Business Law And The Legal Environment Beatty Samuelson Pdf Creator

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Above the Law

They should be prepared to identify the ethical issues and discuss them using the checklist in the chapter. Interview: Businesspeople on Ethics Each student or group of students can interview a businessperson about ethics dilemmas they have faced. How did they handle the dilemmas? Did they make the right decisions? Do they wish they had made a different choice? How did their decisions impact their companies? Their lives? His rent-subsidy contract with the federal government has expired and he can raise rents at Rienzi Plaza by as much as percent.

If he raises rents to market rates, then poor and elderly tenants will have to leave. Divide students into groups to represent various stakeholders: the landlord, the tenants, investors, and the government officials who administer the rent-subsidy program. Students should brainstorm the business and ethical issues facing their respective stakeholders, devise negotiating positions, and then engage in an all-stakeholder discussion moderated by the instructor.

Chapter Overview Chapter Theme Ethical behavior offers significant advantages. Society as a whole benefits; executives who behave ethically have happier, more fulfilled lives; and unethical behavior can destroy a company and the individuals who engage in such behavior. Many students have never discussed these issues with parents, instructors, or religious leaders.

It is useful for an authority figure to say openly that ethical behavior is important. This chapter will present several important issues:. What is the role of business in society? Why bother to act ethically at all? What is the most important consideration when making an ethical decision? To do the right thing for the right reason? Or to do what produces the most favorable results? Is lying ever acceptable? Should you apply your personal ethics in the workplace?

Or should you have different ethical values at home and at work? Some of the ethics cases and discussion questions featured in this chapter are adapted from Applied Business Ethics by Dean A. Bredeson, Cengage Learning, Is the primary role of corporations to make money? Or do they have responsibilities to workers, communities, customers, and other "stakeholders"? The Role of Business in Society A fundamental question in business ethics is: What is the purpose of a corporation?

To whom does a corporation owe responsibility — its shareholders? Or, in addition to shareholders, to its stakeholders, which include employees, customers, and the community and countries in which the company operates?

Differing viewpoints yield distinct responses to ethical dilemmas, particularly when the law does not require a particular outcome. Corporate managers face many choices in which the most profitable option is not the most ethical choice.

Conversely, engaging in unethical behavior may increase profits, but may ignore stakeholders, or even be criminal. Why Be Ethical? Society as a Whole Benefits from Ethical Behavior Mutual trust is a vital part of a successful society. No society will survive long if the people are constantly having to protect themselves from dishonesty and the government is compelled to regulate businesses severely to ensure fairness.

People Feel Better When they Behave Ethically Researchers who study happiness find that people expect material goods to make them happier than they actually do. Almost no matter how much people earn, they feel they would be happier if their income were just a little bit higher. So what does make people happy in the long run? Good relationships, satisfying work, ties to the community—all available at no additional cost. Profitability is generally not what motivates managers to care about ethics.

Managers want to feel good about themselves and the decisions they have made; they want to sleep at night. Unethical Behavior Can Be Very Costly Unethical behavior does not always damage a business, but it certainly has the potential of destroying a company overnight.

So why take the risk? Even if unethical behavior does not devastate a business, it can cause other, subtler damage.

In one survey, a majority of those questioned said that they had witnessed unethical behavior in their workplace and that this behavior had reduced productivity, job stability, and profits. Unethical behavior in an organization creates a cynical, resentful, and unproductive workforce.

Although there is no guarantee that ethical behavior pays in the short or long run, there is evidence that the ethical company is more likely to win financially. Ethical companies tend to have a better reputation, more creative employees, and higher returns than those that engage in wrong-doing.

But if we decide that we want to behave ethically, how do we know what ethical behavior is? Theories of Ethics When making ethical decisions, people sometimes focus on the reason for the decision — they want to do what is right. Thus, if they think it is wrong to lie, then they will tell the truth no matter what the consequence. Other times, people think about the outcome of their actions. They will do whatever it takes. This choice — between doing right and getting the right result — has been the subject of much philosophical debate.

Utilitarian Ethics Under utilitarian ethics, a correct decision is one that tended to maximize overall happiness and minimize overall pain. Risk management and cost-benefit analyses are examples of utilitarian business practices. The critics of utilitarian thought argue that it is simply not possible to "measure" happiness. Others say that utilitarians simply let the ends justify the means, and that they allow for bad behavior so long as it generates good in the end.

A third group argues that utilitarian philosophies err in equating pleasure with ethical behavior, and pain with wrongful behavior. Deontological Ethics Many ethicists believe that utilitarians have it all wrong, and that the results are not as important as the reason for which the decision is made.

To a deontological thinker, the ends do not justify the means. The best-known proponent of the deontological model was an eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. He thought that human beings possessed a unique dignity, and that no decision that treated people as commodities could be considered just, even if the decision tended to maximize overall happiness, or profit, or any other quantifiable measure.

Most followers of deontological ethics agree that utilitarianism is lacking, and that winning in the end does not automatically make a decision right. Ethical decisions, they argue, are those made for good and moral reasons in the first place, regardless of the outcome.

Rawlsian Justice John Rawls raised the question of what type of society we would choose if we did not know what our status in the society would be. Would we choose a society that treated everyone equally or one that treats everyone fairly? What types of jobs would receive the most reward? Ethical Traps Ethical traps create great temptation to do what you know to be wrong or fail to do what you know to be right.

Money Money is a powerful lure because most people believe that they would be happier if only they had more. Rationalization A recent study found that more creative people tend to be less ethical. The reason? They are better at rationalizing their bad behavior. Following Orders When someone in authority issues orders, even to do something clearly wrong, it is very tempting to comply.

Fear of punishment, the belief in authority figures, and the ability to rationalize all play a role. In making ethical decisions, it is important to use accurate terminology. Anything else is just a variation on rationalization. Lost in a Crowd When in a group, people are less likely to take responsibility, assuming that someone else will. They tend to check the reactions of others, and if everyone else seems calm, they assume that all is right.

Bystanders are much more likely to react if they are alone and have to form an independent judgment. Blind Spots People often ignore — sometimes consciously — unethical behavior of others, despite that evidence of such behavior is obvious.

Lying: A Special Case We are taught from an early age that we must tell the truth. And usually, honesty is the best policy. The consequences of lying can be severe: students are suspended, employees are fired, and witnesses are convicted of perjury. Sometimes the problems are subtler but still significant: a loss of trust, a loss of opportunities.

Applying the Principles Personal Ethics in the Workplace Should you behave in the workplace the way you do at home or do you have a separate set of ethics for each part of your life? What if your employees behave badly outside of work — should that affect their employment?

The discussion questions do not have clear, right or wrong answers. Students should be encouraged to explore the various possibilities, options, and ethical and other ramifications of the situations in order to arrive at their own ethical conclusions.

Additional Case: Conair v. Nexxus et al. The defendants are The Nexxus Products Co. Conair and Defendants are engaged in the manufacture and distribution of hair shampoo, conditioner and hair products. Both parties compete in the styling and packaging of their respective products. They generally attempt to imitate the styling or packaging of a competitor's successful product. Redding has been a recognized leader and creator of various hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, rinses and permanent wave solutions for more than five decades.

In , Redding formed the Nexxus Products Company.

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Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Edition Edition, Kindle Edition. by Jeffrey F. Beatty (Author), Susan S. Samuelson (Author), Patricia Abril​.


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They should be prepared to identify the ethical issues and discuss them using the checklist in the chapter. Interview: Businesspeople on Ethics Each student or group of students can interview a businessperson about ethics dilemmas they have faced. How did they handle the dilemmas? Did they make the right decisions? Do they wish they had made a different choice? How did their decisions impact their companies? Their lives?

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Above the Law

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