Ethical business institutions. How are they possible?

Imre Ungvari Zrinyi


Institutions are a kind of social infrastructure that facilitates or hinders human co-ordination and allocation of resources. Thus they function as a rationality context, which simultaneously emerges from and governs human interactions. Business institutions, as they are related to human expectations, should promote the values of their stakeholders and, consequently, they are subjects of social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting procedures. Ethical institutions make the good of their stakeholder groups part of the institution s own good. They have a clear vision and picture of integrity throughout the institution which is owned and embodied by top management, over time. Such a practice presumes that business institutions, e.g. corporations, are social cultures with character, which can exercise good or bad influence, depending on goals, policies structures, strategies that formalize relations among the individuals who build up corporations. For developing an ethical culture, corporations need a large scale of instruments as codes of ethics and other kinds of support structures throughout the organization to insure their adequate communication, oversight, enforcement, adjudication, and review. Between all these instruments, a special role could be played by the ethics officer and the ethics committee, ethics trainings, ethics audits but also by the implementation of responsibility and participatory decision making at lower levels in the organisation.


Ethics, Humanity, Freedom, Objectivity, Meaning

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