Corporate Ethics: Why Every Business Needs Them

Corporate ethics, like accounting and advertising, has become a necessary corporate function. But why is that so? Following ethical values is important whether you work for a private firm or a large organisation. The Wall Street meltdown provided the latest lesson on the necessity of corporate ethics, as once-respected financial companies made headlines for dubious decisions and behaviour.

Businesses must satisfy economic expectations, but they also have ethical obligations. From the lowest to the highest level of the organisation ladder – whether it be a law firm or bank – everyone must take control to fulfil their obligations.

Business ethics, by definition, relates to the morally correct and wrong behaviour in the workplace. The law specifies some aspects of behaviour, but “legal” and “ethical” are not always synonymous. Business ethics improve the law by defining acceptable activities that are not governed by the government. Business ethics are established by corporations to encourage employee integrity and acquire confidence from important parties such as shareholders and consumers. While corporate ethics initiatives have grown increasingly widespread, the quality of these programs vary.

What Are The Six Pillars of Character

Other principles that people with integrity appreciate include sincerity, respect, personal accountability, compassion, and reliability. The Josephson Institute, which is a non-profit organisation that creates and offers programs and resources to improve ethical commitment, incorporates these attributes into its Six Pillars of Character. The latter are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. These pillars contribute to creating a good atmosphere and a culture of compassion, making them a safe place for students to study and grow.

What Are The Ethical Principles for Business Executives

In business, people’s perceptions of your character are crucial to long-term success since it is the foundation of trustworthiness. Actions that are, or are considered to be, immoral can devastate both of these vital assets. As a result, effective executives must be worried about their reputation as well as their character. The Josephson Institute also provides 12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives in addition to the Six Pillars of Character. These are honesty, integrity, promise-keeping and trustworthiness, loyalty, fairness, concern for others, respect for others, law-abiding, commitment to excellence, leadership, reputation and morale, and accountability.

Corporate Ethics Is an Important Skill to Have

Almost every company nowadays has an ethical code. This is partly due to the fact that technological advancements and more digital engagement have made it easier to detect and report ethical violations. Companies are devoting more resources to corporate ethics in order to avoid unfavourable outcomes. According to a survey of accountants, 55% say business ethics will become more important in the next three years. Businesses are creating ethical workplaces by hiring the right people and implementing formal processes. “High integrity and honesty” is the second most important trait for business CEOs, according to a recent poll. The link between corporate ethics and success must be understood by today’s business executives.

Employee Performance Is Influenced by Business Ethics

When an employer openly highlights the significance of business ethics, employees are more likely to utilise ethical reasoning. Employees in the United States who operate in a setting with a consistent and open culture said they are prepared to deal with ethical issues 91% of the time. Companies that support business ethics urge their employees to conduct themselves ethically at work. The development of an ethics program is the first step in establishing an ethical culture. According to the US Department of Commerce, a complete ethics policy should include all aspects of a company’s activities. Human resources, operations, and marketing are just a few examples. According to Gartner, a global research group, companies should combine their ethical program with commercial operations.

The Bottom Line Benefits From Corporate Ethics

Another argument for business ethics’ relevance is that it might boost revenues. A well-implemented ethics program can also help to decrease losses. Companies with questionable ethics may see their stock price drop and lose commercial agreements, both of which can hurt income. Client loyalty is also linked to the company’s ethics. In the United States, more than half of customers said they no longer buy from firms they feel are unethical. Three out of ten customers, on the other hand, will openly endorse ethical enterprises on social media. Trust is fostered through business ethics, which increases brand visibility and sales.

Corporate Ethics vs. Corporate Code: What is the Difference?

A company’s corporate code is a complete list of corporate rules, common goals, and values. Most often it is a large document that spells out all the laws of your company to the smallest detail. Corporate rules are legally binding and enforceable internal rules and policies for data transfers within multinational group companies and work in a way somewhat similar to an internal code of conduct.

It may include the history and mission of the company, the departmental structure, company procedures (hiring, onboarding, employee evaluations, training, dismissal standards), internal regulations (working hours, sick leave, vacations, holidays, workplace), company policy (confidentiality of data, security rules).

Corporate ethics is one of the important sections of the corporate code. It is mentioned in the welcome book so that newcomers could better adapt to the company and get acquainted with the company standards. There are many exciting opportunities with brands such as CasinoChan Canada.

Basics of corporate ethics

The corporate ethics of the company is built on common values, traditions, and norms of behaviour of the employees.

Its basis consists of such components as:

  1. Company values are shared by every employee.
  2. Adherence to the overall mission of the company.
  3. Belief in the success of the company.
  4. Productive cooperation between employees allows for achieving common goals.
  5. Career development: training, courses, advanced training.
  6. Motivation, performance appraisal, remuneration.
  7. Norms of business behaviour, style of dress.

The aggregate of these characteristics makes up the ethical basis. Each employee, coming to the company, follows these rules and thereby forms the corporate ethics of the company.

Advantages of having corporate ethics in the company

There are several important benefits to having an ethical company that makes it stand out from the rest. For example, the corporate ethics policy unites and consolidates the staff. It helps create a team of people with the same goals and mission. And it doesn’t mean whether the people are working in a support of a virtual office, in a marketing agency, law firm or volunteer organisation.

Traditions become the basis of a respectful attitude towards each other. And in such an atmosphere it’s much easier to work on common tasks and achieve the desired results.

Creating a positive image of the company is also important. In today’s world, with more and more companies, having a positive image is not a privilege but a necessity. This will not only help the business attract investors but also be a guarantee the quality of your services among your partners. A company with well-regulated processes and a well-organised workflow deserves more confidence from its clients.

Corporate ethics also plays role in the adaptation of newcomers: newcomers who have just joined a company more easily endure the onboarding period if they have a general understanding of the company and its processes. The list of rules and regulations relieves a new employee from unnecessary questions and makes it clear at once whether the company suits him or not.


What are the main mistakes companies make when creating corporate ethics rules? Creating rules does not mean following them. It is important not only to write down the correct principles but also to put them into practice. And copying someone else’s ethics is an unacceptable mistake in developing a corporate culture. Until the company finds its true face, it cannot develop as it should.

The other important mistake is connected to slogans. A company that sets out its code of ethics in slogans does not say anything concrete, which means it has nothing to say to its employees.

And so corporate ethics is much more than just a set of rules, ideas, and slogans. It is a company philosophy that defines its life and has an impact on its success.