Term Paper: Ethical Behavior

Pages: 2 (696 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics

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Ethical Behavior by Corporations

Would it be unethical for company "X" that has just constructed a new plant with pollution-emission restrictors to lobby the government for stricter anti-pollution laws that could affect company "X's" competition by forcing the competition to spend capital on upgrades?

Certainly on one level it would be very unethical. It would be hypocritical too. Doing that -- actually hiring a Washington D.C. lobbyist to push Congress to create legislation that matches company X's expensive pollution control upgrades -- would imply that company X only installed the clean technologies to outdo its competition. It would suggest that company X went the extra mile, not because it has serious concerns about climate change and community health issues, but for its own selfish, narrow reasons within the marketplace.

Hiring a lobbyist to do that would be philosophically unethical; it is sneaky and unbecoming a corporation that also strives to have consumers trust its values and its products.

On the issue of trust, Norman a. Baglini writes in the Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance that in order for "any firm to be successful…it must be trusted by it clients and potential clients" (Baglini, 2001, p. 367). Trust is "fundamental to any relationship that involves value…values…and a future promise to perform," Baglini writes. Even the suggestion or allegation of "misbehavior" results in a "substantial drop in shareholder value," the author continues.

Baglini also asserts that companies should develop and enforce a code of ethics that goes beyond existing laws; the code of ethics -- shared systematically with employees in the company -- should make clear "what behavior will not be tolerated and what behavior is encouraged." In this case, if, among the specifics within the code, a company is promising its stakeholders and its employees that it will act ethically within the community and in the marketing and manufacturing of its products to consumers, it will break that code if it conducts the lobbying (mentioned earlier) with the specific intention to harm its competition. Baglini is correct when he writes that a code of ethics won't necessarily "add… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethical Behavior.  (2011, February 27).  Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-behavior/8840352

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"Ethical Behavior."  Essaytown.com.  February 27, 2011.  Accessed December 11, 2019.