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Chapter 1:

Questions for Discussion


1. Discuss why ethics is important in business.
Business Ethics paves the way for a common understanding of the
fundamental idea of what is good and what is bad in our human
conduct. Without ethics, people will set their own moral standards
which would result into a kind of subjective morality.
2. Refute the businessmans myth that ethics has no place at all in business.
Business is a social activity thus, being a social activity it should
conform to the norms, rules and principles of this society. These
standards are embedded in ethics.
3. Explain the phrase: Not all that is legal is moral, but what is moral is worth
legalizing.
An action may be legal but not necessarily moral. Ethics provides a
clear distinction between morality and legality. Consider abortion- in
some countries abortion is legal but in the Christian faith abortion is an
immoral act.
4. Define Business Ethics. What is your own personal definition of Business
Ethics?
Business Ethics is the study of what is the right and wrong human
behavior and conduct in business.
For me, business ethics is putting a conscience in the science of profit
making.
5. Explain the phrase: Ethics is the unwritten law written in the hearts of men.
I interpret that as ethics has been a tried and tested guide of men in
ages that have been handed down from one generation to another.
These are actions that society consider as the proper action given a
particular circumstance.
6. What is your personal view on profit-motive?
Personally, profit making is not bad. I go by the tenet of giving Caesar
what is due Caesar and God what is due God. In profit making it means
giving the business person his due profit but also giving his customers
their due in terms of quality of products and services and it should be
commensurate to the product or service.
7. Do you agree with Milton Friedman that the only responsibility of business is
to maximize profits? Why or why not? Discuss your answer.
No, this is really a very simplistic view. I believe that a business entity
has other responsibilities such as paying the correct taxes, giving
quality products and services to its clients and sharing its fruits
through CSR.
8. What is the Catholic Churchs stand on profit-motive?
The church is not against profit -making. Pope Pius XI just reminds that
one should respect the laws of God, not prejudice the rights of others,
and works according to faith and right reason. (QA #136)
9. What is your concept of reasonable profit?

This a hard question to answer. For me, it is about justice. If your


profits take away food from anothers table then it is excessive.

Case 1: Ethics vs. Profit


Questions:
1. What are the ethical problems mentioned in this particular case and what are
the probable causes of these problems?
Providing unsafe products/ questionable products in lieu of savings to
increase profits
Questionable business practices such as bribery to obtain more sales
to increase income
2. Is it all right to do something illegal or unethical to maintain the companys
image and profitability?
No, because one cannot keep a secret for long. The unethical or illegal
practices will haunt the company and will cause more problems in the
future. Also, there is the ethical consideration of doing what is right
and true in ones dealings.
3. If you are the CEO of the company, what would you do and why?
I will not condone those behaviors. I will institute rules on the contrary
as well as provide a culture program to ensure that people working in
my company are guided in the values of my company.
Case 2: Friendship in Business
Questions:
1. Was the action of Mr. Dy to cancel the contract legally correct and morally
justified?
In my opinion, it is not justified. He delivered a substandard product
and this is the reason why Mr Gutierrez returned the materials.
2. Is it appropriate to extend friendship in business transactions? Why or why
not? Discuss your answer.
For me, extending friendship in business transactions can be very
tricky although it is not totally wrong. Friendship is a social activity and
cannot be totally neglected even in business transactions. It can be
part of interpersonal relationships which is important in business
dealings.