1. How has the ethical landscape changed in the business world in terms of its importance to companies and their employees?
According to Trevino and Nelson, back in the early 90s people were wondering if business ethics was just a fad. Many companies were just beginning to implement ethics-based training and universities were similarly slow in offering business ethics courses. However, after nearly 25 years, these authors are convinced that business ethics is far from a fad after witnessing and understanding its importance for successful business practices. However, now that the issue of business ethics is much more popular, a lot of cynicism about business and its role in society has developed. Many people believe it’s impossible to achieve the “good-good-good-(etc.)” scenario that the Whole Foods’ founder discussed because there have to corners cut somewhere. Where Trevino and Nelson are trying to argue, however, is that while some difficult decisions may need to be made by companies, and while others may be involved in unethical behavior, “the business landscape is a varied one that is actually dominated by good, solid businesses and people who are even heroic and extraordinarily giving at times.”
2. What are the main differences between what Mills would describe as ‘troubles’ and ‘issues’?
The main difference between these two phenomena are that troubles occur within an individual and his or her personal life, whilst issues are matters that affect many people and have many different, complicated viewpoints associated with them. What I found to be interesting in the description of ‘troubles’ and ‘issues’ is that they can very much pertain to the same thing. As Mills suggests, topics such as unemployment, war, and marriage all have many ‘troubles’ within them, while also being considered ‘issues’ because of how many people they affect and the controversy that often surrounds them.
3. Are ethics important enough in professional sports?
After watching the Boston Celtics play the other night, I had the opportunity to complain to all my friends who were also watching it about just how much I hate Kevin Garnett. The man is a great basketball player, no doubt, but after watching his actions on and off the court for many, many years, I just think he is a bad person. Even other NBA players, like Joakim Noah, for example, have spoke out about just how dirty of a player he is. A couple weeks ago, Carmelo Anthony was thrown out of a game for reacting to trash-talking by Kevin Garnett which supposedly included expletives regarding his wife. After discussing this with my friends, I became irate when one of them said, “But he plays with so much passion.” OK, so what? At what cost? When did being an a**hole just in order to win a basketball game become kind of cool? What kind of example is that setting for our youth? In another ethics-related case, I remember reading a couple weeks ago about a certain NBA team using a rookie (who was only 19) to promote buying beer for the fans. Being a basketball player myself, ethics-related issues in the professional sports world are of particular interest to me because it IS a business, a large one at that, and I too often see sketchy practices like the ones listed above as being too acceptable. Anyway, it’s something I will continue to look into as the semester goes on.