Essay about Importance of Business Ethics

1405 Words Oct 29th, 2010 6 Pages
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS ETHICS published: Sunday | April 11, 2004
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Ayanna Kirton, Staff Reporter
IN RECENT years the term 'business ethics' has taken on new relevance in the wake of accounting scandals that have discredited some of the world's largest and well-respected companies.
The list includes WorldCom (now MCI), Tyco International, Parmalat, and Enron whose financial executives have faced charges and possible jail time for financial misdeeds. Now, the Business Roundtable (BRT) aims to restore public confidence in Corporate America with a US$3 million initiative to educate future CEOs on business ethics.
According to an article published by Business Week, on January 14,
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"In understanding Jamaican business ethics or moral values it is important to trace the evolution of the morality of local businesses that have a long history to observe the changes over time as the society changed," Dr. Witter said. "Over 300 years of British colonial enterprise still casts a shadow over all Jamaican institutions, including modern businesses. Many of today's moral values were shaped by colonialism and there is a nostalgic view that it was the departure from colonial norms that has caused many of the undesirable practices today," he said.
However, there is also the critical view that it was precisely the ethics of colonial business and the quest for profits that account for the inequities and injustices in today's workplace, the low rate of investment in human beings, and the preference for foreign solutions to local problems, Dr. Witter said.
According to him, the trade off between profit and ethical behaviour refers to short run profit that cannot be sustained. On the other hand, long run profit or sustained profit-making is based on ethical behaviour that brings company goodwill among its stakeholders. It is also directly related to better relations at the workplace leading to efficient enterprises because of more co-operation, less waste, more initiative and responsibility by employees as well as goodwill and stronger brand names for enterprises, said Dr. Witter.
In addition,

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