The nature of business is that it is driven by the need to make a substantial profit and succeed. Business is supposed to give room to ethical issues. Therefore, businesses should to obey the laws of the society in which it operates. When making its business mission and vision it is supposed to put in consideration that it does not work in a vacuum. There are moral values that it is supposed to consider in relation to the laws in which it undertakes its activities. Business should be moral beyond what the rules and regulation of a country requires (Fernando 56). But at the same time it is usually argued that a typical business should not be under such obligations. This has led to the question as to whether businesses have the moral obligation beyond the requirement of the law. As I had stated, businesses should adhere to the laws of the nation in which they operate. Failure to that would cause conflict with the law which may hinder their operation. The laws of many countries have rules and regulations which they require businesses to oblige.
The laws are aimed at protecting the businesses and also the consumers. There are laws that are aimed at protecting the businesses, for example, from being overtaxed. There are also laws that prohibit unscrupulous business practices such as exploiting employees. Therefore, the businesses and the government should work hand in hand. There are also laws that protect the consumer from being exploited by the businesses. One of the major responsibilities of the government is to protect its citizens. This happens even in the economical aspects where the government is supposed to protect its citizens from exploitation by businesses. This is in the form of deceptive advertising which mislead the masses and provision of law standard goods. Businesses are also supposed to oblige to laws that are aimed at protecting the ecosystem. For example, industries that emit products by products that can harm the environment should adhere to the laws that protect the ecosystem. Businesses should be driven by strong ethics, which includes following, laws (Fernando 26-27). However, I do not feel that businesses should have the obligation to follow laws, for example, those of social welfare where business are obliged to contribute to charities. This is a decision that should be made by the business without being obliged by law.
Social contract was developed after the Second World War. The aim of this contract was to assign responsibility for generating resources and wealth to businesses. It was also aimed at generating responsibility to businesses in order to ensure that there was equitable sharing of resources and wealth to the governments. This arrangement has been one that has resulted to substantial improvement in the life of people who live in the industrialized world in the period that the intervention has been in the process. One of the famous people known for the development of the social contract is Wesley Cragg. As a result, of the advancement that has taken place in economic globalization and growth of power and influence that multinational corporations have, the division of responsibilities is no longer applicable. What is needed at the moment is a new social contract. The social contract should demonstrate sharing of responsibilities for human rights and other ethical responsibilities (Cragg 367-368).
Cragg holds that commerce without conscience is a formula for human exploitation but not human development. However, I think this idea may not apply always because there are times when commerce works well by exploiting the masses because capitalism as a system of the economy supports this. In a capitalistic society, it may be difficult to escape exploitation because of the competition and the urge to make more profit that others. A new social contract that he proposes to which businesses should operate within a framework of policies and codes which adhere to human rights and other values may not be applicable because there are businesses, for example, industries which give governments so much money in the form of tax. Therefore, the governments compromise the rights of the people because of the amount of tax they get from the industries. The businesses do not adhere to the policies laid down in regard to human rights as they understand that the government may not take harsh steps towards them. They carry on with their businesses, which for, example; pollute the environment with the government on the watch. The role of the civil society which he proposes to monitor the adherence of corporations to the codes that they have adopted may not be difficult to be accomplished. This is because most of the members of the civil societies are owned or funded by the corporations, so it becomes difficult for the civil societies to do thorough monitoring the activities of the corporations. (Cragg 367-368).
There are many governments that do not respect human rights of their citizens. The governments exploit its citizens by denying them, for example, accessibility of basic need or denial of other rights which they are supposed to enjoy. It should be the role of all other stakeholder in that country to correct the government in order to be able to respect the rights of the people. However in many instances governments that do not respect the rights of their people have laws that are exploitive even to businesses in the country. Businesses have the moral obligation to make the government which does not respect the rights of its people to do so. There should be corporate responsibility between the businesses which in this case should act like the private sector and the government. Working together would make sure that the rights of the citizens are respected. The business should take the responsibility of creating awareness to the people on their rights. The businesses should work together with people to pressure the government to respect the rights of the people (Pierreand and Weston 444-445).
Despite that many governments who do not respect the rights of the people may not be moved by the pressure businesses should not relent in their quest. Businesses should also provide the goods and services that the government is denying to its citizens. They should take that responsibility in order to satisfy the needs of the people. There are also cases as to where the government exploits its people by offering good and services to its citizen, which are of, low quality. Businesses should provide the same products but with higher quality. People would go to the high quality good provided by businesses. The competition would make the government change its attitude towards the people and start providing better quality goods and services. Businesses should fight for their incorporation in formulating laws that govern the country. It is in these forums that the business should try to incorporate laws that respect the rights of the people. This is because if the businesses allow the government to make the laws by itself there is a high probability of the government heightening the human rights violation by coming with oppressive laws. Businesses should act as a watch dog on behalf of the people to prevent the government from establishing structures that do not consider the human rights of its people. (Fernando 26-27). However in carrying all their activities the business should not force the government to respect the rights of the people. They should make the government understand the concerns of the people. The businesses should also adhere to the laws in the nations which they operate.