History of Ethics

The historical prospective and theoretical foundation that supports ethical decision making of leaders and managersHistory of Business EthicsBusiness Ethics was first identified as a subject of study in the 1970??™s however ethics in business has always been around.Religion has been used to Justify Business & Wealth
Religion has also been used to define ethics
There are also Biblical links in BusinessPlato – Make moral judgements about greedHad the opinion the opinion that you should always behave decently with other peoples moneyWaber – Protestant Work EthicProtestant way of thinking – God gives you a Talent and therefore you should work hard at everything or God will think you??™re wasting your talent.Christian way of thinking – God loves you whatever you do. Work hard or be lazy god loves everyone equally.This lead to countries with a Protestant religion have an increased production in industry as workers believed that they had to work hard as this would please god and show that they were using their ???Talent??™. However is Christian countries industry continued at a constant rate as works believed that whether they did God would love them all equally.Businesses tried in both areas then began to encourage workers to produce more good by offering them more money. For example they would offer their works a price per unit rather than a daily wage. Therefore instead of paying them 3p a day for example they would pay them 1p for every unit they produce meaning they could earn up to 20p a day. However this didn??™t work as workers thought they had always lived on 3p a day why would they want any more, god wouldn??™t love them anymore and that was what really mattered.Over time, especially in protestant areas, workers earned more money which gave them more expendable income. As a way of getting some of this money back businesses would build houses close to their factories and rent them back to employees and they would also build shops near these houses where the employees could buy food and other products. This was the company would try and get back as much of the employees wages as it could.Adam Smith
Devised the theory that products are controlled by an invisible hand
This theory is devised by the notion that a product is available but its price is controlled by how much a potential customer is will to pay for itJohn Locke
First had the idea that a person has a right to own and indeed posses propertyLord Sharsbury (Marks)
Campaigned against child labour
Also campaigned against exploitation of workers i.e. 10 Hour Working Day. He did this by arguing that it was in the companies interest as its workers wouldn??™t be so tired and therefore production would increase and accidents would be reduced.However this did have consequences as child labour was dropped womens working hours were either greatly reduced or stopped altogether as they had to stay at home to look after the children. This meant that there was a greater dependency on the mans wage and as women had more children mens wages had to rase in order to pay for food.Schools were later introduced and indeed funded by companies. This was to control children and take the burden off women allowing them to work and earn their own wage therefore reducing the pressure on the mans wages.—————————Rowntree and Cadbury
Both companies were owned by Quakers
Both started up trying to introduce chocolate drinking houses as an alternative to Alcohol (Pub) as they didn??™t believe in it.
They also setup Health Care and Schooling for their employee??™s along with religious encouragement.They were the first companies to introduce Mixed Housing, this involved different classes living together. This helped as workers, supervisors and managers not only worked together and saw each other as roles and titles they also lived together meaning that they would see each other as people and therefore would not want to exploit one another.The cadbury village is a good example of this as all the properties are centralised around the green and everyone became a community.*Both Cadbury and Rowntree Prided themselves on their ethics towards workers*1899 – Rowntree
Seebhom Rowntree
Debate regarding Poverty. He said that workers, especially his own, were not poor and were well treated. The only way you could be poor and in poverty was if you were either lazy or a criminal and therefore made brought it upon yourself.
To make this point he decided to conduct a study work out exactly what you needed to survive. This consisted of
Fire/Heat
Light
Food
Shelter
2 Sets of Clothing
He then worked out the exact cost to stay alive for 1 year in 1899, this cost was to be considered the poverty line and below this figure a person could not survive
His thought was that all below this ???Poverty Line??™ would be either Lazy or a Criminal and have brought it upon themselves.
However he found that a third of people on yorkshire were below this line, some of whom even worked for him. He was staggered by this and realised that he wasn??™t as ethical as he had first thought.
After his findings he set up a charity to help all those who are below the poverty line and also sponsor education. This charity still exists ???http://www.jrf.org.uk???Port Sunlight
No Religious background but still tried same as Cadbury and Rowntree
Educated their employees primarily in cleanliness ???They produced Soap etc???
However unfortunately they didn??™t become famous for it.Other Companies
Blackpool Pleasure Beach – In its early days tried to be ethicalSome companies prided themselves to let their staff take time off for holidays, unpaid of course. Paid holidays werent introduced until much latterSeebhom Rowntree lobbied against poverty(Boar War) 2/3 of soldiers were either injured or died. This was mainly due to the fact the majority of them were malnourished. This resulted in England losing the battle against the Dutch in South AfricaBefore 1800 – Companies pretty much did what they wanted to their employees
After 1900 – Government governed businesses over what they could and couldn??™t do
1960??™s/70??™s – Ethics became a lot more popular and people started to take an interest
70??™s Onwards – Ethics became a Subject and became more and more powerfulNow ethics affects much more than just employment it also covers environment, sex and social responsibilities.


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