Ethics and Social Responsibility

Ethics and Social Responsibility

There is an increasing expectation that organisation’s act in an ethical and socially responsible way towards all their stakeholdersManagement Ethics refers to the applications of moral standards to management behaviour. Social Responsibility on the other hand, is the obligations a business has over and above its legal responsibilities to the wellbeing of employees and customers, shareholders and the community as well as the environment.

An organisation’s ethical and social responsibility can be outlined in the Corporate Code of Conduct. This is a set of ethical standards for managers and employees to uphold. The performance of an organisation in achieving their ethical and social responsibility can be evaluated through the use of the Key Performance Indicators or the Triple Bottom Line. The Triple Bottom Line is the economic, social and environmental performance of an organisation.


The benefits of an organisation being ethical and social responsibility include that:

  • It provides an organisation with a way to enhance its reputation
  • It allows for the possibility of free publicity may to be gained by the organisation
  • Employees are more likely to enjoy working for the organisation and contributing to the community
  • Shareholders are more likely to invest in an organisation with a sound ethical and social responsibility program in place.
  • The organisation is most likely to become an “employer of choice” and thus attracts the best employees


However implementing an ethical and social responsibility program can also have some disadvantages. These include:

  • Implementing Ethics and Social Responsibility may be expensive in terms of costs and expenses that are not directly related to its core business
  • Its implementation can lead to excessive time and resources are spent
  • Sometimes the organisation may have to make choices between a number of worthy causes.