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Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that

examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It
applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire
organizations.
Business ethics has both normative and descriptive dimensions. As a corporate practice and
a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. Academics attempting to understand
business behavior employ descriptive methods. The range and uantity of business ethical issues
reflects the interaction of profit!maximizing behavior "ith non!economic concerns. Interest in
business ethics accelerated dramatically during the #$%&s and #$$&s, both "ithin ma'or
corporations and "ithin academia. (or example, today most ma'or corporations promote their
commitment to non!economic values under headings such as ethics codes and social
responsibility charters. Adam )mith said, *+eople of the same trade seldom meet together, even
for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in
some contrivance to raise prices.* ,overnments use la"s and regulations to point business
behavior in "hat they perceive to be beneficial directions. -thics implicitly regulates areas and
details of behavior that lie beyond governmental control. The emergence of large corporations
"ith limited relationships and sensitivity to the communities in "hich they operate accelerated
the development of formal ethics regimes.
-thical issues include the rights and duties bet"een a company and its employees, suppliers,
customers and neighbors, its fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders. Issues concerning
relations bet"een different companies include hostile ta.e!overs and industrial espionage.
/elated issues include corporate governance0corporate social entrepreneurship0 political
contributions0 legal issues such as the ethical debate over introducing a crime of corporate
manslaughter0 and the mar.eting of corporations1 ethics policies
According to different business issues "e can spea. about specific business ethics measures2
(inance issue ! (airness in trading practices, trading conditions, financial contracting,
sales practices, consultancy services, tax payments, internal audit, external audit
and executive compensationalso fall under the umbrella of finance and
accounting. +articular corporate ethical3legal abuses include2 creative
accounting, earnings management, misleading financial analysisinsider
trading, securities fraud, bribery3.ic.bac.s and facilitation payments.
4uman resources policies 5 supporting an egalitarian "or.place and the dignity of labor,
providing orientation, performance appraisal, training and development, industrial
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relations and health and safety issues, combating 6iscrimination by age (preferring
the young or the old), gender3sexual harassment, race, religion, disability, "eight and
attractiveness. 7oreover employees have ethical obligations to employers, involving
intellectual property protection and "histle!blo"ing.
)ales and mar.eting ! 7ar.eting -thics came of age only as late as #$$&s. 7ar.eting
ethics "as approached from ethical perspectives of virtue or virtue
ethics, deontology, conseuentialism, pragmatismand relativism. -thics in mar.eting
deals "ith the principles, values and3or ideals by "hich mar.eters (and mar.eting
institutions) ought to act.7ar.eting ethics is also contested terrain, beyond the
previously described issue of potential conflicts bet"een profitability and other
concerns. -thical mar.eting issues include mar.eting redundant or dangerous
products3services

transparency about environmental ris.s, transparency about product
ingredients such as genetically modified organisms

possible health ris.s, financial ris.s,
security ris.s, etc., respect for consumer privacy and autonomy,

advertising truthfulness
and fairness in pricing 8 distribution. 7ar.eting ethics involves pricing practices,
including illegal actions such as price fixing and legal actions including price
discrimination and price s.imming. 9ertain promotional activities have dra"n fire,
including green"ashing, bait and s"itch, shilling, viral mar.eting, spam
(electronic), pyramid schemes and multi!level mar.eting. Advertising has raised
ob'ections aboutattac. ads, subliminal messages, sex in advertising and mar.eting in
schools.
+roduction ! This area of business ethics usually deals "ith the duties of a company to
ensure that products and production processes do not needlessly cause harm. )ince fe"
goods and services can be produced and consumed "ith zero ris., determining the
ethical course can be problematic. In some case consumers demand products that harm
them, such as tobaccoproducts. +roduction may have environmental impacts,
including pollution, habitat destruction and urban spra"l.
Intellectual +roperty ! -thical and legal issues include2 +atent infringement, copyright
infringement, trademar. infringement, patent and copyright misuse, submarine
patents, gene patents, patent, copyrightand trademar. trolling, -mployee raiding and
monopolizing talent, Bioprospecting, biopiracy and industrial espionage, digital rights
management.
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IBM: "It's not just good deeds, it's good business
In :&&&, the value of IB7;s philanthropic donations exceeded <#:& million and consisted of
cash donations, community service, and computer euipment. IB7;s ma'or focus, ho"ever,
remains on education programs. =f the <#:>.# million that IB7 contributed through its global
contributions program and community relations activities, ?&@ "as devoted to education. T"o
of IB7;s most prominent efforts in this area are its /einventing -ducation grant program and its
Aid)mart -arly Bearning +rogram.
Microsoft against TB
)pea.ing on Canuary :%, :&&> from the Dorld -conomic (orum in 6avos 7icrosoft 9hairman
Bill ,ates launched a ne" campaign by the )top TB +artnership to dra" greater attention and
money to the fight against tuberculosis. The partnership is see.ing <E> billion over the next #&
years, or triple the amount of funding in its current TB plan, to step up efforts to bring
tuberculosis under greater control by :&#E. A #&!year plan to cut tuberculosis cases and deaths
by half could save more than #F million lives over the next decade, according to the Stop TB
Partnership, an international net"or. of public and private groups "or.ing to end tuberculosis
as a public health problem by :&E&.
Car producers fighting AIS
To combat the negative impact of AI6), Gol.s"agen do Brasil launched an AI6) 9are
+rogram in #$$> aimed at reducing the spread and effects of the disease. Gol.s"agen uic.ly
found that it "as far more profitable to educate and treat its employees than to recruit and train
ne" ones and the program uic.ly raised the uality of life for Gol.s"agen factory employees.
The AI6) 9are +rogram focuses both on prevention and treatment. Gol.s"agen uses the
communication channels available "ithin the company to educate "or.ers about the dangers of
AI6) and ho" to prevent the disease.
In :&&&, 6aimler!9hrysler instituted a similar AI6) "or.place strategy at its operations in
)outh Africa, "here it is expected that the portion of the population infected "ith 4IG "ill reach
:E percent by :&&>. The company;s multi!faceted strategy involves collaboration "ith trade
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unions, service providers, and government to reduce the spread and impact of AI6) through
education, prevention, and treatment. (ollo"ing a t"o!day conference for employee
representatives and other sta.eholders, 6aimler!9hrysler implemented an education and
prevention program that includes training #H: employees as peer!educators, promoting voluntary
testing and counseling, and educating employees in the use of condoms. This portion of the
AI6) program "ill extend into local communities through health education and a"areness
campaigns, improving community health care centers, and training traditional healers, medical
doctors, and health "or.ers in education, monitoring, and treatment.
B!oo"berg co"bining co"pan# and phi!anthropic goa!s
Bloomberg, global multimedia ne"s and information company is involved in many pro'ects
"here people can interact "ith the arts via communication and technology. Today, the company
sponsors audio guides in five ma'or museums.
$"p!o#ee engage"ent. The company supplies its employees as volunteers and offers corporate
resources to nonprofit partners around the "orld. =ften, artists of all .inds are invited into the
office to present their no" "or.s to employees and clients during the lunch hour. These actions
forge a strong connection bet"een employees and those "hom they serve.
%ostering creati&it# in the 'or(p!ace. Bloomberg offices are designed "ith open "or.space
and in!house lunchtime performances as a "ay of generating creative thin.ing among its o"n
employees.
in :&&E ,eneral -lectric launched -comagination, representing a commitment to produce
technology that reduces energy consumption and "aste. The move paid off as ,- reported <#&
billion in revenues from the line in :&&E and pro'ects <:& billion in annual sales by :&#&.
9ompanies li.e Alcoa and 6upont have established systems to reduce carbon emission and other
harmful chemicals, the most li.ely targets for government intervention.
Dalmart has proved to be a particularly good example of ho" companies are adopting
environmental practices in an attempt to improve their images. The company ! and the big
box stores it tends to build ! has often been targeted by environmentalists for destroying habitats,
producing tons of "aste and putting more sustainable local businesses out of commission. In
:&&?, Dal!7art too. up the *green* initiative, and introduced plans for an environmental
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overhaul, including ma.ing its truc.s more efficient, building ne" stores "ith strict energy
conservation goals and pushing suppliers to reduce pac.aging.
The "ost generous co"panies:
)* Dal!7art (oundation! <#EF,EH?,F&>
+* Aventis +harmaceuticals 4ealth 9are (oundation ! <##F,>>%,$%F
,* (ord 7otor 9ompany (und ! <??,$#>,$&H
-* 9itigroup (oundation ! <>?,F&E,%&?
.* Dells (argo (oundation ! <>F,?F?,&&?
/* Gerizon (oundation ! <E>,$>%,>H>
0* C+7organ 9hase (oundation ! <E>,?%>,&%H
1* -xxon7obil (oundation ! <F$,$F?,&$&
2* ,- (oundation ! <F$,#??,F??
)3* )B9 (oundation ! <F%,#E$,EH?
))* (annie 7ae (oundation ! <F?,?F:,FEF
)+* 7erc. 9ompany (oundation ! <F#,?H>,?:F
),* Dachovia (oundation ! <F&,$%H,&?H
)-* 7BIA (oundation ! <H%,$#F,F#H
).* J+) (oundation ! <H>,EE:,FEF
)/* Ban. of America 9haritable (oundation ! <HE,?:?,>$F
)0* 9hase (oundation ! <HE,E?$,:H&
)1* Intel (oundation ! <HF,E>#,H:>
)2* ,eneral 7otors (oundation ! <HF,F#>,F##
+3* Avon (oundation ! <HH,>##,#%#
+)* B+ (oundation ! <:%,EH>,?##
++* 7etBife (oundation ! <:?,>E>,H$?
+,* +rudential (oundation ! <:?,>&H,&&&
+-* +fizer (oundation ! <:?,F>F,#FE
+.* +rocter 8 ,amble (und ! <:>,F#E,&?E
-ven though business ethics may loo. li.e a means of becoming popular or li.e a "ay of
improving the image among the competitors, it is fundamental for a healthy development of a
company.
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