Business ethics governing the ethical behavior of members of the company and other partners. Business ethics achieves two important objectives: compliance with the statutes and company rules by its members and partners, as well as the exercise of control over them.
WHAT IS BUSINESS ETHICS
In the broadest sense of the word, business ethics is a set of business rules and laws based on common values.
The notion of values implies those for which society or each individual has a preference. Social values include qualities such as conscience, righteousness, respect, fairness, etc. In terms of trade, this corresponds to product quality, customer satisfaction, compliance in product advertising, health, and safety.
The principle of business ethics is based on respecting the interests not only of the company itself but also of partners, clients, and society as a whole. This rule is also valid for competitors, that is, it is forbidden to harm them with methods that go beyond competition. Ethics defend that the largest possible number of market participants receive benefits and have the same access to them.
The foundation of business ethics is moral standards based on the language, culture, and traditions of the country and the people. Business ethics also has a social base, which is a set of ethical norms and concepts.
LEVELS AT WHICH BUSINESS ETHICS OPERATES
There are three subordinate hierarchical levels at which business ethics operates:
THE FIRST LEVEL IS THE GLOBAL (HYPER NORMAL)
The standards of this first level are based on universal values. In short, they boil down to corporate social responsibility:
- Creation of public goods, jobs, improvement of the standard of living of clients, employees, and shareholders, as well as of the population in general.
- Modernization of technologies, production methods, marketing, and communications.
- Increased trust in companies.
- Respect for the law and equal opportunities in competition.
- Promotion of multilateral free trade.
- Respect for the environment.
- Rejection of illegal actions (bribery, money laundering, sale of weapons to terrorists, etc.).
Among the moral obligations of companies and entrepreneurs, the following categories of people stand out:
- Customers through the high quality of products and services, honesty in advertising, respect for human dignity.
- Workers with decent wages and working conditions, protection of health and work capacity, equal rights, and employment opportunities.
- To owners and investors as a guarantee of a fair return on invested capital, free access to information, limited only by law and the conditions of competition.
- To suppliers with fair and honest treatment, including pricing, licensing, the absence of coercion and unnecessary litigation, the exchange of information and participation in the planning process, the timely payment of supplies, etc..
- To competitors in the sector with mutual respect, promotion of open markets for goods and capital, refraining from using dubious means to obtain competitive advantages, and respect for property rights.
- To local communities through respect for human rights, cultural integrity, sponsorships, and participation of the company in civic life.
Hyper-standards are prevailing codes of ethics and national and corporate regulations.
THE SECOND LEVEL IS THE MACRO-SCALE OF A NATIONAL INDUSTRY OR ECONOMY.
This second-level tries to respect private property and competition in the market, the reliability of the information, as well as avoid unfair discrimination in the labor market.
THE THIRD LEVEL IS THE MICRO LEVEL, AT THE SCALE OF A SPECIFIC COMPANY AND ITS CLIENTS.
The third level includes principles of trust and non – discrimination in relations between suppliers and customers, staff and management, directors and shareholders, etc. Its violation causes various losses or increases in general expenses, conflicts, etc. At this level, private ethical problems that constantly arise, especially in the field of human management, are also resolved.
Today, the problem of business ethics is increasingly important. To establish normal commercial and economic relations between countries, it is necessary to take into account the ethical aspects of the business.
The respect and trust of the members of the company among themselves are based on social responsibility, transparency, and good management. That is, a business ethics program defines the responsibility of a business or company.