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Business Ethics. “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business ”. Collect the following sheet from the wiki. Business Ethics Worksheet. What do businesses need from:. Other businesses Customers The Government. Besides Money. What do businesses need from:.

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business ethics

Business Ethics

“it’s nothing personal, it’s just business”

what do businesses need from
What do businesses need from:
  • Other businesses
  • Customers
  • The Government

Besides Money


What do businesses need from:

  • Other businesses – respect and honesty
  • Customers - respect and honesty
  • The Government – protection, respect and honesty
australian competition consumer commission
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
  • Promotes competition and fair trade to benefit consumers, businesses and the community.
  • To ensure individuals and businesses comply with the competition, fair trade and consumer protection laws.
what do businesses owe
What do businesses owe:
  • Other businesses
  • Customers
  • The Government

Besides Money


What do businesses owe:

  • Other businesses - respect and honesty
  • Customers - respect and honesty
  • The Government - respect and honesty

• Can be defined as a “system of right and


• Assists individuals decide whether an act is:

– Moral or immoral

– Socially desirable or undesirable


• Many sources:

– Religious beliefs

– National and ethnic beliefs

– Community standards

– Family practices

– Educational experiences

– Friends

business ethics1
Business ethics

• Principles and standards which guide behaviour in the world of business.

• “Right” or “wrong”, “acceptable” or “unacceptable” behaviour within the organisation.

• Determined by key stakeholders – the people affected by any decision.

business ethics2
Business ethics
  • Behaving ethically in business is widely regarded as good business practice.
ethical versus lawful
Ethical versus lawful
  • An important distinction to remember is that behaving ethically is not quite the same thing as behaving lawfully:
  • Ethics are about what is right and what is wrong
  • Law is about what is lawful and what is unlawful. Lawful is obeying the laws.
  • An ethical decision is one that is both legal and meets the shared ethical standards of the community
some myths about business ethics
Some myths about business ethics
  • It’s easy to be ethical
  • Unethical behaviour is part of business
  • There are no rewards for being ethical
  • Ethical behaviour will prevent me from being successful
  • Business is like sport – push the rules and try not to get caught
  • Business ethics is about character education and teaching moral philosophy
ethical issues for business
Ethical issues for business
  • Product safety standards
  • Advertising contents
  • Working environment
  • Unauthorised payments
  • Employee privacy
  • Environmental issues
common unethical acts reported by employees
Common unethical acts(reported by employees)
  • Lying to supervisors
  • Falsifying records
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Conflict of interest
  • Stealing
  • Receiving a gift/entertainment in violation of company policy
  • Improper accounting procedures
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Violation of environmental laws
ethical decisions
Ethical decisions
  • Should businesses profit from problem gambling?
  • Should supermarkets sell beer cheaper than bottled water?
  • Is ethical shopping a luxury we can’t afford?
  • Should businesses buy good made by cheap foreign workers over long standing Australian workers?
ethical decisions1
Ethical decisions
  • Should Australian mines be sold to foreign Governments?
  • Should pollution be covered-up?
  • Is insider tradingethical?
  • Should local Government councillors take bribes to approve developments that are not in the interests of the communities they represent?
ethical decisions2
Ethical decisions
  • Should businesses be allowed to double the prices of goods just before Christmas?
  • Should telemarketers be allowed to ring just on meal time?
why do people behave unethically
Why do people behave unethically?
  • Meeting overly aggressive financial or business objectives
  • Meeting schedule pressures (“deadlines”)
  • Helping the organisation survive
  • Rationalising that others do it
  • Resisting competitive threats
  • Saving jobs
what stops unethical behaviour
What stops unethical behaviour?
  • Personal values
  • Supervisor influence
  • Senior management influence
  • Internal drive to succeed
  • Friends/co-worker influence (peer pressure)
why misconduct is not reported
Why misconduct is not reported
  • Fear of not being considered a team player
  • Did not think that corrective action would be taken
  • Fear of retribution – from management
  • “No-one else cares – why should I?”
  • Did not trust the organisation to keep the report confidential
conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
  • Exists when an individual must choose whether to advance his/her own interests, the organisation’s or others’
    • Examples: Bribes/personal payments, gifts, or special favours intended to influence decision making
    • Do auditor actual or alleged conflicts of interest represent unethical behaviour?
honesty and fairness
Honesty and fairness
  • Following applicable laws and regulations and not knowingly harming stakeholders

– Is advertising cigarettes at the cricket fair? Why was it phased out?

– Are mobile phone ads that ‘mask’ the effective cost of the call, especially if the limit is exceeded, fair?

  • Refers to the transmission of information and the sharing of meaning

– e.g.: deceptive advertising, product safety information, product composition

– Financial Statements – is this not simply a means of communication to stakeholders?

– Continuous disclosure obligations for ASX


so what does this mean to you and me
So what does this mean toyou and me?
  • We have a personal obligation to ourselves to act ethically in our business dealings

– The risk to our personal reputation

– The risk to our businesses reputation

  • University of Notre Dame
  • Chartered Accountants