Creating a sustainable legal framework for business ethics

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 14:12:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

Talking about ethics is talking about the principles of rightness and legitimacy according to the common concept of members of the community.

It also means that, besides calculating to increase benefits for themselves, each entrepreneur needs to have a sense of social responsibility.

Maximizing benefits is a legitimate need of participants in the market economy.However, the legitimacy of the profit will decrease, or the benefit won will become illegitimate, no longer correct if the entrepreneur increases the benefit at all costs, regardless of legal regulations and ethical values.

It also means that, in order to cultivate the status of an entrepreneur, business needs to respect special ethical boundaries.

Business ethics foundation

The Ministry of Public Security issued a decision to prosecute and arrest Ms. Truong My Lan, chairman of Van Thinh Phat Group, which has extended the list of famous businessmen who have been caught in labor in 2022. Previously, Mr. Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of FLC Group, was also arrested and prosecuted for illegally selling a large number of shares. Similarly, Mr. Do Anh Dung, chairman of Tan Hoang Minh Group, was also prosecuted and investigated for allegations of fraud, and appropriation of property.

From the beginning of 2022 up to now, public opinion has been aroused and angered by improper business moves. A market economy will not be able to develop healthily and sustainably if there are entrepreneurs who treat business as a joke, bid at high prices and then "run away".

Similar is the act of underselling stocks with short-sighted calculations. The most recent is the phenomenon of unethical when employees of some commercial banks go to lobby SCB's customers to withdraw money to send to their own bank.

Overseas Vietnamese businessmen in Ho Chi Minh City organizes the program "Sharing love during the COVID-19 pandemic". Photo: Xuan Khu

So, what is social responsibility and business ethics? In a book published in 1962, the economist Milton Friedman argued that the sole social responsibility of the entrepreneur is to use resources in profitable actions on the basis of respect for the rules of the game, which means free and open competition, without cheating.

However, complying with the law and not lying are synonymous with social responsibility and business ethics? Of course, it is not enough, first of all because the law always tends to be backward compared to the change of society.

In fact, legal regulations cannot fully reflect moral values. In other words, the legal system reflects only a minimal sense of morality.

Popular ethical values are actually laws based on ethical principles, the basis for the sustainable development of businesses and society. Therefore, an ethical businessman must not only strictly abide by the legal regulations, but also always be aware of popular ethical concepts in society.

The role of institutions

After nearly four decades of national renewal, the Communist Party of Vietnam has steadfastly advocated building a socialist-oriented market economy. Unlike the free market economies, the socialist market economy attaches special importance to economic growth that must be associated with social progress and justice. In that economy, the goal is quality of life and human dignity, not growth metrics based on unfair competition, big fish eat small fish despite moral constraints.

Progress and social justice cannot be separated from business ethics. However, building a business ethics cannot just call on the responsibility of entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur and business are only a component of the economy, it is not possible to decide the business ethics foundation. Business ethics is more dependent on the economic institutional system promulgated by the State.

It must be the manufacturing system that is the basis for the development of a modern market economy. Most fundamentally, the system of property ownership and business rights must be clear, transparent, and promote economic freedom.

Legal regulations must also ensure equal competition among actors in the economy.

Most importantly, the institutional system must control the risks of making unethical profits, as well as the level of state intervention in the market to avoid distorting the market, creating opportunities for friendly businessmen to dominate the market.



By: According to Dr. Nguyen Van Dang - Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.


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