Ethics and Social Responsibility
The quest for Ethics and Social Responsibility in business/ entrepreneurial practices is a task which resembles the search for the Holy Grail. The legend of the Holy Grail originated with the belief that Joseph of Arimathea had brought the cup used for the first Eucharist to Europe and that it would appear to those in a sufficient state of grace to behold it.
Description of Ethics and Social Responsibility
The word ‘’ethics’’ in Ethics and Social Responsibility refers to both a discipline and the subject matter of that discipline- the actual values and the rules of conduct by which we live ( Solomon, 2005)
Talk of Ethics and Social Responsibility and everyone will think of a blameless, flawless and point field individual. Yet, every human being has a system of ethics. For most people, it is not a systematic system; therefore, they have to employ various ethical guides depending on the situation to help them make decisions.
However, there are people who actually prescribe systems of ethical analysis. Ethics and Social Responsibility analyses three major areas: meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics. Meta in Ethics and Social Responsibility means ‘about’. Meta ethics in Ethics and Social Responsibility explores where our ethical principles came from and what they mean.
Two main issues within Meta ethics focus on the origins of ethics. It tries to establish whether morality is humanly constructed or is something that exists apart from human or both (Stanford, 2005). The key point of focus is what guides our decisions about what is right and wrong. Please refer to Business Training in Kenya
Relevance of Ethics and Social Responsibility
Ethics and Social Responsibility is about how we ought to live and not how we live. It studies the various patterns of morality that exist in the habits of persons, the fabric of communities or the teachings of the wise and analyses which ones ought to be followed and how we know. Ethics is about how we live responsibly in general and that professional responsibility is about how we ought to live when doing business. Above all, ethics is about how God wants us to live.
The study of Ethics and Social Responsibility concerns questions of moral right and wrong duty and obligation, and moral responsibility for example, is an act of abortion ever morally permissible? Are we always morally obligated to tell truth, or may we have sometimes? Under what conditions am I morally responsible for my actions?
The study of Ethics and Social Responsibility applies to business. Business ethics is the study of what constitutes right and wrong or good and bad human conduct in a business context. For example is a worker ever night in “blowing the whistle”? Under what conditions, if any can such an act be justified? Is a worker ever morally obliged to blow the whistle?
According to Velasquez (2006), ethics is the discipline that examines one’s moral standards or the moral standards of a society. It asks how these standards apply to ones lives and whether these standards are reasonable or unreasonable
According to Solomon (2005), Ethics and Social Responsibility is that part of philosophy which is concerned with living well, being a good person, doing the right thing, getting along with other people and wanting the right things in life. Ethics and Social Responsibility is essential to living in society with its various traditions, practices and institutions. Those traditions, practices and institutions determine many of the rules and expectations that define the ethical outlook of the people living within them.
Solomon further argues that ethics has both a social and a personal dimension, but it is not at all easy, in theory or in practice, to separate these dimensions. The study of Ethics and Social Responsibility teaches us to appreciate the overall system of reasons within which having ethics makes sense (Zimmerli, et al, 2007). It is not enough that we have Ethics and Social Responsibility and that we act according to our values and rules.
Conclusion on Ethics and Social Responsibility
We must act for reasons and be able to defend our actions if called upon to do so. Similarly, it is not enough to have strong opinions regarding an issue or to hold a position on a certain controversial social issue. It is important to have reasons, to have a larger vision, to have a framework within which to house and defend one’s opinions (Solomon, 2005) in Ethics and Social Responsibility.