ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Staying Ethical in our Business Lives

Updated on April 26, 2013

What are Ethics?

Ethics are a set of moral principles that decide what actions you take. If you act ethically it means you act in ways that maintain certain values. As defined by Google, ethics are "moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior."

So why are ethics necessary in my business?

As we go through this article you'll understand why ethics are necessary for your business. Remaining ethical is key to maintaining customer relations and keeping customer trust. It will also help you sleep better at night knowing that your business is completely ethical and professional.

Universal Values

One important thing that pertains to being ethical that you'll learn to take note of is universal values. If you notice, throughout any culture, or society, people value certain things. Some examples of universal values are:

  • Friendship:
  • Helping Others
  • Success

Universal values are useful to nearly every culture or society because they promote what's needed for people to enjoy life, survive, and get along with their fellow humans. If you notice in most societies or cultures, people also value some things we call "common good". Things like obeying the law, or caring for your fellow human beings. But just like we have good things in most societies or cultures, we also have things that are generally considered bad. Such as stealing, blackmail, greed, being dishonest, etc.

Ethics in Business

If you happen to watch the news or follow some common incidents over the past few years, you've probably noticed some really terrible business-related incidents. A small example of something like this would be a company selling toys they knew contained lead-based paint, even though it's a health hazard, to make more profit. These things are seen as morally wrong, or unethical. Things like this have brought some recognition to business ethics.

Why should I practice business ethics?

It's the right thing to do. Remember the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Other than it being "right", there are a few practical reasons as to why you should practice business ethics.

  • An ethical workplace will motivate your employees. If you're an unfair and unethical employer, your employees won't be very motivated or confident working for you. If employees see you doing something unethical in the workplace, they may get frustrated and wonder as to what's going on. They will feel proud to work for a business that honors it's ethics and treats it's employees fairly and honestly.
  • Customers will likely feel better knowing that they're buying their products or services from an ethical company. Would you buy from a company that's been proven to not honor any ethics various times throughout their history, or a company that has a great track record? You'll likely choose the second company.
  • Staying ethical prevents legal issues. As you probably know, lawsuits are not only expensive, but they can also severely hurt a businesses reputation.

Creating a Code of Ethics for your business

Writing a code of ethics will describe your business's moral philosophy and give guidelines for what your business does. Writing a business code is a wise move on many different levels.

  • It makes you explain your values and principles:

Ask yourself; "what do I believe is important, in my business, and in my life?". Answer these questions and help yourself understand what you believe in. Write a very descriptive answer to all of your questions. You might value honesty very highly in your business, but what does it mean to you, the business owner and the person writing your business code?

  • Prevents future problems and issues

Say a question arises in your business about a common ethical issue. You can simply see how it compares to your code of ethics. If it's not clearly defined, you should consider adding it to your code of ethics after resolving the issues.

Although I'd love to, I cannot write your code of ethics for your business. It is something you should sit down and work on, perhaps with some of your employees to make sure you include everything.

Do you think being ethical is important?

Do you think being ethical is important?

See results


To summarize, you should try to maintain ethical in your business to not only prevent problems, but to increase employee confidence and customer confidence. If you happen to have any questions about staying ethical in your business, feel free to leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to leave a comment as well. I hope you enjoyed reading this article!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for writing on this important topic. I find having ethics as an individual and as a business is something individuals are looking for today. Having ethics as an individual can or does affect the ethics in a company. I voted up, useful, awesome and interesting along with liking, pinning and tweeting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)