COMM 104 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Business Ethics, Fallacy, Ad Hominem
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COMM 104 Week 1 Readings
Tuesday January 7, 2014
Introduction to Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Assigned Readings: Chapters 1 & 3
Chapter 1: What is Business Ethics, and Why Study It?
Milton Friedman – “the only social responsibility of a business is to make a pro/t”
“Theory of the corporation”
oCorporations are run for the bene/t of their owners: the shareholders
Businesses today consider the perspective of other stakeholders when making decisions.
Stakeholders being the people who have an interest in a business decision
oToday they are demanding that their concerns be heard
Business ethics considers the impact of business not just on society broadly, but on the
speci/c groups of stakeholders who may be a5ected by business decisions.
is the application of, or acting within, moral principles.
oThe ethical manager tries to do what is right – in a normative sense.
Ethicality is not the same thing as legality.
oLegality deals with compliance of legal obligation and can be regulated by the
government, or an employer.
A moral manager is a businessperson who, while in a position to make corporate decisions,
decides in a way that takes into account ethical duties (his own, and those of the
Amorally – unintentionally conducting unethical behaviour to satisfy the bottom line
Corporate Social Responsibility was born from the desire of the modern business to act
morally and in congruence with the legitimate wishes of its stakeholders.
Archie Carroll and others suggested that a corporation has four (4) distinct responsibilities:
1. Economic responsibilities: Be /nancially viable (earn a pro/t)
The foundation upon which all others rest.
2. Legal responsibilities: Comply with legal obligations
Law is society’s codi/cation of right and wrong; play by the rules.
3. Ethical responsibilities: Act ethically
Obligation to do what is right, just and fair; avoid harm.
4. Philanthropic responsibilities: Aspire to give back to the community (act
Contribute resources to the community; improve quality of life.
Variables the make practicing ethical behaviour di>cult:
Understanding the issue
Identifying the players
Chapter 3: Critical Thinking for Business Ethics
Critical thinking is the study of what you should believe and why.
It’s about learning how to sort out which points of view are well supported, and which