The Evolution of Business Ethics


The case study contains the answers to the questions based on the book of Daniel Terris. In his book, Terris deliberates the history of commercial ethics in the United States since the late 1800s with admiration “to anti-competitive practices, seeking unfair advantage through immoral arrangements with suppliers and public officials, failing to adhere to laws and regulations, and lack of transparency” (Terris, 2005, p. 12).

He deliberates the thoughts of Howard Bowen on the subject of the development of social responsibility of industries; moreover, he has made several predictions that had come true.

The Responsibility of Top Leadership in a Large Organization

As Susan Birk (2010) claimed, “a leader is someone who others voluntarily follow, but not because he or she has the title of CEO. People follow you because they believe in you, they want to help you succeed, and they wish to see the organization succeed” (p. 32).

Drastic changes have occurred in the last few years in the position and duties of the leaders of the company or business establishments. Before these changes the role of a manager was quite explicit: the person in charge stood on top of the team and gave direct and precise orders.

Nonetheless, nowadays the position of the head has shifted as more and more companies embed the strategy of dividing the employees into teams with almost equal areas within them in order to accomplish their goals. The post of the leading person in the organization of the present day is divergent from the standard direction function, as it lies in not directing and ordering the group members but in guiding and coordinating them.

One of the primary roles of the present leader is to assist the team members in receiving new information, to teach the best-known practice concerns, and to intervene in the work process at the right moment. Moreover, the manager needs to learn how to pass on the necessary knowledge, how to give comprehensive advice and how to trust and be trusted.

In order to select a right strategy for approaching the employees for a leader, various techniques have been established. They include different ways and methods of describing and giving an explanation of the word ‘leadership’. According to Michael Hackman and Craig Johnson (2009), “over the past 100 years, the fundamental approaches for understanding and describing leadership have evolved” (p. 72).

The trait approach is believed to be the primary concept of management as it examines the sequence of moral, physical or mental characteristics of a manager and an employee and their correspondence. Moreover, the trait approach implies that a person with a particular set of features that is a leader in one situation, might not be a leader under other circumstances.

Skills approach has lots of similarities with traits approach; however, the focus shifts from the characteristics the individual is born with to techniques, which can be acquired and advanced. Without a doubt, personality plays a major role in leadership; still, according to a skills approach, abilities and intelligence are more vital for a persuasive command.

Styles approach lies in the behavior of the manager, namely what he does and how he does it. This way of studying the leadership includes the performance of the leader towards his subordinates in diverse situations.

According to the research, leadership consists of equally a directive and a supportive aspect. A manager has to appraise his workers and determine whether they are capable of performing and fulfilling the task in order to evaluate the effects of the leadership.

So, to my opinion, the situational-specific factors elect the directedness or support of the leader to meet the shifting requirements of the employees. Moreover, the influence on leadership leads to the leader’s interest in the productive and efficient work, thus altering the level of the development of the workers.

To What Extent Things are Better or Worse in the Present Day for Businesses

Nowadays, the businesses experience an upsurge in the commercial ethics from the point of view of the problems that were discussed in the book. The businesses and corporations tend to rely on the dependable and trustworthy companies in order to expand their production or increase their profits.

Co-branding is a series of action, which lead to a combination of assorted products into a collective good or displayed collectively in a concerted manner. There are a lot of diverse branches of co-branding and the means of its reaching. The organization has an opportunity to operate jointly with other organizations in order to integrate their supplies and have an impact on the core competencies of one another.

On the other hand, the company is able to manipulate the resources they already have currently inside one organization in order to advertise and stimulate numerous products instantly. Regardless of the method that an organization decides to maintain, the target of co-branding is to act in answer to the shifting marketplace, establish the core competencies of the organization, and operate in order to enhance the profits from the given product.

Moreover, the companies tend to expand their competitive practices and marketing approaches and establishing a fair environment for competition. Product differentiation depicts a marketing approach where marketers make an effort in order to create an exclusive product, which will not have equal among the competitors. Companies decide to take this path in order to stand out in a manufacturing where diversified adversaries create analogous products.

On the other hand, there are various approaches that could be used for this purpose, for example, following a low-cost scheme and advertising. However, these techniques are diverse from product differentiation, despite being valid marketing methods. Product differentiation implies that there are aspects, characteristics or nominal disparities between a given product and the competitive goods.

There are several techniques for a product differentiation: product innovation; packaging; pursuing new market niches, especially in unsophisticated areas; generating more referrals; offering increased service; figuring out the guarantees; partnering with complementary products or service providers; and employing the hid assets.

Welfare Capitalism and its Role as a Forerunner of the Contemporary Business Ethics Movement

In order to intricate on welfare capitalism, we as the researchers have to comprehend the explanation of the term applies. Welfare capitalism is the form of capitalism, which is apprehensive with the communal welfare of the employee, and comprises such plans as “social security, universal healthcare, collective bargaining, and industrial safety codes” (Terris, 2005, p. 15).

After the definition of the word is distinct, it is vital to intricate its role as a forerunner of the modern business ethics undertaking. The term began developing during the time when the industrialist started to suggest welfares and aids to their plant employees.

In contemporary times, the words ‘welfare capitalism’ are denoted to industrial authoritarianism, meaning that several corporations possess a two-fold concern and attentiveness to giving these amenities. The businesses’ first performance is an authoritarian method in which it offers the workers what executives consider is most suitable for them.

The next performance is that the businesses become familiar with the fact that giving the workers several welfares and aids that are able to anticipate criticisms about bigger structural subjects appear to be in dangerous circumstances and long hours. For the duration of the highest point of welfare capitalism, not all the workforces delighted in having similar welfares.

Welfare capitalism in the commercial-run domain was the lone common feature in the commerce of the United States that had a skilled labor in the employment. In the commercial-run domain, not every corporation selects to provide welfares and aids to their employees without obstruction.

With the course of time, more and more workforces became unfulfilled with insufficient or absent welfares by both pleasing to the administration for assistance, and providing the increase to the first system of welfare capitalism.

The Evolution of Social Responsibility of Businesses

CSR, which is short for Corporate Social Responsibility, has been at present measured as critically pertinent to the practical area not only for administrations but to the system of the government as well. In emergent countries, which are eager to create the central economy, Corporate Social Responsibility signifies a great importance.

To a higher degree, there occurs awareness that Corporate Social Responsibility and administrative progression are unconditionally intricate. In point of fact, it appears to be accurate, as it turned out to be deceptive that leading nations fail in possessing a chance to advance deprived of the thoughtful comprising their inventiveness into civil affairs and, in addition, the assiduous contribution of the administrations to effectiveness construction.

The important implication for this is the statement that the public position of a state and the well-being of its inhabitants are inseparably related to numerous encounters, such as environmental, mechanical and proficient.


Birk, S. (2010). The 10 most common myths about leadership. Healthcare Executive, 25(6), 30-38.

Hackman, M., & Johnson, C. (2009). Leadership: A communication perspective. Long Grove, IL: Waveland.

Terris, D. (2005). Ethics at work: Creating virtue at an American corporation. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press.

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