that ethics is not static, its perception may change from year to year and from location to location. For example, a mere 50years ago children worked as chimney sweeps and there was not moral objection to this practice. However, in today's society this would be seen as entirely unacceptable. Meaning ethical policies are not something, which can be fixed, they have to be analysed and reformed regularly.

Opinions of what constitutes good ethics are very much a personal point of view. To highlight this, the difference of opinion, on the subject of ethics, of the far right and far left political groups can be considered. The far right opinion, 'business is business', with the...