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The Importance of Corporate Ethics

Corporate Ethics

Corporate ethics is the field of applied ethics concerned with ethical practices in the business world. Corporate ethics specifically focuses on the practices which should and should not be made allowable within business, which is significant primarily because some business practices which might be acceptable when viewed only in light of the business goal of making a profit might ultimately be detrimental and even dangerous for the world and the people involved with the company.

Corporate ethics thus might focus on any number of different elements of business practices, from ethical treatment of laborers to ethical use of resources and space to ethical treatment of consumers. Corporate ethics has become a particularly important concern in recent years, as examples of ethical misconduct in corporations have become more and more abundant and well-known, with the Enron scandal being one of the most obvious examples of a breach of corporate ethics.

Corporate ethics might include principles such as corporate social responsibility, ethical responsibilities to stakeholders in the company, ethical responsibilities vis-a-vis inter-company relations, corporate ethics with regard to the political or governmental system, and corporate ethics regarding marketing schemes.


A corporate leadership council, in general, is an organization made up of leaders from different corporations and companies, particularly within the same industry. A corporate leadership council will then allow these individuals to communicate and discuss what appropriate corporate ethics are for their companies and their industry. A corporate leadership council can thereby often lead to an improved overall state of corporate ethics, as many companies will agree to work by the same ethical rules.

NEXT: The Legal Gray Areas of Business Ethics

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