Ethical Responsibilities of CSR (revised)

  In Carroll’s theory, the third level of the pyramid of CSR is ethical responsibilities. Entrepreneurs have to be ethical, and have “obligation to do what is right, just, and fair” in order to avoid harm.

Avoid questionable practices. Assume law is a floor on behavior, operate above minimum required. Respond to spirit as well as letter of law. Do what is right, fair, and just. Assert ethical leadership.

  There is not an explicit definition about corporation’s ethical responsibilities. It is a vague conception about what is right for corporate to do. One of the theories divided ethical responsibilities into four parts based on the process of social reproduction: first is production, companies have to ensure the quality of their products, and make sure that their products are eco-friendly. Second is exchange, companies have to hold the spirit of fair trade. Third is distribution, entrepreneurs have to blend the idea of justice into their distribute process. Last is consumption, companies have to fulfill customer’s need and put people in the first place. Most of all, companies have to help consumers live a safe and healthy life through the process of reasonable consumption.
  That is not all the ethical responsibilities which the companies have to take, the relationships between companies and their employees, customers, stockholders, the relationships with same trade, society and government…it’s all about ethics.
  Perhaps only Nordic and Swiss can do it.

The public’s view of business ethics has never been very high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many citizens see business ethics as essentially a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron, and think that there is only a fine line between a business executive and a crook

  But public’s expectation to business ethics is still higher than actual business ethics. As we can see from figure 1, there is always a gap between society’s expectation and actual situations of business ethics. In Taiwan, I think most of the people know what the right value is. We always criticize people for not doing the right thing or didn’t devote enough effort to the society. But when we are in the position, most of the people tend to take the money and do nothing, just like the person we criticized at.
  The problem is not people don’t know what is right for them to do, but they always put their own profit in the first place and act differently according to the position they’re in.
  However, sometimes the problem is that we don’t know whether we are doing the good things or the bad things.

A good number of what we are now called unethical practices were at one time considered acceptable. Or, it may be that the practices never really acceptable to the public but that, because they were not known, they were tolerated, thus causing no moral dilemma in the mind of public.

  Top-echelon executive lack of careful oversight, corporate boards fell down their duties to keep an eye on top executive’s behavior…ethical scandals are not one man’s fault, but the problem of the whole system.
  So what happened to Taiwan’s society?
  The concept of entrepreneurs should be ethical is good, undoubted. But Taiwan is still inadequate to apply this concept. “Ethics is the discipline that deals with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” The state of ego trip doesn't surpass the moral standard in our mind.


Archie B. Caroll&Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). Business, society, and stakeholders: Corporate citizenship: social responsibility, responsiveness, and performance. In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.41-45). Mason: South-Western

Archie B. Caroll&Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). Business ethics and management: the public’s opinion of business ethics, business ethics: what does it really mean? In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.237-249). Mason: South-Western

Corporate social responsibility from the economics and ethics’ point of view. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from

Lynch, T. (1996). Enterprise ethics. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from Heng Chang: Information about the Test on Business Management and Marketing:

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