Define Business Ethics and Explain why Ethics are Important in Business

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  • Define business ethics and explain why ethics are important in business.

“Business ethics are moral principles that guide the way a business behaves. The same principles that determine an individual’s actions also apply to business”. [[1]] Behaving in an ethical way involves distinguishing between “correct” and “incorrect” and then making the “correct” choice. Business ethics are implemented in order to ensure that a certain required level of trustexists between different participants involved in business activity. It is the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. The business ethics differ from business to business. It relies on core values and standards of business. “Business ethics are implemented in order to ensure that a certain required level of trust exists between consumers and various forms of market participants with businesses”. [[2]]

The business ethics in any organization used to conduct business can affect the reputation, productivity and bottom line of the business. Hence they are critical to any business. In some companies business ethics might be overlooked because of other priorities like profit, innovation etc to be considered. However, business ethics has huge impact on the existence of business operation. Business ethics can help to create a positive image of the company and hence to grow business further. For example, a positive and healthy corporate culture boosts the morale among employees in the company. This might eventually increase productivity and reduce attrition rate. In business ethics, it must be ensured that employees complete work with honesty and integrity. Employees who use business ethics to guide their behavior to stick to employee policies and rules while trying to meet the goals of the organization. Business ethics which meet standards for quality in their work, can enhance the company’s reputation for quality products and service. Therefore increasing customer’s base. Practicing business ethics can attract investors to invest in company’s business. It will help to keep company’s share price high and thereby protecting business from any takeovers. Companies which recognize the importance of business ethics will need to spend less protecting themselves from internal and external behavioral risks. Also business ethics ensure sustainability in business and help in achieving long term profits. Sustainability lies its base on ethical long term vision of the company. On other hand, violating business ethics can cause serious damage to image to the company and eventually existing customers to leave. Over time, business ethics might come back to the company as high employee morale, high customer loyalty and better public image.

  • Explain how business ethics applies in a university setting. Provide an example of unethical behavior at the university level from a student perspective and what you would do to address it.

Students studying in university are future of the country. They are the pillars of any country’s future. Hence students should be taught business ethics from childhood level. Student should complete their assignment on their own, than securing any help from others. This is one of example of business ethics in university to be followed. Business ethics help to inculcate core values in students. These values are required when working as professional. Some of these business ethics are integrity, honesty, morality. In case of doubts, student should consult professors or teaching assistant than copying assignment. Students should be prompt to ask doubts. Any delay in this, can cause delay in submission of assignments as well. An easy way to do this, active participation in classroom discussion. Also its student’s responsibility to complete assignments on time.

Practicing plagiarism in university campus is quite common example of unethical behavior from student’s side in university level. Plagiarism is defined as “Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence.”[3] Plagiarism can be of 5 types namely: i) Complete plagiarism ii) Near- complete plagiarism iii) Patchwork plagiarism iv) Lazy plagiarism

v) Self plagiarism[4]. Plagiarism kills originality and candid nature of any work. Students who do plagiarism will tend to kill their thinking ability and eventually originality in any work. This will affect in long run in life. Also due to plagiarism, people with novel ideas don’t get rewarded for their work, which is very unfair. Another example of plagiarism would be writing answers in the book in an open book test. This is very unethical behavior. Students write exam to test their knowledge. Cheating in this way, is not going to help in any way. They might gain good marks in one of the exam, but knowledge would still be lacking and they would not be amongst potential students.

To stop plagiarism at university level, business ethics must be taught from childhood. Parents and teachers at school level should inculcate core values like morality, honesty, integrity in students. However, its sole responsibility of students to learn values and practice them in real life. Students should taught the importance of business ethics is not just in university but at professional level also. Professors can remind students of business ethics and can give one warning. But if same thing is practiced again and again, student should be punished to make him/her realize their mistake. In university level, if people around appreciate students for following business ethics can help some students to continue following business ethics. Also proctors should keep a watch on students who do cheating in the exams, so they are caught and no innocent should be suffered. In short, “The best way of avoiding plagiarism is to learn and employ the principles of good academic practice from the beginning of your university career. Avoiding plagiarism is not simply a matter of making sure your references are all correct, or changing enough words so the examiner will not notice your paraphrase; it is about deploying your academic skills to make your work as good as it can be.”[5]

  • Explain the concept of integrity in relation to business ethics, its importance to you and why integrity is important now and in your future career.

Integrity can be defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. It is one of the core values in business ethics. Developing integrity in school and university level will not only help to produce better projects, gain in depth understanding of the subject, but will also lay intellectual foundation for future career. Breaching institution’s policies is equal to breaking trust of an individual. By dishonesty student would not gain any necessary skills, but would be holding back academic development. Integrity plays major roles in any individual’s professional and personal life. Violating integrity would benefit some for short term, but in long term it would always be huge loss. In personal life, person not following integrity will not get true friends. In professional life, also such individuals cant progress much in their career. As its rightly said “ Success will come and go, but integrity stays forever”. If you lose trust of any person, it is very difficult to gain again. Trust is very crucial in any case, it can give unlimited opportunities to any trustworthy person. For example, on basis of trust an individual can refer another individual in organization to help secure a job.


[1] http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/anglo-american/business-ethics-and-corporate-social-responsibility/what-are-business-ethics.html#axzz3WmJD1SRx

[2] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-ethics.asp#ixzz3WmhQ5C1P

[3] http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism

[4] http://gethelp.library.upenn.edu/guides/engineering/ee/plagiarize.html

[5] http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism

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