Personal Ethics And Institutional Business Ethics

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The prolific writer and scientist, Isaac Asimov once said: ‘Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.’ But for Hurwitz, over time, things changed. The moral convictions of Hurwitz have now become oblivious compared to how they were in the past pertinent to his perceptions, ideologies, and beliefs (values) because his ethics concerning values which he once placed very highly in the past are now different, they have now grown dim (Brusseau, 2012). Although his morals were unconcerned about what others felt in the past concerning the kind of music which they enjoyed listening to while he worked in the radio station because he deemed it unfit for their listening pleasure, today the unperturbed state of these same values which he now portrays as a business owner and chief executive officer of his business although once very dear to him in the past sure does raise an eyebrow for me today from every side of it. And this is the ethical objection for me today, his values. The personal ethics of himself in the past vis-à-vis the ones which he now holds today by all standards contradict his previous with the present, talking about his values.

Although money needs to be made for the station, the consumer’s choice always comes first for the business, which in turn, serves for the business as an institutional ethical business decision and not solely as a means to regulate the self even though in the long-term it tends to also earn them good money in turn, talking about the radio station in question. So, apart from money-making and turnovers, entertaining consumers with the right commodity, product, or service for the radio station is a key factor.

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Secondly, remuneration to workers of the station or organization is also another factor. How would salaries eventually be paid to workers when consumers keep on dropping? So, when consumers tune out of the station where Hurwitz worked, turnovers were dropping as a result of the lesser demand placed on services offered by this station in terms of advertisements. So business-wise, it is ethical for the station to lay off Hurwitz to keep up with the good music market for the listening pleasure of the general public as long as it does not collide with the laws of employment of the organization because obviously the customers will definitely reduce along the line and there will undoubtedly be many business losses in the process. So, there’s nothing to regulate in this case than that the customer always comes first because they are at the very brink of the business’s existence for making profits. So, instead of Hurwitz being employed at the radio station and offending the listening audience by playing them music which they do not enjoy, kicking him out for them to always enjoy good music according to their taste and values will be the very best option for the radio station to keep up with which would eventually play out for them as an institutional business ethic for the business in general than it would have been if managed and compromised by keeping Hurwitz in the business the other way round.

Furthermore, because Hurwitz makes money with his club, it is valid to mention that he is successful. Consumers of services rendered here by the business (his business) which is the club purchase tickets and they get entertained so the profits are made because money keeps coming in. However, this is so because he does not engage the services of much more expensive music bands than the ones which he hires. So his tickets are affordable to the customers the consumers that come trooping in thereby making him more money for the business with more profits.

And, since the wants of the human species can hardly ever be satisfied at every given point in time of their lifespan, we all have both personal ethics and institutional business ethics interwoven into our lives from our birth till we retire our lives out of this planet. For instance, we all are enrolled here at the University of the People because we need an education and we want to be educated yet at the same time, we anxiously look forward to the profit margin of getting well-paid jobs with our degrees after getting this education going forward in the nearest future. So as you can see personal ethics versus institutional business ethics keep on interacting with each other in our lives more predominantly than we can ever imagine.

So, interestingly enough, all these questions deal with both personal ethics and institutional business ethics. The core of the values which Hurwitz now holds emanate from the fact that he needs to make profits and more money daily. This is his concern and the primary aim of every business. As a matter of fact, behind every mission statement per business indirectly lies a profit-making margin to keep the business sustained in the market in the very least of it. So, Hurwitz neglects whatever moral which he once had in the past by playing the ethically good songs (a personal ethic) according to the values which he had then for the money-wise inventory values and reasons which he holds today for the sole purpose of sustaining his business as the business owner and the chief executive officer of the business (an institutional business ethic). So he is not into helping artists anymore as the sole purpose for his previous values at the radio station but all about how much money he makes overall for both himself and the business to keep on thriving.


  1. Good News Network. (2018, January 2). Quote of the Day: “Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.” – Isaac Asimov.
  2. Brusseau, J. (2012). Business Ethics: Chapter 1 What Is Business Ethics? I.M.P. (It’s My Party). UoPeople.  


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