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The aim of this unit is to introduce learners to the concept of business ethics and to examine its relevance when considering business objectives and responsibilities.
Most businesses today are concerned about the impact of their activities on the business environment. Ethical concerns and greater consumer awareness have resulted in many businesses promoting their social values to ensure competitive advantage. Business ethics embraces corporate social responsibility and ethics relating to accounting practices, marketing, human resource management, and production. In this unit learners will examine the theoretical roots to the background and growth of business ethics. They will look at the different types of ethical issues a business needs to consider and how the development of ethical values impacts on business behaviour. It is important for learners to appreciate how taking an ethical stance affects businesses both internally and externally, including the effects on stakeholders. Learners will explore the social implications of business ethics for a wide range of business activities that affect the organisation itself and the external environment. This will include the ethical stance behind topical issues such as whistle blowing, employment practices, advertising to children, environmental awareness and using new technologies such as genetic modification of food. Learners will also examine how an individual’s ethical stance impacts on the moral relationship between employer and employee, as well as considering the contractual responsibilities of both parties. This unit will give learners the opportunity to research how a business responds to ethical concerns and assess the extent to which its activities affect its behaviour, whilst ensuring business objectives are met.
For this unit learners must select an organisation and research its approach to ethical issues. They will require access to websites, newspaper articles and journals in order to conduct their research. Topical case studies will be needed to facilitate group work and discussions