View Poll Results: Do businesses have any ethical responsibilities, beyond obeying the law?

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  • Yes

    26 74.29%
  • No

    9 25.71%
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Thread: Do businesses have any ethical responsibilities, beyond obeying the law?

  1. #71
    apdst's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Bagdad, La.
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    Yesterday @ 10:50 PM
    Very Conservative

    Re: Do businesses have any ethical responsibilities, beyond obeying the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I think this is a perfect illustration of the mindset which I completely disagree with. When corporations are viewed as anonymous entities, rather than as collections of people, people are more willing to forgive their ethical transgressions to an extent that most people would NEVER tolerate from partnerships or sole proprietorships that are linked much more closely with a specific person's livelihood.

    Most people frown on individuals behaving unethically in pursuit of a profit...even if their actions are legal. Yet somehow that same mindset vanishes entirely when talking about large groups of people (i.e. corporations), and the unethical actions of corporations are tolerated or even praised as doing what is necessary to maximize profit.
    It depends on how you're defining, "ethical". If you refer to providing quality goods and services, then a company has a responsibility to it's own survival to operate in an ethical manner. In that case ethics = profit.

    Does a company have an ethical responsibility to protect a customer from his own ignorance? That goes back to providing quality customer service. If the salesman, or whatever, allows a customer to purchase a product that is totally opposite of what he needs, then that customer is probably going to chose a company that can better inform him to his needs, in the future. Again, ethics = profit.

    Does a company have an ethical responsibility to fund something like the Special Olympics? Well, it's good PR, so ethics = profits.

    Should a company have a responsibility to fund something like a gay rights group? IMO, any company that involves itself in politics, or religion is shooting itself in the foot. Speaking from personal experience, I don't and will never allow my company to be associated with anything political, or religious, or anti-religious. In that case, what may be defined as ethical activity could mean a loss in profits.

    Does a company have some responsibility to improve society, aside from the laws that regulate it's particular industry? No.

    Companies exist from one reason: to exchange goods and services for money. Every company has a responsibility to itself to accomplish that goal as best it can. Engaging in ethical conduct can achieve that goal; however, "ethical conduct", maybe defined.

    As a business owner, will I bend the rules to make a buck? You bet I will. Will I engage in conduct that I define as unethical? There's going to have to be a helluva lot of cash sitting on the table for me to do that. Now, if the cash is under the table? That's a different story.
    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
    Interpreting the constitution is the sole job of the SCOTUS. That is what they are there for.
    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Ok...where does Article 3 of The Constitution say interpret?

  2. #72
    User Lexenstar's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    USA, Kentucky
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    12-30-10 @ 07:38 PM

    Re: Do businesses have any ethical responsibilities, beyond obeying the law?

    Many Companies and Corporations do not actually do business within the law but they simply pay their way through it. As far as ethics go unfortunately many only have the one ethic of making money any way they can even if that means destroying the lives of their workers or seeking out illegal immigrants to do the work that they don't want to pay an American to do. Its a sad state of affairs reality I have always believed that a Company should always be held on a higher standard then a small business because as we saw a couple of years ago if they go bankrupt and the Government has to bail them out the economy goes to hell in a hand basket.

    Course the bailout was stupid anyways especially seeings as we pride ourselves on a Free Market Economy where you make and break yourself based on your business decisions and we were expected to bail out these companies that failed themselves. Goes to show that the ethic card doesn't apply to the companies like it should.
    Political: Nationalist ---- Military: Militaristic
    Social: Moderate ---- Foreign: Isolationist Leaning
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