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STR 581 Week 1 Individual Ethics Reflection Paper




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Ethics And Social Responsibility 1
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Ethics And Social Responsibility 2
Ethics and Social Responsibility
Ethics are considered to be the guiding principle in which we as humans understand the
concepts of right and wrong behavior. Our interpretation and actions based on these concepts
and principles goes a long way to classify us as individuals and as a society. In business
managers use these principles to help make the best decisions possible to ensure that shareholder,
consumer, and the organization’s goals and expectations are met. Ethics and social responsibly
should always be considered in the development of all strategic business visions and plans. This
paper will look at the role of ethics and social responsibility in developing a strategic plan while
balancing the needs of stakeholders. Additionally I will evaluate my own understanding of
ethics and how it has evolved throughout the course of my MBA program.
Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
The role of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) permeate all aspects of
strategic planning. Strategic planning, according to, “clearly defines objectives
and assesses both the internal and external situation to formulate strategy, implement the strategy,
evaluate the progress, and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track”. Organizational
ethics are the values an organization expresses to its employees and others regardless of laws and
regulations and CSR is “the idea that business has a duty to serve society in general as well as
the financial interests of stakeholders”. In today’s business environment, socially responsible
companies view every decision through the lens of ethics and CSR.
Like ethical behavior, “social responsibility is a critical consideration for a company’s
strategic decision makers". Owners need to ensure that they hire managers who can carry out
their wishes and be the voice of the company in their absence instead of managers who will

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Ethics And Social Responsibility 3
protect their own self-interests. Decisions made by management have to be aligned with the
beliefs of the owner and the company’s stakeholders to guarantee profitability and survivability.
The goal of every company is to maximize shareholder wealth and maintain viability and
long-term profitability. However, all costs, and benefits must be analyzed before true
profitability can be claimed. It is easy for management to quantify economic costs and benefits,
but it is more challenging to quantify costs and benefits of CSR because the relationship between
social responsibility and profitability is very complex. According to Pearce and Robinson,
undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of CSR is complicated because some CSR actions do not
incur any costs, while other CSR activities are at a discounted rate because of tax deductions, and
other CSR practices result in savings. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to quantify an
enhanced company image and improved community support generated through CSR. As a result
the current trend toward increasing CSR it is important for managers to understand their own
personal ethical perspective and how that perspective shapes their view of ethics and strategic
Personal Understanding of Ethics
My personal understanding of ethics and CSR has developed throughout the course of my
MBA program. Through the Ethics Awareness Inventory I have learned that I am very strongly
aligned with character and least closely aligned with equity. This alignment has not changed
since I began the program. The key concepts of a character-centered perspective are integrity,
excellence, honesty, honor, justice, compassion, and wisdom. Although my perspective has not
changed, my understanding of others’ perspective has broadened. I have learned to value the
opinions of others with different perspectives from myself. It is through embracing the
differences that I can become a stronger manager. In addition to understanding and appreciating

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