Q:

What are some current ethical issues in business?

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Quick Answer

According to a AZCentral.com, the top ethical issues facing the general business community today include: pay equality, deceptive accounting practices, conflicts of interest and sexual harassment, among others. Pay equality is a major ethical issue in most businesses ever since the enactment of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 that sought to achieve equal pay for men and women for full-time work. This inequality was still persistent in 2011 data.

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Unethical accounting practices are considered, by most CEOs, as the biggest ethical issues faced by the general business community, according to a 2008 survey by Clemson University's Institute for Ethics. The collapse of Enron in 2001 is a good example of a scandal related to accounting malpractices where a company with an estimated value of $60 billion collapsed. Conflicts of interest usually occur when the professional or personal obligations of a person come against other professional or personal obligations. An example is when a business person is hiring employees and he has to choose between two people, yet one of the two is his personal friend; business ethics require him to choose the one most qualified, but he may end up giving the job to his friend. Sexual relationships at the workplace are an ethical issue, as they are permitted by a power imbalance and any such relationships may lead to a business owner facing sexual harassment charges.

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