DOI 10.12887/33-2020-1-129-12

Robert SROKA – Engagement of Stakeholders as a Basic Element of the Contemporary Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct: An Insight into Ethical Argumentation

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Numerous contemporary standards, norms and guidelines for business ethics and conduct, such as  ISO 26000 (social responsibility guidance standard for organizations, including business organizations), a renewed EU Strategy 2011–14 for Corporate Social Responsibility, AccountAbility Principles Standard 8000 (social responsibility guidance standard for organizations, including business organizations), Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines (helping organizations report on the non-financial dimensions of their activities, products, and services), and United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, point out that engagement of stakeholders, which results in an awareness of the expectations they have of companies, enables a sustained development of ethical accountability of a business organization. If companies and businesses wish to follow the guidelines for business ethics, they must not adopt the attitude of respecting only selected norms, neither should they apply the norms of business ethics only to certain areas of their activity. Ethical practices in business involve responsiveness to the actual needs of the stakeholders, rather than taking decisions which serve and secure merely the welfare of the company.

While the mentioned international business ethics standards and guidelines emphasize the need for engaging a company’s stakeholders in the process of decision-making, the documents in question do not offer a deeper insight into ethical argumentation. Thus the objective of this article is to strengthen this kind of argumentation and to bring out the moral context of engaging stakeholders, which is conceived as a fundamental standard of business ethics.

Keywords: business ethics, engaging stakeholders, ethical standards

Contact: Department of Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Business, Kozminski University, ul. Jagiellońska 57/59, 03-301 Warsaw, Poland

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887