"Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling"
While everyone talks about business ethics, its content and boundaries are not easy to determine. It may be safe to assume that ethics involve some hard features like duties and rights (most of them legal) that are mandatory for all, and soft components like values, aspirations or best practices that are desirable but not compulsory and can vary from one organization and person to the next.
Generally speaking laws and regulations just set a minimal ethical standard required for the orderly working of societies.
Business ethics is not limited to refusing to pay bribes. Clearly, corruption is a part of the package-indeed, one of the most significant and harmful hazards of unethical behavior.
However Business Ethics includes environmental care, fairness, health and safety, reliability, respect for everyone’s dignity transparency and of course abiding by all current laws, including tax, labor, market and fair competition regulations.
There are some tests to prove effectiveness to assess the ethical implications of an action. The tests are:
1. The Mother Test:
Would you be able to tell your mother or your children about this action without being embarrassed?
2. The Newspaper Test:
Would you like to see your decision on a newspaper headline?
3. The Audience Test:
Would you like anyone in similar situation to do the same?
The answers to these questions are more compelling than any long, philosophical ponderings on what is and is not ethically acceptable.
“The success of ethical systems depends on an organizations ethical climate which reflects the employee’s faith in management morality and stems from the company’s values, shared by everybody in the organisation”