The relationship between ethics and business has come under greater scrutiny of late, as the effects of major companies taking action without any restraining business ethics have come to light. Additionally, even more business ethics issues have arisen to be examined, as major events of historical importance are re-examined through a historical retrospective, only to find that there is more of a relationship between the lack of business ethics and some of the significant events of the past.
This relationship between business ethics issues and some of the major forces of the past has led to a more piercing look at the Cold War. Some have come to argue that many of the major conflicts of the Cold War were actually fought in favor of American businesses and their interests in foreign lands. In other words, there are some who contend that ethics and business were so far removed from each other during the Cold War that many of the conflicts were fought specifically on behalf of businesses, so as to help those businesses grow and develop.
Many take certain stances on the ideological elements of the Cold War, arguing that the very propaganda put out during the Cold War was designed in such a way as to transform the concerns of business into larger matters of world diplomacy, where American businesses were deemed as good and right and free, while any resistance against them was deemed as Communist and unethical.
Such claims are quite contentious, of course, as they are moderately unprovable and potentially unfairly portrayals of the role that business interests may have played in such conflicts. But the fact remains that such concerns have arisen over interpretations of the past, primarily because of business ethics issues of the present.
Today, business ethics issues are debated widely, often resounding at the core of different ideologies. For example, there are many who would defend the seeming lack of connection between ethics and business by arguing that the point of any given business is not to serve the consumer; it is instead to turn a profit. Thus, these people would argue that those actions which many see as irrefutable breaches of ethical behavior are actually simply in accordance with the real relationship between ethics and business, under which business ethics should serve to earn the business more money.
Most business ethics issues being debated today revolve around this same basic problem, of exactly what the purpose of a business is and along with it, what the relationship should be between ethics and business. Many might argue, for instance, that it is not a business’ responsibility to maintain the ethical standards that most would like to see of it, but instead, it is the Government’s responsibility.
No matter exactly what business ethics issue is discussed, the fact remains that the relationship between business and ethics is being examined now more closely than ever, as the populace grows wary of businesses with as much power as many currently have.