Business Ethics -- A Proactive, Eductional Tool for a Profitable Society
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Two case studies of water pollution by business are analyzed, focusing on the problem of who is responsible for preventing future unethical environmental and non-environmental business activities. Water pollution is unethical because it adversely affects the legitimate rights and goals of other water users. Because the consequences of unethical business actions cannot be fully determined, prevention is the key to changing unethical practices. The educated society realizes its primary responsibility for defining the role and behavior of its business institution. Business will only change unethical practices in response to reasonable societal demands. As a dominant and financially powerful institution of modern society, business is the ideal agent to generate change within its ranks because business leaders are in the position to know of any unethical practices which may be occurring within the organization. This position ensiles prevention. The business person who critically questions his decisions and actions is using business ethics as an educative tool to proactively prevent unethical activities. When unethical activities are prevented, the whole of society profits.