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Business Ethics

Business Ethics

Compare and contrast absolute and relative ethics.

In the business realm, there are different types of ethics, which include relative and absolute ethics. The term relative ethics denotes the fact that some actions are considered either wrong or right depending on the consequences that they may cause or have (Mackenbach, 2015). Ethical principles that are open to change are considered relative ethics. On the other hand, absolute ethics are universal laws that are considered intrinsically wrong or right (Mackenbach, 2015). Such actions are intentionally put in place in order to govern the world.

The primary difference between absolute and relative ethics is that absolute morality is universal and unchanging while relative morality is open to change. In the business world, absolute rules or laws are objective because they do not entail bias or personal opinions (Mackenbach, 2015). Absolute ethics are rules that any rational person would come up with and use in different situations. An example of absolute ethics would be that it is naturally or universally wrong to lie in any type of business, culture, or situation. On the contrary, relative morality is subjective (Mackenbach, 2015). Therefore, different people may have different opinions or beliefs on what is right or wrong. For instance, people may use different time periods or cultures to determine what is socially acceptable or not.

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Explain the ethical issues which can affect the operational activities of a business.

In business, ethical issues entail ethical actions or standards that may either positively or negatively affect organizational operations. Some major ethical issues in different organizations relate to trust and integrity, governance and compliance, decision-making, and accommodating diversity (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2016). One area of business ethics that can affect the operational activities of a business is discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Apart from being the largest ethical issues, discrimination and harassment affect an organization’s reputation, and financial operations, and may bring other catastrophic effects. Another ethical issue that affects organizational operations is health and safety in the workplace (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2016). Business leaders should always ensure that their employees work in a safe and secure environment. The most common ethical issues that may solve the challenge of health and safety in the workplace include the introduction of fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, respiratory protection, and machine guarding measures, among others.

Social media rants and whistle-blowing is an ethical issue that affects the operation of businesses. Employees should be allowed to use their social media accounts according to their wishes but should not be restricted by their employers (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2016). For instance, the act of punishing workers based on what they post online is unacceptable and should be avoided in the business realm. Other ethical issues that may impact companies include proper bookkeeping and accounting practices, and nondisclosure and privacy practices, among others (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2016).

Assess the potential conflicts between the needs and expectations of different stakeholders.

In business, the term stakeholder refers to a range of individuals and private or public organizations that are parties to an organization. In business organizations, the most common stakeholders include the investors and owners, the government, host communities, creditors, suppliers, and customers, among other personnel (Goodpaster, 2016). In most cases, different stakeholders have different expectations and needs. The differences may lead to potential conflicts. An example of a potential conflict is when the business owner needs to make a certain amount of profit but is restricted by the governing authority (Goodpaster, 2016). The government may require a business to pay taxes and abide by the State laws, which may reduce the amount of profit that the owner expects.

Another example of a potential conflict between stakeholders is when the business management wants to reduce the quality of products to a certain degree in order to make some profit (Goodpaster, 2016). On the other hand, the host community, which is a stakeholder in the business requires goods of high quality with minimal prices. Therefore, in such a case, there is the possibility of conflict since the reputation of the business may be ruined by the host community. Similarly, when suppliers seek to sell their raw materials to a business, they expect that they would be offered friendly prices that would maintain their daily operations (Goodpaster, 2016). On the other hand, most businesses expect that they acquire raw materials at low prices, and thus, a possibility of conflict between the two stakeholders.

Report on how a business can improve the ethics of their operations whilst meeting objectives and ensuring good employer employee relationships.

Ethics is a critical element in every business since it may affect business operations either positively or negatively. Therefore, organizations should aim at improving their ethical standards while at the same time ensuring that they meet their organizational objectives (Goodpaster, 2016). The first step that businesses should take is ensuring that the needs and requirements of their employees and workers are met. To begin with, every organization should ensure that they create a conducive working environment for their workers.

Employees should work in a safe environment to avoid injuries or health complications (Goodpaster, 2016). Secondly, organizations can improve the morality of their operations by focusing on the issue of privacy. Privacy is a critical element that may easily mend or ruin the reputation of a company. The personal information of customers or workers should not be accessible to anyone without their consent. Similarly, employees should be properly trained against sharing critical organizational information with third parties to avoid issues of sabotage or theft. The third factor that every organization should consider is the issue is through the development of an organizational culture that focuses on integrity and trust. It is impossible for an organization to improve its ethics devoid of trust and integrity (Goodpaster, 2016). Employees should be given the freedom to interact and create healthy relationships with their employers and managers to enhance integrity and trust, which consequently helps in improving business ethics.

 Summarise the regulatory framework for CSR.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has a regulatory framework that enhances the respect for environmental sustainability and international human rights in business practice. Therefore, CSR is a legal framework in which core operations and decisions in the company abide by a set of laws and norms (Hazarika, 2015). In its ideal form, Corporate Social Responsibility focuses on company leaders and managers and aims to show them how they can develop new products and ideas that have some social good, which is beneficial to the environment (Hazarika, 2015). Human actions and company stakeholders should be concerned with sustainability and the environment since the two elements are critical in achieving success in the future.

Assess the potential impact of changes in CSR on business performance.

Corporate social responsibility entails a combination of different activities, such as socially upright investments, anti-discrimination, business ethics, and adhering to employment law, among others (Zhao, 2017). Organizations should strive to have appropriate CSR to enhance their business performance. One of the potential impacts that an organization would have as a result of changing its CSR is having a good reputation. A company that focuses on social investments that are environmentally friendly has a competitive advantage over its competitors. The other potential impact is cost savings (Zhao, 2017). CSR requires that organizations take care of the environment through the reduction of emissions, waste, and resource use. By reducing the three elements, an organization would have saved its money, which it may channel into other organizational operations. The change in CSR in an organization helps in attracting positive reviews from the media (Zhao, 2017). This helps in the brand recognition of the organization. Other impacts that CSR may have on an organization include organizational growth, better financial performance, and easier access to capital.


Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J., 2016. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Cengage learning.

Goodpaster, K.E., 2016. Business ethics and stakeholder analysis. In The Corporation and Its Stakeholders (pp. 103-124). University of Toronto Press.

Hazarika, A., 2015. History and significance of CSR and social audit in Business: Setting a regulatory framework. In Social Audit Regulation (pp. 217-256). Springer, Cham.

Mackenbach, J.P., 2015. Should we aim to reduce relative or absolute inequalities in mortality?

Zhao, J., 2017. Promoting more socially responsible corporations through a corporate law regulatory framework. Legal Studies, 37(1), pp.103-136.


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Business Ethics

  1. Compare and contrast absolute and relative ethics.

    Business Ethics

    Business Ethics

  2. Explain the ethical issues which can affect the operational activities of a business.
  3. Assess the potential conflicts between the needs and expectations of different stakeholders.
  4. Report on how a business can improve the ethics of their operations whilst meeting objectives and ensuring good employer employee relationships.
  5. Summarise the regulatory framework for CSR.
  6. Assess the potential impact of changes in CSR on business performance.

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