Ethics

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Definitions of ethics

  1. Moral principles.
  2. 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.

The issue:

  • 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?


See also


Other links

Does ethics matter? The Treasurer 2010