Obeying the Law Is What Ethical Behavior

However, compliance with the law is unlikely to be recognized by a very large number of observers, as many focus on the “over-and-that” typically associated with corporate social responsibility. But when a certain behavior is so incredibly difficult and so incredibly important, what could deserve more praise? […] A few weeks ago, we discussed why what is legal is not always ethical. Last week, we explored why it can be difficult to follow the law and therefore sometimes violate the law ethically. One of the advantages of small businesses is that they can sometimes avoid time-consuming disruptions in the business world. In all respects, whether traditional or modern, ethics is an important issue. Observations and studies show that ethical behaviour is effective. One. Millage recently wrote in Internal Auditor about the results of the 2005 National Business Ethics Survey (NAEP). NBES is conducted by the Ethics Resource Centre. The survey found that 70% of employees at companies with a “weak” ethical culture (as measured by NBES) have observed ethical misconduct in their organizations.

Only 34% of employees in organizations with a “strong” ethical culture did so. Employees observed morally destructive behaviors such as discrimination and sexual harassment; is internal, to suppliers, customers and the public; incorrect time; direct flight; and other problems. In any case, such activities lead to higher costs, loss of reputation, poor performance, etc. Ethics are important. Like H. L. A. Hart argues that the characteristic orientation of political obligations can be seen in contrast to the obligation to do p and the obligation to do so (Hart 1961: 80-88). If a gunman stops Smith and threatens to shoot her if she doesn`t hand over $50, she is probably forced to give that amount.

But by this expression, we mean nothing more than the fact that the alternatives to compliance are very unpleasant, which gives him a good reason to comply. According to Hart, engagement adds an inner dimension to this. While Smith`s obligation to do p is analyzed in terms of assessing the consequences of obedience or disobedience, her commitment to doing p adds to these concerns the moral legitimacy of what she is forced to do. If Smith is a citizen of a legitimate state that requires her to pay $50 in taxes, she could once again be forced to comply; The consequences of non-compliance could be unacceptable to them. But in this case, it is right that she gives the money. If he acknowledges the obligation, he will believe that it is the right thing to do – although we should note that this is a prima facie moral requirement that can be negated by additional moral considerations. For companies, complying with the law does not exhaust ethical responsibility, but it is a very good start. Most of us probably think that following the law is absolutely minimal-decent behavior for business. You absolutely have to comply with the law, and surely a company should not be congratulated for reaching this basic minimum, right? In fact, however, it`s not always that easy for businesses to comply with the law. Conflicts and dilemmas pose particular challenges for ethical decisions. If the facts are unclear and the legal issues are uncertain or the interests of the parties conflict, an ethical person should decide what to do based on established ethical standards of conduct.

This is where moral philosophies come into play, such as not violating the rights of others or obeying rules, unless there is a valid ethical consideration to do otherwise. By living in the state and taking advantage of a legal system (property protection, free education system), we implicitly agree to follow the law. Of course, Bix notes that we can question whether we have really meaningfully accepted our legal systems (3). Does not leaving the country mean that you agree to live by its laws, or do you not have the money to leave the country? Or do you just want to stay with your family? We may also question whether such consent is sufficient to accept an entire legal system – we could say that it is an unfair agreement, especially if there is a sudden change in power or government policy, but also because we might perceive a legal system in general as fair, but there may be specific laws with which we disagree. Are we linked to the whole lot? Alternatively, we could say that because of the benefits we receive from the legal system, we should comply with its demands out of gratitude. However, it suggests that in exchange for benefits that we may not have asked for, we should do whatever the law requires. As Bix points out, the fact that our parents raised us does not mean that they have the right to determine our entire lives for us (4). – We could instead reflect on the consequences of non-compliance with the law; Hobbes` argument that we could end up in a state of anarchy. However, as we have already seen that in most cases our moral opinions or a practical reason such as fear of punishment guarantee that we obey the law, this is not necessarily true.

Many very small businesses with 10 to 20 employees work more like families. Ethical behavior is part of the culture – just like in a family. In such situations, the sudden appearance of a code of ethics can be very distressing. Discussing the issue at a staff meeting can better serve the purpose: to make employees aware of this issue and what is happening “out there”. The moral obligation to obey the law, or as it is commonly called, the political obligation, is a moral requirement to obey the laws of one`s own country. Traditionally, this has been seen as a requirement of some type of obedience to the law, for the “content independent” reason that it is the law, as opposed to the content of certain laws. By calling this a moral requirement, theorists distinguish between political obligation and legal obligation. All legal systems claim to bind the persons subject to them; Part of what we mean by a valid law is that the people concerned are obliged to obey it. This requirement is usually supported by coercion, while those who disobey are subject to punishment. But these aspects of the legal obligation leave open the final questions as to the state`s justification for imposing such requirements. If citizens have no moral requirement to obey the law, they may be forced to do so, but by forcing obedience, the state acts unjustly and interferes with their freedom.

Publishing such a code is relatively easy. Several hundred code examples are available on the Internet, many of which are designed specifically for small businesses. A small business owner can easily write one-page code and distribute it to employees if they see the need. Many small businesses have found it helpful in the past to publish policy statements that deal with human resources policy, including hours of operation, vacations, personal time accumulation, etc. A code of ethics along the same lines can be easy to create and serve an important purpose: to emphasize the owner`s commitment to ethical behavior. Sometimes people believe that the end justifies the means. In ethics, everything depends on the motives for action. If our own ends are good and noble, and the means by which we attain them are also good and noble, then the end justifies the means.

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