With BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, and Apple’s ‘batterygate’, there is no shortage of corporations behaving in a morally reprehensible way to cut costs or increase profits. Should corporations have morals? Are business ethics important? Is it a firm’s collective responsibility to behave in an ethical way?
Yes, corporations should have moral responsibility
Corporations are conversible agents. Their message can be different from that of the individuals that make up the corporation. They also erode individuality. Therefore, corporations must have defined morals to fill the ethical space left by the individual.
Corporations are conversable agents
Corporations are able to use their voice to convey their objectives and mission statement. Therefore, they should have moral agency that guides that voice.Explore
Corporations eliminate the individual
Corporations are designed to eliminate individuality in favour of uniformity. Without individual morals, the corporation must adopt a moral compass and business ethics.Explore
No, corporations shouldn't have moral responsibility
Corporations are the sum of individual decisions. They don't know right from wrong and cannot be punished. Therefore, it makes far more sense to limit morals to the individual.
Corporate morals dehumanize the individual
Once a corporation attempts to force its values on its employees, it risks dehumanizing them.Explore
Corporations depend on individual decisions
The direction and approach corporations take depends on individual decisions.Explore
Only a person can have morals
To have morals, the entity must know right from wrong and feel guilt.Explore
Corporations can’t be punished
If a corporation cannot be punished, then it doesn't make sense for it to define its morally acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.Explore
Corporations are prisoners of economic incentive
Corporations are prisoners of economics, leaving them unable to have an attitude towards social good or a conscience.Explore
Other collectives don’t have morals
Other groupings of individuals do not have morals. Therefore, corporations shouldn't be expected to have moral agency.Explore
This page was last edited on Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 09:14 UTC