Business ethics are an almost daily topic in the news, in business schools, in the workplace and in our homes. For example, if your coworkers make long-distance telephone calls on company time and at company expense, you might view that behavior as acceptable and ethical because everyone does it. Significant others are persons to whom someone is emotionally attached-spouses, friends, and relatives, for instance.
If you start early, and instill a good sense of ethical conduct within your employees, or as an employee cultivate these ethics within yourself, then you can be assured of working in a company that will not fall prey to deceptive practices and fraudulent processes.
Historically, transparency has been seen more as an ethics practice for third party analysis of an institution’s finances and practices; however, the more widespread study of business ethics and organizational behavior is pointing to operational transparency as a management practice that can both address those daily management issues, and also become an internal source of sustainable competitive advantage that is difficult for competitors to imitate.
Without being perceived as a sign of economic strength, social responsibility has today the form of corporate civic – a way to create stable and profitable business relationship for all parties, a non-aggressive way, less harmful to work around the community, a friendly way of communication with society.
Business ethics operates on the premise, for example, that the ethical operation of a private business is possible – those who dispute that premise, such as libertarian socialists, (who contend that “business ethics” is an oxymoron) do so by definition outside of the domain of business ethics proper.