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Importance of Business Ethics

Business managers are often faced with the problem of deciding whether a particular act is ethical or not. However, there are certain acts which can be described as unethical. Some of these are given below:

=>   Bribing public officials to obtain undue favours.
=>   Using false claims in advertisement.
=>    Keeping two sets of books to evade taxes.
=>    Using company property for personal use.
=>    Overlooking safety norms and regulations to get the job done.
=>    Revealing confidential information or trade secrets to competitors.
=>    Artificially inflating profits to get re-elected as directors.

Business ethics have gained importance because of the following factors:

(i)    Business is a part of the society. Social values must become the guiding principles for doing business.

(ii)    When an organization fails to behave in accordance with the society’s expectations, it may lose its image, market share, and its very right to exist.

(iii)    A manager is expected to serve as a trustee of various groups such as customers, workers, shareholders and suppliers. Thus, he must respect the social norms and expectations.

(iv)    Consumers are no longer at the mercy of the business firms. They have organized powerful associations to discipline the business firms. To avoid any confrontation with the consumers’ associations, it is advisable for the business to follow ethical practices.

(v)    Various laws reflect the ethics of society. If a business is not ethical, it will attract the intervention of government and courts of law.

(vi)    For every manager, job is the centre of life. Job values must be in harmony with social values if the manager is to live happily.

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