History of Ethics

The historical prospective and theoretical foundation that supports ethical decision making of leaders and managers

History of Business Ethics

Business Ethics was first identified as a subject of study in the 1970’s however ethics in business has always been around.

Religion has been used to Justify Business & Wealth
Religion has also been used to define ethics
There are also Biblical links in Business

Plato - Make moral judgements about greed

Had the opinion the opinion that you should always behave decently with other peoples money

Waber - Protestant Work Ethic

Protestant way of thinking - God gives you a Talent and therefore you should work hard at everything or God will think you’re wasting your talent.

Christian way of thinking - God loves you whatever you do. Work hard or be lazy god loves everyone equally.

This lead to countries with a Protestant religion have an increased production in industry as workers believed that they had to work hard as this would please god and show that they were using their ‘Talent’. However is Christian countries industry continued at a constant rate as works believed that whether they did God would love them all equally.

Businesses tried in both areas then began to encourage workers to produce more good by offering them more money. For example they would offer their works a price per unit rather than a daily wage. Therefore instead of paying them 3p a day for example they would pay them 1p for every unit they produce meaning they could earn up to 20p a day. However this didn’t work as workers thought they had always lived on 3p a day why would they want   any more, god wouldn’t love them anymore and that was what really mattered.

Over time, especially in protestant areas, workers earned more money which gave them more expendable income. As a way of getting some of this money back businesses would build houses close to their factories and rent them back to employees and they would also build...