Business Ethics The statement has been made that “ethics has no place in business” and the implications of this statement and its inferring characteristics provide a complex issue in the operation of national and multinational corporations. Because ethical decision making is often not as profitable as choices that do not embrace ethical elements, the perspective has emerged that the nature of an effective business mindset inherently brings about unethical behavior. In order to consider this statement and its implications, it is necessary to recognize the ethical decision-making processes of a number of companies, and reflect upon the fiscal, organizational and operational implications of ethical choices and then relate this process to the perceived outcomes if the opposite choices were made. As an element of this evaluation, it is also necessary to consider the nature of morality and the progression of moral underpinnings for business operations and the implications as companies expand into multinational arenas. Ethics can be described as: “the activity of examining one’s moral standards or the moral standards of a society, and asking how these standards apply to our lives” (11). The application of ethics in business is generally perceived as the evaluation of individual and collective moral standards, a reflection of societal morality, and then the determination of business decisions that are not only based on the efficacy of business operations, but also on these moral standards. The problem that many corporations perceive when pursuing the application of ethics in business is that ethical choices are not always the most sound business decisions. For example, when the pharmaceutical corporatio… … middle of paper … …issue as a whole. Individuals have a moral responsibility to take ethical action, and there is no way of denying that corporations are made up of individuals attempting to make both business and ethical determinations. Business ethics, then, must focus not only on the issues related to preventing harm to others, but also taking action that negates the passive process of allowing harm to happen. In the example of Merck , the company pursued their ethical choice not because they would be causing harm if they did not make this determination, but because if they did not take this action, they would be allowing harm to occur (48). Though it cannot be expected that every company will take this kind of action, at the very least, corporations, both national and multinational, have to determine operational ethics that prevent them from causing harm to others.