Ethical Behavior and Corporate Social Responsibility Essay Example

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Ethical Behavior and Corporate Social Responsibility

Ethical Behavior and Corporate Social Responsibility


In this article on phone hacking, corruption and the closure of the news of the world newspaper many ethical issues have been raised with regards to ethics in organizations and their corporate social responsibility. The extent to which organizations are willing to go to achieve their corporate goals and lines they have crossed with respect to morality. Ethics refer to a set of principles that guide individuals, firms as well as organizations on what is morally right and what is not. The News of the World Newspaper has proven through this report that they have been using unethical means to achieve their organizational goals and they did not consider their moral responsibility to the society in which they operated in (DeGeorge, 2010).


Problem Identification

The problem that was identified with the news of the world newspaper was the unethical way it ran its business that is acquiring information that will be good enough to make executive stories. The newspaper opted to use means such as hacking the phones of the families of fallen soldiers, the families of murdered victims, politicians, celebrities as well as bribing the authority in their quest to get valuable information for their newspaper. The management of news of the world newspaper was aware of the unethical practices and to some extent helped to cover their illegal practices by committing more crimes such as bribing the police as well as other associates (Sacconi, 2004).

This article has brought to light many issues such as ethics, morality as well as corporate social responsibility which news of the world newspaper has failed to achieve. Ethics has been defined as a set of principles that guide individuals, firms as well as organizations on what is morally right and what is wrong. Morals can be defined as the lessons that are derived from events that happen to us or others while morality refers to the acknowledged difference in our intentions, behaviors and our deeds between what is acceptable and what is not according to a given set of principles or codes of conduct.

Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Firms and organizations should create a code of conduct and ensure that it is enforced by its employees as well as the management of the firm or organization. They should also put emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility refers to the actions of a firm or organizations that ensure that the activities of the specific entity are in compliance with the laws of the country; internationals set standards as well as ethical standards. The news of the world newspaper has failed in carrying out their role of corporate social responsibility because it has carried out illegal activities that were offensive to the people of the country (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001).

The newspaper was to get interesting and executive stories using legal and ethical means which it has failed to do. Instead it opted to hack personal phone lines of families that have been victims to crimes, the phone lines of celebrities and politician as well as the royal families and even went ahead to engage in corrupt activities such as bribing the authority to help them get exclusive stories on politicians and the royal family.

Another issue captured in the article on the news of the world newspaper was the lack of ethics the company was operating on. The unethical ways of operating their journalistic business ran from the management to the journalists on the ground. A practice (lack of ethics) that went out of hand and also showed the levels of insensitivity the newspaper company had towards the families of the stories they were following up on. These are families that had undergone tragic events and were still struggling to cope with their losses like the parents that had their children brutally murdered or the families of fallen soldiers (DeGeorge, 2010).

The newspaper also intruded on the privacy of the celebrities of the countries as well as their politicians and also the privacy of the royal family. The illegal practices of the company have got the company into so much trouble such as the arrest of the journalists, private investigators responsible for the illegal tapings of the phones, members of the management, and the close associates of the management as well as forced closure of the company.


The illegal actions of the company have resulted in the loss of jobs for the journalists, management team, other employees as well as other stakeholders of the company. The company’s closure has also resulted in the loss of credibility for the newspaper thus making it difficult for parties that might be interested in reviving it in the future because of the negative press and image it has achieved from its actions.

However, not all hope is lost for the news of the world newspaper; they can still save what is left of their reputation and integrity by compensating the families and members of the public they have offended as well as offering them a public apology accepting their full responsibility for their actions. The newspaper can also sell the paper to a company that is still credible to ensure that its employees still remain in employment and the company’s going concern is still met.

I would also recommend the company to just surrender the persons responsible for the illegal acts to instead of having the whole company suffer for crimes some did not commit. Some employees such as the delivery persons, the janitors, cooks as well as receptionists and the security team are not part of the story searching and editing teams and when the company closes they will also lose their jobs for crimes the management, the journalists and the private investigators as well as the police authority have committed.


The article “phone hacking, corruption and the closure of the News of the world” has exposed many issues with respect to ethics, morality as well as corporate social responsibility in firms and organizations. It seems that in their pursuit to achieve their organizational goals and objectives, firms have proven that they are capable of going against ethics and morality by indulging in activities such as hacking private phone lines, committing corrupt acts such as bribing the authority as well as involve their associates in their criminal activities. News of the world newspaper would have continued with their unethical practices if the authorities did not get wind of the illegal activities which means that companies only pretend to be ethical and conducting their corporate social responsibilities but in real sense they would go to any lengths to achieve their targeted results. One can only wonder how many more organizations are also involved in such practices.


McWilliams, A and Siegel, D., (2001). Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective. Academy of Management Review, vol. 26, pp. 117-127.

DeGeorge, R, T., (2010). Business Ethics. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Barney, J, (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage, Journal of Management. Vol. 17, pp. 99-120.

Wernerfelt, B., (1984). A Resource Based View of the Firm, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 5, pp. 171-180.

Fry, L, W., Keim, G, D and Meiners, R, E., (1982). Corporate Contributions: Altruistic or for Profit? The Academic Management Journal, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 94-106.

Sacconi, L., (2004). A Social Contract Account for CSR as Extended Model of Corporate Governance.Compliance, Reputation and Reciprocity.Journal of Business Ethics, no. 11, pp. 77-96.