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Accounting, Social Media, Workplace Ethical Issues


Business ethics take different forms and are applied at all levels and stages of its operation and management. The society expects corporations to adhere to a set of norms and rules for them to sustain their competitive advantages. In other words, corporations are expected to comprehensively practice corporate social responsibility (CSR). Among the ethical issues affecting business operations today, social media ranks accounting practice ethics, social networking ethics, workplace harassment, paying employees equally and decision-making issues as major areas of ethical challenges. Corporate social responsibility by management teams in organizations is critical in developing a formidable relationship in business operations while supporting the intricate areas of production

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Business ethics is a crucial concept that drives business growth and therefore an important element in guiding strategic goals, short term, and long term focus for sustainability. It refers to rules that govern the conduct and operations of a particular business establishment. Business ethics take different forms and are applied at all levels and stages of its operation and management. According to ethical theorists, organizations need to assimilate practices that culminate in the best results (Lipschultz, 2015). This paper shall explore some of the top ethical issues in business; analyze how media places importance in them and how social responsibility is important in addressing such issues.

Today, the society expects corporations to adhere to a set of norms and rules to sustain competitive advantages (Noor Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2013). The challenge set by these societal rules is that the operational activities of enterprises must be within ethical boundaries and seek to ensure societal wellbeing. Simply put, corporations are expected to comprehensively practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).a One major question that has often persisted amongst the ethics scholars is the reason for the resilience of unethical acts in the business community.

Ethical issues ranking in business

Accounting Practice Ethics

Social media research ranks accounting practice and ethics as major moral code issues facing businesses today (Noor Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2013). According to the Financial Times, the latter is due to the number of growing corporate scandals, accountants’ skirting ethical boundaries and poor financial reporting. Ethics in accounting practice forms the most critical factor for businesses and economies to maintain highly sustainable productivity and profitability. Corporate social responsibilities are critical in interlinking business accounting units with all the stakeholders while supporting its intricate areas of production.

According to Raftelis (2011), it requires presented results to be effectively evaluated and that the signing officers are fully responsible for the presented information. This ensures that all the practices by accountants are maintained within the expected guidelines and therefore present the correct status of a company in any financial report. Also, accountants must publish a clear scope of their adequacy about internal procedures and control structures. These form key checks and balances in the process and therefore increase their ability to maintain even higher levels of precision.

Social networking ethics

Ethical issues from social networks are ranked second by the Business Ethics Website (Noor Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2013). Organizations like Cisco Systems Inc. have developed a software called Cisco SocialMiner which is used to monitor the social network activities of employees. The right to privacy is, therefore, an issue to interest at this point. Posting comments regarding employees and workplace-related activities on social media has negative consequences in regards to the loss of employment among employees. Social networking is marred by the lack of an effective description of organizations’ operating systems.

It has often led to greater confusion and disarray due to the variety of situations and changes in time and technology that demands the revitalization of the network systems (Gholami, 2011). However, stakeholder corporate social responsibility curves intrinsic personalities and shapes the occurrence and happening of events in different social network platforms.

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Workplace Harassment

Besides, workplace harassment is a major distressing issue. Employee harassment at the workplace continues to be a major challenge regardless of the industry where a business is established. Analysts generally agree that the role of corporate social responsibility in the provision of the correct working environment forms one of the most critical aspects that dictate the efficiency of different operations in an organization. By providing a highly supportive environment for the employees, Schreck (2011) indicates that it serves as a key motivating facet towards increasing the holistic creativity and innovation that support higher levels of productivity. This anchors greater efficiency in their operations at all levels.

Paying Employees Equally

Unequal payment is ranked fourth by social media research (Lipschultz, 2015). The study points out that the notion of ethics cannot be complete without an intrinsic consideration of justice. This is due to the persistent problems such as race, age, ethnicity, disability, and religion. This code should further be based on the platform of ensuring that all people are treated equally and therefore no due advantage is taken against any party.

Therefore, all the applications of corporate social responsibility must be based on fair treatment and strict observance of established internal and national laws. Therefore, at this point, financial professionals must desist from possible forces of corruption and other favors that may entice them to act unfairly to one or more parties (Gholami, 2011). Hence, financial professionals should be ready to take full responsibility for any errors and other related implications.

Decision-making issues

Finally, studies by Santa Clara University confirms the social media ranking of decision making as a major ethical dilemma that negatively impacts employee protection and consumers’ rights (Weiser, 2007). Ethical dilemmas as Lipschultz (2015) indicates arise when one has no surety on whether the decisions taken are right. It is therefore important for individuals to undertake an intrinsic assessment of their decisions.

There have been vast disagreements on the application of ethical procedures in businesses. Most o business entrepreneurs argue that the sole purpose of any business is to make profits. However, if this argument is followed, it is only the activities corporate social responsibility that supports the shareholders’ huge profit margins that should be encouraged (Gholami, 2011). Nevertheless, business ethics scholars hold the opinion that every business should adhere to a laid out and acceptable ethical procedure in its procedures. Questions have been asked on whether business ethics is actually varnishing out of sight.

This has particularly risen from the notion that integrity has been eroded and completely ignored in most of the existing business ventures (Okoye, 2009). While business can bask in the glory of huge profits accrual within a short time attained of coarse unacceptably, such practices must usually have long term negative impacts on different stakeholders.


Gholami, S. (2011). Value creation model through corporate social responsibility (CSR). International Journal of Business and Management 6 (9), 148-154. Web.

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Lipschultz, J. (2015). Social media communication: concepts, practices, data, law and ethics. New York, NY: Routlage, Taylor & Francis Group. Web.

Noor Al-Deen, H., & Hendricks, J. (2013). Social Media: Usage and Impact. New York, NY: Lexington Books. Web.

Okoye, A. (2009). Theorising corporate social responsibility as an essentially contested concept: is a definition necessary? Journal of Business Ethics, 89 (1), 613-627. Web.

Raftelis, G. (2011). Balancing financial sufficiency and community sustainability. American Water Works Association. Journal 103(9), 56-60. Web.

Schreck, P. (2011). Reviewing the business case for corporate social responsibility: new evidence and analysis. Journal of Business Ethics 103(2), 167. Web.

Weiser, J. (2007). Untapped: strategies for success in underserved markets. The Journal of Business Strategy 28(2), 30. Web.

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