Business & ManagementIB

Purpose of ethical objectives

Purpose of ethical objectives....Altruistic attitude: the company genuinely does it for social benefits, they actually care about the impact .....
Purpose of ethical objectives

Altruistic attitude: the company genuinely does it for social benefits, they actually care about the impact of the company.

Strategic attitude: businesses ought to be socially responsible only if such actions help them to become more profitable.

Self-interest attitude: the belief that it is the government’s job to protect society.

The purpose of ethical objectives within businesses, highlighting how these objectives align with various attitudes toward corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for IB Business & Management students as it provides insights into the ethical considerations that underpin corporate decision-making and strategy. This analysis will explore the altruistic, strategic, and self-interest attitudes towards ethical objectives, each illustrated with industry examples.

Purpose of Ethical Objectives

Ethical objectives define a company’s commitment to conduct its operations in an ethical manner, considering the well-being of society, the environment, and the economy. These objectives are rooted in the company’s values and guide its approach to CSR, governance, and stakeholder engagement.

Altruistic Attitude

Overview: An altruistic attitude toward ethical objectives prioritizes social benefits and the company’s impact on society over profit maximization. Companies with this attitude genuinely care about making a positive difference.

Example: Patagonia stands out as a company that embodies the altruistic attitude. It donates a portion of its sales to environmental causes and is actively involved in conservation efforts. Patagonia’s commitment to using sustainable materials and its dedication to environmental activism highlight its genuine concern for societal well-being.

Strategic Attitude

Overview: The strategic attitude posits that businesses should engage in socially responsible actions primarily when they align with profitability and long-term business success. This perspective views CSR as a means to enhance brand reputation, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage.

Example: Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan demonstrates a strategic approach to ethical objectives. By committing to sustainability, improving health and well-being, and reducing environmental impact, Unilever aims to grow its business while meeting societal needs. This strategy has enhanced Unilever’s brand image, driven innovation, and opened new markets, illustrating how ethical objectives can be aligned with business profitability.

Self-Interest Attitude

Overview: The self-interest attitude reflects a belief that the primary responsibility of businesses is to generate profit, with the protection of society and the environment being the role of governments. Companies with this attitude may comply with legal requirements but are less likely to pursue broader ethical objectives voluntarily.

Example: Traditionally, many companies in the fossil fuel industry have exemplified the self-interest attitude, focusing on profit generation while relying on government regulations to address environmental and social impacts. However, public pressure and regulatory changes are challenging this attitude, pushing companies toward more responsible practices.

Integrating Ethical Objectives

Integrating ethical objectives into corporate strategy involves balancing altruistic, strategic, and self-interest attitudes. Successful companies often find a middle ground, where ethical and social responsibilities complement business goals, driving innovation, enhancing brand value, and fostering long-term sustainability.


The purpose of ethical objectives in businesses varies, influenced by altruistic, strategic, and self-interest attitudes. Companies like Patagonia, Unilever, and those in the fossil fuel industry illustrate the spectrum of approaches to CSR and ethics. For IB Business & Management students, analyzing these attitudes provides valuable lessons in the complexities of integrating ethical considerations into business strategy. Understanding how companies balance these objectives with operational and financial goals offers insights into the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility and the role of businesses in society.


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