Ethics Paper Str581

Ethics Reflection Paper
Perry D. Lomond
University of Phoenix
STR-581 / WS09-V21.1
20 May, 2010
Dr. Albert E. Smothers, Ph.D.
Ethics Reflection Paper
Ethics and Social Responsibility
      In most corporations, a strategic plan is developed by the executive management team to give direction and set long-term goals for the company. The plan may range from maintaining the current market position through to aggressive growth or a military like maneuvering of resources to a competitive advantage. The role of the board and the executive team has been stated as maximizing shareholder wealth so concepts like social responsibility and ethics traditionally have been absent in the corporate strategy. However, during the last four decades, corporate images have been damaged by several scandals involving fraud, theft, safety, and environmental accidents. Damages caused by corporations like: Enron, Dow, and Author Anderson have changed the legal landscape for chief executives today because of new laws like Sarbanes-Oxley.
      Clearly, the legal framework is tightening and the government is trying to mandate ethical behavior. However, Pearce and Robinson suggest, “Ethical responsibilities reflect the company’s notion of right and proper business behavior. Ethical responsibilities are obligations that transcend legal requirements. Firms are expected, but not required, to behave ethically” (2007, p. 58). Ethics is being mandated with laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and the Environmental Protection Act; however, now it can be found in the mission statements and strategic plans of many Fortune 500 companies. Corporations are learning that customers regard good corporate citizens, companies that participate in and sponsor community events and other social and ethical activities, very highly. Pearce and Robinson state, “… at least three broad trends are driving businesses to adopt CSR frameworks: the resurgence of environmentalism, increasing buyer power, and the globalization of...