Operationalisation Of Ethical Theory And Corporate Responsibility Commerce Essay

Harmonizing to Trevino ( 2010 ) , concern is conducted in the existent universe as it exists and non as single impressions of concern moralss would instead hold it be. BHP Billiton is described as the universe ‘s largest natural resources company. The company deals in aluminum, metallurgical coal, energy coal, Cu, gas, diamonds, manganese, Fe ore, U and Ni among other resources.

The company ‘s codification of behavior “ BHP Billiton Code of Business Conduct ” represents the organisations committedness to making concern in an ethical mode and to continue international criterions, legal outlooks and duties. The codification of behavior is applied throughout the group of companies regardless of which state the company is runing in. The codification covers several different countries including right policies and guidelines that should be observed with respects to workplace dealingss, working with authoritiess and communities, working with concern spouses and proper behavior when utilizing concern resources.

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The company ‘s policies and patterns are centred on different facets of ethical theory such as utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, justness and rights among others which guide the company ‘s workers every bit good as other associates that work with the company, all are required to detect the codification of behavior and set it into pattern.


Harmonizing to DeGeorge ( 2010 ) , Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that an action is right if it produces the greatest sum of good for the greatest figure of people. Utilitarianism is frequently viewed as being appropriate every bit long as a strong impression of human rights warrants that it will non go against the rights of little groups and minorities. There are two different types of utilitarianism, act and regulation utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism expressions at the effects of each act and calculates public-service corporation each clip the act is performed while regulation utilitarianism focuses more on the effects of everyone following a regulation and so calculates the overall public-service corporation of accepting or rejecting the regulation.

When looking at the BHP Code of behavior, the codification has embedded the useful theory in its concern patterns and policies peculiarly when covering with communities in the countries in which they operate. The concern of mineral extraction can be harmful to the environment and the organisation takes stairss to safeguard against this. The company has community investing plans in the states it operates in and it ensures that these plans are aligned to its concern aims. These plans help the people in these communities and take note of any concerns that the people have every bit good as return necessary stairss to safeguard the environment.

Kantian Deontology

Harmonizing to DeGeorge ( 2010 ) , Kantian Deontology is a theory that states that whether actions are considered morally right or incorrect is independent of their effects. Morality is viewed every bit being as self-imposed and it is equal to ground. This theory emphasizes the fact that moral life is centred on responsibility and these responsibilities are moral duties that persons freely impose on themselves. Reason is seen as being the same for all human existences and so hence morality is seen as being nonsubjective.

Harmonizing to Kant ‘s categorical jussive mood which explains ground, the three preparations province that for an act to be moral is must be possible for it to be made systematically cosmopolitan, it has to esteem rational worlds as an ends in themselves and it has to esteem the liberty of rational existences. When concentrating on catholicity, Kant stated that for an action to be considered moral, it must use to all and in this sense everybody should be able to transport it out, no one individual should be prevented from making it.

Kant concluded that to esteem people is to handle them as terminals in themselves alternatively of handling them as a agency to an terminal. Autonomy is viewed as being made up of three different facets viz. freedom, self-imposition of the moral jurisprudence and cosmopolitan acceptableness of the moral jurisprudence. The BHP Code of Conduct provinces that all staff members are encouraged to utilize the BHP Quick behavior trial when devising determinations about concerns that they have. The trials include analysing whether the determination fits with the employee ‘s values, follows the jurisprudence, and passes the safety and newspaper trials. If the affair at manus does non go through the trials so the employee should raise the affair with higher degree direction. In this manner the company is acknowledging that their staff members are knowing and capable of doing determinations because they are swearing them to hold exercise their good opinion every bit good as usage the codification for counsel when doing determinations.

Justice ( Rawls and Nozick )

Justice is chiefly concerned with the criterions of equity and positions ethical behavior as being impartial and just in handling people harmonizing to steering regulations and criterions. There are five chief types viz. ; compensatory, commutative, retaliatory, procedural and distributive justness.

Compensatory justness trades with compensation for past unfairness and injury and it states that compensation offered should be relative to the injury caused while retaliatory justness trades with the infliction of penalties and punishments on offenders. The BHP codification makes it clear that all employees should follow the Torahs and policies in the codification and failure to make so will ensue in necessary actions being taken by direction. If the breach of codification involves a misdemeanor of the jurisprudence, the affair will be directed to the appropriate governments.

Procedural justness trades with just determination processs, patterns or understandings. The BHP codification includes procedural justness peculiarly with respects to the company ‘s concern patterns. Employees are encouraged to make company concern lawfully and are advised non to accept gifts, payoffs or any favors in return for favorable results or keeping supplier relationships.

Commutative justness trades fairness in minutess such as just pricing, and competition. BHP Billiton ‘s policy with respects to competition and anti-trust provinces that employees should take into consideration the anti-trust branchings when covering with a rival and that the company ‘s anti-trust criterions should ever be adhered to. Staff members are encouraged to adhere to BHP ‘s independency in opinion when it comes to affairs such as pricing, selling and merchandising merchandises and should move legitimately.

Harmonizing to Rawls head covering of ignorance, all people are rational and value their ain good, in their original place people do non cognize anything about themselves personally or their state of affairss and so they are forced to take rules of justness impartially. Rawls theory encourages equality of resources alternatively of additions in public-service corporation. This theory affects concern in countries such as authorities ordinance, liberty in advertisement and the usage of payoffs.

When covering with authoritiess in other states peculiarly in hapless states, BHP Billiton has a rigorous policy that its staff should non offer any gifts or cordial reception to authorities functionary ‘s in return favorable results. Employees are encouraged to stay by the Torahs and do concern lawfully and should at all costs avoid any state of affairss that could be interpreted as seeking to seek favor or offer payoffs to authoritiess in return for favorable results.

The organisations policy on payoffs and corruptness provinces that the company prohibits graft and corruptness in all its concern across all the states it operates in. However, there is an exclusion that states that if an employee has ground to believe that they can non get away serious injury unless they meet a demand for payment, it would be allowable to do the payment in that state of affairs due to the company ‘s staff wellness and safety policies.

Sing facilitation payments, it is noted that some states may bespeak these payments to low flat authorities staff in return for everyday services, staff is required to confer with direction and act in conformity with the relevant state ‘s steering Torahs. All staff are required to pass on the company ‘s anti-bribery demand to 3rd parties via contract and proctor that these parties do non prosecute in graft during the continuance of their contracts.

Nozick ‘s libertarian position of justness focal points on societal and economic autonomy and entitlement. This position attacks the redistributive map of authorities, looks at revenue enhancement on income as larceny and attacks authorities ordinance of concerns. Nozick argues that we have a right to have anything every bit long as it does non decline anybody else ‘s place in the society. The BHP codification ‘s regulations make it clear that employees should non move in an unethical mode or take any actions that will set any spouses at a disadvantage because the company strives to transport out its concern in an unsloped mode. The codification on company informations provinces that staff members are non allowed to distort information particularly any information sing fundss or histories and that staff should ever collaborate with internal and external hearers. The company pays revenue enhancements as it should and makes certain company accounting patterns are followed when fixing fiscal statements.


DeGeorge ( 2010 ) states that moral rights are defined as of import, normative and justifiable claims or entitlements ; technically a right is anything that we are entitled to.

There are positive and negative rights ; positive rights are defined as entitlements to be provided with something or have something done for one while an illustration of a negative right would be the right to be left entirely. Some of import ethical rights in the workplace would be the right to be informed of hazards and injuries of one ‘s business, the right to privateness, free look, due procedure, just pay, safety, meaningful work and equal employment.

In its codification of behavior, BHP Billiton sets out guidelines associating to wellness and safety at work. The company states that it aims to run into all legal demands as occupational accidents and unwellnesss can be prevented. Employees are directed to ever follow wellness and safety criterions, ever wear protective equipment, know what to make in instance of an exigency and that an employee should ne’er set about an work that they have non been trained to make.

The codification besides addresses personal information and privateness and states that it will esteem its employee ‘s privateness and will merely roll up information that is necessary and will non unwrap it or utilize it in any manner other than the intent it is intended for. The company besides takes steps to protect employee ‘s private information against loss or unauthorised entree or usage.

Ethical Relativism

Ethical relativism is an ethical theory that claims right and incorrect is subjectively determined by each civilization. There are two types of relativism, descriptive and normative. Descriptive relativism states that it is apparent that different civilizations have different moral values while normative relativism provinces that since each civilization views itself as being right we can non do rational and nonsubjective moral opinions. There is no such thing as cosmopolitan truth in moralss as the relativist codification argues that there are merely the assorted cultural codifications therefore there are no cosmopolitan rights or wrongs.

The Absolutist point of position argues that we should set our ain cultural values foremost while Universalism looks at the cardinal rules of what is right and incorrect that goes beyond cultural boundaries. Staff members at BHP Billiton are encouraged to take their values into consideration when doing ethical determinations. When finding whether an issue of concern is in line with the company ‘s codification of behavior, employees are encouraged to transport out the speedy trial which requires staff to inquiry whether the class of action or issue is in line with their personal values. In this manner the company is esteeming everyone ‘s single values and since the organisation patterns equal employment, there are people from different nationalities and civilizations working for the company so their cultural values do act upon the determinations they make.

Corporate Duty

Corporate duty looks at the proper function of concern in society and the duties that go beyond the economic and legal duty of a company. Harmonizing to the European Commission as cited in Tengati, Perini and Pogutz ( 2004 ) , companies should incorporate societal and environmental concerns in their concern operations and interactions with stakeholders on a voluntary footing. The different countries that corporate societal duty ( CSR ) screens are concern moralss, legal conformity, philanthropic gift, employee rights and investing, environment direction, human rights, corruptness and corporate administration among other countries.

There are several different positions of corporate societal duty ( CSR ) the first being the classical economic position of CSR which states that the chief intent of a concern should be to maximise net incomes within the jurisprudence. It has been argued through the classical position that socially responsible actions lower efficiency by cut downing net incomes, rewards and in this manner both the consumer and employer lose so this can discourage companies from taking socially responsible attacks to their concern. The wide socio-economic position provinces that organisations should make their best to forestall injury and cause no injury by making what is right and just while the wide maximum position provinces that companies should besides endeavor to make good workss by work outing societal jobs.

All the different positions of CSR are covered in the company codification of behavior. BHP Billiton understands that their concern does impact the communities they operate in and so the company takes stairss to prosecute on a regular basis with the people affected by their operations and take their concerns into consideration when doing determinations.

The company has community investing plans in the states it operates in and it ensures that these plans are aligned to its concern aims. The company ‘s attack to environmental direction provinces that they have an overruling committedness to wellness, safety, environmental duty and sustainable development.

The organisation which operates in the resource extraction field can impact the environment significantly so the company identifies, buttockss and manages its environment hazards every bit good as sets marks that promote the efficient usage of resources. All staff is directed to instantly halt any work that can take to important environmental or community injury. The company besides tries to take attention of the environment by working to cut down pollution and enhance biodiversity protection. This is achieved through set uping for the disposal of waste and merchandise in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible, safe mode.


All organisations should inform employees about the values and ends of the company and clearly sketch what behavior is deemed as unacceptable. When covering with big multinationals that have employees from diverse backgrounds like BHP Billiton does, it is of import for the company to hold regulations and guidelines that assist the employees in their determination devising and every twenty-four hours activities in the workplace so as to minimise the figure of errors made due to bad opinion. BHP Billiton has done an first-class occupation of clearly sketching its company values every bit good as informing staff members on acceptable codification of behavior and what is expected of each and everyone while they are at work. The codification besides evokes employee ‘s moral values as each and every staff member is advised to take their values into consideration when doing determinations and if they think there is a breach they are advised to confer with with direction.

This creates an unfastened work environment where the employees are non afraid of victimization and errors are fewer because employees have the chance to seek aid when unsure about a class of action. The codification of behavior has embedded several different theories of ethical theory and most significantly takes corporate and societal duty earnestly because the concern the company carries out can take to break up environmental harm.


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