Business Ethics refers to carrying business as per self-acknowledged moral standards. It is actually a structure of moral principles and code of conduct applicable to a business. Business ethics are applicable not only to the manner the business relates to a customer but also to the society at large. It is the worth of right and wrong things from business point of view.
Business ethics not only talk about the code of conduct at workplace but also with the clients and associates. Companies which present factual information, respect everyone and thoroughly adhere to the rules and regulations are renowned for high ethical standards. Business ethics implies conducting business in a manner beneficial to the societal as well as business interests.
Every strategic decision has a moral consequence. The main aim of business ethics is to provide people with the means for dealing with the moral complications. Ethical decisions in a business have implications such as satisfied work force, high sales, low regulation cost, more customers and high goodwill.
Some of ethical issues for business are relation of employees and employers, interaction between organization and customers, interaction between organization and shareholders, work environment, environmental issues, bribes, employees rights protection, product safety etc.
Below is a list of some significant ethical principles to be followed for a successful business-
- Protect the basic rights of the employees/workers.
- Follow health, safety and environmental standards.
- Continuously improvise the products, operations and production facilities to optimize the resource consumption
- Do not replicate the packaging style so as to mislead the consumers.
- Indulge in truthful and reliable advertising.
- Strictly adhere to the product safety standards.
- Accept new ideas. Encourage feedback from both employees as well as customers.
- Present factual information. Maintain accurate and true business records.
- Treat everyone (employees, partners and customers) with respect and integrity.
- The mission and vision of the company should be very clear to it.
- Do not get engaged in business relationships that lead to conflicts of interest. Discourage black marketing, corruption and hoarding.
- Meet all the commitments and obligations timely.
- Encourage free and open competition. Do not ruin competitors’ image by fraudulent practices.
- The policies and procedures of the Company should be updated regularly.
- Maintain confidentiality of personal data and proprietary records held by the company.
- Do not accept child labour, forced labour or any other human right abuses.
Unethical behaviour or a lack of corporate social responsibility, by comparison, may damage a firm’s reputation and make it less appealing to stakeholders. Profits could fall as a result.
Along with good corporate governance, ethical behaviour is an integral part of everything that Cadbury Schweppes does. Treating stakeholders fairly is seen as an essential part of the company’s success, as described here: ‘A creative and well managed corporate and social responsibility programme is in the best interests of all our stakeholders – not just our consumers – but also our shareowners, employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners who work together with us. *’
Ensuring that employees understand the company’s corporate values is achieved by the statement of ‘Our Business Principles’ which makes clear the behaviour it seeks from employees