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Administrative Studies
ADMS 3660

Karakowsky defines business as Collection of private commercially oriented profit orientated organizations ranging in size from oneperson proprietorships to corporate giants Society Defined by Karakowsky as A community a nation or a broad grouping of people having common traditions values institutions and collective activities and interests The Macro Environment 8 Karakowsky looks at the environment from the macro level and sees the environment as composed of 4 levels1 Social Environment2 Economic Environment3 Political Environment4 Technological EnvironmentThis 4 level analysis provides a useful framework for understanding the issues facing business Ours is a pluralistic society pluralism is a condition in which there is diffusion of power among the societys many groups and organizations A pluralistic society is one in which there is wide decentralization and diversity of power8Because of pluralism we have special interest groups 10 that act as checks and balances to limit the power of organizations and maximize freedom of expression and actionCouncil of CanadaGreenpeace CanadaThe Aboriginal Rights CouncilMediaWatch Special interests groups in turn often focus on Business and Government and they become the focus of criticismAs a result businesses respond to these criticisms with increased concern for the social environment and a changed relationship between business and society 11Defining Business EthicsAs a result business ethics is businesses response to social criticism from special interest groups and can be defined as being y Concerned with good or bad or right or wrong behaviour or practices that take place within a business context These concepts of right and wrong include subtle questions of justice fairness and equity 3 Perspective on Ethics in Business Ethics as a business constraint y ethics costsEthics as a business advantage y ethics paysEthics as underpinning of business y business cant take place without a minimal degree of ethics eg trust Is Business Ethics an Oxymoron11 The idea that success in business cannot be achieved without bending the rulesThe idea that business ethics is an oxymoron is misguided on 2 fronts1 In a descriptive sense business are guided by rules standards principles and obligations that structure the work environment For example sexual harassment is not tolerated in the workplace 2 In a normative sense it is not an oxymoron because ethical issues will always arise in the commercial realm and having a grasp of the principles that ought to underlie business ethics will help in navigating these issuesAffluenceEducation and how they relate to Business EthicsAs society has become more affluent and better educated the expectations placed on business have increased13We are no longer servants to business but intelligent critics who expect more than simply fulfilling our service to organizations and acting as passive recipients of the products that business churns out Through television consumers gets a variety of information that contributes to a climate of business criticism This comes in the form of1 Straight News and Investigative Reports though we have to be mindful of VNRs Evening News Reports that brings attention to the unethical practices of a business Investigative news reports such as Marketplace 60 Minutes and The Fifth Estate that expose wrongdoing or questionable practices 2 PrimeTime Television Programs Big Business and Businesspeople are usually cast as onedimensional characters and are cast as greedy and evil social parasites 14 Hollywood films often depict business in a poor light Erin Brokovitch for one Michael Moores Capitalism A Love Story3 Commercials According to Karakowsky business often does not honestly and fairly portray its products Some children believe that advertisements are there to trick the consumer 14 Defining Social ResponsibilityThe way a corporation achieves a balance among its economic social and environmental responsibilities in its operations so as to address shareholder and other stakeholder expectations andor criticismThe basic idea behind CSR is that Business and society are interwovenExpectations are placed on business just like expectations are placed on you and I to act in a certain manner This notion of CSR is a direct result of criticism from special interests groups a consumer base that is increasingly educatedaware of corporate activities and has rising expectations of business based on notions of entitlements16 and rights17 Key Elements of CSR Corporations have responsibilities beyond the production of goods and servicesThese responsibilities involve helping to solve social problemsCorporations have a broader constituency than just stockholdersCorporations have impacts beyond simple marketplace transactionsCorporations serve a wider range of human values than just economic values 4 Levels of Corporate Power 181 Macro Level Refers to the corporate system and the totality of business organizations Power emanates from the sheer size and dominance of the corporate system2 Intermediate Level Groups of corporations acting in concert to produce a desired effectto raise prices control markets etc OPEC3 Micro Level The power of an individual firm The exertion of power or influence by and major corporation Nike WalMart4 Individual Level The individual corporate leader exerting power andor control Ted Rogers Bill GatesThe Iron Law of ResponsibilityIn the long run those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose itWhenever power gets out of balance a variety of forces come to bear on business to be more responsible and be more responsive to criticisms being made against itTobacco companies for example have faced increased criticism because of their product is said to be addictive product and marketed to children As a result tobacco firms must submit to new regulations and meet strict goals for reducing smoking
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