Chapter 3 – Ethics

amoral behavior
in which a person has no sense of right and wrong and no interest in the moral consequences of his or her actions
code of ethics
a statement of commitment to certain ethical practices; also called a code of conduct
corporate philanthropy
when a company donates some of their profits or resources to charitable organizations
corporate social responsibility (CSR)
a company’s obligation to conduct its activities with the aim of achieving social, environmental, and economic development
the study of the general nature of morals and the specific moral choices a person makes
ethics training program
used by companies to boost the awareness of their employees about ethical issues; occurs at all levels of the organization
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Judeo-Christian ethics
refers to the common set of basic values shared across both Jewish and Christian religious traditions; these include respecting property and relationships, respecting one’s parents, and being kind to others
legal compliance
refers to conducting a business within the boundaries of all the legal regulations of that industry
legal regulations
the specific laws governing the products or processes of a specific industry
mission statement
something that defines the core purpose of the organization–why it exists–and often describes its values, goals, and aspirations
moral relativism
a perspective that holds that holds that there is no universal moral truth; instead, there are only people’s individual beliefs, perspectives, and values. This means that there is no single view that is more valid than any other; thus, no single standard exists to assess ethical truth
personal ethics
the principles that guide the decisions you make in your life
price fixing
this occurs when a group of companies agree among themselves to set a product’s prices, independent of market demand or supply
situational ethics
this is in which people make decisions based on a specific situation instead of universal laws; developed by Joseph Fletcher; “treat others as you would like to be treated”
social audit
a study of how well a company is meeting its social responsibilities; it is an internal systematic examination that measures and monitors what goals a company has set, what progress it has made, and how resources such as funding and labor have been applied to the CSR goals
socially responsible investing (SRI)
investing only in companies that have met a certain standard of CSR
the process of working to improve the quality of life in ways that simultaneously protect and enhance the earth’s life support systems
unethical behavior
this is defined as behavior that does not conform to a set of approved standards of social or professional behavior
an employee who reports misconduct, most often to an authority outside the firm

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