According to the philosophies, environment means humanity. Today’s ethics approaches note depending on keeping human wants under pressure for the benefits of all human beings. By these words environment includes not only men, but also animals, plants i.e., the nature. Ethics occurs by relations of humans with themselves and their physical and social environment. Therefore, the origin of the problems and solution is human. The philosophies note many approaches in these relations. These approaches can be grouped into three groups:
- The human-oriented approach
- The living oriented approach
- The environment oriented approach.
Every approach describes one of parts of the whole environmental ethics. But the common point of these approach is that all human beings and their equal rights take place in the ecosystem. By the r ach in the concept of deep ecology it is accepted that the diversity of the ecosystem has an internal value and no one has any right to decrease this diversity and difference.
For centuries, people have established a lot of establishments to achieve these goals. Human beings have seen that producing something by cooperation is more productive and effective than doing it alone, so they have established enterprises. They have seen unlimited needs, increasing wants and scarcity of objects and they have also seen establishing enterprises as a way of producing more. But in this century humans saw a lot of impacts from our living. Air, water and soil pollution, the danger of consuming natural resources, acid rain, and gas, dust, and liquids industries caused, soiling of natural foods, industrial pollution, and dangerous wastes, just to mention a few problems we face.
These environmental problems make us reconsider the goals of organizations and their responsibilities to the society and nature. The organizational goals are often not environmentally friendly. In some events the goal of the establishment is opposite to the environment and sometimes organizational activities damage the environment in achieving the goals. In this process, we should emphasize the reasons why they should have responsibility. First, they use environmental resources and resources are limited. Second, they damage the environment by their activities. Third, they use common assets of mankind.
Finally, the enterprises have various forces to influence the environment: Economic force, social and cultural force, technological force, politic force, forces on individuals and physical environment.
In spite of these impacts and forces of establishments, there is no social control system on the activities of enterprises. This point emphasizes business ethics terms as an institutional framework, i.e., social ethics. As an institutional term, social ethics means searching ethical norms to protect the social benefits, and determining the possibilities for achieving a kind society. Then, business ethics means, the norms, duties, responsibilities, courses of actions of enterprises to protect the benefits of whole society.
In a broader view, because of the impacts on the natural and social environment, business ethics concepts determine the responsibilities towards s ecosystem. It is the common denominator of business ethics and environmental ethics is the interrogation of relations and dilemmas between economy and nature, man and society.
According to the common classification of conceptual approaches on business ethics, The approaches. three are there. The first approach reconciles ethical values with economic goals. The second approach gives priority to the ethical values. According to Ulrich, a new multidimensional goal system should replace to the profit maximization. And the third approach is pragmatic approach. In this approach, the attitudes model of business managers is the focus of interests.
The last two approaches are very important for us to develop a new concept and term on business ethics. The approach which gives priority to the ethical values is important, because the enterprises are not a purpose, they are only a tool which we use to get benefits. If this tool causes various damages on the ecosystem to get profit, then we should revise our organizational goals, targets and activities. A pragmatic approach is characterized with the importance of individual conscience and discussion of alternative individual courses of actions.
Therefore, these two approaches define the new term business ethics as an institutional concept. This concept includes both organizational responsibility and individual duties as business managers, also covered the ecosystem. We can name this concept as “environment oriented business ethics” or “enterprise ethics” and As determined above, if people are the focus of the problems and solution, educating people becomes our great responsibility. People should be educated as a member of business organizations. This education process should begin in childhood continue during our life.
Ethics is a normative science. It means it lay down the norms or standard of what is good and what is bad. It specifies what we ought to do and what we ought not to do, in a certain situation. Normative ethics is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of Questions that arise when we think about the question “how should one act, morally speaking?” Normative ethics is the discipline that produces moral norms or rules as it end product. Normative ethics prescribe moral behaviour. It is a branch of ethics concerned with classifying actions as right and wrong, attempting to develop a set of rules governing human conduct, or a set of norms for action’
Traditionally, normative ethics (also known as moral theory) was study of what makes actions right and wrong. These theories offered an overarching moral principle to which one could appeal in resolving difficult moral decisions’
Normative ethical systems can generally be broken down into three categories: deontological, teleological and virtue ethics. The first two are considered deontic or action-based theories of morality because they focus entirely upon the actions which a Person performs. When actions are judged morally right based upon their them consequences we have teleological or consequentiality ethical theory. When actions are judged morally right, based upon how well they conform to some set of duties; we have a deontological ethical theory.
Business ethics is a branch of ethics which prescribes standards of how the business is to be carried out. It lays down guidelines for the company’s response and accountability to its various stakeholders. It has to maintain a fine balance and take care of the interest of the shareholders on one hand and other like the employees, suppliers, customers and community at large on the other hand. All the stakeholders have different objective of what they expect from the company and at times these objectives may be conflicting in nature.
Applied ethics is a branch of ethics that deals with specific, often controversial moral issues such as abortion, female feticide and infanticide, displacement of tribal people due to huge hydro- electric projects, cloning, testing drugs on animals, etc. Business too faces many controversial moral choices such as misleading advertising, insider trading bribery, corruption etc.
Ethical theories lay down certain moral standards that provide a reference point for judging the moral value of a decision. When applied to business, these theories should enable the manager to distinguish between right and wrong and to make morally acceptable decisionExplain the Approaches to Business Ethics? by BMS Team