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Ethical and Socially Responsive Business

Autor:   •  October 31, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,572 Words (7 Pages)  •  2,740 Views

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Ethical and Socially Responsive Business

The world of business is a melting pot of diverse cultures. With the present technology, the distance between business locations has become virtually borderless. Different backgrounds produce different understandings of very basic concepts, like what is right and what is wrong. Simply stated, right versus wrong is the definition of ethics. The challenge for businesses, however, is finding an agreement among a diverse group of employees regarding what really defines right versus wrong. Once a good definition is achieved, an even greater task is to enforce ethical behavior in the workplace. After building a culture grounded in strong ethical behavior, good businesses give back to the societies within which they operate. Businesses first fulfill their responsibility to make a profit and then their responsibility to serve their stakeholders. Finally, businesses answer the needs of society by acting with a commitment to fairness, integrity, and respect. I will discuss the ethics of The Cheesecake Factory and my opinion of the importance of their key aspects.

Code of Ethics

Creating standards for ethical behavior often begins with a code of ethics. Companies develop a code of ethics to guide their actions and to establish a common definition of right versus wrong. A code of ethics is a guide for acceptable behavior. There are two categories of codes of ethics: compliance-based and integrity-based. Compliance-based ethics codes focus on preventing unlawful behavior by punishing those who violate the code by increasing control over the wrongdoers. Integrity-based ethics codes encourage ethical behavior by defining a company’s mission and values, and by creating an environment that supports ethical behavior and shared accountability (McGowen, 2012).

A company can improve business ethics by gaining top management’s support. Employees must be made aware of what is expected of them in terms of acceptable ethical behavior. Managers need to be trained to consider the ethical implications of their decisions. An ethics officer must be established, and those outside the company who interact with the company must be told about the company’s ethics program.

Social Responsibility

As members of society, companies give back to the societies within which they operate. The concern a corporation has for the welfare of society is known as corporate social responsibility. Social responsibility is grounded in its commitment to integrity, fairness, and respect. Social responsibility extends to the stakeholders that businesses support. These stakeholders include customers, investors, employees, society at large, and the natural environment (McGowen,


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