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A business is an entity that should always yearn to earn people’s respect, maintain the reputation of its brands, as well as build and maintain the confidence of the investors. People earn respect and are classified as either respectable or not depending on how they deal with other people. In the same way, a business needs to earn a strong reputation for it to prosper. How any business can achieve this, is highly dependent on how the business deals with each and every party in its daily life. Varying businesses can have different attitude toward different people. These attitudes of a business influence the customer relations and other relations with different people and organizations that associate with a business (Guffey & Loewy, 2010). Sound business ethics is extremely crucial for every business not only for today but have a longer effect in ensuring a continued healthy coexistence in a business environment. Ethics as a virtue is elusive to attain and maintain; many people lose it while trying to gain it, while others consider it to be their personal concepts and skewed definitions.
Many scholars and researchers have projected a significant change in business ethics over the next few years, and still, others projects universalized business ethics in the recent future especially due to globalization.
Apart from exercising sound business ethics for financial or strategic reasons, the greatest drive for businesses, is to be ethically sound and it should be different. The main reason for doing this because it is the right thing to do. As no man is an island, no business can be an island; business exists within people in society, the environment and our planet. Many people who have done unethical business in the past brought their interests before everything and did not wish to consider the favorable balance that exists between all aspects in a business environment. Many unscrupulous business people have held it for a long time so that a business has to engage in unethical practices in order to make or maximize on profits (Hafrey, 2005). This is exceedingly a short-term and unrealistic thinking. Unsound business practices are terribly expensive in the long run through many ways. For instance, many businesses have made money from swindling the consumers.
As a result, they ended up collapsing, and in some cases the proprietors and managers ended up in prison. More importantly, the above cases led to loss of many jobs as well as destabilization of families in terms of income. This is exceedingly costly to a society. In addition, other businesses have made profits through showing minimum or no concern for the environment. This has lead to environment’s serious degradation to a point of robbing it off the ability to support and promote healthy life for all the organisms. This should not be the case. In contrast, a business can make even more profit by ensuring that it promotes a clean and healthy environment, by which it will have a healthy work force, healthy customers among many other benefits that accrue.
Turning the focus to the people that a business relates with, rather than a firm deceiving its customers for a short while, and having to face dire consequences later, a business can create a long customer list over a long time. This would mean a continuous steady flow of income for the firm. Some business people cannot provide the right information. Others provide information that is deliberately skewed in their favor in order to thrive in business. This is not proper as lying leads to the development of a deceiving character in which an individual cannot be true at any time. Other instances of providing the untrue information may be life threatening. Some traders in some cases provide misleading information about the content of their products; other traders are selling expired goods just through variation of expiry dates. This can lead to instances of illnesses or even life loss when a person consumes expired products that could be toxic. To the lying party, the truth always surfaces, and this in most times is followed by a great loss of popularity by the business or the brand. Society, as well as, the business loses only because of something that could have been controlled (Dewey, 1992).
Small firms, in many instances, do not see the need for exercising ethics in their operation. They often view it as sophistication that is out of their reach. However, ethics helps such business to grow the customer base as this attracts a certain class of consumers who prefer professional services. The greatest motivator for small firms to overlook legitimate business ethics is often the feeling of being far away from the control of various authorities. The unethical practices here vary and may include failure to clear people’s debts dealing with a range of products wider than the trading license indicates among others. Regardless of how far anyone may feel from the law, it always catches up with them, as well as businesses, and this may lead even to closure of the business in some serious cases.
Another view of ethics relates directly to how the various parties connect in a working relationship inside a firm. It mostly relates to how managers being the people in positions of power in firms treat other employees. A healthy working relationship in a firm requires from managers to be able to communicate the goals of their organizations to all the members of the workforces in a manner that will cause the immediate response among the workers. Workers should be treated well in a manner that makes them feel empowered to work toward meeting the goals of the organization. The managers should be transparent and should make the working environment of the workers habitable and enjoyable.
Another fundamental aspect of a firm is how it treats, as well as deals with the customers. Consumers could be the sole reason for any existence of business as it is through the satisfaction of their needs (customers’) that profit is made. Consumers in the day to day life of business come as buyers of goods and services, and hence, as customers. Ensuring that production is coherent with the customers’ need is perhaps the most critical step in ensuring the long term business survival. More importance is placed to customers in the service industry in which a customer pays for nothing tangible, but for an experience or a service. In this case it makes it necessary to ensure that customer’s experience is unforgettable so that the customer will come over and over again to buy more services. This is particularly crucial in keeping a continuous flow of customers in future, and hence keeping the business in operation. There are rules and directions of how customers should be treated, and this is collectively referred to as consumerism; these include position of the law concerning the information that should be given to them.
In summary, exemplary business ethics brings more benefits than the perceived disadvantages which are no real. As previously discussed, strong business ethics leads to good will between all existing parties that in time translates to the monetary gains (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2005). This occurs as the business is trusted by various parties such as competitors, suppliers, as well as third parties. By this, there will be more and more parties willing to be associated with such a company. True goodwill cannot be purchased but is earned.
Secondly, an ethically sound company is likely to be more profitable both in the long and short run. Being of sound practice ensures that other businesses and useful people aggregate around it (the business) giving it a sense of security, as well as concern from them and this ensures its continued existence for a longer time. Another merit of sound business practices is sustainability which ensures returns in terms of capital invested. Sustainability is brought about by continued profitability and existence which are all cultivated through continued use of sound business ethics.
Quality is the degree to which a product meets objectives in its use; economists agree that high quality saves on money. In investment and business, a lot of time and scarce resources are used up in fixing issues brought up through the use of faulty business ethics. These practices may include the use of substandard raw materials or outdated procedures in production. It becomes an enormous cost and leads to customers’ disliking that company’s products. On the other hand, production of high quality products and services helps to win consumers’ minds and souls leading to loyalty, and hence, creating a long lists of reliable customers bringing revenue to the firm through purchasing its goods (Audi, 2009 ). By means of assisting the consumers to get quality products and services the firm makes profit.