Journal of Business Ethics 40 (1):61 - 73 (2002)
AbstractThe stock market crash of 1987 had a profound effect on corporate Australia and the Australian community in general. The fall-out revealed that some of our most respected business figures had not been as ethical, or even as lawful, as we would have hoped. This impropriety produced in Australia an awakening to business ethics. Whilst many companies endeavoured to introduce ethical practices into their corporations, they perceived ethics as a way of minimising damage to the corporation and in some cases as a means of competitive advantage. What was lost was the reason that one should embark on business ethics; and that is to make the society and corporate Australia a more ethical place in which to exist.This paper proposes a model based on 2 factors: commitment and partnerships, as a means of enabling corporate Australia to refocus attention on the main purpose of being inherently ethical in all that we do. This ethical model requires a commitment to partnerships with all stakeholders both internal and external in an attempt to enhance the level of ethical business practices that are contemplated and pursued within corporate Australia. Whilst the research agenda and the information collected is Australian-based, it is hoped that the ideas contained within this paper will have a wider appeal to corporations in similar cultural settings.
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