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Business Ethics in Today’s World

With the constant growth in the business industry, it is important for organisations to understand not just the economic expectations that they need to live up to but also have ethical responsibilities that the people expect from them. It is but obvious that bad choices and questionable behaviour from an organisation could cost them a lot and maybe even lead to their complete downfall as every organisation can be seen in a different light depending upon the morals and ethics it portrays and follows. Hence, derived from the Greek word “ethos” meaning character, we can say that ethics in business is crucial in determining the growth and success of an organisation.

What is business ethics one might ask? Business ethics deals with distinguishing and setting standards to differentiate between the right and the wrong conducts in business practises. It essentially brings to light the acceptable behaviours that extend beyond the government control by determining what is appropriate at a workplace and ensures a consistent moral attitude within organisations. Apart from this (employee welfare and overall reputation), business ethics could also be designed or recognised in a manner that aligns the ethical requirements along with the same note as the organisation's core values.




Business ethics are characterised by various factors, some of them are:

  1. Based on social values, business ethics are usually the norms that have been accepted to differentiate between the right and the wrong practices in the business and commerce world.

  2. It preferably is built around the core values of the organisation and in alignment with their pre-set mission/ goal.

  3. It promotes loyal relationships with customers and employees and believes in treating all entities with the utmost respect.

  4. It may tend to determine options, alternatives and means to attain an optimum and better business performance and experience.

  5. Is considered the study of human conduct and human behaviour

  6. It is also seen as a practice that offers the approaches and establishes the norms while discussing or making an appropriate code of conduct.

  7. It is considered to be the art or science of inspiring values and practices of professionalism and the well-being of customers.

  8. Business ethics is related to the concept of service motives (for the customer’s viewpoint) and emphasises the social responsibilities of organisations.

  9. They project the basic framework and guidelines for maintaining an idle business scenario and are based on traditions, social customs and standards.

  10. Ethical decisions in business need to be morally correct, equitable, good for all concerned parties involved, proper, fair and just.

Another thing that we must know is the effect of nature and location of the company on the kind of ethics that is emphasised by them. A few of the common types of business ethics are:

1. Personal Responsibility

Irrespective of the position of the employee, he/she is expected to show professional responsibility and not be tardy.

2. Corporate responsibility

Organisations have to stay rooted in the obligations they have towards not just their employees but also their customers. Every person associated with the organisation or business in any way must be treated fairly and with the utmost respect.

3. Respect

It emphasises caring about the opinions of clients, customers and employees, resolving their issues to the best of capacity and keeping the promises made to them. However, respect doesn’t just end to how organisations treat their clients/ employees/ customers but also to how employees treat each other to maintain a healthy and productive workplace.


4. Fairness

Practising the ethics of fairness implies providing equal opportunities and standards for all employees irrespective of the position they hold. The same level of sincerity and honesty would be expected from all those who are a part of the organisation and the same would apply to the services being offered.

5. Loyalty

Loyalty is something that goes both ways- from the employee to the organisation and vice versa. However, it doesn’t just extend to just the owner/ organisation-employee dynamic but also loyalty among co-workers, managers and even customers. Customer loyalty is something that helps attract more client base through good reputation and also helps to keep the organisation in business.


6. Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness goes hand-in-hand with being reliable by portraying its rich culture in terms of honesty and transparency. Having a trustworthy reputation helps establish a positive image that encourages people to stay loyal to the organisation while also attracting new customers.


7. Social Responsibilities

Social responsibilities such as environmental and community responsibilities are something that most people expect from the organisations or brands they choose. Measures such as keeping a reasonable margin of profit, adopting measures to reduce waste generation and various other initiatives to promote a safe and healthy environment is something that attracts customers all over.

Having discussed the types and characterises of business ethics, one must also know about the need or benefits that are attained by implementing the art of business ethics into every organisation.

Business ethics is shown to improve employee retention as team members feel recognised and rewarded for their hard work and productivity, it often shows a higher level of team collaboration as all members respect one another and work well together. Other benefits to reap from the practice of business ethics is that employees would feel safer under the leadership and hence be more loyal and content, and with all this, and increased professional value and a positive attitude/feeling for the workplace and the colleagues are bound to increase.

As noble as it is to strive to earn a good reputation as an ethical business, one cannot deny the fact that it comes with a lot of hurdles and difficult real-life scenarios that require complication decision-making and problem-solving thereby requiring a lot of commitment. But despite all the difficulties organisations may face, it is important to realise the fact that businesses and organisations can be not just technically or financially driven but also could be ethical and successful. Many decisions reward organisations financially but would be questionable to the welfare of their employees and customers, which would eventually lead to loss of reliability and customers to change bases. By practising business ethics organisations can avoid such decisions with bad aftermath all by having the principles that would help differentiate between the right and the wrong while keeping everyone in mind.




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