Business Ethics : A Code Of Ethics

1176 Words5 Pages
The purpose of business today is to add value and keep customers happy while making a profit. In order to do this they must develop a code of ethics. Ethics is a code of moral standards by which people judge the actions and behaviors of themselves and others. Business ethics brings a moral code into the workplace. The term business ethics was first introduced in the United States in the early 1970s. It was normally used in research and academics. By the mid-1980s business ethics were taught all across the country to thousands of students. Business ethics was well established as an academic field by 1990. When the term was first introduced it was mostly associated with business scandals. In the United States, ethics in business focuses on the moral or ethical actions of individuals. Ethics deals with the issues of practical decision making and major concerns that human behavior can be judges as right or wrong. There is often a confusion about discovering the difference between legal and ethical. Legal means anything that is not breaking the law. Ethics refers to values and moral and doing the right thing. The issues with doing something legal and ethical is because laws often take a long time to get passed so just because someone is doing something legal does not always mean that it is ethical. For an example, in the United States there was the Jim Crow laws which enforced segregating black people from the white population. Even though it was not ethical it was legal so it was kind of difficult to do anything different because that was the way of life. At that time not all whites were not supportive of the segregation and some even spoke against it but it took years to get the laws to change. So as a business own... ... middle of paper ... ... the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct was created and signed by several contractors who agreed to have a written code of ethics, provide ethics training for their employees, monitor and detect improper activity, share best practices, and be accountable in public. The Defense Industry Initiative led to United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines which gave corporations incentives for building ethical structures throughout their organizations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that companies publicly display a code of ethics for the corporation’s leadership and the company’s CEO or CFO guarantees that financial statements are accurate. This act was developed due to a high profile scandals. (“The History of Business Ethics Training”) Many of the laws that were passed does result in businesses being fined if they don’t adhere to the guidelines.
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