Global Ethical Issues
Ethics denotes the fundamental and core principles governing decent human behavior. The study of values such as equality and difference between good and bad is also considered. Business ethics refers to the set down rules and regulations that govern processes such as customer relations, governance, or corporate social responsibility. Business ethics are derived from a country’s law like a constitution or may also be derived from a consensus among members involved in a particular business (Sullivan, Smith, & Esposito, 2012). Those members lay down the framework that will govern them.
Global ethical issues in business include acts like corruption, copyright and intellectual rights infringement, tax evasion, environmental concerns, discriminatory policies, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues. In corruption, bribery is imminent; it includes taking tokens from someone in order to influence a decision (Sullivan et al., 2012). An official who adopts an idea that he or she would not act competently in the absence of a bribe may do this. Copyright infringement encompasses acts of reproducing audiovisual or written material and design of an object without the prior permission of the owner or publisher. This automatically leads to a tussle legal issues, for example, Samsung and Apple, which are telecommunication giants, were involved in an ensuing battle over patent infringements. CSR is a new strategy on how science of risk managing and taking can converge into profit maximization. This includes wooing individuals by giving back to the society without taking advantage of them.
Environmental concerns are also considered in business ethics. Mining or manufacturing companies must adhere to rules set to make sure ecological life is not endangered. These companies should have an elaborate way of disposing of waste and adequate safety practices for their employees. Instances like those that happened in Ukraine in 1986 due to a nuclear leak should be avoided. Every kind of discrimination should be avoided (Lahey, 2012).
Various measures have been taken by countries and organizations like the UN to ensure business ethics are followed. Some include the Helsinki Final Act, which strengthens the United Nations Declaration that multinationals should enhance a standard of living to support the health of workers and their families. The International Labor Office Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprise and Social Policy is concerned primarily with labor issues; it states that multinational firms provide workers with equal pay for equal work, advance, compensation, and health care benefits for the poor. Those are among the many regulations laid down to enhance business ethics (Lahey, 2012).
Several changes need to occur for global businesses to be treated fairly. Human rights such as the right to nondiscrimination should be enshrined in the international fundamental right chapters. Fair treatment of employees should be a theme in every business; this includes timely pay and room to air out their ideas. The employees should also respect their employers and prove their worth by meeting the business employee requirements (Lahey, 2012). Empowering employees to make decisions is a way of recognition that they are obliged to self and the company.
From a biblical point of view, it is important to adhere to work ethics. Leviticus 19:11 states that, “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another” (The Holy Bible, 2014). Additionally, the book of Proverbs 19:17 encourage the helping of the poor since there is a reward from God. Colossians 3:23 states that “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (The Holy Bible, 2014). This persuades business and organizational leaders to function ethically while remaining profitable in the present international economy.
Lahey, T. (2012). Perspective: a proposed medical school curriculum to help students recognize and resolve ethical issues of global health outreach work. Academic Medicine, 87(2), 210-215.
Sullivan, O., Smith, M., & Esposito, M. (2012). Business & Economics: A Critical Approach Integrating Ethics across the Business World (1st ed.). London: Routledge Publisher
The Holy Bible. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bible