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Lesson Plan: Ethics in Business


In this lesson, students will learn about ethics, analyze actions for ethical dilemmas, and write a personal code of ethics for business and personal use.

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What Are Business Ethics & Why Are They Important?

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  • 27 Jul 2023

From artificial intelligence to facial recognition technology, organizations face an increasing number of ethical dilemmas. While innovation can aid business growth, it can also create opportunities for potential abuse.

“The long-term impacts of a new technology—both positive and negative—may not become apparent until years after it’s introduced,” says Harvard Business School Professor Nien-hê Hsieh in the online course Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability . “For example, the impact of social media on children and teenagers didn’t become evident until we watched it play out over time.”

If you’re a current or prospective leader concerned about navigating difficult situations, here's an overview of business ethics, why they're important, and how to ensure ethical behavior in your organization.

Access your free e-book today.

What Are Business Ethics?

Business ethics are principles that guide decision-making . As a leader, you’ll face many challenges in the workplace because of different interpretations of what's ethical. Situations often require navigating the “gray area,” where it’s unclear what’s right and wrong.

When making decisions, your experiences, opinions, and perspectives can influence what you believe to be ethical, making it vital to:

  • Be transparent.
  • Invite feedback.
  • Consider impacts on employees, stakeholders, and society.
  • Reflect on past experiences to learn what you could have done better.

“The way to think about ethics, in my view, is: What are the externalities that your business creates, both positive and negative?” says Harvard Business School Professor Vikram Gandhi in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability . “And, therefore, how do you actually increase the positive element of externalities? And how do you decrease the negative?”

Related: Why Managers Should Involve Their Team in the Decision-Making Process

Ethical Responsibilities to Society

Promoting ethical conduct can benefit both your company and society long term.

“I'm a strong believer that a long-term focus is what creates long-term value,” Gandhi says in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability . “So you should get shareholders in your company that have that same perspective.”

Prioritizing the triple bottom line is an effective way for your business to fulfill its environmental responsibilities and create long-term value. It focuses on three factors:

  • Profit: The financial return your company generates for shareholders
  • People: How your company affects customers, employees, and stakeholders
  • Planet: Your company’s impact on the planet and environment

Check out the video below to learn more about the triple bottom line, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more explainer content!

Ethical and corporate social responsibility (CSR) considerations can go a long way toward creating value, especially since an increasing number of customers, employees, and investors expect organizations to prioritize CSR. According to the Conscious Consumer Spending Index , 67 percent of customers prefer buying from socially responsible companies.

To prevent costly employee turnover and satisfy customers, strive to fulfill your ethical responsibilities to society.

Ethical Responsibilities to Customers

As a leader, you must ensure you don’t mislead your customers. Doing so can backfire, negatively impacting your organization’s credibility and profits.

Actions to avoid include:

  • Greenwashing : Taking advantage of customers’ CSR preferences by claiming your business practices are sustainable when they aren't.
  • False advertising : Making unverified or untrue claims in advertisements or promotional material.
  • Making false promises : Lying to make a sale.

These unethical practices can result in multi-million dollar lawsuits, as well as highly dissatisfied customers.

Ethical Responsibilities to Employees

You also have ethical responsibilities to your employees—from the beginning to the end of their employment.

One area of business ethics that receives a lot of attention is employee termination. According to Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability , letting an employee go requires an individualized approach that ensures fairness.

Not only can wrongful termination cost your company upwards of $100,000 in legal expenses , it can also negatively impact other employees’ morale and how they perceive your leadership.

Ethical business practices have additional benefits, such as attracting and retaining talented employees willing to take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. Approximately 40 percent of millennials say they would switch jobs to work for a company that emphasizes sustainability.

Ultimately, it's critical to do your best to treat employees fairly.

“Fairness is not only an ethical response to power asymmetries in the work environment,” Hsieh says in the course. “Fairness—and having a successful organizational culture–can benefit the organization economically and legally.”

Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability | Develop a toolkit for making tough leadership decisions| Learn More

Why Are Business Ethics Important?

Failure to understand and apply business ethics can result in moral disengagement .

“Moral disengagement refers to ways in which we convince ourselves that what we’re doing is not wrong,” Hsieh says in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability . “It can upset the balance of judgment—causing us to prioritize our personal commitments over shared beliefs, rules, and principles—or it can skew our logic to make unethical behaviors appear less harmful or not wrong.”

Moral disengagement can also lead to questionable decisions, such as insider trading .

“In the U.S., insider trading is defined in common, federal, and state laws regulating the opportunity for insiders to benefit from material, non-public information, or MNPI,” Hsieh explains.

This type of unethical behavior can carry severe legal consequences and negatively impact your company's bottom line.

“If you create a certain amount of harm to a society, your customers, or employees over a period of time, that’s going to have a negative impact on your economic value,” Gandhi says in the course.

This is reflected in over half of the top 10 largest bankruptcies between 1980 and 2013 that resulted from unethical behavior. As a business leader, strive to make ethical decisions and fulfill your responsibilities to stakeholders.

How to Implement Business Ethics

To become a more ethical leader, it's crucial to have a balanced, long-term focus.

“It's very important to balance the fact that, even if you're focused on the long term, you have to perform in the short term as well and have a very clear, articulated strategy around that,” Gandhi says in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability .

Making ethical decisions requires reflective leadership.

“Reflecting on complex, gray-area decisions is a key part of what it means to be human, as well as an effective leader,” Hsieh says. “You have agency. You must choose how to act. And with that agency comes responsibility.”

Related: Why Are Ethics Important in Engineering?

Hsieh advises asking the following questions:

  • Are you using the “greater good” to justify unethical behavior?
  • Are you downplaying your actions to feel better?

“Asking these and similar questions at regular intervals can help you notice when you or others may be approaching the line between making a tough but ethical call and justifying problematic actions,” Hsieh says.

How to Become a More Effective Leader | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Become a More Ethical Leader

Learning from past successes and mistakes can enable you to improve your ethical decision-making.

“As a leader, when trying to determine what to do, it can be helpful to start by simply asking in any given situation, ‘What can we do?’ and ‘What would be wrong to do?’” Hsieh says.

Many times, the answers come from experience.

Gain insights from others’ ethical decisions, too. One way to do so is by taking an online course, such as Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability , which includes case studies that immerse you in real-world business situations, as well as a reflective leadership model to inform your decision-making.

Ready to become a better leader? Enroll in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability —one of our online leadership and management courses —and download our free e-book on how to be a more effective leader.

ethics in business unit plan

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What Is Business Ethics?

Understanding business ethics, why is business ethics important, types of business ethics.

  • Implementing Good Business Ethics
  • Monitoring and Reporting

The Bottom Line

What is business ethics definition, principles, and importance.

ethics in business unit plan

Yarilet Perez is an experienced multimedia journalist and fact-checker with a Master of Science in Journalism. She has worked in multiple cities covering breaking news, politics, education, and more. Her expertise is in personal finance and investing, and real estate.

ethics in business unit plan

Business ethics is the moral principles, policies, and values that govern the way companies and individuals engage in business activity. It goes beyond legal requirements to establish a code of conduct that drives employee behavior at all levels and helps build trust between a business and its customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Business ethics refers to implementing appropriate business policies and practices with regard to arguably controversial subjects.
  • Some issues that come up in a discussion of ethics include corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities.
  • The law usually sets the tone for business ethics, providing a basic guideline that businesses can choose to follow to gain public approval.

Investopedia / Katie Kerpel

Business ethics ensure that a certain basic level of trust exists between consumers and various forms of market participants with businesses. For example, a portfolio manager must give the same consideration to the portfolios of family members and small individual investors as they do to wealthier clients. These kinds of practices ensure the public receives fair treatment.

The concept of business ethics began in the 1960s as corporations became more aware of a rising consumer-based society that showed concerns regarding the environment, social causes, and corporate responsibility. The increased focus on "social issues" was a hallmark of the decade.

Since that time, the concept of business ethics has evolved. Business ethics goes beyond just a moral code of right and wrong; it attempts to reconcile what companies must do legally vs. maintaining a competitive advantage over other businesses. Firms display business ethics in several ways.

Business ethics ensure a certain level of trust between consumers and corporations, guaranteeing the public fair and equal treatment.

Principles of Business Ethics

It's essential to understand the underlying principles that drive desired ethical behavior and how a lack of these moral principles contributes to the downfall of many otherwise intelligent, talented people and the businesses they represent.

There are generally 12 business ethics principles:

  • Leadership : The conscious effort to adopt, integrate, and emulate the other 11 principles to guide decisions and behavior in all aspects of professional and personal life.
  • Accountability : Holding yourself and others responsible for their actions. Commitment to following ethical practices and ensuring others follow ethics guidelines.
  • Integrity : Incorporates other principles—honesty, trustworthiness, and reliability. Someone with integrity consistently does the right thing and strives to hold themselves to a higher standard.
  • Respect for others : To foster ethical behavior and environments in the workplace, respecting others is a critical component. Everyone deserves dignity, privacy, equality, opportunity, compassion, and empathy.
  • Honesty : Truth in all matters is key to fostering an ethical climate. Partial truths, omissions, and under or overstating don't help a business improve its performance. Bad news should be communicated and received in the same manner as good news so that solutions can be developed.
  • Respect for laws : Ethical leadership should include enforcing all local, state, and federal laws. If there is a legal grey area, leaders should err on the side of legality rather than exploiting a gap.
  • Responsibility : Promote ownership within an organization, allow employees to be responsible for their work, and be accountable for yours.
  • Transparency : Stakeholders are people with an interest in a business, such as shareholders, employees, the community a firm operates in, and the family members of the employees. Without divulging trade secrets, companies should ensure information about their financials, price changes, hiring and firing practices, wages and salaries, and promotions are available to those interested in the business's success.
  • Compassion : Employees, the community surrounding a business, business partners, and customers should all be treated with concern for their well-being.
  • Fairness : Everyone should have the same opportunities and be treated the same. If a practice or behavior would make you feel uncomfortable or place personal or corporate benefit in front of equality, common courtesy, and respect, it is likely not fair.
  • Loyalty : Leadership should demonstrate confidentially and commitment to their employees and the company. Inspiring loyalty in employees and management ensures that they are committed to best practices.
  • Environmental concern : In a world where resources are limited, ecosystems have been damaged by past practices, and the climate is changing, it is of utmost importance to be aware of and concerned about the environmental impacts a business has. All employees should be encouraged to discover and report solutions for practices that can add to damages already done.

There are several reasons business ethics are essential for success in modern business. Most importantly, defined ethics programs establish a code of conduct that drives employee behavior—from executives to middle management to the newest and youngest employees. When all employees make ethical decisions, the company establishes a reputation for ethical behavior. Its reputation grows, and it begins to experience the benefits a moral establishment reaps:

  • Brand recognition and growth
  • Increased ability to negotiate
  • Increased trust in products and services
  • Customer retention and growth
  • Attracts talent
  • Attracts investors

When combined, all these factors affect a business' revenues. Those that fail set ethical standards and enforce them are doomed to eventually find themselves alongside Enron, Arthur Andersen, Wells Fargo, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, and many others.

There are several theories regarding business ethics, and many different types can be found, but what makes a business stand out are its corporate social responsibility practices, transparency and trustworthiness, fairness, and technological practices.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the concept of meeting the needs of stakeholders while accounting for the impact meeting those needs has on employees, the environment, society, and the community in which the business operates. Of course, finances and profits are important, but they should be secondary to the welfare of society, customers, and employees—because studies have concluded that corporate governance and ethical practices increase financial performance.

Businesses should hold themselves accountable and responsible for their environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economic impacts.

Transparency and Trustworthiness

It's essential for companies to ensure they are reporting their financial performance in a way that is transparent. This not only applies to required financial reports but all reports in general. For example, many corporations publish annual reports to their shareholders.

Most of these reports outline not only the submitted reports to regulators, but how and why decisions were made, if goals were met, and factors that influenced performance. CEOs write summaries of the company's annual performance and give their outlooks.

Press releases are another way companies can be transparent. Events important to investors and customers should be published, regardless of whether it is good or bad news.

Technological Practices and Ethics

The growing use of technology of all forms in business operations inherently comes with a need for a business to ensure the technology and information it gathers is being used ethically. Additionally, it should ensure that the technology is secured to the utmost of its ability, especially as many businesses store customer information and collect data that those with nefarious intentions can use.

A workplace should be inclusive, diverse, and fair for all employees regardless of race, religion, beliefs, age, or identity. A fair work environment is where everyone can grow, be promoted, and become successful in their own way.

How to Implement Good Business Ethics

Fostering an environment of ethical behavior and decision-making takes time and effort—it always starts at the top. Most companies need to create a code of conduct/ethics, guiding principles, reporting procedures, and training programs to enforce ethical behavior.

Once conduct is defined and programs implemented, continuous communication with employees becomes vital. Leaders should constantly encourage employees to report concern behavior—additionally, there should be assurances that if whistle-blowers will not face adversarial actions.

A pipeline for anonymous reporting can help businesses identify questionable practices and reassure employees that they will not face any consequences for reporting an issue.

Monitoring and Reporting Unethical Behavior

When preventing unethical behavior and repairing its adverse side effects, companies often look to managers and employees to report any incidences they observe or experience. However, barriers within the company culture (such as fear of retaliation for reporting misconduct) can prevent this from happening.

Published by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), the Global Business Ethics Survey of 2021 surveyed over 14,000 employees in 10 countries about different types of misconduct they observed in the workplace. 49% of the employees surveyed said they had observed misconduct and 22% said they had observed behavior they would categorize as abusive. 86% of employees said they reported the misconduct they observed. When questioned if they had experienced retaliation for reporting, 79% said they had been retaliated against.

Indeed, fear of retaliation is one of the primary reasons employees cite for not reporting unethical behavior in the workplace. ECI says companies should work toward improving their corporate culture by reinforcing the idea that reporting suspected misconduct is beneficial to the company. Additionally, they should acknowledge and reward the employee's courage in making the report.

Business ethics concerns ethical dilemmas or controversial issues faced by a company. Often, business ethics involve a system of practices and procedures that help build trust with the consumer. On one level, some business ethics are embedded in the law, such as minimum wages, insider trading restrictions, and environmental regulations. On another, business ethics can be influenced by management behavior, with wide-ranging effects across the company.

What Are Business Ethics and Example?

Business ethics guide executives, managers, and employees in their daily actions and decision-making. For example, consider a company that has decided to dump chemical waste that it cannot afford to dispose of properly on a vacant lot it has purchased in the local community. This action has legal, environmental, and social repercussions that can damage a company beyond repair.

What Are the 12 Ethical Principles?

Business ethics is an evolving topic. Generally, there are about 12 ethical principles: honesty, fairness, leadership, integrity, compassion, respect, responsibility, loyalty, law-abiding, transparency, and environmental concerns.

Business ethics concerns employees, customers, society, the environment, shareholders, and stakeholders. Therefore, every business should develop ethical models and practices that guide employees in their actions and ensure they prioritize the interests and welfare of those the company serves.

Doing so not only increases revenues and profits, it creates a positive work environment and builds trust with consumers and business partners.

New York University Stern Center for Sustainable Business. " ESG and Financial Performance: Uncovering the Relationship By Aggregating Evidence From 1,000 Plus Studies Published Between 2015 – 2020 ."

Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI). " The State of Ethics & Compliance in the Workplace ," Pages 16-22.

Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI). " 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey Report The State of Ethics & Compliance in the Workplace: A Look at Global Trends ."

ethics in business unit plan

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Chapter outline.

Ethics consists of the standards of behavior to which we hold ourselves in our personal and professional lives. It establishes the levels of honesty, empathy, and trustworthiness and other virtues by which we hope to identify our personal behavior and our public reputation. In our personal lives, our ethics sets norms for the ways in which we interact with family and friends. In our professional lives, ethics guides our interactions with customers, clients, colleagues, employees, and shareholders affected by our business practices ( Figure 1.1 ).

Should we care about ethics in our lives? In our practices in business and the professions? That is the central question we will examine in this chapter and throughout the book. Our goal is to understand why the answer is yes .

Whatever hopes you have for your future, you almost certainly want to be successful in whatever career you choose. But what does success mean to you, and how will you know you have achieved it? Will you measure it in terms of wealth, status, power, or recognition? Before blindly embarking on a quest to achieve these goals, which society considers important, stop and think about what a successful career means to you personally. Does it include a blameless reputation, colleagues whose good opinion you value, and the ability to think well of yourself? How might ethics guide your decision-making and contribute to your achievement of these goals?

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Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/business-ethics/pages/1-introduction
  • Authors: Stephen M. Byars, Kurt Stanberry
  • Publisher/website: OpenStax
  • Book title: Business Ethics
  • Publication date: Sep 24, 2018
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Book URL: https://openstax.org/books/business-ethics/pages/1-introduction
  • Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/business-ethics/pages/1-introduction

© Mar 31, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.


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Building an Ethical Company

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ethics in business unit plan

Just as people can develop skills and abilities over time, they can learn to be more or less ethical. Yet many organizations limit ethics training to the onboarding process. If they do address it thereafter, it may be only by establishing codes of conduct or whistleblower hotlines. Such steps may curb specific infractions, but they don’t necessarily help employees develop as ethical people.

Drawing on evidence from hundreds of research studies, the authors offer a framework for helping workers build moral character. Managers can provide experiential training in ethical dilemmas. They can foster psychological safety when minor lapses occur, conduct pre- and postmortems for initiatives with ethical components, and create a culture of service by encouraging volunteer work and mentoring in ethics.

Create an organization that helps employees behave more honorably.

Idea in Brief

The opportunity.

Just as people entering the workforce can develop job-related skills and abilities over time, they can learn to be more ethical as well.

Why It’s Often Missed

Many organizations relegate ethics training to the onboarding process, perhaps also issuing codes of conduct and establishing whistleblower hotlines. Such steps may curb specific unethical acts but don’t necessarily help workers grow as moral people.

How to Capitalize on It

Managers can provide experiential training in ethical dilemmas, foster psychological safety when (minor) lapses occur, conduct pre- and postmortems for initiatives with ethical components, and create a culture of service by encouraging volunteer work and mentoring in ethics.

People don’t enter the workforce with a fixed moral character. Just as employees can nurture (or neglect) their skills and abilities over time, they can learn to be more or less ethical. Yet rather than take a long-term view of employees’ moral development, many organizations treat ethics training as a onetime event, often limiting it to the onboarding process. If they do address ethics thereafter, it may be only by espousing codes of conduct or establishing whistleblower hotlines. Such steps may curb specific unethical actions, but they don’t necessarily help employees develop as moral people.

  • Isaac H. Smith is an associate professor of organizational behavior and human resources at BYU Marriott School of Business. His research explores the morality and ethics of organizations and the people in them.
  • Maryam Kouchaki is a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management. Her research explores ethics, morality, and the complexity and challenges of managing ethnic and gender diversity for organizations.

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3.2: Putting It Together- Ethics in Business

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Ethical culture can propel a company to the next level. Unethical behavior can destroy a company’s culture and reputation. Understanding how to foster an ethical environment is critical to establishing a successful company. Ethical concerns are not limited monetary issues like money laundering, fraud, or embezzlement but also include behavioral issues like discrimination or harassment. It is critical to know how to properly identify and address any ethical concern. Both employees and managers alike play an important role in developing an ethical culture with their company code of conduct at their guide.

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In order to avoid lawsuits and a ruined reputation, companies must put ethics at the forefront of their business policies and practices. Utilizing the information in this module will help you avoid ethical violations when you enter into the workplace. Regardless of the role you play in a company, you are partially responsible for the condition of their ethical culture.

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  • Putting It Together: Ethics in Business. Authored by : Freedom Learning Group. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
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Ethics and values in business: principles and practices

A group of business professionals discuss in a meeting while sitting around an office table.

As a consumer, you consider a broad range of factors when you shop for products and services, such as the brand, packaging, and price. If you’re like many Americans, you might also research a company’s business ethics and values before making purchasing decisions. According to a 2022 Harris Poll study, 82% of United States shoppers prefer to support brands that reflect their own ethics, and 75% have stopped buying from companies that don’t align with their values. 1 

This growing emphasis on ethical business practices has led many companies to prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). This term refers to ethical policies and practices businesses develop to benefit the environment, employees, and society. Because corporate social responsibility and business ethics aren't mandated by laws or regulations, companies voluntarily engage in ethical CSR methods. 2 This article explores the principles of corporate social responsibility and related business ethics.  

An overview of corporate social responsibility 

The main goal of CSR is to maximize the benefits a business provides society and minimize harm. The concept of CSR began in the 1930s and 1940s, but it received widespread recognition in the 2000s when many companies began strategically using CSR to advance their brand. 2

According to management researcher David Chandler, modern CSR involves five components: 2 

  • Comprehensive Implementation: Companies incorporate ethical practices at every stage of their strategic planning process
  • Connectivity: All actions that a business undertakes should reflect its central goals and ethical values
  • Stakeholders’ Needs: Companies should prioritize the well-being of their stakeholders, which include clients, employees, and shareholders 
  • Longevity: CSR shapes companies’ mid- and long-term planning and management of resources
  • Value: Companies should optimize the value they create for society 

Ethical behavior has many benefits for companies beyond giving them the satisfaction of doing the right thing. For example, this framework boosts employee engagement, helps businesses stand out from their competitors, and leads to higher profits. 3  

Ethical principles of business 

There’s not a single right way to practice corporate social responsibility . However, many CSR initiatives follow a set of ethical principles, including: 

Ethical decision-making

CSR starts with ethical decision-making. Many businesses use the PrOACT framework to ensure they make choices that positively impact society. This model involves five steps: 4  

  • Define the problem 
  • Consider environmental, financial, and social objectives 
  • Imagine alternative solutions
  • Identify potential short- and long-term solutions 
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each decision 

Companies act with integrity when they consistently maintain high standards. These organizations develop a corporate culture that encourages all employees and vendors to participate in business ethics and promote corporate responsibility. Businesses that value integrity also prioritize their commitment to social responsibility over profit. 5  


Transparency is an essential component of CSR. Companies practice transparency by intentionally disclosing information about their decisions, products, and services. According to a 2023 study published by Business Horizons, companies with a high level of transparency inspire customers to participate in sustainable and socially responsible behavior. The study also reports that transparency makes companies’ CSR initiatives seem more sincere. 6  


Corporate social responsibility isn’t required by law, so companies must hold themselves accountable for engaging in ethical behavior. Some businesses demonstrate their accountability to the public by earning CSR certifications from third-party organizations. For example, companies can earn a seal of approval from the ISEAL Alliance (“the global membership organisation for credible sustainability standards”) if they prove they engage in sustainable business practices. 7  


Sustainability is another core ethical principle related to CSR. Companies promote sustainability by taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment. Examples of sustainable business practices include buying electric vehicles for the company fleet, working with environmentally conscious suppliers, and using recyclable packaging materials. Businesses that embrace sustainability may get positive media coverage and enhance their brand reputation. 8   

Business ethics examples

Businesses apply ethical principles in numerous ways, including these:

Go beyond compliance 

Business ethics go beyond external compliance requirements, such as laws and regulations. 2 Businesses embrace CSR by voluntarily embracing ethical policies and practices that help society. For example, Google has become a leader in CSR by adopting many sustainability measures. In 2020, the company neutralized its entire carbon footprint since its founding. Google has also helped conserve endangered egrets and restore native oak ecosystems in California. 9   

Prioritize stakeholder management

Businesses can demonstrate a commitment to business ethics by collaborating with stakeholders to develop CSR initiatives. For instance, Newmont Ahafo Limited (NAL) is a mining company that has built healthcare clinics, classrooms, and sanitation systems for impoverished communities in Ghana. The involvement of local stakeholders–including farmers, the Ghana Education Service, and community members–in the decision-making and planning process has contributed to the success of these CSR endeavors. 10   

Embrace external governance

Another way businesses can demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility is by following external business ethics. For example, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board provides environmental, social, and governance frameworks for 77 industries. These frameworks require participating businesses to voluntarily disclose information about their finances and environmental impact to stakeholders. 11  

Use brand reputation to promote social causes

Many prominent companies use their brand reputation to raise awareness of social issues. For instance, in 2020, Nike released an anti-racism commercial that played on its famous slogan, “Just Do It.” The company began the powerful advertisement with the words, “For once, don’t do it” and urged viewers to not turn their backs on a systemic issue and to help stop racism. 12 This commercial highlights how companies can use their credibility to promote ethical values that benefit society.

Lead with integrity

Organizations of all types increasingly consider ethics and their responsibility to society when making decisions. An online MBA from Marquette University can help you develop a personal code of ethics for your career, fill in knowledge gaps about how a business operates and help you expand your knowledge of business ethics and how to make ethically sound decisions. Whether your priority is environmental protection and sustainable success, technology ethics and transparent communication, or simply fair wages and corporate responsibility within business operations, an online MBA from Marquette University can help you achieve your goals.

Featuring the same curriculum as the in-person offering, the online MBA includes advanced business classes, including Concepts for Ethical Business Practice, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Leading People and Change. These courses help you develop valuable skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and ethical leadership. You’ll also get a better understanding of how corporations can help solve emerging social issues related to business ethics. Contact an admissions outreach advisor today to learn more about how an online MBA can help you transform your career. 

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Complete ethics management guide: toolkit for managers.

Ethics concept

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC . (This guide is located at https://management.org/businessethics/ethics-guide.htm on the Web.)

The profession of business ethics has long needed a highly practical resource that is designed particularly for leaders and managers — those people charged with ensuring ethical practices in their organizations. Unfortunately, far too many resources about business ethics end up being designed primarily for philosophers, academics, and social critics. As a result, leaders and managers struggle to really be able to make use of the resources at all.

Also, far too many resources about business ethics contain sensationalistic stories about businesses “gone bad” or prolonged preaching to businesses to “do the right thing”. These resources often explore simplistic ethical questions, such as “Should Jane steal from the company?” The real world of leaders and managers is often much more complex than that.

This guide is a straightforward and highly practical tool designed to help leaders and managers implement comprehensive ethics management systems in their workplaces — systems to deal with the complex, ethical issues that can occur in the day-to-day realities of leading and managing an organization.

For Web readers:

This free guidebook is about 20 pages long (8 1/2″ x 11″ pages). If you are reading the document on the World Wide Web, please wait until the document is fully loaded before attempting to link to its sections listed below. The best approach to using this guidebook may be to print it out for ongoing reference. The Free Management Library provides additional information about ethics and a great range of other free information about management. For a complete list of library topics, see https://management.org/topics.htm


The author, Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, makes no warranty, express or implied, nor assumes any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information from this guide.

Another Tool to Effectively Infuse Ethical Principles:

If you are planning to infuse strong, ethical principles throughout your company or want to change the culture of your company, then you might take the advice of Bob Kniffin, Vice President of External Affairs, at Johnson and Johnson (J&J) company. The way that J&J handled an ethical issue (the “Tylenol scare” crisis) in the 1980s is probably one of the most inspiring and enlightening examples of how to successfully deal with a major ethical issue in business. Kniffin was one of the key players in helping J&J to handle the crisis so effectively. Kniffin said that it was not the J&J Credo (a form of a code of ethics) that helped J&J handle the crisis so well. Rather, it was the ongoing “challenge sessions” that the company regularly held in order for each person to clarify their own perspective and commitment to the J&J Credo. Authenticity Consulting’s peer coaching groups are a powerful, yet straightforward, means to organize, facilitate and evaluate challenge sessions. For more information about the peer coaching groups, go to our publications site (https://www.authenticityconsulting.com/act-lrn/AC_pubs.htm) and consider the “Program Planning Kit”.

About this Free Guidebook

· This free guidebook aims to fill a large void of practical, realistic ethics information for leaders and managers, whether nonprofit or for-profit. · This guidebook takes about two hours to read. It is concisely written and well organized as a step-by-step guidebook for handy reference. · This guidebook is free in order to make its contents highly accessible to organizations , particularly those with limited resources. The free nature of this document does not in any way indicate that its content is of low value — high fees and impressive presentation do not necessarily imply high value. · The author hopes the online form of this document remains a dynamic community resource that is continually modified and improved by feedback, particularly from leaders and managers — those people in the trenches who are charged with applying business ethics techniques in the workplace.

This document contains the following sections:

  • Document Fills Void of Practical Ethics Information for Leaders and Managers

What is Business Ethics?

10 myths about business ethics, 10 benefits of managing ethics in the workplace, one description of a highly ethical organization, ethics management programs: an overview, 8 guidelines for managing ethics in the workplace, 6 key roles and responsibilities in ethics management, ethics tools: codes of ethics, ethics tools: codes of conduct, ethics tools: policies and procedures, ethics tools: resolving ethical dilemmas (with real-to-life examples), ethics tools: training, about the author, bibliography of practical resources.

Also, consider Related Library Topics

Acknowledgment Particular “Thanks!” goes to Twin Cities-based consultants, Doug Wallace and Jon Pekel, of the Fulcrum Group (651-714-9033; e-mail at [email protected] ), for contributing key information to this document. I have referenced their copyright where I included their key materials in this guidebook.

Document Fills a Void of Practical Business Ethics Information for Leaders and Managers

Current Literature is Focused on Needs of Philosophers, Academics, and Social Critics — Leaders and Managers Require More Practical Information About Managing Ethics Managing ethics in the workplace holds tremendous benefits for leaders and managers, both moral and practical. This is particularly true today when it is critical to understand and manage highly diverse values in the workplace.

However, the field of business ethics has traditionally been the domain of philosophers, academics, and social critics. Consequently, much of today’s literature about business ethics is not geared toward the practical needs of leaders and managers — the people primarily responsible for managing ethics in the workplace. The most frequent forms of business ethics literature today typically include: a) philosophical, which requires extensive orientation and analysis; b) anthologies, which require much time, review, and integration; c) case studies, which require numerous cases, and much time and analyses to synthesize; and d) focus on social responsibility, which includes many examples of good and bad actions taken by companies. (This lack of practical information is not the fault of philosophers, academics, or social critics. The problem is the outcome of insufficient involvement of leaders and managers in discussions and literature about business ethics. More leaders and managers must become involved. This guidebook aims to increase that involvement.)

What’s Conspicuously Missing is the “How to” of Managing Ethics in the Workplace But it isn’t for lack of examples that managers aren’t better at managing ethics in the workplace — they require more practical information about managing ethics. This problem was explained very well by Stark in his article, “What’s the Matter with Business Ethics?” published in the Harvard Business Review (1993, May/June, pp. 38-48). Brenner (Journal of Business Ethics, V11, pp. 391:399) notes “While much has been written about individual components of ethics programs, especially about codes of ethics, the literature is much more limited on ethics programs.” Wong and Beckman (Journal of Business Ethics, V11, pp. 173- 178) note that “researchers are claiming that current literature is filled with strong arguments for more ethical corporate leadership and incorporation of ethics in the business curriculum, but what is conspicuously missing is the “how to” in actually putting ethical goals and theories into practical action.”

Myths Abound About Business Ethics, e.g., “Ethics is Simply to Do What’s Right” Lack of involvement from leaders and managers in the field of business ethics (again, this is the fault of no one or of everyone) has spawned a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding among leaders and managers about business ethics. McDonald and Zepp, in their article “What Should Be Done? A Practical Approach to Business Ethics” (Management Decision, 28, 1, 1990, pp. 9-13), note that when someone brings up the topic of business ethics “… it tends to bring up cynicism, righteousness, paranoia, and laughter.” Many leaders and managers believe business ethics is religion because it seems to contain a great deal of preaching. Or, they believe it to be superfluous because it seems to merely assert the obvious: “Do good!”

Business Ethics Literature is Often Far Too Simplistic — So Many Leaders and Managers Think Business Ethics is Irrelevant

Stark notes that “often ethicists advance a kind of moral absolutism that avoids many of the difficult and most interesting questions.” Case studies to explore ethical dilemmas are often far too simplistic, presented as if every real-life situation has a right and wrong e.g., “Should I lie, cheat or steal?” Consequently, many managers believe business ethics is irrelevant because too much business ethics training avoids the real-life complexities of leading organizations. (This document contains samples of real-to-life, complex ethical dilemmas, in a subsection, “Examples of Real-to-Life Complex Ethical Dilemmas” in the upcoming section “Ethics Tools: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas.”) Bob Dunn, President and CEO of San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility, explains, “Ethical decisions aren’t as easy as they used to be. Now, they’re the difference between right — and right.” Preston Townley, in his speech “Business Ethics: Commitment to Tough Decisions” (Vital Speeches, January 1992, pp. 208-211), states that “… it ought to be fairly easy to choose between right and wrong by relying on principles, but business activity often demands that we select from alternatives that are neither wholly right nor wholly wrong.”

Let’s Start With “What is ethics?”

Simply put, ethics involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing — but “the right thing” is not nearly as straightforward as conveyed in a great deal of business ethics literature. Most ethical dilemmas in the workplace are not simply a matter of “Should Bob steal from Jack?” or “Should Jack lie to his boss?”

(Many ethicists assert there’s always a right thing to do based on moral principles, and others believe the right thing to do depends on the situation — ultimately it’s up to the individual.) Many philosophers consider ethics to be the “science of conduct.” Twin Cities consultants Doug Wallace and John Pekel (of the Twin Cities-based Fulcrum Group; 651-714-9033; e-mail at [email protected] ) explain that ethics includes the fundamental ground rules by which we live our lives. Philosophers have been discussing ethics for at least 2500 years, since the time of Socrates and Plato. Many ethicists consider emerging ethical beliefs to be “state of the art” legal matters, i.e., what becomes an ethical guideline today is often translated to a law, regulation, or rule tomorrow. Values that guide how we ought to behave are considered moral values, e.g., values such as respect, honesty, fairness, responsibility, etc. Statements about how these values are applied are sometimes called moral or ethical principles.

So What is “Business Ethics”?

The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally, it’s coming to know what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what’s right — this is in regard to the effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders. Wallace and Pekel explain that attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change — times much like those faced now by businesses, both nonprofit and for-profit. In times of fundamental change, values that were previously taken for granted are now strongly questioned. Many of these values are no longer followed. Consequently, there is no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex dilemmas about what is right or wrong. Attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they should act. Perhaps most importantly, attention to ethics in the workplace helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass. However, attention to business ethics provides numerous other benefits, as well (these benefits are listed later in this document).

Note that many people react that business ethics, with its continuing attention to “doing the right thing,” only asserts the obvious (“be good,” “don’t lie,” etc.), and so these people don’t take business ethics seriously. For many of us, these principles of the obvious can go right out the door during times of stress. Consequently, business ethics can be a strong preventative medicine. Anyway, there are many other benefits of managing ethics in the workplace. These benefits are explained later in this document.

Two Broad Areas of Business Ethics

1. Managerial mischief. Madsen and Shafritz, in their book “Essentials of Business Ethics” (Penguin Books, 1990) further explain that “managerial mischief” includes “illegal, unethical, or questionable practices of individual managers or organizations, as well as the causes of such behaviors and remedies to eradicate them.” There has been a great deal written about managerial mischief, leading many to believe that business ethics is merely a matter of preaching the basics of what is right and wrong. More often, though, business ethics is a matter of dealing with dilemmas that have no clear indication of what is right or wrong. 2. Moral mazes. The other broad area of business ethics is “moral mazes of management” and includes the numerous ethical problems that managers must deal with on a daily basis, such as potential conflicts of interest, wrongful use of resources, mismanagement of contracts and agreements, etc.

Business Ethics is Now a Management Discipline

Business ethics has come to be considered a management discipline, especially since the birth of the social responsibility movement in the 1960s. In that decade, social awareness movements raised expectations of businesses to use their massive financial and social influence to address social problems such as poverty, crime, environmental protection, equal rights, public health, and improving education. An increasing number of people asserted that because businesses were making a profit from using our country’s resources, these businesses owed it to our country to work to improve society. Many researchers, business schools, and managers have recognized this broader constituency, and in their planning and operations have replaced the word “stockholder” with “stakeholder,” meaning to include employees, customers, suppliers, and the wider community.

The emergence of business ethics is similar to other management disciplines. For example, organizations realized that they needed to manage a more positive image to the public and so the recent discipline of public relations was born. Organizations realized they needed to better manage their human resources and so the recent discipline of human resources was born. As commerce became more complicated and dynamic, organizations realized they needed more guidance to ensure their dealings supported the common good and did not harm others — and so business ethics was born.

Note that 90% of business schools now provide some form of training in business ethics. Today, ethics in the workplace can be managed through the use of codes of ethics, codes of conduct, roles of ethicists and ethics committees, policies and procedures, procedures to resolve ethical dilemmas, ethics training, etc.

Business ethics in the workplace is about prioritizing moral values for the workplace and ensuring behaviors are aligned with those values — it’s values management. Yet, myths abound about business ethics. Some of these myths arise from general confusion about the notion of ethics. Other myths arise from narrow or simplistic views of ethical dilemmas. 1. Myth: Business ethics is more a matter of religion than management. Diane Kirrane, in “Managing Values: A Systematic Approach to Business Ethics,” (Training and Development Journal, November 1990), asserts that “altering people’s values or souls isn’t the aim of an organizational ethics program — managing values and conflict among them is …” 2. Myth: Our employees are ethical so we don’t need attention to business ethics. Most of the ethical dilemmas faced by managers in the workplace are highly complex. Wallace explains that one knows when they have a significant ethical conflict when there is the presence of a) significant value conflicts among differing interests, b) real alternatives that are equally justifiable, and c) significant consequences on “stakeholders” in the situation. Kirrane mentions that when the topic of business ethics comes up, people are quick to speak of the Golden Rule, honesty, and courtesy. But when presented with complex ethical dilemmas, most people realize there’s a wide “gray area” when trying to apply ethical principles. 3. Myth: Business ethics is a discipline best led by philosophers, academics, and theologians. The lack of involvement of leaders and managers in business ethics literature and discussions has led many to believe that business ethics is a fad or movement, having little to do with the day-to-day realities of running an organization. They believe business ethics is primarily a complex philosophical debate or a religion. However, business ethics is a management discipline with a programmatic approach that includes several practical tools. Ethics management programs have practical applications in other areas of management areas, as well. (These applications are listed later on in this document.) 4. Myth: Business ethics is superfluous — it only asserts the obvious: “Do good!” Many people react that codes of ethics, or lists of ethical values to which the organization aspires, are rather superfluous because they represent values to which everyone should naturally aspire. However, the value of a code of ethics to an organization is its priority and focus regarding certain ethical values in that workplace. For example, it’s obvious that all people should be honest. However, if an organization is struggling around continuing occasions of deceit in the workplace, a priority on honesty is very timely — and honesty should be listed in that organization’s code of ethics. Note that a code of ethics is an organic instrument that changes with the needs of society and the organization. 5. Myth: Business ethics is a matter of the good guys preaching to the bad guys. Some writers do seem to claim a moral high ground while lamenting the poor condition of the business and its leaders. However, those people well versed in managing organizations realize that good people can take bad actions, particularly when stressed or confused. (Stress or confusion are not excuses for unethical actions — they are reasons.) Managing ethics in the workplace includes all of us working together to help each other remain ethical and to work through confusing and stressful ethical dilemmas. 6. Myth: Business ethics in the new policeperson on the block. Many believe business ethics is a recent phenomenon because of increased attention to the topic in popular and management literature. However, business ethics was written about even 2,000 years ago — at least since Cicero wrote about the topic in his On Duties. Business ethics has gotten more attention recently because of the social responsibility movement that started in the 1960s. 7. Myth: Ethics can’t be managed. Actually, ethics is always “managed” — but, too often, indirectly. For example, the behavior of the organization’s founder or current leader is a strong moral influence, or directive if you will, on the behavior of employees in the workplace. Strategic priorities (profit maximization, expanding market share, cutting costs, etc.) can be very strong influences on morality. Laws, regulations, and rules directly influence behaviors to be more ethical, usually in a manner that improves the general good and/or minimizes harm to the community. Some are still skeptical about business ethics, believing you can’t manage values in an organization. Donaldson and Davis (Management Decision, V28, N6) note that management, after all, is a value system. Skeptics might consider the tremendous influence of several “codes of ethics,” such as the “10 Commandments” in Christian religions or the U.S. Constitution. Codes can be very powerful in smaller “organizations” as well. 8. Myth: Business ethics and social responsibility are the same thing. The social responsibility movement is one aspect of the overall discipline of business ethics. Madsen and Shafritz refine the definition of business ethics to be: 1) an application of ethics to the corporate community, 2) a way to determine responsibility in business dealings, 3) the identification of important business and social issues, and 4) a critique of business. Items 3 and 4 are often matters of social responsibility. (There has been a great deal of public discussion and writing about items 3 and 4. However, there needs to be more written about items 1 and 2, about how business ethics can be managed.) Writings about social responsibility often do not address practical matters of managing ethics in the workplace, e.g., developing codes, updating policies and procedures, approaches to resolving ethical dilemmas, etc.

9. Myth: Our organization is not in trouble with the law, so we’re ethical. One can often be unethical, yet operate within the limits of the law, e.g., withhold information from superiors, fudge on budgets, constantly complain about others, etc. However, breaking the law often starts with unethical behavior that has gone unnoticed. The “boil the frog” phenomenon is a useful parable here: If you put a frog in hot water, it immediately jumps out. If you put a frog in cool water and slowly heat up the water, you can eventually boil the frog. The frog doesn’t seem to notice the adverse change in its environment. 10. Myth: Managing ethics in the workplace has little practical relevance. Managing ethics in the workplace involves identifying and prioritizing values to guide behaviors in the organization, and establishing associated policies and procedures to ensure those behaviors are conducted. One might call this “values management.” Values management is also highly important in other management practices, e.g., managing diversity, Total Quality Management, and strategic planning.

Many people are used to reading or hearing of the moral benefits of attention to business ethics. However, there are other types of benefits, as well. The following list describes various types of benefits of managing ethics in the workplace.

1. Attention to business ethics has substantially improved society. A matter of decades ago, children in our country worked 16-hour days. Workers’ limbs were torn off and disabled workers were condemned to poverty and often to starvation. Trusts controlled some markets to the extent that prices were fixed and small businesses were choked out. Price fixing crippled normal market forces. Employees were terminated based on personalities. The influence was applied through intimidation and harassment. Then society reacted and demanded that businesses place a high value on fairness and equal rights. Anti-trust laws were instituted. Government agencies were established. Unions were organized. Laws and regulations were established.

2. Ethics programs help maintain a moral course in turbulent times. As noted earlier in this document, Wallace and Pekel explain that attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change — times much like those faced now by businesses, both nonprofit and for-profit. During times of change, there is often no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex conflicts about what is right or wrong. Continuing attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they want to act — consistently.

3. Ethics programs cultivate strong teamwork and productivity. Ethics programs align employee behaviors with those top-priority ethical values preferred by leaders of the organization. Usually, an organization finds a surprising disparity between its preferred values and the values actually reflected by behaviors in the workplace. Ongoing attention and dialogue regarding values in the workplace build openness, integrity, and community — critical ingredients of strong teams in the workplace. Employees feel a strong alignment between their values and those of the organization. They react with strong motivation and performance.

4. Ethics programs support employee growth and meaning. Attention to ethics in the workplace helps employees face reality, both good and bad — in the organization and themselves. Employees feel full confidence they can admit and deal with whatever comes their way. Bennett, in his article “Unethical Behavior, Stress Appear Linked” (Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1991, p. B1), explained that a consulting company tested a range of executives and managers. Their most striking finding: the more emotionally healthy executives, as measured on a battery of tests, the more likely they were to score high on ethics tests.

5. Ethics programs are insurance policies — they help ensure that policies are legal. There is an increasing number of lawsuits in regard to personnel matters and to effects of an organization’s services or products on stakeholders. As mentioned earlier in this document, ethical principles are often state-of-the-art legal matters. These principles are often applied to current, major ethical issues to become legislation. Attention to ethics ensures highly ethical policies and procedures in the workplace. It’s far better to incur the cost of mechanisms to ensure ethical practices now than to incur the costs of litigation later. A major intent of well-designed personnel policies is to ensure the ethical treatment of employees, e.g., in matters of hiring, evaluating, disciplining, firing, etc. Drake and Drake (California Management Review, V16, pp. 107-123) note that “an employer can be subject to suit for breach of contract for failure to comply with any promise it made, so the gap between stated corporate culture and actual practice has significant legal, as well as ethical implications.”

6. Ethics programs help avoid criminal acts “of omission” and can lower fines. Ethics programs tend to detect ethical issues and violations early on so they can be reported or addressed. In some cases, when an organization is aware of an actual or potential violation and does not report it to the appropriate authorities, this can be considered a criminal act, e.g., in business dealings with certain government agencies, such as the Defense Department. The recent Federal Sentencing Guidelines specify major penalties for various types of major ethics violations. However, the guidelines potentially lower fines if an organization has clearly made an effort to operate ethically.

7. Ethics programs help manage values associated with quality management, strategic planning, and diversity management — this benefit needs far more attention. Ethics programs identify preferred values and ensure organizational behaviors are aligned with those values. This effort includes recording the values, developing policies and procedures to align behaviors with preferred values, and then training all personnel about the policies and procedures. This overall effort is very useful for several other programs in the workplace that require behaviors to be aligned with values, including quality management, strategic planning, and diversity management. Total Quality Management includes high priority on certain operating values, e.g., trust among stakeholders, performance, reliability, measurement, and feedback. Eastman and Polaroid use ethics tools in their quality programs to ensure integrity in their relationships with stakeholders. Ethics management techniques are highly useful for managing strategic values, e.g., expanding market share, reducing costs, etc. McDonnell Douglas integrates their ethics programs into their strategic planning process. Ethics management programs are also useful in managing diversity. Diversity is much more than the color of people’s skin — it’s acknowledging different values and perspectives. Diversity programs require recognizing and applying diverse values and perspectives — these activities are the basis of a sound ethics management program.

8. Ethics programs promote a strong public image. Attention to ethics is also strong in public relations — admittedly, managing ethics should not be done primarily for reasons of public relations. But, frankly, the fact that an organization regularly gives attention to its ethics can portray a strong positive to the public. People see those organizations as valuing people more than profit, as striving to operate with the utmost integrity and honor. Aligning behavior with values is critical to effective marketing and public relations programs. Consider how Johnson and Johnson handled the Tylenol crisis versus how Exxon handled the oil spill in Alaska. Bob Dunn, President and CEO of San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility, puts it best: “Ethical values, consistently applied, are the cornerstones in building a commercially successful and socially responsible business.”

9. Overall benefits of ethics programs: Donaldson and Davis, in “Business Ethics? Yes, But What Can it Do for the Bottom Line?” (Management Decision, V28, N6, 1990) explain that managing ethical values in the workplace legitimizes managerial actions, strengthens the coherence and balance of the organization’s culture, improves trust in relationships between individuals and groups, supports greater consistency in standards and qualities of products, and cultivates greater sensitivity to the impact of the enterprise’s values and messages.

10. Last – and most — formal attention to ethics in the workplace is the right thing to do.

Mark Pastin, in The Hard Problems of Management: Gaining the Ethics Edge (Jossey-Bass, 1986), provides the following four principles for highly ethical organizations: 1. They are at ease interacting with diverse internal and external stakeholder groups. The ground rules of these firms make the good of these stakeholder groups part of the organizations’ own good.

2. They are obsessed with fairness. Their ground rules emphasize that the other person’s interests count as much as their own.

3. Responsibility is individual rather than collective, with individuals assuming personal responsibility for the actions of the organization. These organizations’ ground rules mandate that individuals are responsible for themselves. 4. They see their activities in terms of purpose. This purpose is a way of operating that members of the organization highly value. Purpose ties the organization to its environment.

Doug Wallace asserts the following characteristics of a high-integrity organization: 1. There exists a clear vision and picture of integrity throughout the organization. 2. The vision is owned and embodied by top management, over time. 3. The reward system is aligned with the vision of integrity. 4. Policies and practices of the organization are aligned with the vision; no mixed messages. 5. It is understood that every significant management decision has ethical value dimensions. 6. Everyone is expected to work through conflicting stakeholder value perspectives.

About Ethics Management Programs Organizations can manage ethics in their workplaces by establishing an ethics management program. Brian Schrag, Executive Secretary of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, clarifies. “Typically, ethics programs convey corporate values, often using codes and policies to guide decisions and behavior, and can include extensive training and evaluating, depending on the organization. They provide guidance in ethical dilemmas.” Rarely are two programs alike.

“All organizations have ethics programs, but most do not know that they do,” wrote business ethics professor Stephen Brenner in the Journal of Business Ethics (1992, V11, pp. 391-399). “A corporate ethics program is made up of values, policies, and activities which impact the propriety of organization behaviors.”

Bob Dunn, President and CEO of San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility, adds: “Balancing competing values and reconciling them is a basic purpose of an ethics management program. Business people need more practical tools and information to understand their values and how to manage them.”

Benefits of Managing Ethics as a Program

There are numerous benefits in formally managing ethics as a program, rather than as a one-shot effort when it appears to be needed. Ethics programs: · Establish organizational roles to manage ethics · Schedule an ongoing assessment of ethics requirements · Establish required operating values and behaviors · Align organizational behaviors with operating values

· Develop awareness and sensitivity to ethical issues · Integrate ethical guidelines into decision making · Structure mechanisms to resolving ethical dilemmas · Facilitate ongoing evaluation and updates to the program

· Help convince employees that attention to ethics is not just a knee-jerk reaction done to get out of trouble or improve the public image

The following guidelines ensure the ethics management program is operated in a meaningful fashion: 1. Recognize that managing ethics is a process. Ethics is a matter of values and associated behaviors. Values are discerned through the process of ongoing reflection. Therefore, ethics programs may seem more process-oriented than most management practices. Managers tend to be skeptical of process-oriented activities and instead prefer processes focused on deliverables with measurements. However, experienced managers realize that the deliverables of standard management practices (planning, organizing, motivating, controlling) are only tangible representations of very process-oriented practices. For example, the process of strategic planning is much more important than the plan produced by the process. The same is true for ethics management. Ethics programs do produce deliverables, e.g., codes, policies and procedures, budget items, meeting minutes, authorization forms, newsletters, etc. However, the most important aspect of an ethics management program is the process of reflection and dialogue that produces these deliverables.

2. The bottom line of an ethics program is accomplishing preferred behaviors in the workplace. As with any management practice, the most important outcome is behaviors preferred by the organization. The best ethical values and intentions are relatively meaningless unless they generate fair and just behaviors in the workplace. That’s why practices that generate lists of ethical values, or codes of ethics, must also generate policies, procedures, and training that translate those values to appropriate behaviors.

3. The best way to handle ethical dilemmas is to avoid their occurrence in the first place. That’s why practices such as developing codes of ethics and codes of conduct are so important. Their development sensitizes employees to ethical considerations and minimizes the chances of unethical behavior occurring in the first place.

4. Make ethical decisions in groups, and make decisions public, as appropriate. This usually produces better quality decisions by including diverse interests and perspectives and increases the credibility of the decision process and outcome by reducing suspicion of unfair bias.

5. Integrate ethics management with other management practices. When developing the values statement during strategic planning, include ethical values preferred in the workplace. When developing personnel policies, reflect on what ethical values you’d like to be most prominent in the organization’s culture and then design policies to produce these behaviors.

6. Use cross-functional teams when developing and implementing the ethics management program. It’s vital that the organization’s employees feel a sense of participation and ownership in the program if they are to adhere to its ethical values. Therefore, include employees in developing and operating the program.

7. Value forgiveness. This may sound rather religious or preachy to some, but it’s probably the most important component of any management practice. An ethics management program may at first actually increase the number of ethical issues to be dealt with because people are more sensitive to their occurrence. Consequently, there may be more occasions to address people’s unethical behavior. The most important ingredient for remaining ethical is trying to be ethical. Therefore, helps people recognize and address their mistakes and then supports them to continue to try to operate ethically.

8. Note that trying to operate ethically and making a few mistakes is better than not trying at all. Some organizations have become widely known for operating in a highly ethical manner, e.g., Ben and Jerry’s, Johnson and Johnson, Aveda, Hewlett Packard, etc. Unfortunately, it seems that when an organization achieves this strong public image, it’s placed on a pedestal by some business ethics writers. All organizations are comprised of people and people are not perfect. However, when a mistake is made by any of these organizations, the organization has a long way to go. In our increasingly critical society, these organizations are accused of being hypocritical and they are soon pilloried by social critics. Consequently, some leaders may fear sticking their necks out publicly to announce an ethics management program. This is extremely unfortunate. It’s the trying that counts and brings peace of mind — not achieving a heroic status in society.

Depending on the size of the organization, certain roles may prove useful in managing ethics in the workplace. These can be full-time roles or part-time functions assumed by someone already in the organization. Small organizations certainly will not have the resources to implement each of the following roles using different people in the organization. However, the following functions point out responsibilities that should be included somewhere in the organization. 1. The organization’s chief executive must fully support the program. If the chief executive isn’t fully behind the program, employees will certainly notice — and this apparent hypocrisy may cause such cynicism that the organization may be worse off than having no formal ethics program at all. Therefore, the chief executive should announce the program, and champion its development and implementation. Most importantly, the chief executive should consistently aspire to lead in an ethical manner. If a mistake is made, admit it.

2. Consider establishing an ethics committee at the board level. The committee would be charged to oversee the development and operation of the ethics management program.

3. Consider establishing an ethics management committee. It would be charged with implementing and administrating an ethics management program, including administrating and training about policies and procedures, and resolving ethical dilemmas. The committee should be comprised of senior officers.

4. Consider assigning/developing an ethics officer. This role is becoming more common, particularly in larger and more progressive organizations. The ethics officer is usually trained about matters of ethics in the workplace, particularly in resolving ethical dilemmas.

5. Consider establishing an ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is responsible for helping coordinate the development of the policies and procedures to institutionalize moral values in the workplace. This position usually is directly responsible for resolving ethical dilemmas by interpreting policies and procedures.

6. Note that one person must ultimately be responsible for managing the ethics management program.

About Codes of Ethics

According to Wallace, “A credo generally describes the highest values to which the company aspires to operate. It contains the `thou shalt.’ A code of ethics specifies the ethical rules of operation. It’s the `thou shalt nots.” In the latter 1980s, The Conference Board, a leading business membership organization, found that 76% of corporations surveyed had codes of ethics.

Some business ethicists disagree that codes have any value. Usually, they explain that too much focus is put on the codes themselves, and that codes themselves are not influential in managing ethics in the workplace. Many ethicists note that it’s the developing and continuing dialogue around the code’s values that is most important.

Occasionally, employees react to codes with suspicion, believing the values are “motherhood and apple pie” and codes are for window dressing. But, when managing a complex issue, especially in a crisis, having a code is critical. More important, it’s having developed a code. In the mid-70s, Johnson and Johnson updated their credo in a series of challenge meetings. Bob Kniffin, Vice President of External Affairs, explains, “We pored over each phrase and word. We asked ourselves, `Do we still believe this?’ Our meetings resulted in some fine-tuning, but basically, we didn’t change the values. The meetings infused the values in the minds of all of us managers.” Many believe this process guided them in their well-known decision to pull Tylenol bottles off the shelves and repackage them at a $100 million expense. Kniffin offers some sound, practical advice. “In a crisis, there’s no time for moral conclusions. Get those done beforehand. But also realize there’s no substitute for sound crisis management. For example, have a list of people with fundamental knowledge, such as who transports your products where and when.”

Developing Codes of Ethics

Note that if your organization is quite large, e.g., includes several large programs or departments, you may want to develop an overall corporate code of ethics and then a separate code to guide each of your programs or departments.

Also note that codes should not be developed out of the Human Resources or Legal departments alone, as is too often done. Codes are insufficient if intended only to ensure that policies are legal. All staff must see the ethics program being driven by top management.

Note that codes of ethics and codes of conduct may be the same in some organizations, depending on the organization’s culture and operations and on the ultimate level of specificity in the code(s).

Optional: Also see the Free Management Library at https://management.org:

1. Organizational Culture – review to get a basic understanding of the “personalities” of organizations 2. Strategic Planning – specific to developing a Values Statement 3. Diversity and Inclusion – to consider that there are other values and perspectives

Consider the following guidelines when developing codes of ethics:

1. Review any values needed to adhere to relevant laws and regulations; this ensures your organization is not (or is not near) breaking any of them. (If you are breaking any of them, you may be far better off to report this violation than to try to hide the problem. Often, a reported violation generates more leniency than outside detection of an unreported violation, particularly per the new Federal Sentencing Guidelines.) Increase priority on values that will help your organization operate to avoid breaking these laws and to follow necessary regulations.

2. Review which values produce the top three or four traits of a highly ethical and successful product or service in your area, e.g., for accountants: objectivity, confidentiality, accuracy, etc. Identify which values produce behaviors that exhibit these traits.

3. Identify the values needed to address current issues in your workplace. Appoint one or two key people to interview key staff to collect descriptions of major issues in the workplace. Collect descriptions of behaviors that produce the issues. Consider which of these issues is ethical in nature, e.g….., issues in regard to respect, fairness, and honesty. Identify the behaviors needed to resolve these issues. Identify which values would generate those preferred behaviors. There may be values included here that some people would not deem as moral or ethical values, e.g., team-building and promptness, but for managers, these practical values may add more relevance and utility to a code of ethics.

4. Identify any values needed, based on findings during strategic planning. Review information from your SWOT analysis (identifying the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). What behaviors are needed to build on strengths, shore up weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and guard against threats?

5. Consider any top ethical values that might be prized by stakeholders. For example, consider the expectations of employees, clients/customers, suppliers, funders, members of the local community, etc.

6. Collect from the above steps, the top five to ten ethical values which are high priorities in your organization (see item #7 below for examples).

7. Examples of ethical values might include (the following list is the “Six Pillars of Character” developed by The Josephson Institute of Ethics, 310-306-1868): a) Trustworthiness: honesty, integrity, promise-keeping, loyalty b) Respect: autonomy, privacy, dignity, courtesy, tolerance, acceptance c) Responsibility: accountability, the pursuit of excellence d) Caring: compassion, consideration, giving, sharing, kindness, loving e) Justice and fairness: procedural fairness, impartiality, consistency, equity, equality, due process f) Civic virtue and citizenship: law-abiding, community service, protection of the environment

8. Compose your code of ethics; attempt to associate with each value, two example behaviors that reflect each value. Critics of codes of ethics assert that they seem vacuous because many only list ethical values and don’t clarify these values by associating examples of behaviors.

9. Include wording that indicates all employees are expected to conform to the values stated in the code of ethics. Add wording that indicates where employees can go if they have any questions.

10. Obtain review from key members of the organization. Get input from as many members as possible.

11. Announce and distribute the new code of ethics (unless you are waiting to announce it along with any new codes of conduct and associated policies and procedures). Ensure each employee has a copy and postcodes throughout the facility.

12. Update the code at least once a year. As stated several times in this document, the most important aspect of codes is developing them, not the code itself. Continued dialogue and reflection around ethical values produce ethical sensitivity and consensus. Therefore, revisit your codes at least once a year — preferably two or three times a year.

13. (Note that you cannot include values and preferred behaviors for every possible ethical dilemma that might arise. Your goal is to focus on the top ethical values needed in your organization and to avoid potential ethical dilemmas that seem most likely to occur.)

About Codes of Conduct

“Codes of conduct specify actions in the workplace and codes of ethics are general guides to decisions about those actions,” explains Craig Nordlund, Associate General Counsel and Secretary at Hewlett Packard. He suggests that codes of conduct contain examples of appropriate behavior to be meaningful. The Conference Board found that codes of conduct are increasingly sophisticated and focused at lower levels in companies. Departments frequently have their own codes. Be careful, though. An organization could be sued for breach of contract if its practices are not in accordance with its policies. That’s why legal departments should review codes of conduct and other ethics policies. Also, that’s why it’s critical for organizations to review their policies at least once a year to ensure they are in accordance with laws and regulations.

Optional: also see the Free Management Library at https://management.org:

1. Employee Law – review major issues and topics to discern what behaviors to avoid in the workplace 2. Policies (Personnel) – review more specifics about what behaviors to avoid

Developing a Code of Conduct

Note that if your organization is quite large, e.g., includes several large programs or departments, you may want to develop an overall corporate code of conduct, and then a separate code to guide each of your programs or departments. Consider the following guidelines when developing codes of conduct: 1. Identify key behaviors needed to adhere to the ethical values proclaimed in your code of ethics , including ethical values derived from a review of key laws and regulations, ethical behaviors needed in your product or service area, behaviors to address current issues in your workplace, and behaviors needed to reach strategic goals. 2. Include wording that indicates all employees are expected to conform to the behaviors specified in the code of conduct. Add wording that indicates where employees can go if they have any questions. 3. Obtain review from key members of the organization. Be sure your legal department reviews the drafted code of conduct. 4. Announce and distribute the new code of conduct (unless you are waiting to announce it along with any associated policies and procedures). Ensure each employee has a copy and postcodes in each employee’s bay or office. 5. (Note that you cannot include preferred behaviors for every possible ethical dilemma that might arise.) 6. Examples of topics typically addressed by codes of conduct include : preferred style of dress, avoiding illegal drugs, following instructions of superiors, being reliable and prompt, maintaining confidentiality, not accepting personal gifts from stakeholders as a result of company role, avoiding racial or sexual discrimination, avoiding conflict of interest, complying with laws and regulations, not using organization’s property for personal use, not discriminating against race or age or sexual orientation, and reporting illegal or questionable activity. Go beyond these traditional legalistic expectations in your codes — adhere to what’s ethically sensitive in your organization, as well. (Note that, as with codes of ethics, you may be better off generating your own code of conduct from scratch rather than reviewing examples from other organizations.)

Optional: also see the Free Management Library at https://management.org: Policies (Personnel) – review to understand how to develop and apply personnel policies

1. Update policies and procedures to produce behaviors preferred by the code of conduct, including, e.g., personnel, job descriptions, performance appraisal forms, management-by-objectives expectations, standard forms, checklists, budget report formats, and other relevant control instruments to ensure conformance to the code of conduct. In doing so, try to avoid creating ethical dilemmas such as conflicts of interest or infringing on employees’ individual rights.

2. There are numerous examples of how organizations manage values through the use of policies and procedures. For example, we’re most familiar with the value of social responsibility. To produce behavior aligned with this value, organizations often institute policies such as recycling waste, donating to local charities, or paying employees to participate in community events. In another example, a high value on responsiveness to customers might be implemented by instituting policies to return phone calls or to repair defective equipment within a certain period of time. Consider the role of job descriptions and performance appraisals. For example, an advanced technology business will highly value technical knowledge, creativity, and systems thinking. They use job descriptions and performance appraisals to encourage behaviors aligned with these values, such as rewarding advanced degrees, patents, and analysis and design skills.

3. Include policies and procedures to address ethical dilemmas. See the next section, “Ethics Tools: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas,” to select a method that is most appropriate to your organization’s culture and operations.

4. Include policies and procedures to ensure the training of employees about the ethics management program. See the following section, “Ethics Tools: Training.”

5. Include policies and procedures to reward ethical behavior and impose consequences for unethical behavior.

6. Include a grievance policy for employees to use to resolve disagreements with supervisors and staff.

7. Consider establishing an ethics “hotline.” This function might best be provided by an outside consultant, e.g., a lawyer, a clergyperson, etc. Or, provide an anonymous “tip” box in which personnel can report suspected unethical activities, and do so safely on an anonymous basis.

8. Once a year, review all personnel policies and procedures. If yours is a small organization, consider including all staff during this review. Take a full day for all staff to review policies and procedures, and suggest changes.

9. For guidance in establishing personnel policies, see the

Guide to Personnel Management and Policies (https://management.org/management/guidebook.htm).

Definition of an Ethical Dilemma

Perhaps too often, business ethics is portrayed as a matter of resolving conflicts in which one option appears to be a clear choice. For example, case studies are often presented in which an employee is faced with whether or not to lie, steal, cheat, abuse another, break the terms of a contract, etc. However, ethical dilemmas faced by managers are often more real-to-life and highly complex with no clear guidelines, whether in law or often in religion.

As noted earlier in this document, Doug Wallace, a Twin Cities-based consultant, explains that one knows when they have a significant ethical conflict when there is the presence of a) significant value conflicts among differing interests, b) real alternatives that are equality justifiable, and c) significant consequences on “stakeholders” in the situation.

An ethical dilemma exists when one is faced with having to make a choice among these alternatives.

Real-to-Life Examples of Complex Ethical Dilemmas

· “A customer (or client) asked for a product (or service) from us today. After telling him our price, he said he couldn’t afford it. I know he could get it cheaper from a competitor. Should I tell him about the competitor — or let him go without getting what he needs? What should I do?” · “Our company prides itself on its merit-based pay system. One of my employees has done a tremendous job all year, so he deserves strong recognition. However, he’s already paid at the top of the salary range for his job grade and our company has too many people in the grade above him, so we can’t promote him. What should I do?” · “Our company prides itself on hiring minorities. One Asian candidate fully fits the job requirements for our open position. However, we’re concerned that our customers won’t understand his limited command of the English language. What should I do?” · “My top software designer suddenly refused to use our e-mail system. He explained to me that, as a Christian, he could not use a product built by a company that provided benefits to the partners of homosexual employees. He’d basically cut himself off from our team, creating a major obstacle to our product development. What should I do?” · “My boss told me that one of my employees is among several others to be laid off soon and that I’m not to tell my employee yet or he might tell the whole organization which would soon be in an uproar. Meanwhile, I heard from my employee that he plans to buy braces for his daughter and a new carpet for his house. What should I do?” · “My computer operator told me he’d noticed several personal letters printed from a computer that I was responsible for managing. While we had no specific policies then against personal use of company facilities, I was concerned. I approached the letter writer to discuss the situation. She told me she’d written the letters on her own time to practice using our word processor. What should I do?” · “A fellow employee told me that he plans to quit the company in two months and start a new job which has been guaranteed to him. Meanwhile, my boss told me that he wasn’t going to give me a new opportunity in our company because he was going to give it to my fellow employee. What should I do?”

1. Feedback 2. Listening 3. Questioning 4. Conflict (interpersonal) 5. Negotiating 6. Diversity and Inclusion Diversity and Inclusion

3 Methods to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas

Organizations should develop and document a procedure for dealing with ethical dilemmas as they arise. Ideally, ethical dilemmas should be resolved by a group within the organization, e.g., an ethics committee comprised of top leaders/managers and/or members of the board. Consider having staff members on the committee, as well. The following three methods can be used to address ethical dilemmas. Methods include an ethical checklist, a ten-step method, and a list of key questions. (Note that The Golden Rule is probably the most common method to resolve ethical dilemmas. The rule exists in various forms in many of the world religions.)

Method One – Ethical Checklist

Twin Cities-based consultants, Doug Wallace, and Jon Pekel, suggest the following ethical checklist to address ethical dilemmas. If necessary, revise your decision and action plan based on results of the this test.

NOTE: To get the longer version of this document, see Ten-Step Method for Ethical Decision-Making

Used with permission from Copyright holders: Doug Wallace and Jon Pekel, Twin Cities-based consultants in the Fulcrum Group (651-714-9033; e-mail at [email protected] ). Do not copy without reference to copyright owners. Not to be used for commercial purposes.

Method Two – Ten-Step Method of Decision Making

Wallace and Pekel also provide the following ten-step method. 10-Step Method (Short Version)

Used with permission from Copyright holders: Doug Wallace and Jon Pekel, Twin Cities-based consultants in the Fulcrum Group (651-714-9033; e-mail at [email protected] ). Do not copy without reference to copyright owners. Not to be used for commercial purposes.

Method Three – Twelve Questions to Address Ethical Dilemmas

Laura L. Nash poses 12 questions to help managers address ethical dilemmas. 1. Have you defined the problem accurately? 2. How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the fence? 3. How did this situation occur in the first place? 4. To whom and to whom do you give your loyalty as a person and as a member of the corporation? 5. What is your intention in making this decision? 6. How does this intention compare with the probable results? 7. Whom could your decision or action injure? 8. Can you discuss the problem with the affected parties before you make your decision? 9. Are you confident that your position will be as valid over a long period of time as it seems now? 10. Could you disclose without qualm your decision or action to your boss, your CEO, the board of directors, your family, and society as a whole? 11. What is the symbolic potential of your action if understood? misunderstood? 12. Under what conditions would you allow exceptions to your stand?

(adapted from: Nash, L. (1981). Ethics Without the Sermon. Harvard Business Review, (59))

The ethics program is essentially useless unless all staff members are trained about what it is, how it works, and their roles in it. The nature of the system may invite suspicion if not handled openly and honestly. In addition, no matter how fair and up-to-date is a set of policies, the legal system will often interpret employee behavior (rather than written policies) as de facto policy. Therefore, all staff must be aware of and act in full accordance with policies and procedures (this is true, whether policies and procedures are for ethics programs or personnel management). This full accordance requires training about policies and procedures.

Optional: Also see the Free Management Library at https://management.org Training Basics for Supervisors and Learners

1. Orient new employees to the organization’s ethics program during new-employee orientation. 2. Review the ethics management program in management training experiences. 3. Involving staff in the review of codes is strong ethics training. 4. Involving staff in the review of policies (ethics and personnel policies) is strong ethics training. 5. One of the strongest forms of ethics training is the practice of resolving complex ethical dilemmas. Have staff use any of the three ethical-dilemma-resolution methods in this guidebook and apply them to any of the real-to-life ethical dilemmas also listed in this guidebook. 6. Include ethical performance as a dimension in performance appraisals. 7. The best ethics trainer: Bill Goodman, Chief Human Resource Officer at Aveda, describes, “We start our training even in our job ads,” then adds, “but the best trainer is the behavior of our leaders.” 8. Give all staff a copy of this free “Complete Guide to Ethics Management.”

Carter McNamara, MBA, Ph.D., is a Twin Cities-based consultant in the areas of leadership development, board development, and strategic planning. He has managed a wide variety of organizations including startups, public-private, small and large nonprofits, and large corporations. He received comprehensive ethics training as an employee in a large defense contractor, various ethics classes, and continuing research in business ethics. In addition, as a manager, he has struggled through several major ethical dilemmas (one was quite public) so he knows and understands the experience. He has led the development of several codes of ethics and conduct, as well. Carter holds a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences, a BS in Computer Science, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in Human and Organization Development.

Hardcopy documents:

The following references are to hardcopy documents that provide information about managing ethics in the workplace:

Berenbeim, R. E. (1992, Spring). “The Corporate Ethics Test”. Business and Society Review, 31(1), 77-80.

Brenner, S. N. (1992). “Ethics Programs and Their Dimensions”. Journal of Business Ethics, 11,391-399.

Buchholz, R. A. (1989). “Fundamental Concepts and Problems in Business Ethics”. In Madsen, P., & Shafritz, J. M. (Eds.) (1990). “Essentials of Business Ethics”. New York: Penguin Books.

Carroll, A. B. (1990). “Principles of Business Ethics: Their Role in Decision Making and in Initial Consensus”. Management Decision, 28(8), 21-23.

Dean, P. J. (1992). “Making Codes of Ethics ‘Real’.” Journal of Business Ethics, 11, 285-290.

Deborah, B. (1991, January/February). “Asking for Help: A Guide to Using Socially Responsible Consultants”. Business Ethics Magazine, pp. 24-29.

Francis, David R. (1991, June). “Prevent Trouble by Improving Ethics”. Christian Science Monitor, p. 9.

Fulcrum Consulting Group, 1093 Snelling Ave. South, Saint Paul, MN 55116. Phone 1-800-55-ETHIC.

Gandz, J. & Bird, F. G. (1989, Autumn). “Designing Ethical Organizations”. Business Quarterly, 54(2), 108-112.

Genfan, H. (1987, November). “Formalizing Business Ethics”. Training and Development Journal, pp. 35-37.

Josephson Institute of Ethics, 310 Washington Boulevard, Suite 104, Marina del Rey, California. Phone 310-306-1868.

Kirrane, D.E. (1990, November). “Managing Values: A Systematic Approach to Business Ethics”. Training and Development Journal, pp. 53-60.

Madsen, P., Ph. D., & Shafritz, J. M., Ph. D. (Eds.). (1990). “Essentials of Business Ethics”. New York: Penguin Books.

McDonald, G., & Zepp, R. (1990). “What Should Be Done? A Practical Approach to Business Ethics”. Management Decision, 28(1), 9-13.

Nash, L. (1981). “Ethics Without the Sermon”. Harvard Business Review, (59).

Navran Associates Management Consultants, 3037 Wembley Ridge, Atlanta, GA. Phone 404-493-8886.

Reynolds, L. (1992, July/August). “The Ethics Audit. Business Ethics Magazine”, pp. 20-22.

Sims, R. R. (1991). “Institutionalization of Organizational Ethics”. Journal of Business Ethics, 10, 493-506.

Strong, K. C., & Meyer, G. (1992). “An Integrative Descriptive Model of Ethics Decision Making”. Journal of Business Ethics, 11, 89-94.

Thompson, T. (1991, Spring). “Managing Business Ethics”. Canadian Public Administration, 34(1), 153-157.

Toffler, B. (1991, Winter). “Doing Ethics: An Approach to Business Ethics Consulting”. Moral Education Forum, 16(4), 14-20.

World Wide Web Links:

The following are links to Websites about business ethics.

General business ethics resources at the Center for Applied Ethics (http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/resources/business/)

Center for Applied Ethics at http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/

Being All That We Can See

For the Category of Ethics:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

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Business Ethics

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ethics in business unit plan

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Copyright Year: 2018

ISBN 13: 9781947172579

Publisher: OpenStax

Language: English

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Reviewed by Ingrid Greene, Clinical Assistant Professor, Loyola Marymount University on 6/6/23

I think that the subjects that are covered are thorough and they use great examples. But, I also feel that the textbook is missing a lot of key topics such as the role of technology and a deeper dive into the role of governments and non-profits. I... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

I think that the subjects that are covered are thorough and they use great examples. But, I also feel that the textbook is missing a lot of key topics such as the role of technology and a deeper dive into the role of governments and non-profits. I understand that it is important to include a lot about philosophy, but I think that there is a lot of room for improvement with a deeper dive of some other key parts of the curriculum. The philosophy part has many sources outside of a traditional textbook since this topic is has been studied for thousands of years, and doesn't need to be covered as thoroughly here. More time could be spend on other topics like non-profits and governance. I think that it is missing key parts about the role of a Board of Directors, how they are elected, and their responsibilities.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

Everything looked accurate and detailed properly.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

Yes, updates will be possible, and they link to relevant articles or cases that are very up-to-date. Again, I would just add more about technology and the role of non-profits.

Clarity rating: 4

I like the book, but the slides could be more clear and complete. Many of the slides have only a small photo and very limited text. They do not include much of the text material. I needed to create my own slides, and/or skip much of the material.

Consistency rating: 5

The book is very professional, and easy to read. There are key diagrams, and highlighting of key ideas. The slides, again, could use some help to coordinate better with the book.

Modularity rating: 5

It is very easy to read. I assigned the book to an 8th grader, and she was able to move through it easily and it engaged her interest. I took this as a good sign that it is good as an introduction to ethics for someone who is not familiar with the topic.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The topics are well organized, but I would add a lot more about the world of non-profits. The external references to HBR cases is great. The frequent cases are also great.

Interface rating: 5

This is great. No problem with viewing it on multiple devices and computers.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

Since this book centers a lot around culture, it would be hard to not give it a 5.

As I mentioned, it is important to have slides that really include much of the text, and I found the teacher resources for this very weak. I am hopeful that this could be improved. I did not have a chance to test the integration with our CMS, but I am hopeful that it could be helpful. I like that they include quizzes since this too can be time consuming for students. Lastly, I very much recommend that they include the work of non-profits in the discussion with business since this is a key player when we talk about doing things ethically, and getting input from key stakeholders.

Reviewed by Alysa D Lambert, Professor of HRM, Indiana University - Southeast (New Albany) on 2/21/23

The text covers a wide breadth of ethics and addresses all major and then some secondary topics in ethics. It also provides some of the history of ethical frameworks and their origins. It provides brief cases and critical thinking questions for... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

The text covers a wide breadth of ethics and addresses all major and then some secondary topics in ethics. It also provides some of the history of ethical frameworks and their origins. It provides brief cases and critical thinking questions for students to deepen their knowledge.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

I saw very few errors. The tone of the book reads as unbiased and covers all major theories of ethics.

Updates will be required but only as related to current ethical issues in business. As technology and business change, globalization continues to grow then the ethical issues will change and need to be updated. The ethical frameworks and the history of ethics will not change very much.

The book was clearly written with understandable examples. The resources are clear, relevant and recent.

Consistency rating: 4

The framework, format and vocabulary used were consistent and did not require extra explanation. For example, the "Link to Learning" boxes were great for giving students the chance to learn more about a topic. These will have to be checked frequently to ensure they are still live links which relates to the how relevant the book is in the future.

Modularity rating: 3

This could be improved. More headings, more sub-headings and more short case examples would increase the modularity of the text. Have short ethical dilemmas as conversation starters would also be a great addition.

I saw no issues with the organization of the material. My only suggestion would be to consider changing the "epilogue" chapter. It is titled, "Why ethics still matters?" I would hope after reading some much about ethics that much of this discussion would be obvious so breaking these points out and including them throughout may be one way to keep the relevance of studying ethics at the forefront of the course.

I did not see anything of concern here.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

Culture has a prominent place in the book. I selected a 4 rating because there is always room for growth, but I believe the text does a really good job of reminding students of the cultural implications related to ethics. More examples could be added on LGBTQ+ issues, in particular the ethical implications related to inclusion and protecting those in the workplace who are in transition or who have transitioned.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Collier, Christopher Chair in Business Ethics, Dominican University on 5/2/22

This book includes the standard theories covered in most business ethics textbooks, along with a few additional frameworks that include cross-cultural opportunities for discussion and a broadening of what students may consider as they develop... read more

This book includes the standard theories covered in most business ethics textbooks, along with a few additional frameworks that include cross-cultural opportunities for discussion and a broadening of what students may consider as they develop their understanding of ethics. It covers a wide range of topics and cases and could be used in a general undergraduate course to cover a lot of ground. The many opportunities for critical thinking and the deeper discussion questions allow for this to be used at a general graduate level MBA course as well. If used in an MBA course, additional materials or lectures would need to be added because book moves at a quick clip and has just the basics on each topic, while covering many different topics.

The materials are accurate and there are many critical thinking questions provided that allow for deeper engagement with the frameworks and cases through assignments and discussions.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The content includes traditional cases that all students should be aware of and also many recent cases that explore issues not covered in the past. The ability for sections of these types of books to be updated semi-regularly means that the book should not be obsolete any time soon and could be augmented/updated very easily in the future with new cases that have arisen.

Clarity rating: 5

The book is well written, clear, very concise, and includes references and a glossary for each chapter.

The book maintains consistency throughout in format, cases, questions, glossary, photos, videos and opportunities for engagement.

In addition to the book being easily broken up by week into a quarter or semester, there are optional Canvas and Blackboard downloads that are comprehensive, along with resources for assignments aiding an instructor in maintaining the modularity, clarity and organization.

The book has a clear organization that it maintains throughout.

Interface rating: 4

There is an "errata" function on the OpenStax site that explains all issues related to this category and the book seems to be updated every spring to address issues with links, quiz questions and other minor corrections.

I did not find any grammatical errors.

This book does make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities and other aspects of diversity in the workplace.

This is an excellent option for those looking to include OER materials into the business classroom. Many people from a wide range of academic disciplines contributed to or reviewed the text. There are very few resources for OER business ethics texts, so the comprehensiveness of this text, along with the many supplemental resources for faculty, are really a great resource at this time.

Reviewed by Rebeca Book, Professor, Pittsburg State University on 4/19/22

The textbook is very comprehensive and covers many areas. Good background in providing the foundation and history of ethics and the different perspectives. Thought the different links to current stories and interviews also was beneficial. Was... read more

The textbook is very comprehensive and covers many areas. Good background in providing the foundation and history of ethics and the different perspectives. Thought the different links to current stories and interviews also was beneficial. Was very comprehensive in that with the OpenStax and this particular textbook, the instructor has access to importing information (to me it was the Canvas Learning Management System) such as tests, powerpoints, etc. This additional information could also be downloaded and separate from a Learning Management System if needed.

Content was accurate and did not find any errors. Felt some areas might be a little biased, but in ethics this can easily happen and information was discussed in a relevant and thoughtful manner.

Interesting to think if it would become obsolete because I could relate to some of the interviews and stories, but later in a few years they might become obsolete but not the actual content or purpose of the information. Student might not relate as well to the stories later if they don't recognize the names or companies. Since the textbook is OpenStax I would think that the authors and audiences that use the textbook might update or bring in discussions to bring more current stories to the textbook.

The text is very lucid and easy to understand and read. Information is clearly explained and there are even portions of each area with key terms, summary and assessment. The textbook even has outlined expected outcomes for each chapter.

The text is consistent in terminology and framework.

The text can be divided into different reading sections easily. For my own purposes I do not devote a whole semester to ethics, so because there is so much good content and thought provoking insights, it will be hard to decide what to assign or use. But if the textbook were to be used entirely for a course, everything is well laid out.

I do believe the text is laid out in a logical and clear fashion.

I did not find the text itself to have interface problems. Was pleasantly surprised that I could even download the textbook onto my Kindle! The only problems that I had were using it with Canvas, but the problems were on my end and not with the textbook itself. I wonder in the future if there could be problems with links if they are discontinued or websites change, but hopefully there won't be any issues.. I didn't have any problems with the links when I used them in going through and reading the textbook.

The book, being on ethics, is very careful of cultures. It attempts in a very thoughtful way to help navigate and be sensitive to different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Reviewed by Elissa Magnant, Visiting Instructor, University of Massachusetts Lowell on 6/29/20

This textbook is comprehensive. In fact, it provides more than enough information for either an undergraduate course in Business Ethics or a more in-depth analysis for seminar or graduate students if the video case studies are utilized fully. ... read more

This textbook is comprehensive. In fact, it provides more than enough information for either an undergraduate course in Business Ethics or a more in-depth analysis for seminar or graduate students if the video case studies are utilized fully. Because of the depth of content, for undergraduates the text might be best assigned by specific page numbers to cover specific topics, instead of full chapters all at once.

The text is well researched by astute world renown faculty who use peer reviewed materials.

One reason to use this book is that it is up to date. It covers more recent business ethics dilemmas than print or print/digital texts because by virtue of being open source and fully digital, it is kept more up to date than other textbooks I have used.

This book is well written and easy for the student to comprehend. It also provides instructor support material of a test bank which is also well designed.

This book is compatible with the humanistic ethics framework, including a focus on dignity, fairness and collaboration.

This textbook implements short case studies called "Cases from the Real World," opportunities for students to think and reflect on ethics questions as well as multiple headings/sub-headings for ease of division and assignment.

I like the organization of this textbook as it starts with the basic philosophical frameworks and moves to modern day real business ethics challenges so that the student progresses through stages, understanding how topics build upon each other as the book evolves.

Students really enjoy the option of buying a paper version of this book, which is made available on our campus for under $20. They also enjoyed the easily downloadable version of the text with clickable links, especially because they can download it or view it from any device. It makes it very easy to ask them to read and then evaluate their ethical considerations of the material in class or online.

I am unaware of any grammatical errors in this text.

This text does an exceptional job of providing students with a balanced understanding of ethical globalization. It is liberal toward US government ethics and could perhaps provide more balanced nuances when addressing those topics.

I used two other popular Business Ethics textbooks prior to making the change to this textbook. I am so happy I did. It provides a no-cost option to those who use it digitally, a low-cost option to those who want to also have access to a professionally printed version, and it covers more up-to-date business ethics topics than either of the previous texts I used. I look forward to the updates as they help to keep the class relevant and challenging for all.

Reviewed by Kerry Dolan, Accounting/Business Department Chair, TRAILS on 11/22/19

The content is of the book is more than enough to support a full semester 200-level business ethics course and it does a good job of covering the basic ethics principles as well as specific examples that are relevant to the contemporary business... read more

The content is of the book is more than enough to support a full semester 200-level business ethics course and it does a good job of covering the basic ethics principles as well as specific examples that are relevant to the contemporary business world.

I'm not an expert in the field of business ethics, but given my background in general business and accounting, I did not encounter any information in the textbook that appeared to be inaccurate.

Relevance is always an issue with business-related textbooks because real-world examples quickly become outdated. However, this issue does not appear to be more pervasive with this text, nor would it be difficult to update or supplement any outdated examples. The basic concepts presented are not subject to obsolescence.

The text is very clear and understandable for lower-level college students that are encountering the basics of business ethics for the first time.

Text appeared to be consistent throughout. Clear organization and presentation.

I really liked how the book was organized with chapters and sections making it easy to assign partial chapters and/or specific sections and a manageable number of chapters and sections.

The text starts with broad concepts and moves to specific applications in business. The organization makes the presentation of the information clear to those who are being exposed to this discipline for the first time with this textbook.

Interface rating: 3

When reading this on a Kindle device, there were some areas where it was hard to decipher a picture caption from the string of text as as a result of digital page breaks and adjusted text sized, but once you got through the first chapter and were more familiar with the organization of each chapter it was not a distracting issue.

I didn't notice any grammatical errors.

The textbook did not appear to go out of its way to make sure that all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds were included, but there was a range of diverse images and examples. I did not see any culturally insensitive or offensive examples or images from my perspective.

Reviewed by Lou Cartier, Adjunct Instructor, Business and Management, Aims Community College on 8/1/19

At 367 pages, with 10 integrated, substantive chapters, constructive “end notes” and assessments on the evolution of ethical reasoning, leadership, and the challenges of “becoming an ethical professional” and “making a difference in the business... read more

At 367 pages, with 10 integrated, substantive chapters, constructive “end notes” and assessments on the evolution of ethical reasoning, leadership, and the challenges of “becoming an ethical professional” and “making a difference in the business world,” this is a comprehensive text, suitable for undergraduate business students and instructors not necessarily trained in philosophy. It is a great fit for single semester course, whether offered in conventional blocks of 15 weeks, 10 or eight. Topical case studies, video links, “what would you do” scenarios and assessments, chapter glossaries, and a helpful index reflect a breadth of industry, organizational, and cultural perspectives. The Preface, outlining the book’s purpose, architecture, contributing authors and student and instructor resources (i.e., “Getting Started” guide, test bank and PPts) appears responsive to both a student’s critical eye and an instructor’s operational check list. Moreover, the test banks (10) appear solid, with multiple choice and short essay answer questions linked to the Bloom’s Taxonomy grid (plus instructor’s answer guide). Power Point slides (15-25 per unit) offer critical thinking and discussion prompts. Collectively, these components illuminate the principles, practices, and historical seeds of business ethics and corporate social responsibility in a compelling presentation.

I encountered no obvious error or mischaracterization. The authors evidently have taken pains to document their content, including graphic and video links. In citations, I appreciate both the hard information and informal context provided. In Ch. 6, for example, minimum wages in every state rely upon 2017 data from “the National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Dept. of Labor and state websites” (Fig. 6.9), while in the next (Fig. 6.10), under the colorful graphic, we have this: “Right-to-work states have typically been clustered in the South and Southeast, where unions have been traditionally less prevalent.” That attribution references “Copyright Rice University, Open Stax, under CC BY 4.0 license,” sufficient for “educational use,” it would seem. Faculty also will appreciate the ease of flagging and correcting three kinds of errata: factual, typo, broken links.

As other reviewers have noted, this text – like most in “applied ethics” – relies on contemporary examples of business practice, including articles and video segments drawn from the business press and government oversight venues that may grow less compelling in another five years or so (think Enron and its accounting partner, Arthur Andersen, 2000-era exemplars of white collar crime not referenced here). Yet this text does a serviceable job of setting cases as old as Ford Motor Company’s fraught introduction of the Edsel (1958) and the “Chicago Tylenol Murders (1982) and as fresh as United Airlines forced removable of a ticketed passenger from a seat needed by an airlines employee (2017) amid sufficient historical, theoretical, and organizational context to grasp the key lessons of Unit 3.2: “Weighing Stakeholder Claims.” There is little danger of obsolescence, particularly since the open textbook network makes it so easy to correct errors and substitute current examples for the somewhat dated.

The clarity and quality of writing is superb, likely a reflection of lead collaborators Stephen Byars, who teaches “oral and written communication” as well as business ethics, and Kurt Stanberry, whose “legal and leadership” credentials are exercised in his continuing education seminars with CPA’s, attorneys, and business execs … nice fits for this subject. Students still ln high school, or in the growing cadre of “co-enrolled” in community college may struggle with this text, yet the publisher’s clear attention to content “building blocks” may comfort even the less mature and experienced student. For example, in any given chapter, readers 1) begin with an outline, learning objectives, and 500 – 1,000 word introduction, 2) encounter “cases from the real world” and “what would you do” tests of comprehension, and 3) close with a narrative summary, glossary of key terms, and short set of “assessment” questions. “Links to learning” include such clever questions as whether Coca-Cola’s soft pedaling of its huge demands for water in arid climates amounts to “greenwashing” (Ch. 3) or whether certain animals ought to be off limits for human consumption because of “sentience,” their ability to think and/or feel pain, (Peter Singer, Ch. 8). In addition “key terms” for every chapter are short and clear, i.e. “Integrity … because there is unity between what we say and what we do.”

Like two previous reviewers, I found the prose and organization to be coherent and consistent. Depth, attention to detail, terminology, and overall framework are consistent, linked by “key terms” and succinct introductions and summary reviews of each chapter. In the main cases, scenarios, and references to events are compelling, current or sufficiently grounded in context to be evergreen. Videos, on the other hand, come in all types, lengths, and flavors, from five minutes to more than an hour, from sit-down interview to taped panel discussion to challenging presentation in front of a group. The resourceful or determined instructor might guide students to a time code? This is not necessarily a weakness, though uneven production values should be expected.

Yes, this material lends itself to modularity, this despite a carefully constructed progression from “why this subject matters” to “how our forebears have grappled with responsibility” to “who has a stake in these decisions” to “what we owe each other” in specific manifestations of corporate and professional enterprise. It appears that in every chapter, its major units could be assigned separately, within an instructor’s unique unifying paradigm. Individual “features” could backstop of enrich discussions in class or online. There are no “enormous blocks of text” to impede easy snipping, and thoughtful subheadings appear to break up the challenge to comprehension and endurance.

The inherent logic of this text is apparent. Authors move from a philosophical foundation (“Why ethics matters?” and approaches to “intention v. outcomes” over time) to exploration of the stakeholder theory to close examination of ethical issues in business, the professions, and organizations in the voluntary and public sectors. A unifying feature is the Introduction, key terms, “assessment questions” and “end notes” for each chapter. Personal interviews or video clips from business owners and other stakeholders, supplemented by relevant documents such as ethics policies, training materials, and previews of business development … such as New Belgium CEO Kim Jordan’s (and “contemporary thought leader”) rationale for an east coast brewery in Asheville NC (opened May 2016) help cement understanding of such integral topics in corporate social responsibility as “sustainability.”

This textbook is available online, in pdf or web view, and in print (presumably suitable for loose leaf binder for nominal cost, which instructors may facilitate through campus bookstores, if appropriate). While some are not fond of “text boxes interspersed with the main text” my students using other similar e-texts have not reported problems. That said, I did not experience the online version of this text on Kindle or my phone, which might be instructive. On the other hand, while not “distorted” I found some of the power points unhelpful, to the point of distracting or annoying the viewer. Some seem busy, with narrative text blocks under anecdotal photos or graphics in print too small for comfortable display in class. Moreover, the “what would you do?” questions in this mode seem to me presumptive, less helpful than, say, bullet references to facts, principles, or events. Instructors and overseers of “access and accessibility” may care to note that not all videos are followed by transcriptions. Overall, the heading and body styles are consistent. Selection of fonts (style and size) maximize on screen legibility. Text blocks are in contrasting color to distinguish it from background, with minimal highlighting that does not appear arbitrary. On the whole, I found layout and design mechanically sound, with pages and links numbered and labelled consistently and - to the extent sampled -- no broken links.

None observed.

There is plenty to commend on this criteria. For one thing, Ch. 5, “The Impact of Culture and Time,” engages fundamental faith beliefs globally as well as the authority of religion tradition, and challenges students to explore the “universality “of values in business ethics. For instance this text does not shrink from illustrations of both “honor and shame” in business. In Appendix C, “A Succinct Theory of Business Ethics, the authors plainly and forcefully state their underlying thesis: that business ethics ought be grounded in deontology more than in utilitarianism, that “ends” are insufficient justification for questionable “means” in formulating and executing business strategy. Illustrations of demographic and behavioral diversity and inclusion – including animal rights and the implications for research and recreation – are plentiful, addressed in Ch. 8, “Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of All,” as well as the succeeding chapter on various professions.

This is an excellent “open educational resource” for business ethics and corporate social responsibility, one I intend to tap personally. The “closing parts” especially – including “Succinct Themes in Business Ethics” – are attractive guides to curriculum development and standalone discussion prompts in the classroom or online. “Lives of Ethical Philosophers (500 to 1,000 word summaries), and “Profiles in Business Ethics: Contemporary Thought Leaders,” adds a valuable philosophical heft that, for community and junior colleges especially, our accrediting and articulation partners will be pleased to see. I further value the selection of relevant supplemental material from independent consultants that range from the very basic, i.e., “Five Questions to Identify Key Stakeholders” to those that verge on the proprietary. These include descriptions of systems to monitor and “manage” customer and other stakeholder involvement, corporate codes of conduct … even a link to free personality test (Sec. 7.3), for which “bonus” I am grateful to Steve Custer of Oakland City University for pointing out.

Reviewed by Debra Sulai, Instructor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 3/12/19

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the key elements of ethical theory (Aristotelian virtue, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Rawls' theory of justice); the social, political, and cultural contexts of business; and the importance... read more

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the key elements of ethical theory (Aristotelian virtue, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Rawls' theory of justice); the social, political, and cultural contexts of business; and the importance of ethics to business, while going into greater philosophical depth than comparable textbooks. It addresses most of the key topical areas of business ethics but avoids the listicle approach of other business ethics textbooks in which every topic under the sun is stitched together with little overarching context. It also includes things like a discussion of ethics and organized labor, which other books overlook. I would, however, like to see more dedicated attention to the ethical issues raised by technology, perhaps by engaging with a philosopher of technology.

The index at the back and the detailed table of contents will make information easy to find. Each chapter's glossary will be helpful to students who are new to the subject. I particularly like the profiles of the four philosophers in the appendix: so often, ethics is taught in a disembodied and ahistorical manner, which makes it harder for students to see the relevance of the ideas being taught. These supplementary contextual elements would make this a good textbook for an instructor whose primary training was not in philosophy.

As an added advantage, the number of chapters does not exceed the number of weeks in a standard semester, and at 10 chapters plus an epilogue could also fit within a quarter system.

As far as I can tell, the content is accurate and clear. It was reviewed by dozens of faculty from a wide variety of institutions.

The book's use of contemporary examples means that it will date, but no more than any other textbook in applied ethics. As many of the examples are set out in textboxes or as links to external resources, it would be a relatively simple matter for an instructor to substitute recent examples when necessary. Chapter 10 on changing work environments and future trends is the chapter most likely to date quickly. The other applied sections will probably last 5-10 years; the ethical theory sections will remain relevant for a longer period of time.

I think this is appropriate for a general-education course in business ethics. I found it to be clear, although a student new to the subject or to philosophy may find that concepts are introduced at a quick pace. It does not suffer from unnecessary jargon; it is, as Aristotle said, as clear as the subject matter allows.

The prose and organization is consistent; it could have been single-authored.

Modularity rating: 4

It would be possible to use some portions of the text and not others, but it is not fully modular in that it was carefully constructed to provide the necessary philosophical and social context for business ethics prior to considering particular applied topics in business ethics. As it presents a sustained argument about business ethics (and this is a strength; philosophy is, after all, largely about making good arguments), it isn't the sort of thing that one could simply cut up and reassemble willy-nilly. However, I can easily see how an instructor could use various chapters to supplement or introduce other material. Chapters are internally divided into sections that could be read, assigned, or discussed separately.

Many business ethics textbooks combine three or four different courses in one: a book about ethics, a book about management and stakeholder theory, and a book about work and vocation, and give the impression of fairly disparate topics somewhat awkwardly and haphazardly stitched together. This book is logically organized to take students from basic moral theory through the application of those theories to key issues in business ethics, before circling back again to ethics in the epilogue.

Rather than being organized into chapters according to common areas of ethical problems in business (finance, accounting, affirmative action, greed, advertising and marketing, sexual harassment, sustainability, stakeholder theory, etc.) with few connections made between, this book addresses those issues under a relatively small number of chapter headings, and presents them through an ethical and social framework that is developed in the early chapters. I find this to be a more cohesive approach to the subject than is present in other textbooks.

I experienced no problems with the interface. The book is professionally produced. I personally do not like the use of text boxes interspersed with the main text, but I recognize that this is a common textbook feature.

I saw no grammatical issues. This book has been professionally edited.

This book includes a Confucian look at virtue ethics and attends to the cultural context in which the philosophers worked. It also contains a chapter on business ethics across time, place, culture and religion, a more comprehensive approach than the usual "business in a global context" topical chapter of other books. A chapter on respecting the rights of all addresses disability, gender inclusivity, religious diversity, animal ethics, and income inequality. In the following chapter there is a section on the business of health care, which I have not seen in any other similar text.

This is an outstanding introductory text in business ethics, with a level of philosophical sophistication and organizational coherence that exceeds most comparable texts. The chapter summaries, glossaries, and review quizzes are helpful aids to student learning, and the embedded links to interviews, videos, and case studies make it easy to adapt to active learning or on-line instruction. The amount of philosophical context makes it a particularly good choice for instructors of business ethics whose primary training is in business, management, law, or a related field, rather than in ethics or philosophy, or for a philosopher whose primary area of expertise is outside business ethics.

It does read as though it is a written version of excellent lectures in business ethics, which is not necessarily a weakness. The most significant drawback to this text, in my view, is that it includes no primary sources. As a philosopher teaching applied ethics, I know that business ethics may be the only course in philosophy that my students take. I also know this may be my students' primary or sole opportunity to read the classics of the western tradition. Therefore, I think this book could be enhanced by presenting some primary source readings. These could be added as an appendix or at the beginning or end of each chapter, or taken from other sources by the instructor.

I currently use an Oxford anthology for my business ethics course. However, if I were to assign a traditional textbook, I would switch to this book without reservation, and I am very likely to try this book in future courses.

Reviewed by Steve Custer, Associate Professor, Oakland City University on 2/25/19

The Business Ethics textbook is comprehensive in that it covers a broad range of ethical issues as well as delving into the history of ethics. The online format enhances the easy of use for the index. read more

The Business Ethics textbook is comprehensive in that it covers a broad range of ethical issues as well as delving into the history of ethics. The online format enhances the easy of use for the index.

I found the textbook to be accurate. I did not find any outstanding errors in the book. It is very well written and easy to understand.

From Toyota to Samsung and Starbucks, excellent examples of business ethics abound. Additionally, this textbook is quite effective in bringing to life many current events.

The book exceeds expectations in clarity. The key terms and assessment questions at the end of each chapter give extra help to those seeking to know the material in depth.

The dictionary defines consistency as a "condition of adhering together." I feel that this textbook accomplished that purpose. Moreover, it brought together principles of business ethics in a well-developed manner.

The online format enhances this textbook's modularity. The online links to learning are a welcome addition and add a nice touch.

The book is organized very well, and the online format makes keyword searches very easy to navigate.

The Business Ethics textbook is easy to navigate and understand. Nothing is wasted that takes away from the material.

I found the Business Ethics textbook to be free of any outstanding grammatical errors.

There are many examples this book gives on cultural relevance: #metoo, transgender ethics, environmental ethics, animal ethics, and diversity and inclusion.

I really enjoyed the link to the free personality test. That was a great bonus feature. "It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice." What a powerful sentiment and an appropriate quote to be included! This is a great textbook and I plan to utilize it in an upcoming business ethics course.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Why Ethics Matter

  • 1.1 Being a Professional of Integrity
  • 1.2 Ethics and Profitability
  • 1.3 Multiple versus Single Ethical Standards

Chapter 2: Ethics from Antiquity to the Present

  • 2.1 The Concept of Ethical Business in Ancient Athens
  • 2.2 Ethical Advice for Nobles and Civil Servants in Ancient China
  • 2.3 Comparing the Virtue Ethics of East and West
  • 2.4 Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number
  • 2.5 Deontology: Ethics as Duty
  • 2.6 A Theory of Justice

Chapter 3: Defining and Prioritizing Stakeholders

  • 3.1 Adopting a Stakeholder Orientation
  • 3.2 Weighing Stakeholder Claims
  • 3.3 Ethical Decision-Making and Prioritizing Stakeholders
  • 3.4 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Chapter 4: Three Special Stakeholders: Society, the Environment, and Government

  • 4.1 Corporate Law and Corporate Responsibility
  • 4.2 Sustainability: Business and the Environment
  • 4.3 Government and the Private Sector

Chapter 5: The Impact of Culture and Time on Business Ethics

  • 5.1 The Relationship between Business Ethics and Culture
  • 5.2 Business Ethics over Time
  • 5.3 The Influence of Geography and Religion
  • 5.4 Are the Values Central to Business Ethics Universal?

Chapter 6: What Employers Owe Employees

  • 6.1 The Workplace Environment and Working Conditions
  • 6.2 What Constitutes a Fair Wage?
  • 6.3 An Organized Workforce
  • 6.4 Privacy in the Workplace

Chapter 7: What Employees Owe Employers

  • 7.1 Loyalty to the Company
  • 7.2 Loyalty to the Brand and to Customers
  • 7.3 Contributing to a Positive Work Atmosphere
  • 7.4 Financial Intergrity
  • 7.5 Criticism of the Company and Whistleblowing

Chapter 8: Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of All

  • 8.1 Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce
  • 8.2 Accommodating Different Abilities and Faiths
  • 8.3 Sexual Identification and Orientation
  • 8.4 Income Inequalities
  • 8.5 Animal Rights and the Implications for Business

Chapter 9: Professions under the Microscope

  • 9.1 Entrepreneurship and Start-Up Culture
  • 9.2 The Influence of Advertising
  • 9.3 The Insurance Industry
  • 9.4 Ethical Issues in the Provision of Health Care

Chapter 10: Changing Work Environment and Future Trends

  • 10.1 More Telecommuting or Less?
  • 10.2 Workplace Campuses
  • 10.3 Alternatives to Traditional Patterns of Work
  • 10.4 Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Workplace of the Future

Chapter 11: Epilogue: Why Ethics Still Matter

  • 11.1 Business Ethics in an Evolving Environment
  • 11.2 Committing to an Ethical View
  • 11.3 Becoming an Ethical Professional
  • 11.4 Making a Difference in the Business World

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Business Ethics is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester business ethics course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including case studies, application scenarios, and links to video interviews with executives, all of which help instill in students a sense of ethical awareness and responsibility.

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ethics in business unit plan

Workplace Ethics

"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And, if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." Warren Buffett, American investor
  • November 3, 2021
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This Business English lesson plan on workplace ethics has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

We all like to think that we are ethical beings. But when the opportunity presents itself, it can be too tempting for some to resist the urge to act in an unethical way at work. Unethical behaviour can range from inappropriate behaviour to colleagues, to dishonesty and outright fraud. At the same time, what might be considered unethical by some, might be considered perfectly acceptable by others. In this Business English lesson plan on ethics in the workplace, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as workplace values, unethical practices and whether any professions are naturally more unethical than others.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers .


Reading activity Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

Work Institute | How to Define Ethical Behavior & Why It’s Important in the Workplace

The article explains the importance of ethical behaviour in the workplace and what companies can do to ensure their employees conduct themselves in an ethical manner. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? Can they think of any ways they might add to the content of the article?

Video activity To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is a TED Talk by Dan Ariely called “Why we think it’s OK to cheat and steal (sometimes)” which examines the psychology of acting in an unethical way.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including what workplace ethics are, the importance of honesty in business, and the risks associated with acting in an unethical way.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with ethical behaviour at work such as nepotism , to claim expenses and to call in sick . The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, the students are presented with some workplace ethical dilemmas. In this speaking activity, students have to consider the dilemma and say what they would do in that situation and why.

After the class, students will write a memo to their team to explain their company’s code of ethics when dealing with business clients. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.


ethics in business unit plan

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Business ethics.

ethics in business unit plan

Level: Upper-intermediate (B2-C1)

Type of English: Business English

Tags: business people controversial issues ethics and conduct companies and jobs business ethics banking and finance Article based

Publication date: 01/24/2022

This worksheet focuses on an interview of a business professor talking about business ethics. There is also an article looking at how globalisation creates problems for acting ethically as a business and discusses what steps can be taken. Exercises focus on listening and reading skills, related vocabulary as well as giving students the opportunity to discuss some of the issues presented in the lesson. 

by Joe Wilson

ethics in business unit plan


Dear Joe, Again a fantastic lesson! Thank you very much!

Wonderful lesson. Reading Comprehension 6 is missing in the Student Worksheet download. Best!

Thank you !

Wonderful lesson. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

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This worksheet focuses on an interview of a business professor talking about business ethics. There is also an article looking at how globalization creates problems for acting ethically as a business and discusses what steps can be taken. Exercises focus on listening and reading skills and related vocabulary, as well as giving students the opportunity to discuss some of the issues presented in the lesson. 


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Steward Health Care has deal to sell doctor network to UnitedHealth

Insurance giant’s optum unit is already a major player in physicians’ offices.

Holy Family is among Steward's Massachusetts hospitals.

Troubled hospital operator Steward Health Care, grappling with a financial crisis that’s engulfed its eight Massachusetts hospitals, has struck a deal to sell its nationwide physician network to insurance giant UnitedHealth’s Optum unit.

The proposed sale of the doctors group, called Stewardship Health, is part of Steward’s plan to shore up its finances and bolster its nationwide network of 33 hospitals after the Dallas-based company last year fell behind in paying bills and rents.

The sale will be reviewed closely in Massachusetts, where policy makers are looking for a potential leverage point to force Steward to plow the proceeds into its struggling hospitals and to prevent closure of crucial facilities. Already, some elected officials who have repeatedly accused for-profit Steward of prioritizing shareholders over public health are sounding warnings about the sale of the physicians practice.


“After years of gross profiteering and mismanagement, Steward’s latest plan raises more serious questions about the future of the Massachusetts health care system,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a statement. “My top priority is ensuring Steward’s Massachusetts hospitals remain open. But Steward executives have no credibility, and I am concerned that this sale will not benefit patients or health care workers, or guarantee the survival of these facilities.”

On Tuesday, a subsidiary of Optum, called Collaborative Care Holdings, filed notice with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission over the sale. A price tag was not included in documents filed with the state, and Optum officials did not immediately respond to comment.

Steward did not respond to requests for comment.

The commission’s executive director, David Seltz, said the agency would examine the impact of the deal on health care costs, quality, access, and equity before the sale can be completed. The commission will have 30 days after receiving the required information to assess the impacts of the transaction, but could conduct a more extensive review. If it finds the sale would worsen quality or drive up health care costs, the commission can refer its findings to the Massachusetts attorney general.

The deal may also be scrutinized by other state regulators or federal antitrust authorities.

“This is a significant proposed change involving two large medical providers, both in Massachusetts and nationally, with important implications for the delivery and cost of health care across Massachusetts,” Seltz said.

But Julie Pinkham, executive director for the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said state officials might not have enough authority to stop or influence the deal.

”While it is essential that the Health Policy Commission conduct a thorough review of this sale and its impact on the Commonwealth, the key question is if the HPC or other agencies of the state have the requisite authority to reject the proposal or assign any obligations to the proposal to protect the public,” Pinkham said in a statement.

Under the proposed deal, Optum would acquire Stewardship Health, a Steward affiliate that includes the company’s primary care doctors and other clinicians in nine states, as well as its contracting network for physicians. It was unclear whether the sale might alter the value of the hospitals, which Steward has also been trying to sell.

Massachusetts political and community leaders said they worried about whether the deal would further weaken Steward hospitals in the state because its former physicians could soon refer patients to other hospitals.

Boston City Councilor Liz Breadon, who represents the Brighton neighborhood of Steward’s flagship Massachusetts hospital, St. Elizabeth’s, said she wants to study the Optum deal but is worried that UnitedHealth may be “cherrypicking” Steward’s more profitable assets at the expense of vital community hospitals.

”We need quality hospitals that deliver comprehensive care,” Breadon said. “But I’m not sure they want to take hospitals.”

Noting that the hospital buildings are saddled with rent obligations to an out-of-state landlord, Medical Properties Trust, she said, “When you don’t own the buildings and you’re going to be liable for a lot of rent,” the hospitals become less attractive to another prospective operator.

Others worried about the growing market power of Optum.

“Optum is particularly aggressive, and they’re growing their footprint in Massachusetts in a significant way,” said John McDonough, professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s not a good sign with where we’re headed with Steward, and we need to hear from state government about what their strategy is, what are they trying to achieve.”

David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group, a Boston management consulting firm, said Optum is focused on buying more profitable physicians practices rather than brick-and-mortar hospitals.

“They don’t want the facilities,” Williams said. “They want to control more primary care, control the patient flow.”

The purchase of Stewardship Health could potentially be challenged on antitrust grounds, since Optum’s doctor network — the largest employer of physicians nationally — is also one of the largest in Massachusetts.

The Justice Department is investigating the relationship between UnitedHealth’s insurance unit and its doctor networks for potentially anticompetitive practices, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Optum has already expanded its Massachusetts presence through two major acquisitions. In 2018, Optum bought Reliant Medical Group, a nonprofit network with more than 500 care providers, for $28 million plus agreements to pour more resources into the network. And in 2022, Optum paid $236 million for nonprofit Atrius Health and its network of close to 1,000 doctors and providers.

Nationwide, the unit includes 90,000 doctors, a major pharmacy benefits manager, surgery centers, and a health data business.

Optum’s Change Healthcare unit, which processes insurance payments at pharmacies and other providers has also caused headaches in Massachusetts. Due to a cyberattack last month, Change was unable to process payments , forcing doctors and patients to scramble for coverage of prescriptions.

Steward Health was formed in 2010 when chief executive Ralph de la Torre led an effort to convert what was then a chain of financially shaky Catholic hospitals to a for-profit system backed by a private equity firm. In the years since, the company, with de la Torre at the helm, sold Steward’s hospital buildings to Medical Properties Trust, freeing capital to expand nationally but saddling its hospitals with large rent payments.

He also moved Steward’s headquarters from Boston to Dallas, bought out its private equity investor, and went on a personal spending spree , buying a Dallas mansion, a super yacht, and a high-end sports fishing boat.

Steward’s financial crisis has prompted lawsuits from suppliers and the loss of leased medical equipment. In October, a woman died after giving birth at St. Elizabeth’s , where a vital device called an embolism coil had been repossessed by creditors.

Last month, Steward obtained new loans from its landlord, MPT, and other creditors as part of a plan that depended on selling assets such as its physician network. Other hospital operators in Massachusetts are also in the running to take over Steward facilities . Governor Maura Healey and other politicians have called for Steward to leave the state.

Aaron Pressman can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him @ampressman . Jessica Bartlett can be reached at [email protected] . Follow her @ByJessBartlett . Robert Weisman can be reached at [email protected] .

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Unilever to Cut 7,500 Jobs and Spin Off Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Unit

The consumer goods giant said the moves would make for a “simpler, more focused company” as consumers trade down to cheaper brands amid high inflation.

A pile of pint-size Ben & Jerry’s ice creams.

By Jason Karaian

Unilever, the consumer goods giant, said on Tuesday that it would cut 7,500 jobs and spin off its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry’s, to reduce costs and simplify its portfolio of brands.

The moves would make for “a simpler, more focused and higher performing Unilever,” Ian Meakins, the London-based company’s chair, said in a statement. The group’s ice cream unit generated 7.9 billion euros ($8.6 billion) in sales last year, or about 13 percent of the group’s total.

The division is home to Ben & Jerry’s, which Unilever acquired in 2000 , along with brands like Cornetto, Magnum, Talenti and Wall’s. The spinoff is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Hein Schumacher, who took over as Unilever’s chief executive in July, announced a plan late last year to “drive growth and unlock potential,” in part by focusing more attention on just 30 of the group’s hundreds of brands.

On Tuesday, he said the job cuts and ice cream spinoff would “accelerate” the plan, saving nearly $870 million in costs over the next three years. The layoffs, of “predominantly office-based roles” around the world, amount to about 6 percent of Unilever’s work force.

In early 2022, Nelson Peltz , one of Wall Street’s most prominent activist investors, began building a stake in Unilever. Mr. Peltz, who is known for pushing companies to simplify their corporate structures, got a seat later that year on Unilever’s board, where he remains.

After the proposed spinoff, Unilever’s remaining units would include health and beauty brands like Dove soap, consumer goods like Surf detergent and food brands including Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Unilever rival Nestlé shifted many of its European ice cream brands to a joint venture with a private equity firm in 2016 and sold its U.S. brands, including Dreyer’s and Häagen-Dazs, to the venture in 2019.

Unilever has struggled in recent years, with revenue growth propped up by steep price increases as sales volumes have declined. Squeezed by inflation, consumers have been turning instead to cheaper brands in many of Unilever’s biggest categories, most notably less essential products like ice cream.

The ice cream division faced the highest input-cost inflation in Unilever’s portfolio last year, the company said in an earnings report last month. It passed on some of those costs to consumers, prompting them to buy less or switch to cheaper brands, leading to a “disappointing year with declining market share and profitability,” the company said.

“The company has tried accelerated cost-cutting for accelerated growth for at least a decade,” analysts at Bernstein wrote in a research note. “This plan remains ‘we will try harder’ to execute the same plan, or hope over experience,” they added. Unilever’s shares rose about 3 percent on Tuesday, but have been roughly flat over the past year.

Ben & Jerry’s, which has been run by an independent board since its takeover by Unilever, has not always sat comfortably in the portfolio of a staid multinational corporation. The founders of the Vermont-based brand are outspoken on hot-button social and political issues ; in 2021, they said they would end sales in Israeli-occupied territories .

That led some U.S. pension funds to divest from Unilever and prompted a shareholder lawsuit. Ben & Jerry’s sued Unilever in 2022 to stop it from selling distribution rights to a licensee in Israel. Unilever eventually sold the rights to its longstanding local partner there, which continues to sell the ice cream with slightly different branding.

Jason Karaian is the business news director, based in London. He was previously the editor of DealBook. More about Jason Karaian

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Unilever to split off its ice cream unit including Ben & Jerry’s


  • Consumer goods giant Unilever said Tuesday that it is separating its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry's and Magnum, as part of a restructuring plan.
  • The restructuring will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
  • Unilever said the restructuring would help in its aims to become "a simpler, more focused company," with four distinct business divisions.

In this article

Shares of consumer goods giant Unilever popped on Tuesday after the company announced plans to separate its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry's and Magnum, as part of a restructuring that will affect 7,500 jobs.

"The proposed changes are expected to impact around 7,500 predominantly office-based roles globally, with total restructuring costs now anticipated to be around 1.2% of Group turnover for the next three years (up from the around 1% of Group turnover previously communicated)," a statement said.

Shares of Unilever were up 5.6% moments after the announcement, before paring gains slightly to trade up 4.1% at 9:20 a.m. London time.

The restructuring will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, the company said. It is anticipated to deliver total cost savings of about 800 million euros, or $868.3 million.

Unilever said the restructuring would allow it to become "a simpler, more focused company," with four distinct business divisions across beauty and well-being, personal care, home care and nutrition.

The company added that its ice cream division, which generated 7.9 billion euros in revenue in 2023, would perform better as a stand-alone business. The ice cream division accounted for about 13% of Unilever's 59.6 billion euros in total revenue in 2023.

Unilever said plans for the spinoff have not yet been finalized, but that a "demerger is the most likely separation route."

It said that costs of the move would be determined once a final decision had been made.

The move is the most radical yet in a wider overhaul by CEO Hein Schumacher, who took the reins of the company in July 2023.

Unilever has faced growing calls over recent years, including from activist investors, to overhaul its sprawling business amid wide fluctuations in the share price. The stock has lost around 6% from a year ago.

Chris Beckett, head of equity research at Quilter Cheviot, questioned how much of an effect the restructuring would have on the company's wider performance.

"The division in question is noted for its lower growth compared to Unilever's overall performance, suggesting that the demerger might not significantly alter the company's growth trajectory," Beckett said.

"Historically, Unilever's decision to sell its tea business did not lead to a transformative impact on the company's operations or value. It stands to reason that this latest move to split off the ice cream business may follow a similar pattern, offering no substantial metamorphosis."

The Ben & Jerry's brand has also proven a thorn in the company's side, taking an active stance on various political issues.

In 2023, Unilever faced a U.S. lawsuit claiming it misled investors by not immediately disclosing a decision by Ben & Jerry's to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, a case that was ultimately dismissed , according to Reuters.

Earlier in the year it also faced backlash over Ben & Jerry's calls for the return of "stolen" U.S. indigenous land.

Terry Smith, managing director of Unilever's 10th largest shareholder Fundsmith, said the restructuring was positive news and described Ben & Jerry's as the "fly in the ointment" of the ice cream business.

"Prior management seem to have managed to buy a company without actually getting control of it," he told Sky News' Ian King on Tuesday.

He added that the ice cream category had particularly struggled in the recent high-inflation environment, as many consumers switched to more cost-conscious supermarket labels.

"Ice cream is a troubled category for them, so I can see why they might do that. It's not had any volume growth for quite a while, particularly in the at-home consumption area," Smith said.


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AT&T says leaked data set impacts about 73 million current, former account holders

Telecom company AT&T said on Saturday that it is investigating a data set released on the "dark web" about two weeks ago, and said that its preliminary analysis shows it has impacted approximately 7.6 million current account holders and 65.4 million former account holders.

Japanese health ministry officials head to search a Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. factory in Osaka


  1. What are ethics? Business ethics and principles

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  2. 15 Code of Ethics Examples (Copy and Paste) (2023)

    ethics in business unit plan

  3. What is Business Ethics

    ethics in business unit plan

  4. Business Ethics: Meaning, Definition, Importance Types, Example (2022)

    ethics in business unit plan

  5. Infographic template business ethics template can Vector Image

    ethics in business unit plan

  6. Business Ethics Definition, Importance and Conceptual Framework

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  1. Business Organisation And Ethics Unit-5|Business and society changing|Social Audit|Technological

  2. Various approach to business ethics

  3. Business Laws & Ethics Study Plan

  4. MMPC‐003 Unit- 4 Business Ethics And Corporate Social Responsibility

  5. MMPC‐003 Unit- 4 Business Ethics And Corporate Social Responsibility

  6. The Impact of Interest Rates on Corporate America


  1. Lesson Plan: Ethics in Business

    In this lesson, students will learn about ethics, analyze actions for ethical dilemmas, and write a personal code of ethics for business and personal use. Download the lesson plan. Scroll to the related items section at the bottom of this page for additional resources.

  2. 3as Unit Plan Ethics in Business

    3as Unit Plan Ethics in Business - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or view presentation slides online. Ethics in Business

  3. What Are Business Ethics & Why Are They Important?

    Business ethics are principles that guide decision-making. As a leader, you'll face many challenges in the workplace because of different interpretations of what's ethical. Situations often require navigating the "gray area," where it's unclear what's right and wrong. When making decisions, your experiences, opinions, and perspectives ...

  4. What Is Business Ethics? Definition, Principles, and Importance

    Business ethics is the study of proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial issues, such as corporate governance , insider trading , bribery, discrimination ...

  5. How to Design an Ethical Organization

    How to Design an Ethical Organization. Summary. From Volkswagen's emissions fiasco to Wells Fargo's deceptive sales practices to Uber's privacy intrusions, corporate scandals are a recurring ...

  6. PDF Global Business Ethics and Social R esponsibility

    first of a four-lesson unit that will explore ethics and socially responsible behavior in the business world. It can be used as a launching point for studying social responsibility and ethics in a variety of ways. ☰ NBEA STANDARD(S): Management, V. Ethics And Social Responsibility ☰ RELATED ARTICLES: "Volkswagen's Smog-filled Scandal"

  7. Ch. 1 Introduction

    1.1 Being a Professional of Integrity. 1.2 Ethics and Profitability. 1.3 Multiple versus Single Ethical Standards. Ethics consists of the standards of behavior to which we hold ourselves in our personal and professional lives. It establishes the levels of honesty, empathy, and trustworthiness and other virtues by which we hope to identify our ...

  8. BUS305: Business Ethics in a Nutshell

    Business Ethics in a Nutshell. The legal and historic roots of the modern corporation reach well back into the eighteenth century, but it was in the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century that this truly extraordinary form of human organization came into its own and, in the twentieth century, became the dominant economic force on earth.

  9. Business Ethics Lesson Ideas

    We offer a growing list of lesson plan ideas and resources for high school and college students learning about business ethics. Introduction to Business Ethics Beyond obedience to the law, what responsibility do corporations have to act ethically or in the social interest? This lesson introduces students to the concept of business ethics ...

  10. Building an Ethical Company

    Building an Ethical Company. Create an organization that helps employees behave more honorably. Summary. Just as people can develop skills and abilities over time, they can learn to be more or ...

  11. 3.2: Putting It Together- Ethics in Business

    In order to avoid lawsuits and a ruined reputation, companies must put ethics at the forefront of their business policies and practices. Utilizing the information in this module will help you avoid ethical violations when you enter into the workplace. Regardless of the role you play in a company, you are partially responsible for the condition ...

  12. BUS200: Business Ethics, Topic: Unit 1: Why Ethics Matters

    1.1: Being a Professional of Integrity. Ethics sets the standards that govern our personal and professional behavior. To conduct business ethically, we must choose to be a professional of integrity. This section will introduce you to definitions of ethics and integrity as a foundation for learning about ethical behavior.

  13. Ethics and values in business: principles and practices

    Value: Companies should optimize the value they create for society. Ethical behavior has many benefits for companies beyond giving them the satisfaction of doing the right thing. For example, this framework boosts employee engagement, helps businesses stand out from their competitors, and leads to higher profits. 3.

  14. Ethics Management Guide: Toolkit for Ethical Managers

    Myth: Business ethics is a discipline best led by philosophers, academics, and theologians. ... For example, the process of strategic planning is much more important than the plan produced by the process. The same is true for ethics management. Ethics programs do produce deliverables, e.g., codes, policies and procedures, budget items, meeting ...

  15. Unit Sequence Plan Ethics in Business

    unit sequence plan ethics in business - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free.

  16. 3as Unit Plan Ethics in Business

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  17. Business Ethics

    Business Ethics is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester business ethics course. ... employee (2017) amid sufficient historical, theoretical, and organizational context to grasp the key lessons of Unit 3.2: "Weighing Stakeholder Claims." ... This is a great textbook and I plan to utilize it in an ...

  18. Workplace Ethics

    Workplace Ethics. "In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And, if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." This Business English lesson plan on workplace ethics has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to ...

  19. Business ethics: ESL/EFL Lesson Plan and Worksheet

    Business ethics. Share. Level: Upper-intermediate (B2-C1) Type of English: Business English. Tags: business people controversial issues ethics and conduct companies and jobs business ethics banking and finance Article based. Publication date: 01/24/2022. This worksheet focuses on an interview of a business professor talking about business ethics.

  20. PDF School : Mohamed El Mokrani School Level : 3 year School year: 2016 7

    School : Mohamed El Mokrani School Level : 3rd year School year: 2016/2017 Stream : All streams Teacher: Text book : New prospects.

  21. ethics in business unit plan

    Unit one�s remedial work (Ethics in Business) Level: advanced Age: 15-100 Downloads: 49 Ethics in business (Author-Bouabdellah) Level: intermediate Age: 14-17 Downloads: 89 Asking for and giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing Level: intermediate Age: 12-100 Downloads: 91 first term exam (Ethics in business)secondary eduction Level ...

  22. Lesson Plans 3 AS

    1) Unit One :Ancient Civilization ( Exploring the past) 2) Unit Two :Ethics in Business ( Ill-Gotten gains never prosper) 3) Unit Three :Education in the world (Schools different and alike) 4) Unit Six :Feelings and emotions (We are a family) Experimental Science,Math,Tech Math,Management and economy: 1) Unit Two :Ethics in Business ( Ill ...

  23. Ethics in Business " Fighting Fraud and Corruption

    UNIT ONE: Ethics in Business "Fighting Fraud and Corruption" STREAMS: 3M / TM /GE /SC Exp UNIT PLAN FINAL OBJECTIVES: By the end of this unit PP should be able to: o design materials related to exports / imports rates and currency exchange rates o draw a graphic organiser of exports and imports o write a charter of ethics in business o have a class debate on the importance of ethics in ...

  24. Steward Health Care plans to sell doctor network to UnitedHealth

    Nationwide, the unit includes 90,000 doctors, a major pharmacy benefits manager, surgery centers, and a health data business. Optum's Change Healthcare unit, which processes insurance payments ...

  25. Unilever to Cut 7,500 Jobs and Spin Off Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Unit

    Unilever, the consumer goods giant, said on Tuesday that it would cut 7,500 jobs and spin off its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry's, to reduce costs and simplify its portfolio of ...

  26. China's BYD slows down plans for EV factory in Vietnam, industrial park

    HANOI, March 28 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicles maker BYD (002594.SZ), opens new tab has slowed down its plans to build an EV factory in Vietnam, a manager of the industrial park where the ...

  27. Unilever (ULVR) to Separate Ice Cream Unit Including Ben & Jerry's

    The new boss of Unilever Plc wants to reverse years of lackluster performance with an ambitious plan to separate the conglomerate's ice cream arm and remove layers of middle management.. About ...

  28. Unilever to split off its ice cream unit including Ben & Jerry's

    Consumer goods giant Unilever said Tuesday that it is separating its ice cream unit as part of a restructuring plan that will affect 7,500 jobs. ... All Small Business. Best Small Business Savings ...

  29. Advent Said to Eye Sale of Idemia Identity Unit in New Exit Push

    Buyout firm Advent International is looking to sell the European identity authentication business of Idemia as part of a breakup plan that will see each of the French biometrics company's three ...

  30. Exclusive: Fidelity International plans to cut 16% of China fund unit

    Fund manager Fidelity International (FIL) is planning to lay off 20 people at its main China unit, two sources familiar with the matter said, a reduction that coincides with a downturn in China's ...