As demand grows for higher standards of social responsibility among small businesses, professional firms, companies and even individual investors are increasingly being held responsible for all their actions. There has been an increased need for small business to change their perspectives on business ethics as mere administrative compliance with adherence and legal standards to internal regulations and rules (Gehrke). Small businesses, like never before, are being asked, prodded and encouraged to keep up their business practices in order to emphasize ethical and legal behavior.
Today, it follows that small businesses around the world have to show ethical and responsible behavior for them to earn confidence and respect of their clients. Majority of small businesses are implementing standards of ethical and responsible behavior for some reasons. One of the objectives why such standards or codes are established is to ensure that adherence is encouraged to uncompromised level of utmost integrity. Awareness and approval of appropriate conduct need to be heightened and the insight for handling difficult issues need to be provided (U. S. Department of Commerce).
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Business ethics and responsible behavior has become important in creating awareness of the international and domestic issues related to business and the conveyance of the standards and rules that are considered fit, correct and justice. It is believed that social responsibility is broader compared to ethical standards and as such, there exist no direct correlation within the area of social responsibility as that of ethics. Social responsibility goes beyond the welfare of the business and breaks the boundary to cover the interests of the entire community (U. S. Department of Commerce).
Small businesses commit themselves in maintaining the acceptable codes of ethics within the business while keeping on track that all business operations are done with utmost accountability. This ensures that protection of the business environment is maintained at all standards most importantly considering the clients who form the most important part of any small business (U. S. Department of Commerce). Social responsibility principles in small business identify some key areas that make the business competent and within the acceptable standard that favors the surrounding environment.
Small businesses have to be responsible for the safety of the employees, their clients and the community members (Gehrke). It is also important that the small business owners take note on the human rights and observe ethics by all standards in the practice of business (U. S. Department of Commerce). The practices of any small business have to be regulated by codes of ethics and social responsibility to ensure no abuse of the environment and human rights.
Diversity is an important aspect in any business environment and should be addressed to maintain a balance of different individuals that work in any business operation. The small business is also required to be financially responsible and perform by all means to maintain and keep the environment clean and safe for a friendlier coexistence (U. S. Department of Commerce). In addressing diversity as a social responsibility, the small business has the responsibility to foster diversity within the workplace and proactively encourage diverse employment practices within the business.
In order to encourage diversity, it is necessary for small business to buy from socially diverse sellers for the benefit of all people in the community. It is the social responsibility for the small business to add value and provide support to the local community (U. S. Department of Commerce). The small business should also encourage those involved in the process of procurements to maintain practices that benefit the entire community. Some small businesses involve themselves in giving donations and some have written policies that encourage employees to offer voluntary services to the community (Gehrke).
These donations provided by small businesses can help in the creation of environmental awareness or establishment of facilities that are of common good for the entire community. Donations may also be made to assist in the maintenance of facilities for the old age and orphans who form an important part of a society. Human rights provide a fertile growing base for any small business. It should be the responsibility of each and everyone in the small business to have respect and dignity when treating others (U. S. Department of Commerce).
Small business should respect and support the international human rights protection within its sphere of influence. Within the business and all partners, it should be encouraged for every person to avoid complicity in employment and human rights abuses. However, there are challenges that may not be solved easily when dealing with ethical standards and social responsibility. One of the common problems related to employment and human rights is the treatment of the issue of child labor prohibition in areas where they solely rely on the children as a means of labor in business and to support homes (U.
S. Department of Commerce). The observation of ethical concerns and social responsibilities in communities and business environments by small businesses has grown to be important than ever before. It is now required that small business become responsible for all the actions they are involved in every day business processes (Gehrke). The codes of ethics and social responsibilities are mainly specified to ensure responsibility of business practices and utmost protection of the environment in which business operations take place. Works cited
Gehrke, James "What Do Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Mean Today? " What Do Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Mean Today? 17 Jan. 2008. 5 May. 2010 <http://ezinearticles. com/? What-¬Do- Ethics- and- Corporate- Social- Responsibility- Mean- Today? &id=934412>. U. S. Department of Commerce. Business Ethics. “A Manual for Managing A Responsible Business Enterprise in Emerging Market Economies. ” A Manual for Managing A Responsible Business Enterprise in Emerging Market Economies 2004. 5 May. 2010. <http://www. trade. gov/goodgovernance/adobe/bem_manual. pdf>
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