Ethical Basis for Business


The concepts of capitalism advanced mass production of utility products for sale with an emphasis on making huge profits. With the notion of profits, came the greed and hunger for more profits regardless of the means through which the profits would be achieved. Therefore, commercial producers and a chain of middlemen comprising of wholesalers, retailers, and individual sales agents often resorted to some “easy and cheaper ” means of achieving their profit-motivated ends faster. This later strategy contributed to the unfair trade-in business inputs and finished products including a variety of services offered by professionals in different fields. This essay focuses on the importance of ethical bases in business with an emphasis on societal legal and economic requirements.


Ethics is an aspect of moral functioning that addresses the subjects of justice and virtues based on some generally accepted rational judgments. In business, ethical basis concerns a moral philosophy that influences the business positively. The ethical bases discussed in this essay refer to specific virtues and values of a business that makes it salable to its target customers. The primary objective of this essay is to argue out the relevance of ethical bases in any business entity. In this regard, ethics covers all practices that the business deems as fair in the face of society and its customers (Crane & Matten, 2007, p 136).

Ethical bases in business

Ethical basis in business range from descriptive, to normative, to applied ethics. Ultimately, all ethical bases lead to some principles governing the business’ operations. Ethical bases are necessary for any business establishment and efficient operation. At any given time in its path, the business will find it important to trade in the means acceptable to the society that it serves. Until the customers and the society are convinced with a business’ modes of transactions, they may not be able to trade with the business.

Consequently, the forms of ethics promoted by the business usually reflect their core values and core business. These two sets of protocols define the position of the business in the industry and society. Besides they inform the business’ organizational culture which further impacts the business’ activities (Dennison, 1932, pp. 5-11)

The most common basis of ethics that has had a significant impact on business over the last century is applied ethics. It refers to the ways of attaining ethical outcomes in different situations. As society faced growing concern about issues such as counterfeit products, sub-standard goods, and quarks’ services, certain businesses continued to thrive from engaging in illegal trade. This case perhaps presents a worst-case scenario of businesses that defy ethics to the meaning of manufacturing and selling illegal and prohibited goods in their area of operations. Unfortunately, the absence of ethics in most business dealings, especially those involving individual sales agents has led to the emergence and growth of black markets in various parts of the world.

In black markets, business transactions do not follow any specific legal procedures laid down in the industry. The parties involved compromise on both the quality and quantity value of the product thereby short-circuiting normal business operations. In essence, the processes involved in the black market interfere with the forces of demand and supply in the market that always act objectively to create prices for each product.

Therefore, the relevance of ethical basis in business is to act as the benchmark of all the business operations. It distinguishes it from other businesses and in particular, the basis chosen should set the business apart from its rivals that obtain their marginal ends through dubious means, which do not reflect either their true value or the virtues of the society. For example, a business founded on honesty and accountability, backed by quality products in a competitive industry such as banking or insurance, will count on various advantages. The business will score its customers’ and the society’s reliability which is a prerequisite for growth and expansion in any industry. Eventually, the business strategizes for success and prosperity because of an ever-growing number of customers (Crane & Matten, 2007, p 311).

The fact that customers can count on the business’ honesty and accountability in the service industry per se, influences their decision to transact with them positively because at this age individuals and businesses face more technical challenges than in the past. Therefore, customers require a business that maintains its promise and issues promptly adequate information toward any changes in the course of the business.

Ethical basis affects the employee working conditions as well. In this respect, reputable business establishments create working conditions that nurture and develop various skills and abilities of their workers. Besides, this contributes to the generally improved performance of the company. On the other hand, businesses, which subject their employees to poor working conditions and poor wages, promote unethical behavior that is detrimental to its existence and functioning (Collins, 2009, p. 128).


An ethical basis is important for all businesses to commence and operate successfully. Nonetheless, the crystallized basis of ethics that a business chooses is most likely to ensure a sustained existence of the business besides its expected returns. As the saying goes, “if ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization”.

Reference List

Collins, D. (2009). Essentials of Business Ethics: Creating an Organization of High Integrity and Superior Performance. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. pp. 33-62 & 127-166. Web.

Crane, A. &Matten, D. (2007). Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization,(2ed.). New York: Oxford University Press pp. 135-138, 194, 311 403. Web.

Dennison, H. (1932). Ethics and Modern Business. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press. pp. 4-28. Web.

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