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Ethics TheoryandBusiness Practice
4.2 Social Contract TheoryDo Bad People Make Businesses Bad or do Bad Businesses Make People Bad?
todiscusstwo contrasting perspectives on the relationship between human nature and socialorganizationto explainhow these offer the basis for person-focused and culture-focused approaches to explaining and preventing unethical business conduct
a three-stage process
comparingHobbes-influencedandRousseau-influenced accounts of:the state of nature and the benefits of societyhuman nature and the impact of social organizationwhy unethicalbusinessconduct occurs and how to prevent it
stage 1: thestate of nature and the benefits ofsociety
Rousseau: the darker side of society
society may encourage may inhibit compassionsociety may encourage unethical ‘morality’
stage 2: human nature and the impact of social organization
stage 3: thereasons why unethical business conduct occurs and how to preventit
theoryin practice
phone tappingat News International:badbusinesspeopleorbadbusinessculture?
key points
although specific individuals may be responsible for unethical corporate conduct, we should also consider the role that prevailing norms and priorities may have played in encouraging people tobehave unethicallyas well as considering the culpability of individuals who actually carry out unethical acts, we should consider that of senior people who establish a company’s norms and prioritiestightening upethics management may do little to prevent unethical corporate conduct if ethics management systems are out of tune with prevailing norms and priorities





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_-Introduction -