Watching the video entitled Business Ethics in the 21st Century, made me relate the lessons I have learned in the Business Ethics class. It showed me the impact of practicing business ethics properly. The first thing I noticed in the video is that it is talking about corporate social responsibility (CSR). In initial part of the video, you can see Unilever had made great emphasis about their company not just focusing on their brand but also about the needs and welfare of their consumers. Having to observed in the video what Patrick Cescau, the Group Chief Executive of Unilever, it made realize that the success of an does not solely depend only on the how much they have garnered in from business. Modern companies nowadays prevail because they tend support their consumer and in return their consumer will support them back. What made me realize now is that good customer relationship and concern for the welfare of the consumer and its community is what is all about corporate social responsibility.
If we are to define CSR formally according to Ghillyer (2014), corporate social responsibility or also known as corporate citizenship or corporate conscience is the action of an organisation that are targeted toward achieving a social benefit over and above maximising profits for its shareholders and meeting all its legal obligations. In short, if we are reflect on our earlier lessons, it is the act of extending your responsibility beyond the limit of your organisation legal obligation. Delving into this, CSR would not be possible if it is not for the proper implementation of ethical leadership’s proper corporate governance. In our lecture, we have learned that ethical leadership plays a key role in influencing and running an organisation and thus creates an ethical culture.
A bad example of a company that I can relate to this about ethical leadership and corporate governance is Wells Fargo. It all started with top management’s greed for more profit and mores shares in the stock market. Influenced by their greed, pushed their workers to do unethical acts by creating phony accounts from their existing customers. And I find it very appalling especially they would do this having their customers be unaware of what they are doing with their accounts especially that their management of Sloan and Stumpf are also denying all the allegations not holding accountable to that scandal. According to Bello (2012), ethical leadership can have a significant impact on the employee job performance. In relevance to this, I find out now that ethical leadership would not be very effective and sustainable if a proper corporate government is implemented. Corporate governance had been defined, according to Ghillyer (2014), as the process of by which organisations are directed and controlled. If companies are well governed, they will usually outperform other companies and will be able to attract investors whose support can finance further growth (Ghillyer, 2014).
To sum this all up, I find that studying business ethics is very crucial especially in modern day businesses. It can either serve as our guideline or as a tool for us expand and entice more investors into the organisation especially there are those activist and advocacy group that are on a lookout for some companies that are doing unethical practices that ruin their businesses leading to their downfall.
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