Important Ethical and Unethical Business Practices

“I have always recognized that the object of business is to make money in an honorable manner. I have endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good.” – Peter Cooper, American Inventor, Manufacturer and Philanthropist

Business ethics are moral values and principles that determine our conduct in the business world. It refers to commercial activities, either with other business houses or with a single customer. They can be applied to all aspects of business; from generation of an idea to its sale. Businesses use the society for its resources and functioning, thereby obligating it to the welfare of the society. While the objective of any business is to make profits, it should contribute to the interest of the society by ensuring fair practices. However, greed has led the present business scenario towards unethical business practices, legal complications and general mistrust.

Code of Ethics
Many organizations now implement the code of ethics in their company polices, which they implement during induction and regular training. A Code of Ethics “is generally a more blanket statement of values and beliefs that defines the organization or group” (Brandl and Maguire). It is primarily for the following areas:

– Company’s assets, funds and records
– Conflict of interest
– Management and employee practices
– Information on competition
Ethical Business Practices
Following are a few ethical business practices that should be followed to build an honest reputation and ensure smooth running of the organization.
Employee offering gold coins to investor
Investors: Ensuring safety of their money and timely payment of interest.

Boss talking to a service professional/vendor
Employees: Provision of fair opportunities in promotions and training, good working conditions, and timely payment of salaries.
Advertising loud and clear
Customer: Complete information of the service and product should be made available. Personal information of the customers should not be used for personal gain.

Businessman on cycle going ahead of other standing businessmen
Competition: Unscrupulous tactics and methods should be avoided while handling competitors.
Businessman denying dollar/bribe
Government: Rules and regulations regarding taxes, duties, restrictive and monopolistic trade practices, and unlawful activities like corruption and bribing should be adhered to.
Clipboard calculator spreadsheets compliance forms
Environment: Polluting industries should ensure compliance with the government norms regarding air, water and noise pollution.
Unethical Business Practices
The financial sector is abuzz with acts of violation of norms to amass wealth in an unethical manner. Following are some of the activities that come under the ambit of unethical practice.
Troubling a small businessman, trickery, deception
– Resorting to dishonesty, trickery or deception.
– Distortion of facts to mislead or confuse.
– Manipulating people emotionally by exploiting their vulnerabilities.
Two people making a deal hiding knife in hand behind back
– Greed to amass excessive profit.
– Creation of false documents to show increased profits.
– Avoiding penalty or compensation for unlawful act.
– Lack of transparency and resistance to investigation.
– Harming the environment by exceeding the government prescribed norms for pollution.
– Invasion of privacy used as leverage, for obtaining personal or professional gains.
– Sexual discrimination