Ethics in Business

Ethics in Business

Ethical responsibility is the role of every individual and business. After going through The Parable of the Sadhu, one can identify that there are various ethical issues identified. One can apply these ethical issues to the modern corporate environment and thus learn from the impact that they can have on a company or an individual. Moreover, an individual can get to learn of the various constituents that are presented in this case and further note the manner through which standards are violated in the case at hand. Understanding these issues and seeing the manner through which they relate to business and general ethics is important for the improvement of people’s and corporate behavior.

The first ethical principle to review from Paine is the reliability principle. It is very important for people to rely on each other in times of need. In this case it is represented by the ignorance that author showed where he did not take time to take the dying Sadhu to a safe haven where the Sadhu would slowly recover rather than leaving the individual to die in the tough conditions that they were facing. It is only ethical that the author would have made this gesture for he would be at least sure that the Sadhu would be in a better place (McCoy, 2007). The ethical violation while relating to business is where individuals in a given setting might only care about their own issues and that even if a business partner was facing challenges carrying out a particular task then they would not show compassion and help the person. As time has progressed, people have changed and given the fact that most of the world is run in a capitalist manner shows that people are bound to help themselves and ignore the needs of other people.

It is essential to note that the partner of the author, Stephen, was compassionate and did not feel like it was right to leave the Sadhu in the area where he was (McCoy, 2007). He asked for assistance from different people and did not receive any assistance. The action was very stressing for him as he believed in the power of helping people for he too might be in need on a later date. This is an ethical issue to address with relation to individuals and corporates in the contemporary environment. Many are the times when institutions show care for people in the environment (Crane et al., 2019). For example, a company might open up different branches to cater for the needs of people in a given setting. The branches thus work to offer employment to people living in that area. The institution can urge other capable companies to offer the same employment chances but due to stingy nature of the institutions, can only seek to offer employment to people of their same kind and heritage. The case where the people trekking in the reading were of different nationalities shows this. The fact that the Sadhu was of a different nationality was a contributing factor to their lack of compassion and Stephen asks whether they would do the same to people of the same kind. It is ethically unprofessional for people or institutions to carry out activities that only assist them. Corporate Social Responsibility is a positive thing for companies to carry out and the reason for this is that it shows the gratitude of the company and this is another aspect to show. Moreover, people in that area get to show their loyalty. 

Another ethical principle to review in accordance to Paine is responsiveness principle. It holds that it is important for people to respond to the needs of other people. In this case, the people were supposed to respond to Stephen’s plea to assist moving the Sadhu to a safer place but the others did not communicate back to assist. Lack of communication in a group setting thereby worsening a situation that would have otherwise been resolved effectively (Paine, 2005). Moreover, it is important to note that business owners would be left unsure of whether if they had collaborated and communicated well then a particular project would have succeeded much to the satisfaction of each contributor. The same is as seen in the case where the different people opted to pursue their various goals rather than communicate well and manage helping out the Sadhu. After they decided to go on their way, they were left unsure whether the Sadhu would recover or he would die. The lack of assurance is notable in many businesses and the lack of this can slow down a business process. In the case study, the author wonders what would have happened if they had carried the Sadhu for two days back to the hut (McCoy, 2007). Would they have survived the weather or would they have died out of exhaustion. These questions lingered in his mind and he was not sure what the outcome would be.

In the modern environment and in any setting, it is important to combine efforts and the reason for this is the fact that this form of collaboration can lead to the success of a project. Corporations should also help each other out at a time of need where a person might be going through some tough family problems and emergencies (Trevino and Nelson, 2016). An example is in the case of a family member dying. The individual might not have enough money to cater for the funeral expenses. If people in the company came together and contributed to the funeral of the colleague’s family member, then this would assist him or her a lot. Some of these simple gestures are ignored by people while in real essence are supposed to show corporate and individual ethical responsibility. It is also important to note that these actions are pivotal for the growth of a team and creation of new work friendships that can in turn become fruitful in future.

Other corresponding constituents that come from the ethical issues is the ability to resolve problems faster. When a business decides to collaborate with another institution, there is the ability to reach a conclusion and resolution faster. Failure to have any two companies collaborating out of sheer ignorance is very detrimental and this is because it leads to lack of trust and can even have the businesses engaging in unethical behaviors (Werhane, 2019). An example of the stated behavior is where one company might seek to talk bad about another company and the result of this is customers streaming into one company and losing faith in another. The information might be wrong and this can lead to unhealthy competition in the modern environment. It is the responsibility of every business to work together with another for the sake of achieving general industrial growth. Helping each other while still competing is very important in the modern world.

After reviewing the case, one can note that various ethical problems that present themselves. Failure to observe these ethical standards can lead to the failure of a corporation. As time has progressed, the nature of business activities has changed much to the surprise of many people. Ethical responsibility in both a personal and corporate setting is a sure way to see progress in the contemporary world.


Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. (2019). Business ethics: Managing corporate        citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, USA.

McCoy, B. H. (2007). The parable of the Sadhu. Phoenix: Phoenix Learning Group.

Paine, L., Deshpandé, R., Margolis, J. D., & Bettcher, K. E. (2005). Up to code: Does your          company’s conduct meet world-class standards?. Harvard Business Review83(12), 122-          33.

Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do   it right. NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Werhane, P. H. (2019). The normative/descriptive distinction in methodologies of business           ethics. In Systems Thinking and Moral Imagination (pp. 21-25). Springer, Cham.

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