Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Business ethics and corporate responsibility:a new perspective

Bhanu Murthy, K.V. (2007): Business ethics and corporate responsibility:a new perspective.

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Abstract

Starting from the famous but controversial statement of Peter Drucker (1981) - “There is neither a separate ethics of business nor is one needed”, this paper goes on to argue that business ethics and social responsibility are not unrelated. It shows how it is necessary to distinguish between business philosophy and philosophy of business. Through this distinction it develops a framework that relates the two – business ethics and CSR. It goes on to argue that there is a paradigm shift in the philosophy of business. This shift leads to a framework wherein a new perspective on business ethics and social responsibility emerges. It is coined as Corporate Responsibility. It consists of (a) good governance (b) corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) (c) environmental accountability. It discusses the role of top managers in achieving Corporate Responsibility through Organizational Transformation. This is the integrated approach to Corporate Responsibility that needs to be incorporated into International Standards of Social Responsibility. However, the major challenge is of evolving a strategy for laying down standards that take care of major issues and provide standards that are measurable, objective and universal. The three central issues of International Social Responsibility Standards are: 1. Acceptance of the tri-focal approach – Governance, Responsibility and Accountability. 2. Approach to methods of measurement is resolved. 3. The mandatory versus voluntary issue can be resolved only if issues of measurement and their universal applicability is resolved.

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