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The Law and Morality in Business

Even though morality in businesses is universally accepted as an essential guide in business activities, morality is reduced to legal regulations. This paper uses the legalist approach by presenting several arguments on the relation between law and morality in business. The efficiency of the legal systems put in place depends on the ethical attitude towards its legitimacy (CRACIUN page 84). Conventionality with the regulation is not only a legal theme but also a ethical requirement. This means that every rule should be judged from an ethical point of view. The rule cannot regulate all aspects and each moment of our lives; thus, people should conform to what they believe is morally right. In many cases, the law guides us on how to do things, what we should do, and what not to do. Morality is regarded as a nationwide nature of regulation and legislation where moral values are significant and applicable. Ethical values play a crucial role in the decision-making process and the involvement of a market economy.

In many cases, people believe that morality in business is singled in one principle. The principle of obeying the law is what business people believe in. Some people also believe that changing problems in the legal department can eliminate business ethics (CRACIUN page 87). Business people consider that the regulation is the only channel to any relevant business, not ethics. Historically, business law has been applied to solve ethical questions. This has made people rely on the law to solve moral problems in business. Business people need to be guided by ethical questions and use morality as a guide to run companies. This means that honest evaluation needs to be considered in the legal review. It is also important to note that the law prevails in people’s lives, and sometimes ethics is a private matter which is hard to distinguish. It is hard to determine morally right individuals in business unless there are interactions.

However, the law applies to all people, but ethical matters are personal opinions that reflect and lead our life. It is a mistake to fail to apply ethical principles in business. Although the honest question is confidential, individuals should have a moral analysis of their business to meet the expectations of the clients. Clients in the industry prefer ethically right companies to gain trust in them. Although ethics does not guide private lives, it applies in the public realm where people compete in business (Bailey page 208). While many people may feel discrimination in the industry is unethical, others may view it as morally right capitalism. Capitalism is considered morally right, although there are many critics to come up with ethical objections. Legal perspectives believe that the regulation embodies all principles in business. This means that there are moral rules used in industry but have been enacted by legislators in law. This shows there is a relationship between moral principles and the law.

Following the law in business is an aspect that majors on common sense and conformity to the rule are a legal subject and a moral responsibility. According to legal analysis, all citizens involved in business have the responsibility to obey the law regardless of their beliefs and practices. It is therefore morally wrong to go against the law. The failure to follow the regulation can generate troubles and conflicts in business (Bailey, page 212). The manner individuals handle the law largely relies on their moral commitments to follow law. A study researching why people break the rules shows that ignorance and obedience to the law are influenced by moral correctness. Every legal perspective relies on ethical considerations and teachings, which are important in developing the law. A legal system in business fails when the law contradicts moral obligations, thus leading to failure in business. When individuals charged with the responsibility to guard the law fail, many individuals get into the habit of breaking the law. For instance, when police accept to be bribed by a businessman since he doesn’t have a business permit, there is a probability that other business people fail to have business permits since they believe they will bribe the police.

Consequently, morality is not regarded as the option to legal justice but as a strong body within the law. The morality of the business community is the backbone of any legal system within a country. Integrity is not a second option to lawful justice but a necessary aspect of law. It is the stamina of the lawful system. When corruption and bribery distort the fair competition in business, a free market in the economy is distorted (Jones page 96). Morality is viewed as the key determinant in industry, and the business community must have a moral commitment to operate businesses. Some people argue that beyond the moral decision of business people, there is no room for ethical responsibility. This means that most of the companies operated by prominent people are not morally upright and thus do not meet the criteria required by the law. There are many cases relating to morality and regulation in society.

Empirical evidence proves that legality cannot tackle ethical issues. In the case of Merck and the river blindness, Merck discovered that one of the companies selling animal medicine might offer a cure for the tropical disease. After an analysis of the project’s cost, Merck realized that the project’s cost was too huge and could not be sustainable. Some legal minds argued that the company had the obligation of manufacturing the cure since it benefited millions of people (Abyad, page 42). This was more of moral duty rather than a business obligation. Secondly, in the case of Johnson on women being excluded from hazardous workplaces, a company required all females’ workers to sign a declaration about the risks that exposed expectant women. When the policy was introduced, eight women became pregnant while undertaking their jobs. As a result, these women were excluded from jobs that would expose them to risks. This was a moral decision to ban the women from risk regardless of whether they had signs of working anywhere, even when pregnant. This, therefore, shows a relation between moral obligation and legal perspective. Thirdly in the cases of Resistol and children in the streets of Honduras, Resistol is a chemical manufacturing company that manufactures products that have negative implication for street children. With the company manufacturing shoe products that many street children sniff, thus hurting the children? Some legal professionals argued that the company should resist using products that may negatively impact the children and consider using products that are friendly to the street children. This was a moral obligation rather than a business obligation to save the lives of street children.

The law applying to all individuals cannot regulate every moment of our lives. When the rule has very limited to say, ethics is left as the only direct in all our proceedings. Every person is free to choose what to do in business, but it is a personal obligation to follow ethics when coming up with a business venture (Abyad, page 47). For example, it is a moral responsibility to decide whether to spend money on gambling and drinking or invest the money. The law shows how to precede but not what to do. This means that the moral obligation is left to individuals to decide. Beyond any reasonable doubt, the conformity of the law is sometimes useful in answering the question of morality. Morality should be one of the essential elements when running a business. While the law may be reluctant to determine the industry’s moral values, clients need to rely on morally right companies.

Obeying the law is an obligation and a principle that any free economy should adopt. Any democratic society should resolve business problems following ethical responsibility. It is important to note that individuals cannot reduce businesses’ moral values and ethics concerning the legal systems (MILLSPAUGH page 423). The strict legality in business is not accepted, but moral obligations are considered more. The law is not meant to motivate human brilliance, and it is not a steer to excellent behavior. Managers in business should put legal compliance in the industry and endorse the code of ethics in the workplace. This, therefore, means ethical standards should be at the center of any business opportunity.

Work Cited

CRACIUN, Dan. “Law And Morality In Modern Business .”Logos Universality Mentality Education Novelty. Section: Philosophy And Humanistic Sciences, vol 03, no. 01, 2015, pp. 83-95. Asociatia LUMEN,

Bailey, Adam D. “Reconciling Traditional Morality And The Morality Of Competition .”Business And Society Review, vol 119, no. 2, 2014, pp. 207-219. Wiley,

Jones, Colin P.A. “Law And Morality In Evolutionary Competition: Law: 1, Morality: 0”. Think, vol 5, no. 14, 2007, pp. 93-102. Cambridge University Press (CUP),

Abyad, Abdulrazak. “Morality, Ethics And Business .”Middle East Journal Of Business, vol 9, no. 1, 2014, 41-46. Medi + World International,

MILLSPAUGH, PETER E. “FUNDAMENTALS OF BUSINESS LAW, Second Edition .”American Business Law Journal, vol 17, no. 3, 1979, 421-424. Wiley,


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