Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky
Ethics and law are not necessarily synchronous. Laws that result from a democratic process generally reflect the majority’s views of justice and fairness. Some may consider a law unjust or immoral and risk or invite punishment by breaking it. Classic contemporary examples are the widespread recreational use of marijuana in the United States, and engaging in civil disobedience to protest government or private actions considered morally wrong by the protesters. Law is the minimum performance expected in society. Professions ask their affiliates to obey the law, but simultaneously ask more of them. Thus, a profession’s code of ethics requires members to act in ways different from other members of society.
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