Moral dilemmas of employees in businesses operating in South-east Europe.


Radenko Maric*, Jelena Vemic-Djurkovic, Tijana Djurkovic and Dragan Govedarica

Conditions imposed by corporate operations are such that a relationship between a company, potential customers and the public is affected by a great number of both internal and external factors, such as: requirements of investors, pressure to meet unrealistic business deadlines, profit at any price, pressure of competition, globalization, etc. A prevailing belief is that business activities need to be planned and conducted in a way offering customers what they need, when they need it, and where and how they need it, regardless of the means by which this goal is accomplished. Accordingly, numerous ethical theorists increasingly emphasize the importance of morality, indicating the main problems of modern business practice: deception concerning product quality, avoidance to indicate possible harmful effects of a product, production and marketing of unsafe and hazardous products, financial misfeasance, unethical advertising, etc. One must put the following question: Are the employees under a moral obligation to condemn such practices and to give precedence to the public benefit over the corporate benefit, provoking moral panic among potential customers? The purpose of this paper is to research to what extent the employees in companies are truly willing to give precedence to the public benefit over the benefit of their organization and state the main causes of their moral dilemmas in corporate operations. To get an answer to that and similar questions, this paper presents a research on business ethics under the title “Causes of Moral Dilemmas in Doing Business”, conducted among the employees in the companies in Southeast Europe in 2009.

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