Ethics is a very important concept in the society. It guides the human behavior and decision-making process. This paper discusses the people I consider to have had both positive and negative ethical contributions in the society, a place I know where ethics prevails and a summary of what I have studied in class about ethics.
An example of a person that I believe has had a positive ethical impact in the society is Oprah Winfrey. Being a titan in the world of media and philanthropy, Oprah has worked tirelessly to impact and change the lives of millions of people through her contents and causes. In 2011, she established The Oprah Winfrey Network, a network where some of the most inspirational and diverse programming have been aired (Garson, 2011). Apart from the network, she has established an Oprah Winfrey Leadership Foundation for the girls in South Africa. It is a philanthropic move that has seen youths get scholarships despite coming from poor backgrounds. Another example is my uncle Mark who owns a credit processing company. At one time, he made a brave move of raising the employee’s salary almost 5 times their previous pay. He further went ahead to cut his seven-figure salary to rhyme with that of the employees. I celebrate him because his actions impacted positively in the society by raising the livelihoods of hundreds of his workers. Through ethical principles, he got motivated to the right by the world by touching the life of others.
Examples of people who in my personal opinion have shown a lack of ethical principle are the heads of the Wal-Mart. The company is well known for its unethical business practices and lack of employee compassion. They are so intent on making profits before the health of their workers. For example in one situation, in the year 2000, Deborah Shank, was involved in an accident involving the collision of a semi-trailer (Shields, 2010). The accidents resulted in permanent brain damage and confinement on a wheelchair but the company went ahead to sue her family for medical costs, leaving her under the Medicaid program throughout. Another example of a person I believe has ethically failed is my neighbor, Mathew who claims to be a certified doctor. He had joined a medical school but later on dropped out and thus did not finish his studies. However, he faked his certificates and C.V to get a job in one of the local clinics. I believe this is professionally unethical as he may end up giving the wrong diagnosis, thus endangering their lives.
Pepsi Co is one company that has been named to Ethisphere’s list for the 10th time in a row, as being one of the most ethical companies worldwide. The designation recognizes companies based on their ability to carry out ethical practices that impact the society positively. The company is the world’s second-largest food and beverage company, as measured by revenue. Under the leadership of Indra Nooyi, the company has managed to keep doing its business ethically. She has spearheaded the establishment of the company’s performance with initiative, which has helped the company create ties of its financial performance towards environmental, human and talent sustainability (Jackson & Singh, 2015). In addition, the company acts under the mission of carrying out ethical actions as not only the right thing to do but also the right thing to do for their business. It has also established a global code of conduct which governs the behavior and the values portrayed by the workers within the company, thus making it of high ethical standards.
From the course content, I have been able to understand what the term ethics means. It is used to refer to a system of moral principles which affect how an individual makes a decision or leads lives. It is used to show what is good or bad to both the individuals and the society at large (Williams, 2011). This is highly important as I can now related the various human behavior and weigh on them whether they are good or bad. I have also learned the importance of adopting ethics in the various professions. For example, in business, ethical behavior and corporate social responsibility help to bring significant benefits to the company e.g. attracting more employees, investors or customers. From the course material, I have also learned of the fathers of ethical theories and what their beliefs were. For example, Aristotle gave an exploration of what a life well lived should look like. According to Philosopher Aquinas ethical theories, an ethical person has what is called a well informed conscious. Generally, the course has helped me to learn on how to be socially responsible for the betterment of the society I live in.
Garson, H. S. (2011). Oprah Winfrey: A Biography: A Biography. ABC-CLIO.
Shields, C. M. (2010). Leading justly in a complex world. Bridge leadership: Connecting educational leadership and social justice to improve schools, 125-148. Jackson, L. A., & Singh, D. (2015). Environmental rankings and financial performance: An analysis of firms in the US food and beverage supply chain. Tourism Perspectives, 14, 25-33.
Williams, B. (2011). Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis.
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