Ethics is the code of moral principles that set standards of good or bad, or right or wrong in a person's conduct and thereby dictates their behavior.


  • Utilitarian view: Greatest good for the greatest number of people
  • Individualism: Committed to one's own long term interests
  • Moral-rights view: Respects the fundamental rights of all people
  • Justice view: Fair and impartial treatment based on rules and standards

Determining ethical approach

  • Cultural relativism: Ethics are determined by the culture where the situation occurs
  • Ethical imperialism: Ethics are always determined by the organizations “home” culture

Methods for maintaining high ethical standards

  • Ethics training
  • Whistleblower protection
  • Ethical role models
  • Codes of ethics

CSR - Coprorate social responsibility

An obligation to act not only its own interests but also those of external stakeholders


  • Adds long-run profits
  • Better public image
  • Avoids regulation
  • Better environment


  • Reduced profits
  • Higher costs
  • Dilution of business purpose
  • Reduced business power


  • Obstructionist - Meets only economic responsibilities
  • Defensive - Meets legal and economic responsibilities
  • Accommodative - Meets economic, legal & ethical responsibilities
  • Proactive - Meets all plus digressional responsibilities

Government influence

Governments influence through regulation, business can influence governments as well.

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