According to Fisher & Phillips (2004), ethical rules governing a business portrays the fundamental values of a business. They are used as the backbone of the business so as to ensure that every player in the business or firm is held accountable for the actions taken during business interactions. Business ethical issues reflect on the maximization of profits while considering the non-economic related areas of concerns. The aim of this report is to highlight how business ethics affect a business.
The report focuses on an interview with one of the representatives, National Air Cargo. The ethical issues that business faces arise when they do their business dealings with the U. S. government and internationally. The common issues that arise during their dealings with the government include bribes, employment offers for the representatives, contract bids, and contract performance requirements. Most government officials try to bribe some of the representatives by offering gifts, money, favors, or even property so as smoothen any transaction. Sometimes representatives are offered employment opportunities as part of the bribe. Sometimes representatives of the company may employ any means necessary so as to secure a tender with the government. Some of these means may not be in accordance with the regulations set. As far as their international business transactions, the main ethical issues include violation of antitrust laws, export control and anti-boycott laws, and finally, transactions with either the suppliers or distributors. The company is concerned with the ethical practices of its suppliers and distributors in order for it to be considered ethical.
The company has various courses of action that it may take with regard to business ethics. Gifts of any kind are unacceptable if they may manipulate the recipient to feel obligated to pay back. In circumstances where it may be suitable to give or receive gifts, representatives may, with the company’s ethics officer’s prior approval, offer or receive gifts that are lawful, appropriate, titular in value, and in good relation. Representatives of the company are regularly involved in constant communication with trade partners who are also the competitors. In these scenarios, representatives are urged by the company to extricate themselves in discussions that are considered improper and may lead to a violation of antitrust laws. The representatives should then immediately seek counsel from the company’s corporate lawyer to assess any inflicting damages if any.
Ethical behavior, in this case, may have both positive outcomes as well as negative implications. One of the advantages that arise from good ethical behavior can be high revenues and returns. Positive consumer support is quite advantageous to the company in terms of good returns since it translates to a sense of trust and reliability between the company and its consumers. Another advantage is that good ethical practices improve the brand of the company and its awareness or recognition within its new and existing consumers. Also, good business ethics inspires motivation among the representatives and employees. This is also carried along while recruiting new employees who value good business ethics. Good business ethics from the company inspire new investments from ethical investors and thus can be used to find new sources of funding. The disadvantage of maintaining good ethical behaviours for the company is that it costs high. Sourcing from suppliers who also practice good business ethics is relatively expensive since cheaper suppliers do not quite follow good business ethics e.g. use of either child or forced labour as a source of cheap labour.
The company has the responsibility to ensure that all of their representatives behave in a manner that supports its code of ethics and business conduct. Companies are obliged to make profits as long as it is within the legal structure of the system in which they operate. The company is under the U. S. anti-boycott laws, export laws, antitrust laws, and foreign corruption practices acts and as such should strictly adhere to them so as to achieve moral business conduct.
Fisher, B. D. & Phillips, M. J. (2004). The legal, ethical, and regulatory environment of business. Cincinnati, Ohio: Thomson South-Western West. Print