Business ethics is a set of professional ethics that tries to inspect ethical problem or the principles of ethics that can emerge in a business organization. It applies to business conduct, individuals, and the entire organization. Business ethics involves ways in which a business organization deals with its customers and the outside world.
This means that the outsiders will have different perspectives depending on how the business deals with its clients and the way in which it conducts its operations. It can also refer to the pattern of acceptable behavior followed by a business organization in its daily activities that emanate from the employees.
Ethics in a certain business vary depending on the business industry, as well as how the business organization deals with its clients. This means that a certain business will not just start portraying ethical behavior without looking at the business industry, and the clients that the business serves. Business ethics also reflects on how the business will handle different operational areas (Ferrell, p. 2).
The implementation of ethics in an organization can be a profitable venture. There are many ways in which a business organization can benefit from the application of ethics. It can be noted that ethics in a business has benefits to the organization, for the society, and for employees working in the organization.
Business ethics improves the performance of employees. When a certain business organization operates under a written code of ethics, the employees tend to be committed towards achieving the company’s stipulated goals. This will go a long way into improving the performance of the employees.
Business ethics creates a sense of responsibility amongst the employees. Therefore, they will be able to perform as expected in order to meet the goals of the business organization in which they are working. This improves the output due to improved productivity of the organization. Eventually, this leads to increased profits unlike in a business where no ethics. In such businesses, the employees will work according to their own will hence reducing the actual output of the business organization.
Business ethics improves the reputation of the business organization. In a business where there are ethics, most of the outsiders will tend to accept that organization. Good business ethics creates a good name in the society hence most of the customers will go for its products. This increases its selling potential leading to increased profit making. For example, a company dealing with food products should practice healthy behavior.
This can be achieved through maintaining cleanliness and offering good services to clients. This can be made known to clients through advertising. This makes increased number of customers to buy from such an organization. Eventually, this results in increased revenue because of the good public image (Ferrell, p. 16).
Business ethics is also beneficial to the organization in that it enables the organization meet its goals and objectives. Any business that practices ethics in its operations can meet the set goals effectively. This is because ethics increases the levels of commitment and loyalty from the employees. This raises the productivity of the business leading to increased profits.
Rough time with government agencies can be minimized by observing good business ethics. Business organizations, which operate while observing ethical standards, will not need the government’s regulation. Such business will never receive any pressure from the government officials that emanates from the public.
This is in contrast with businesses that engage in unethical activities. Such businesses are often visited by legislators and government officials who deal with such cases that are deemed to be unethical. Such practices include unexpected rise in product prices among others.
Business ethics improves the financial performance in a business organization. This is because business organizations that observe ethics improve on the amount of revenues they gain from the sale of their products. Financial performance of a business organization refers to how the business utilizes its assets to generate profits. In such a business organization, financial performance improves because most of the clients tend to lean towards a business that has good business ethics (Ferrell, p. 26).
Business ethics assures the organization a long period of running without falling or being stopped from operations. This is contributed by high amounts or profits gained from customers due the good public image of the business organization. For example, a business that operates based on ethics will attract a significant number of customers.
In this respect, the sales potential will increase, which in turn increases the profits of the company. If such a business continues in this manner of observing ethics, its lifespan is likely to increase. This is because any slight improvement in the ethical principle means a corresponding increase in the profits gained.
In addition, ethics assists the organization to reduce the number of law suits related to criminal acts of omission. Such criminal acts create a bad name or destroy the good image of the company. When a business organization operates under good business ethics, such an organization will not be easily found to commit some acts that involve courts cases.
This assists in maintaining a good reputation hence increasing the potential of realizing major sales. Again, if the criminal cases are reduced or eliminated from the organization, the organization will reduce the time wasted in attending to such cases hence it will utilize much of the time in productive activities. This will increase the production capacity of the organization.
Business ethics creates a good relationship between the company’s employees and management. It creates good and strong working relationships and increases trust amongst the employees. In this case, it turns the work place into a place where people can nurture one another. It can be noted that the employees earn respect, and are fairly treated through the implementation of business ethics in an organization (Ferrell, p. 43).
Again, due to increased revenue from the high output accruing from the high customer attraction, there will be good salaries from the organization to the employees. This reduces the employees turn over, creates motivation to employees, and a positive attitude is created towards improving productivity.
For example, a business that has various departments under the same organization, like engineering firms, and maintains principles of ethics creates a good relationship between the employees. In this case, each department will respect each other, and the same will apply to employees. Therefore, they will be able to nurture one another with an aim of increasing productivity (Schneeman, p. 98).
Disadvantages of business ethics to a business organization
Though ethics in a business organization may be profitable, it can still be disadvantageous to the organization in some ways. In this respect, there are various disadvantages associated with business ethics in the organization. Introduction and implementation of business ethics in a business organization requires a firm and comprehensive support from the management of the business.
Some members of the management team may decide to apply their own version of business ethics in running their departments. This results in a clash of principles, which can easily lead to confusion in the workplace. This is because extra support is relevant to ensure effectiveness of the ethical principles in the organization (Schneeman, p. 114).
Implementation of ethics in a business organization increases costs to the business. This is because for ethics to be effective, the management has spent time and money in training and promoting business ethics within the organization. This can be achieved through seminars, exhibitions and other means of training.
This may lead to additional operating costs hence reducing the actual profits of the company. Therefore, introduction of business ethics can be expensive and time consuming. Business ethics decreases the overall amount of revenue that is gained by the company. This is when the business has to eliminate illegal activities that it has been doing regardless of the potentiality of such activity to increase sales. This illegal business activity may be in violation of the company’s principles of ethics (Ferrell, p. 48).
From the argument on ethical profitability, there is no doubt that ethics is a critical aspect in any business organization. True to this statement, it can be argued that business organizations that observe ethics are likely to realize profitability. This is because such organizations are likely to attract a significant number of customers who are sensitive to business ethics.
Business ethics should be implemented in the organization starting with the organizational leaders. This enables the other employees to emulate their leaders. Customers who are sensitive to ethical standards of the various organizations will be attracted to an organization that has high ethical standards. Therefore, it is important for organizations to establish and adhere to ethical standards so as to realize prosperity and success.
Ferrell, Fraedrich John. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases. South-Western Pub, 2012. Print.
Schneeman, Angela. Paralega Ethics. Albany, NY: West Legal Studies/Thomson Learning, 2000. Print.