Managerial Ethics & Social Responsibility

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Updated: Aug 18, 2022
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Category: Psychology
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Ethics and ethical behavior is difficult to touch up on, especially in current times when institutions are filled with corruption and desire money and power. We live in an environment where acting with ethics for the sake of dignity can cost a person their job, family, and in extreme cases their life.

You may have heard about the tweet that cost Elon Musk billions of dollars, Musk tweeted “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding Secured.” This message caused the actions of Musk to go off in the stock market more than 10 percent in the first day. Although it boosted the value of the shares in the Stock Exchange, this was not necessarily good.

This was already reflected in the stock market a few days after the incident as its stock fell about 5 percent. However, the problem is not only losing a capitalization that had won in recent days, but the possible sanctions by the SEC and, furthermore, Tesla could be affected in the image of the brand, but in rare cases also in operation due to a post perceived as unethical. Musk valued tesla at $420 per share which translates into “71 billion dollars” according to CNBC, Musk net worth is based on tesla shares, therefore his reputation and capital are held up to the company as well. Tesla declined in a matter of two months from “20 billion to roughly 500 million” according to Forbes. All this was due to Musk’s unethical use of social media. We know that the CEOs of the big brands not only direct but also have the functions of ambassadors, since the public relations they make through the media and social networks have become the strengths and weaknesses of the firms they lead. In this case, they have had a negative effect.

Musk stated a misleading statement about taking Tesla private due to having sufficient funds which caused the market to move drastically. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation to analyze and determine if Musk’s statements on Twitter are real and not attempting to benefit his company with false marketing Tesla impact on the markets which translates into increase the capitalization value of the company, The dispute resulted in a 40 million settlement with the federal government. In Musk’s words, the settlement was “worth it” according to Businessinsider due to all the exposure his company received.

Unethical behavior can be legal but not ethical and in this case I believe that happened. This message caused the actions of Musk to go off in the stock market more than 10 percent which I believe is genius strategy the way he manipulated social media in order to increase his stock in a matter of hours. In principle, it becomes important to reflect on the meaning of ethics. Ethics is the discipline that deals with what is morally good or bad, right or wrong. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, there is a ‘natural moral conscience’ that allows human beings to reach the intuition of their moral obligations. This awareness is based on fundamental principles of obligations that human beings have to fulfill regardless of the consequences that may result from their actions. According to Kant, moral actions must be based on a ‘supreme principle of morality’ that is objective, rational and freely chosen. However, the consequences that certain acts can cause cannot be ignored, because only the final result of an action is the determinant of its moral character. According to Hobbes, anyone will be better off living in a world ruled by moral rules than in one without them. Such rules are those that will allow a civilized coexistence. The minimum contents of a civic ethic are based on the values of freedom, equality and solidarity, focused on the autonomy of men to decide for themselves how they want to be happy.

Now, with the idea that social management intervenes and directly impacts a social group, which has rights, needs, expectations and deserves respect, the action of the social manager must always be marked by an ethical attitude, in which they excel values such as the search for the common good as opposed to an individualistic vision the search for equity. At the end of the day, the principle moral responsibility of the social supervisor is to look for a social change that prompts increasingly impartial, comprehensive and fair social orders in the decision process.


Fottrell, Q. (2018, October 01). Elon Musk’s tweets cost him $20 million-here are 5 of the costliest tweets ever. Retrieved from
Ferris, R. (2018, August 09). Tesla weighs taking company private, but no decisions made yet. Retrieved from
Matousek, M. (2018, August 13). ‘It was, at best, hasty and naive, and, at worst, manipulative’: Experts slam Elon Musk’s confusing defense of why he tweeted ‘funding secured’. Retrieved from
del Carmen González Vega, A. M. (2018). Repensando la responsabilidad social y ética empresarial. Una revisión del pensamiento de Gilles Lipovetsky. Gestión y Estrategia, (53), 83–91.

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Managerial Ethics & Social Responsibility. (2022, Aug 18). Retrieved from