When dealing with business ethics, the frequently asked questions are:
-How do we determine what is right or wrong?
-Why is business ethics important for every company and its workers?
-What are the areas a business should consider when setting ethical principles?
Ethics in business cut across various areas as it deals with proper working conditions and business operations– making business ethics a standard part of the operations. Most schools of thought believe that business ethics goes beyond just a moral code of right or wrong; it attempts to reconcile what a company must do legally vs maintaining a competitive advantage over the business. This should ensure a certain level of trust between the company and the customers.
A business should develop ethical models and practices that guide employees in their actions and ensure they prioritize the interests and welfare of those the company serves. Ethical decisions help the company establish a reputation for ethical behavior, brand growth, and attract investors and talent. This in turn will increase revenues and profits as it creates a positive work environment and builds trust with consumers and business partners.
Most business ethic is centered around basic principles such as integrity, respect for others, leadership, accountability, honesty, respect for laws, responsibility, transparency, compassion, fairness, loyalty, and environmental concerns.
For the sustainability of a business, it is not enough that ethical principles are implemented. Business owners and decision-makers should establish a channel for feedback by way of whistleblowing. Most standard organizations have this channel created. However, they rarely get feedback due to fear of retaliation for reporting misconduct in the minds of employees. Therefore, companies should constantly encourage employees to report concerning behavior and employees should be assured that whistle-blowers will not face adversarial actions.
In developing countries, we hear stories of a few companies that do not consider business ethics as important because there are no checks and balances, and it is also believed that they are helping to resolve issues that bother unemployment. Most times we hear cases of a poor work environment where employees spend more hours and are paid less when compared to a global standard. Some business practices are legal but are not necessarily ethical. This points to the need for government intervention to address issues that bothers legal or moral conflicts.
Governments should often step in to regulate ethical standards that bother morals, such as sharp practices where companies want to make an excessive profit by increasing prices with no commensurate quality. The monopolist commonly practices this. There should be laws that help detect such unethical business practices. Governments can also take proactive steps to encourage ethical business conduct before unethical activity occurs by supporting business ethics training, holding trade agreements, recognizing companies with sound business practices, and giving incentives that encourage organizations and individuals to prevent unethical business.