What is Business Ethics?
Ethics is the code by which people govern their behavior. In everyday life, ethics determine honesty, integrity, discipline, and an individual's overall view of how to conduct their life. Why do ethics matter in business? Ethical business is not only a cornerstone of personal integrity but an important aspect of running a successful business. An absence of ethical behavior in business inevitably results in an array of unfortunate consequences, such as a ruined reputation or even jail time. It is easier to make good and ethical decisions in business if training has been provided. Further, it is easier to make ethical decisions in the heat of the moment when these issues have already been thought through.
The definition of business ethics is the morality and principles that businesses, and individuals operating within businesses, use to guide their transactions. There are three main levels of ethical behavior. Personal ethics, professional ethics, and organizational ethics all have an impact on the practices of any individual business. This sub-specialty of ethics is so important because it protects people conducting business and their consumers. For example, if a business person decides to break the law by manufacturing a good known to be unsafe, this creates various ethical problems. The law has been broken, the business person has broken their principles, and consumers have been hurt by using the product. Fortunately, most business ethics issues are more nuanced than the example above. The business ethics courses found at Study.com will give students forethought into many of the issues they might face in future endeavors and equip them to make more ethical decisions. While much of the knowledge is practical, these courses also provide helpful background to the field of ethics in its broader philosophical sense.
Business Ethics Topics
Learn about ethics in advertising and explore set guidelines and principles. Study ethical issues in advertising and compare this to ethical advertising examples.
Learn about the definition of ethical leadership and the principles of ethical leadership. Investigate real-life examples of ethical workplace leadership.
Ethics and Information Technology
Learn about ethics in information technology, or IT, and the importance of ethics in IT. Discover the application of ethics in IT and common ethical issues.
Review ethics in finance and understand the uses of ethics in financial management. Explore ethical issues in finance with examples and concepts used for training.
Learn about ethics in the workplace. Discover the principles of workplace ethics. Explore influences on professional ethics and examples of ethical issues at work.
Business Ethics Courses and Video Lessons
Our lineup of business ethics training courses includes many of the main topics covered in most business ethics classrooms. These include information on management ethics, theories of business ethics, and ethical principles in business. Business ethics case studies and court cases are featured throughout the lessons to provide real-world context to these important topics. Many of these courses can be transferred to over 2,000 colleges and universities for credit.
Business 108: Business Ethics
Business 108 is a transferrable three-credit course that covers an introduction to ethics and how that information practically applies to business acumen. Students who engage in this course will have a solid understanding of how to conduct an ethical business.
Business 307: Leadership & Organizational Behavior
This is a fascinating class that delves into the relationship between leadership and organizational behavior. This three-credit transferrable course covers the science that impacts organizational behavior and also highlights Pixar as a real-world example.
Business 310: Advanced Business Ethics
Business 310 is a transferrable three-credit course that builds on the information in Business 108. This course delves deeper into practical applications, covering the six pillars of character and examples involving stakeholders' ethical considerations.
Business 318: Management Ethics
How do managers balance making good decisions for both the bottom line and the people they manage? Answer this question in Business 318. This class allows future or current managers to define their personal moral code and how to apply it to their subordinates.
Ethical Practices in the Workplace
This corporate training course teaches employees the importance of ethical behavior at work and the consequences of a lack of integrity. It covers the intersection of legality and morality and how the two are different concepts that often align.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three basic levels of business ethics?
The three basic levels of business ethics are personal, professional, and organizational. Personal ethical codes dictate how people behave in professional and organizational environments, which is why many of the courses found on Study.com begin with first defining a personal ethical code.
Why are ethics important in business?
A lack of ethics in business has severe repercussions. Those who engage in unethical business might hurt themselves, their stakeholders, or their consumers, either intentionally or unintentionally.
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