History Of Business Ethics
Studies relating to business ethics have started only since the 1970s; the documented explanation for this need to implement them at that particular time is attributed to the fact that the 1960s found corporations increasingly being put under the scanner for unethical business conduct. This was so widespread that companies, particularly the ones in the US, felt the need make amends and hence, developed programs on social responsibility.
This usually entailed funding projects in the local community and making sizable donations to charity. However, these practices were invariably unorganized, with no particular guidelines, and the activities varied from company to company. Research and academic writings have mentioned this as one of the origins of business ethics.
Another train of thought says that the concept of business ethics came into being with the onslaught of business scandals, or what was referred to as ‘ethics in businesses’. In a wider sense of the term business ethics, it is said that the history of business ethics is as old as business itself, the latter having to do commercial exchange and former, economic systems. This is the second version that lays claim to the starting point of business ethics, which brings us to the third one, which refers to the creation of awareness within the business houses for certain codes of conduct.
This third school of thought states that organizations were clearly focused on building ethical practices and instilling sound business values within their outfits. The process was initiated with the appointment of ethics officers and ethics committees, and conducting ethics training programs for employees.
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