Keywords:business ethics, trust, social capital, business atmosphere, collective ethics, ethics of the individual, boundaries of business ethics.
Modern economic and business dynamics asks for greater openess, freedom and liberalism of all economic subjects. That implies high degree of trust or social capital, i.e. it starts a dilemma on relationship between the economy and ethics. New research in this field show that the absence of ethical standards in business cause great damage to particular companies as well as to overall world economy. That is why more and more attention is given to this subject in researches and education.
Business ethics has its two main dimensions of expressing and manifesting and those are collective, group and individual ethics. The collective ethics includes ethical procedures in business decisions of the management of the company regarding outer subjects and environment but ethical relationships inside the company as well. On the other hand, an individual who does not possess the elementary principals of personal business ethics and lacks in overall moral standards, one who is always ready to deceive, to put his personal interests above the interests of the collective, law, standards of common business morale and human relationship and to obstruct business atmosphere.
The basic question that is set in the analysis of business ethics and relationship between the economy and ethics is the following: where is the boundary that determines whether something in business is moral or not? To set the boundary of business ethics represents great challenge for every manager but for all the employees as well. That is the matter of personal decision, own perception of situation, needs, interests and motives, own moral integrity but a matter of cultural inheritance as well, expectations and pressure that comes from the company and the environment.
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