Many people wonder if business ethics is just a buzzword that has been tossed around lately, due to some of the aggressive tactics we have seen them as we enter the 21st century. While there are some exceptions, business ethicists are usually less concerned with the foundations of ethics (meta-ethics), or with justifying the most basic ethical principles, and are more concerned with practical problems and applications, and any specific duties that might apply to business relationships.
The subject matter of ethics is concerned with establishing linkages between individual good and social good. Face to face ethical issues happen between the employees of an organization in their day to day organizational life. They happen all the time because they are ultimately of great importance to the bottom lines of businesses.
A corporation’s environmental policy, the way they treat their employees and the way they treat the communities they exist in are all part of their overall behavior and this in turn is the principle factor in determining their public image. Even though there are many issues when we talk about business ethics, what I want to say now is about one and, in my opinion, the most awful mistake people do when doing it. That is placing their need ahead of the need of their customers.
Business ethics operates on the premise, for example, that the ethical operation of a private business is possible – those who dispute that premise, such as libertarian socialists, (who contend that “business ethics” is an oxymoron) do so by definition outside of the domain of business ethics proper.
If you supply products you have suppliers, and your client will also have other businesses and people linked to them. The beliefs where it is “Okay to come in late” or “You mean I have to work?” or “Everyone else does it” are direct reflections of each individual’s core values and ethics.