Government, Regulation & Business Ethics

2111 words 9 pages
Government, Regulation & Business Ethics

The issue of business relations with government has increasingly become a key issue of business ethics. Some of the many questions raised are * Is it acceptable for corporations to use their considerable power tp shape government policy? * Is the government jeopardizing its role in protecting the public interest when politicians sit on the board of corporations?
The government has a crucial role to play in establishing the ‘rules of the game’ by which we judge business ethics.

When we talk about the government, we know that the government is involved in issuing laws related to business practices. Business ethics tend to begin where the law ends. This means that the governments establish
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Many major corps employ professional lobbyists (PA expert), a unit which manages the corp’s attempts to communicate with & persuade govt officials about issues relevant to the business. Lobbying is a rapidly growing industry with almost 100,000 people employed worldwide!

Germany spearheaded the introduction of environmental legislation. However, when the end-of-life-vehicle directive was to be issued, the German chancellor ordered for it to be toned down. The reason for this has been suggested as the influence of the automobile lobby. Certainly, a strong relation existed between the chancellor and the industry, since he had been a long time non-executive director at Volkswagen.

2] Party Financing – when industry makes donations to political parties. Donations to parties by business can raise conflict of interest problems. The key issue is the legitimacy of these donations. Even if the parties are perfectly accountable for these donations, some of these party ‘donations’ could easily be seen as a ‘fee’ to obtain a certain political decision or a personally favor; thereby raising the Q of preferential treatment. One possible way of dealing with this is for corporations to simply introduce rules that forbid political donations. Eg, BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has completely banned funding of political parties in Europe and USA.

3] Overlap of posts between business & govt: individual conflicts of interests
Many senior politicians


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