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The Need of a Corporate Ethics Program

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The Greatest Colas Board of Directors read your article in EOA's monthly magazine and was duly impressed. As a result, they wish to create a company wide focus on ethics, but they do not know where to begin and are seeking your guidance. They want to understand on what to base a corporate ethics education policy. The Board asks that you explain the origins of business law and ethical concepts, even going back to ancient times. They ask that you define ethics and explain corporate ethics. Finally, give samples of corporate ethics programs and various ethical policy models. Prepare a presentation to be delivered to the company's Board of Directors.

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Solution Summary

The solution contains the origin of the word Ethics as well as an description of corporate ethics, its history together with some sample programs and ethical policy models and the advantages of corporate ethics. A list of references is also provided in the solution.

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CORPORATE ETHICS

Ethics (from the Ancient Greek, "ethikos" meaning "Theory of living") is one of the five major branches of philosophy, which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to distinguish that which is right from that which is wrong. The Western tradition of ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy. Ethics in plain words means studying and analyzing right from wrong; good from bad. (Wikipedia)

So What is "Corporate Ethics"?

The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally it's coming to know what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what's right -- this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders. Attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change where values that were previously taken for granted are now strongly questioned. Many of these values are no longer followed. Consequently, there is no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex dilemmas about what is right or wrong. Attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they should act. Perhaps most important, attention to ethics in the workplaces helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass.

A History of Corporate Ethics

The term 'corporate ethics' is used in a lot of different ways, and the history of business ethics will vary depending on how one conceives of the object under discussion. . The primary sense of the term refers to recent developments and to the period, since roughly the early 1970s, when the term 'corporate/business ethics' came into common use in the United States. Its origin in this sense is found in the academy, in academic writings and meetings, and in the development of a field of academic teaching, research and publication.. As the term entered more general usage in the media and public discourse, it often became equated with either business scandals or more broadly with what can be called "ethics in business." In this broader sense the history of corporate/business ethics goes back to the origin of business, again taken in a broad sense, meaning commercial exchanges and later meaning economic ...

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