One cannot engage in the study of law without considering the relationship it has with the field of ethics. Since both the law and ethics do focus on doing what is right, there are certainly functions of each that are shared. However, as Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart, once stated, “Although ethics and law are closely related, they are not the same. Ethical obligations may – and often do – exceed legal duties.”
In the business sector, decisions are often closely scrutinized as to whether they meet ethical standards even if they are legal. For example, if a company decides to lay off 40% of its workforce to increase profit for shareholders it is certainly considered by many to be unethical. But it is not illegal. Nonetheless, business organizations strive to establish an ethical culture and develop guidelines for sound decisions based on ethics and legal standards.
In this assignment, you will examine the relationship between the law and business ethics. You will also analyze several ethical theories and determine if using these to make business decisions is practical.
In your paper,
Compare and contrast the similarities between the law and ethics.
Describe three theories of business ethics.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each in making business decisions.
Discuss whether ethical outcomes can be truly achieved in making business decisions, given that organizations need to focus on making profits.