Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

author: Matjaž Mulej, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor
published: July 8, 2011,   recorded: June 2011,   views: 777
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Problems cannot be solved with the mentality that has caused them’. Hence, the 2008- crisis cannot be solved with ethics of one-sided and short-term mentality of the industrial and neoliberal economics, which has caused the ‘Bubble Economy’ of several recent decades. Neither the market nor the government alone have assured the common benefit of all humans so far, as they were supposed to in the so-called capitalistic or communistic/socialistic socioeconomic order over the recent centuries.The pre-industrial mentality has neither been able to assure the common benefit that should resultfrom the ‘invisible hand’ or the ‘visible hand’ of power-holders. The decisions/actions have always been made and taken by humans, making or heading organizations, be it families, enterprises, non-governmental organizations, public institutions, or government bodies. The role of organizations is to provide for synergetic cooperation of specialists toward holism as the basis of the common benefit. These facts make us think about humans, their responsibility, values, culture, ethic, and norms (VCEN), with a focus on entrepreneurial and business life, in this text. They make us think about an innovativechange in mentality (both as a process of beneficial change and as its outcome). Thus, we come to think of combining in a synergy (a) social responsibility (SR), (b) innovation, (c) the (Dialectical) Systems Theory (as the theory of attainment of the requisite holism (RH), without which the benefit of all can hardly be yielded). This means that we do not see the (corporate) SR as a simple charity or honesty of owners and managersin their relations with their coworkers, business partners, broader society (including charity as a part of SR) and nature (as a general precondition of human survival after centuries of nature’s destruction rather than maintenance), but as a/the new socio-economic order after neoliberalism and its ‘Bubble Economy’. The latter disregards the natural and human capacities too much to be allowed to continue destroying humankind and its natural preconditions. Without SR, the current civilization hardly has a chance to survive. In ISO 26000, namely, SR covers (1) governance, management and organization, (2) human rights, (3) labor relations, (4) natural environment, (5) fair business practices, (6) consumer issues, (7) community involvement and development;it links all of them with consideration of (1) interdependence as the basis, and (2) holism as the top intention/achievement.We prefer no limitation of SR to companies: they follow influential humans’ decisions. SR is a human attribute. Interdependence makes human honest and leads from one-sidedness to holism.

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