Business Ethics: Definition, Principles, Features, Example, Roles

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According to Crane, “Business ethics is the study of business situations, activities, and decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed.”

Raymond C. Baumhart defines, “The ethics of business is the ethics of responsibility. The businessman must promise that he will not harm knowingly.”

Principle of Business Ethics

Accountability, care and respect, honesty, healthy competition, loyalty, transparency, and respect for the rule of law are the seven principles of business ethics.

Another source lists 12 ethical principles for business executives, including honesty, fairness, leadership, integrity, compassion, respect, responsibility, loyalty, law-abiding behaviour and more. So business ethics protect companies from legal liability. And also ensure that they treat their customers and team members with respect.


The first principle is accountability, which refers to businesses taking full responsibility for their actions or practices. This means that businesses should be transparent in their dealings. And should be willing to answer for any misconduct or unethical behavior.


Another fundamental value is fairness, which says that firms should treat all of their consumers equally, providing the same goods and services on the same terms to all. So this helps to ensure that businesses do not engage in biased practices or unfairly favor some customers over others.


Honesty is also a crucial principle of business ethics. This means that businesses should always be truthful in their dealings, avoiding any false or misleading statements that may deceive their customers or stakeholders.

Socially and environmentally

Businesses should try to be socially and economically responsible in addition to keeping to these standards. So by this, it means that businesses should be aware of their impact on the larger community and the environment, and take steps to mitigate any negative consequences.


Other important principles of business ethics include leadership, integrity, compassion, respect, responsibility, loyalty, law-abiding, transparency, and environmental sustainability. These principles help to ensure that businesses should be operated in a responsible manner. Also promoting the welfare of their shareholders and the wider society.

In conclusion, business ethics is an essential component of any successful business.

Essentially, by following moral standards, businesses can foster solid connections with their stakeholders, protect their reputation, and contribute to society’s general well-being.

Key Features of Business Ethics

Business Ethics: Definition, Principles, Features Definepedia

There are several key features to think about.

Laws and regulations

Companies must guarantee that they are functioning legally and ethically by following out to all applicable rules and regulations.

Social responsibility

This means that businesses should be take into account the impact of their actions on society and aim to make a positive difference in the world.


In today’s world mean modern era, it is becoming increasingly crucial. Companies should examine their environmental impact and aim to reduce their carbon footprint and waste.


It is essential to creating a culture of ethical behaviour within a company. Leaders should set a good example for their employees and encourage ethical decision-making.

Ethical culture

It refers to the values and standards that guide behaviour within a company. It’s important for companies to foster a culture of honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior.

Decision making

It is key to ensuring that a company is acting ethically. Businesses should be consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, not only just shareholders. And make choices that fit with their ethical principles.

Remember, ethics is not just about following the law. It is all about doing the right thing, even when the situations are very difficult, and making a positive impact on the world around us.

Role of business ethics in the workplace

The role of business ethics in the workplace, or you can say in the business area. Basically, it includes:

  1. Creating a positive work environment
  2. Enhancing the reputation of the company
  3. Building trust with customers and stakeholders
  4. Maintaining legal compliance
  5. Improving public reputation
  6. Protecting company assets from theft
  7. Falsification of documents.

Business ethics play a crucial role in any workplace, and companies that prioritize ethical practices can benefit in numerous ways.


Holding people accountable for their actions is important to creating a workplace culture of trust and respect. This means taking ownership of your mistakes and ensuring that you take steps to correct them.


Similarly, taking responsibility for the outcomes of your work is crucial to maintaining ethical standards. This includes taking responsibility for the quality of your work as well as any problems that may arise as a result of it.


Encouraging workplace equality involves treating everyone with dignity and justice, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or other personal traits. This includes ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities for career growth and advancement.


Being transparent with employees and stakeholders about business operations and decisions can help build trust and credibility. This includes being open and honest about financial performance, company policies, and any potential conflicts of interest.


Building a culture of trust in the workplace means fostering open communication, and respecting confidentiality. And prioritizing the well-being of employees and stakeholders.

Fulfilling promises

Following through on promises and commitments is essential to maintaining trust and credibility. This includes delivering on deadlines, honouring agreements, and being transparent about any changes or challenges that may arise.


Developing loyalty among employees means creating a sense of community and commitment to the company’s mission and values. 

This includes fostering a positive work culture, providing opportunities for professional development, and recognizing and rewarding employee contributions.


Treating employees fairly and impartially is essential to creating a positive work environment. This includes providing equal pay and benefits, promoting diversity and inclusion, and addressing any concerns or grievances in a timely and equitable manner.


Promising collaboration and teamwork among with employees. It can help to improve productivity and build strong relationships. So basically this includes promoting open communication, respecting different perspectives, and valuing the contributions of all team members.


Showing dedication to the company’s mission and values means going above and beyond in your work, being committed to continuous improvement, and taking pride in your accomplishments.


Maintaining discipline in the workplace means adhering to company policies and procedures, following ethical guidelines, and taking responsibility for your actions.


Maintaining a high level of professionalism means treating others with respect, following established protocols, and representing the company positively.


Promoting sustainability in the workplace means taking steps to minimize the company’s environmental impact, promoting social responsibility, and acting in the best interests of future generations.


Fit legal and regulatory requirements are essential to maintaining ethical standards and avoiding legal repercussions. So basically this includes following industry standards and best practices. As well as complying with local, state, and national laws.

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