OCR Business Ethics Notes

OCR business ethics notes

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A2 Ethics
Business ethics
Key Scholars
Considers ethical relationship between businesses and consumers, businesses and employees
Not always agree on the purpose of businesses in the environment
Some see it as maximising profits for shareholders/owners ­ only profitable activities are encouraged
Milton Freidman ­ only way companies will survive
Body shop and co-op are ethical and responsible
Green peace and other pressure groups set up to stop unethical behaviour
Business and consumers
Customers are big influence on ethical businesses
Shell and Brent spar // Nike, Gap and child labour
Body shop ­ one of the first ethical businesses ­ small gestures
Better image = better sales
Change of times means choices for consumers
Employers and employees
ACAS ­ advisory, conciliation, arbitration service ­ 1978 for harmonious working relationships
Suggests guidelines, solves disputes and negotiations
Must be balance of interests in employer/employee relationships
Happy staff = more profit for the business
Internet now affects relationships ­ online and anonymous discussions about working
Whistleblowing is now more acceptable ­ risked lives to expose bad businesses
Whistleblowing raises questions of confidentiality and loyalty ­ unethical conduct should be reported
Freedom to care ­ set up to help and protect whistle-blowers
Often in the best interests of most people
Utilitarian's ­ maximisations of welfare in revealing information ­ benefits society as a whole
Kant - duty to whom? Only good if reporting law breaking or corruption
Business and environment
Responsibility helps the environment and wins the trust of communities
All business impact the environment ­ pollution/waste/use of resources
Co-op won business commitment to environment award ­ 86% reduction in CO 2
Businesses are encouraged to have an environmental policy
Mining company ­ planted 10,000 endangered reeds near the mines
Plastic packaging in supermarkets has been made more environmentally friendly
Businesses still more concerned with maximising profits for lowest costs
Good/bad effects ­ china 200m people don't have access to drinking water ­ excellent economy
Free market economy
Reduction of differences between economies ­ make them more similar
Also English as second language for the world
Sped up more recently
o Technological changes ­ communications

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Cheaper/faster transport
o Deregulation ­ countries now able to own businesses in other countries
o Removal of capital exchange controls ­ move money easily
o Free trade ­ EU
o Consumers now willing to try foreign products
o Emerging markets in developing countries
Businesses are now freer to choose where they operate from ­ cheaper labour countries
National borders are becoming less important as markets stretch across them
Richer countries have strong trade barriers to protect their national interests
Interests of shareholders are more important…read more


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