Factors influencing Business Ethics
Business leaders today are well aware of the ethical issues and hence they want to improve the ethical standards of the business. Self-regulation is, of course, better and produce impressive results. Besides, there are also a number of factors, which significantly influence the managers to take ethical decisions. Some of them are:
1. Personal Code of Ethics: A man’s personal code of ethics that is what one considers moral is the foremost responsible factor influencing his behavior.
2. Legislation: It is already stated that the Government will intervene and enact laws only when the businessmen become too unethical and selfish and totally ignore their responsibility to the society. No society can tolerate such misbehavior continuously. It will certainly exert pressure on the Government and the Government consequently has no other alternative to prohibit such unhealthy behavior of the businessmen.
3. Government Rules and Regulations: Laws support Government regulations regarding the working conditions, product safety, statutory warning etc. These provide some guidelines to the business managers in determining what are acceptable or recognized standards and practices.
4. Ethical Code of the Company: When a company grows larger, its standard of ethical conduct tends to rise. Any unethical behavior or conduct on the part of the company shall endanger its established reputation, public image and goodwill. Hence, most companies are very cautious in this respect. They issue specific guidelines to their subordinates regarding the dealings of the company.
5. Social Pressures: Social forces and pressures have considerable influence on ethics in business. If a company supplies sub-standard products and get involved in unethical conducts, the consumers will become indifferent towards the company. Such refusals shall exert a pressure on the company to act honestly and adhere strictly to the business ethics. Sometimes, the society itself may turn against a company.
6. Ethical Climate of the Industry: Modern industry today is working in a more and more competitive atmosphere. Hence only those firms, which strictly adhere to the ethical code, can retain its position unaffected in its line of business. When other firms, in the same industry are strictly adhering to the ethical standards, the firm in question should also perform up to the level of others. If the company’s performance is below than other companies, in the same industry, it cannot survive in the field in the long run.