Definitions of ethics
- Moral principles.
- Principles which govern the conduct of any individual or corporate member of a professional organisation.
Characteristics of ethical issues
The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) identifies the following characteristics, to help to determine whether a business issue is an ethical issue.
If one or more of these characteristics is present, it is likely to be an ethical issue:
- One individual's 'right' decision about the issue may not be the same as another's 'right' decision.
- raises moral questions
- is not covered by law
- compromises personal or organisational values
- is against any code of ethics or code of practice
- involves personal duties and responsibilities or
- provokes the responses 'should I?' or 'ought I?'
Tests of ethical behaviour
The IBE has identified a number of key tests to help to determine whether a course of action, or inaction, is ethical:
- Is the action legal, transparent and fair?
- Who will it affect?
- Who benefits?
- ACT Competency Framework
- ACT Ethical Code
- Agency risk
- Business ethics
- Code of practice
- Corporate governance
- Corporate social responsibility
- Ethical business
- Institute of Business Ethics
- Professional behaviour
- The Code