Business Ethics

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The Importance of Business Ethics and Ethical Decision Making

Karen Edwards

Webster University

Author Note

This paper is being submitted on July 27, 2013 for C. Michael Franks 5000-MNGT Management

The Importance of Business Ethics and Ethical Decision Making

Business ethics is and continues to be a constant struggle for many companies and leaders in the corporate world today. The ability to recognize and deal with complex business ethics issues remain a significant priority, especially since recent years have seen well-publicized scandals resulting in public outrage about deception and fraud in business, and a demand for improved business ethics and greater corporate responsibility (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2011). Largely in response to this crisis, business decisions and activities have come under greater scrutiny by many different constituents, including consumers, employees, investors, government regulators, and special interest groups (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2011). This paper examines the importance and benefits of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, ethical decision making and the role of ethical leadership in corporate culture. Though the struggle to balance ethical behavior may persist on into the future, the goal for the corporate world is, to continue in improving the ethical posture of their organizations and significantly reduce the scandals that are becoming the norm rather than an occasional occurrence.


Why is business ethics so important? There are several definitions of business ethics with most relating to rules, standards and moral principles regarding what is right and wrong in specific situations (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2011). As defined business ethics comprises the principles, values, and standards that guide behavior in the world of business (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2011), while ethics is the discipline of dealing with good and bad with moral...