Business ethics involves using the appropriate practices, policies and systems for business operations. The values a business upholds are directly related to the brand’s external reputation and the company’s internal organization. Some common ethical principles that involve businesses are labor rights, the environment, human rights and anti-corruption. Businesses typically adopt specific ethical standards based on their field and what kind of organizational culture they want to develop.
The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program from the University of Northern Colorado can guide students with an interdisciplinary approach that deepens a broad range of business skills. When students amplify their knowledge of today’s business world’s technological, global and ethical issues, they stand out and succeed.
Ethics in the World of Business
Organizations develop and promote business ethics to gain public trust and build honesty and unity among their employees. Business ethics impact laws regarding company conduct, but ethics and laws don’t always align. Having specific policies and guiding principles regarding negotiations, finances and social responsibility helps a business make sound, honorable decisions.
The following are reasons why strong business ethics are vital for every organization:
- Business ethics have lasting implications on many different levels. An organization’s ethics can influence the public’s perception of a company’s reputation. A business with questionable ethics will likely commit legal violations and face significant fines. These types of issues result in an unfavorable public persona. Employees may lose respect for business leaders and managers, sales may decline and customers may look elsewhere for a product or service. Many consumers will not buy from a business that has questionable ethical values or seems unauthentic.
- Companies that exhibit favorable ethics and behaviors can be successful and help communities. While a properly executed ethics program can increase the bottom line, it can also reduce losses. Companies with questionable ethics may see a decline in stock prices, which can negatively impact the relationships with business partners and stockholders. On the other hand, sound business ethics can cultivate trust, strengthening sales.
- Companies with solid business ethics are more desirable to other organizations. When a company has an excellent reputation, other businesses are likelier to broker deals and negotiate for a profitable outcome.
- Customer experience. Honest businesses can reinforce consumer loyalty. When a company publicizes its stance on societal issues, safety, security or climate change, the public may offer support, depending on the company’s sincerity.
Understanding Why Business Ethics Are Important
The educational system plays a vital role in creating the next generation of business leaders. Ethics education is critical to a well-rounded MBA degree. The University of Northern Colorado understands why learning and practicing good business ethics is essential. Major issues like sustainability, labor laws, human rights and social justice require a strong background in ethical reasoning and critical thinking. The program’s Ethical Leadership and Organizational Behavior course analyzes ethical leadership and how it relates to organizational behavior. By studying the application of ethics and law to various business and corporate governance issues, students can understand how companies comply with the law and use ethics as a positive strategy for successful business decisions.
Learn more about the University of Northern Colorado’s online MBA program.