What is Business Ethics?
Business Ethics Definition
Business ethics refers to the study and implementation of business policies that maintain honesty and integrity in corporate behavior.
Often what is considered ethical behavior is dictated by law, but other times a business may need to maintain responsible policies on their own to keep public approval.
For example, a business may have a set of guidelines called a code of ethics in order to ensure that it is operating with business ethics in mind at all times.
The Purpose of Business Ethics
The purpose of business ethics is to maintain a fair, legal, and productive capitalist business environment, to build public trust, and to protect consumers from suffering from practices like insider trading, false advertisement, and environmental destruction.
Business ethics goes beyond moralizing to try and reconcile the legal and social responsibilities of corporations with competitive business practices.
While business ethics may sometimes come at the cost of efficiency or profit, it also increases customer trust and satisfaction, which has a positive effect on business in the long run.
Origin of Business Ethics
The concept of business ethics became a point of public concern during the 1960’s, along with increased interest in environmental and social issues.
Noting the shift to a more consumer-oriented business world, companies and consumers alike began to focus more strongly on how businesses operate.
Today, corporate responsibility has become a hallmark for companies to maintain a high level of trust from consumers.