The negotiating process in a business arena is complex because all parties involved want to achieve positive outcomes. In the business market, law and ethics help create guidelines that will govern corporate operations. In his book, Ethics and the Conduct of Business, Boatright (2009) contends that laws tend to prevail in the public arena, and ethics are considered more of a private issue. In other words, laws that are clearly defined help establish enforceable rules that corporate bosses adhere to, while matters of an ethical nature, on the other hand, are based on personal opinion, moral values, and ethical principles (Boatright, 2009). For example, one legal issue company leaders that run popular online games may have to face are the consequences of adding adult content in a forum where a considerable amount of minors have access to. The ethical issue they will face is whether it is moral to expose gaming products that include adult matters like sex, violence, and gambling, to a community that also consists of individuals who are underage.
Each individual’s principles will play a big part in the decision making process. In their book, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Ferrell et al. (2013) contend that ethical principles are based on the values people develop as norms which are widely accepted socially, like accountability, authenticity, trustworthiness, and honor (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). To remain successful in a highly competitive industry, company leaders in the online gaming industry, often contemplate difficult decisions, like adding intimate adult issues to popular games whose members also include minors. In this situation, their dilemma is based on whether the decision maker feels comfortable introducing this aspect to the game. In the US market, for instance, leaders must decide whether they believe their demographic is ready to embrace this aspect in their gaming forum. The stakes are high because the consequences can have a dire effect on the company’s revenues, which in turn, will affect the employees whose jobs are at stake if the decision turns out detrimental.
On Friday we will conclude this discussion on resolving ethical business challenges by taking a closer look at the factors leaders must contemplate when making tough choices. Until then … stay organized!
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. – Potter Stewart
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Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.