Basic Categories of Business Ethics

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Its simplest definition is "the moral features of commercial activity," (Marcoux). However, business ethics is a remarkably complex area that impacts every aspect of commercial enterprise. Every business has some kind of ethical code, which outlines the fundamental moral values of the company. From that code of ethics comes a list of dos and don'ts that the company might choose to follow. The company's behavior, and that of its employees, should ideally reflect its ethical code. Business ethics usually addresses issues such as social responsibility, transparency, and environmental stewardship. Although the law covers some aspects of business ethics, a large portion of ethical codes is independent of legal scrutiny. It is generally up to the individual company to decide on its ethical codes and abide by them; the law covers some ethical norms but certainly not all that would arise in the course of doing business. Ethical business operations have been known to be beneficial financially for the company, which is one reason why business ethics are important. "Good ethics results in good business," (Fieser). One example of how ethics might be profitable is that it may help the firm avoid costly lawsuits because they treated employees unfairly, because they dumped toxins in the environment, or because they delivered sub-par consumer goods. Another example of how ethics might be profitable for business is that an ethical company might attract investors. Over the long haul, an
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