Paper: The Importance of Business Ethics

INTRODUCTION

Ethics refers to the morally upright behavior that people have the tendency to learn from the people who raise them (“Ethics,” 2015). It is the very thing that helps the human race to determine what is right from the behavior that is wrong. In the article, “Ethics and Morality,” Psychology Today states, “A topic as subjective as morality, people sure have strong beliefs about what’s right and wrong. Yet even though morals can vary from person to person and culture to culture” (2015).

Business ethics refers to that same set of moral values but only when they are applied to business-related practices. However, those who behave in manners that are conducive to what is morally right may not always be reacting in a manner that coincides with the law. “Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. The law often incorporates ethical standards to which most citizens subscribe. But laws, like feelings, can deviate from what is ethical,” from time to time, Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J. and Michael J. Meyer state in their article, “What is Ethics?” (2014). In this quote, the authors are saying that the rules that govern society have the ability to deviate from behavior that is morally right.

Such a concept can be seen in varying countries as the professional endeavors that businessmen have the habit of carrying out within their dealings may be wrong morally but are not technically considered to be infractions of the law when it comes to using tactics, like bribery, corporate social responsibility and animal experimentation.

BRIBERY

Bribery describes the criminal act of soliciting, accepting or transferring monetary values in exchange for influencing an official action that is taking forever to take effect (“Bribery,” n.d.). It is regarded as corrupt behavior in the field of business being that companies are expected to be very open and honest about the affairs that they conduct.

The United States of America

In the United States of America, bribery is deemed as an unethical tool. The concept is looked down upon due to the connotation that is associated with the behavior. Typically, when business professionals accept and use bribes to attain their goals, the overall assumption is that such entities’ main goals include solely those of making money and not the wellbeing of its consumers. “Unfortunately, bribery and corruption are seen as necessary evils by those who stand to gain from it. . .sponsored by the corporate giants who are concerned only with short-term prosperity,” Joe Gerard states in his article, “What’s So Bad About Bribery?” (2015). But although the concept of bribery is looked down upon in the United States of America, it is a common tool that is frequently used in foreign countries, like Mexico.

Mexico

Bribery is a widespread tool that is commonly used in the business ventures that take place in the country of Mexico. According to NPR, bribery is often used in Mexican business practices as a means of getting around the long waiting periods that many companies are required to experience. In their article, “Are Bribes The Norm in Mexico’s Business Culture?” the organization reports,

It’s almost part of your cost analysis when you do business in Mexico. Because      even for a small shop owner. . .there are so many bureaucratic rules that he has to     fulfill that it’s easiest for him to pay a small bribe than to do it the right way and be subject to long-delaying tactics by the bureaucrats. (2012)

But despite the fact that bribery is a common practice in Mexico, Wal-Mart came under fire for exhibiting such unethical behavior while working within the territory. “Wal-Mart’s stock price has fallen sharply. . .after The New York Times reported that the retailer’s rapid growth in Mexico involved systematic bribery. Stock prices have also fallen for Wal-Mart’s Mexico subsidiary Walmex,” NPR reports (Gerard, 2012). The reason for this has everything to do with the fact that the company was founded and established in the United States of America. For this reason, many people felt as if the corporation should have known better and thus, took advantage of Mexico’s lax business rules.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Corporate social responsibility refers to a company’s attempt to give back to their surrounding community as a means of improving the aspects of which such inhabitants live. On their website, the Business Dictionary defines corporate social responsibility as being “A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community an environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates” (“Corporate Social Responsibility,” 2015).

The United States of America

It is extremely important for companies to exhibit some sort of corporate social responsibility in the United States of America. Demonstrating corporate social responsibility depicts the concern that a company has for improving the conditions of civilization. People want to see that some of their favorite companies and brands are looking out for the people who live in the territories in which the companies carry out its operations. In their article, “What is Corporate Social Responsibility,” The University of Edinburgh says that in this day and age, “[Corporate Social Responsibility] is now seen as an important way to increase competitive advantage, protect and raise brand awareness and build trust with customers and employees” (2015). In this quote, The University of Edinburgh is saying that exercising some sort of corporate social responsibility initiative has become so important in modern times that people are no longer willing to shop or work for the companies that have not done their part to contribute toward any charities.

Mexico

In spite of how it is perceived in the United States of America, corporate social responsibility has not always been a concept that businesses have embraced in Mexico. It was not until recently when the territory has tried its best to improve on the manners in which its corporations carried out their professional ventures. In the midst of completing such a task, Mexico has made it a point to persuade its business owners to give back to the communities in which they work. In the article, “State of CSR in Mexico: Humble Beginnings, Promising Future,” reporter Christina Garza writes,

CSR and sustainability initiatives have boomed among major corporations in          Mexico, particularly since 2010. . .more than 50 percent have a system in place    for undertaking sustainability-related activities at the operational and     administrative level, including the supply chain. (2013)

ETHICAL ANIMAL TESTING

            Animal testing refers to the experimentation that is executed on the animal race. Such experimentation causes millions of animals to die every year (Murnaghan, 2015).

The United States of America

In the United States of America, animal testing is deemed as an unethical practice. The reason for this is owed to the fact that such testing has the tendency to kill the animals that serve as the examinations’ subjects. But in spite of all of the negative impacts that such testing has on the animals that are used, the United States of America has not yet banned the practice from its field of scientific research. “Between the limitations of non-animal alternatives. . .the chances of something passing anytime soon are pretty slim,” Cheryl Wischhover states (2015). All of the other matters that the U.S. Government has to sort out take precedence amongst the political affairs that occur.

Mexico

Unlike that of the United States of America, Mexico has recently enacted a ban against animal testing in hope that its neighboring countries will eventually adopt a ban for their own business practices. The territory has grown tired of all of the animals that have been killed at the expense of the cosmetic companies and have chosen to do something about it. Mexico “is also investigating alternative methods to animal testing—nine have already been approved for use in the cosmetics industry and two are pending,” Melissa Cronin writes in her article, “Yet Another Country Surpasses US in Cosmetics Testing Ban” (2015).

SUMMARY

Practicing ethics throughout one’s professional endeavors differs from country to country. While some countries hold its corporation to much higher and stricter standards, other foreign territories have the tendency to turn a blind eye to the disapproving behavior that accompanies those of the business practices that frequently occur.

References

(2012). Are bribes the norm in mexico’s business culture? NPR. Retrieved from http://             www.npr.org/2012/04/25/151339996/are-bribes-the-norm-in-mexicos-business-culture

(2015). Corporate social responsibility. Business Dictionary. Retrieved from http://             www.businessdictionary.com/definition/corporate-social-responsibility.html

(2015). Ethics. Business Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/ethics.html

(2015). Ethics and morality. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/ethics-and-morality

Cronin, M. (2015). Yet another country surpasses us in cosmetic testing ban. The Dodo.    Retrieved from https://www.thedodo.com/south-korea-cosmetic-testing-      916053723.html

Garza, C. (2013). State if csr in mexico: Humble beginnings, promising future. Triple Pundit. Retrieved from http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/state-csr-mexico-humble-beginnings-promising-scenario/

Gerard, J. (2015). What’s so bad about bribery? i-Sight. Retrieved from http://i-sight.com/resources/whats-so-bad-about-bribery/

Murnaghan, I. (2015). What is animal testing? About Animal Testing. Retrieved from             http://www.aboutanimaltesting.co.uk/what-animal-testing.html

Velasquez, M., Claire, A., Shanks, T., S.J., Meyer, M. J. (2010). What is ethics. Santa        Clara University. Retrieved from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html

Wischhover, C. (2015). Why the u.s. won’t ban cosmetics animal testing anytime soon. Fashionista. Retrieved from http://fashionista.com/2015/01/us-cosmetics-animal-testing-ban