Definition: The Business Ethics refers to the system wherein what is right and wrong, just and unjust, good or evil is studied about the actions of the businessmen. In general, the “ethics” means a sense of what is fair and acceptable to the society; the same moral principles apply to the business ethics as well.
Sources of Business Ethics
- Religion: There are numerous religions followed by people and each religion talk about the nature of right and wrong in business as well as in each walk of life. Religion is the basis of an individual that he follows from his childhood and is deeply rooted in his behaviors. He understands about the fair and unfair, badness and goodness of actions and the consequences of these actions.
The Principle of Reciprocity, i.e., exchanging things with others for mutual benefits, is seen in all the religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc.
- Culture: The other source of business ethics is the culture that an individual has to follow pertaining to certain guidelines prevalent in the society to which he belongs to. The culture implies the rules, standard, values that are transmitted from generations to generations.
These are the standard code of conduct to be followed by an individual that is permissible and acceptable to the community to which he belongs to from his childhood. The human civilization is cumulative of cultural experience that an individual passes through during his lifetime.
- Law or The Legal System: Law is the code of conduct formulated by the legal system of the state and is to be followed by an individual to respect the societal interest. These are the strict rules and procedures that every business should abide by to conform to the ethical behavior of each.Although, the Law is reactive in nature and cannot cover all the cultural ethics as the law is created when the new evil emerges.
Thus, the Business Ethics are greatly influenced by these sources which vary from company to company and country to country, and this is the reason why these differ across the globe.