The term “business ethics” is used in a lot of different ways. Business ethics is a form of applied ethics (Broni, 2010) that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment (Solomon, 1991). It applies to all aspects of business conduct (Baumhart, 1968; Ferell – Fraedrich, 1997; Singer, 1991) and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and business organizations as a whole (Bernard, 1972; Donaldson, 1982:36).
Applied ethics is a field of ethics that deals with ethical questions in many fields such as technical, legal, business and medical ethics (Preston, 1997:6-11). Business ethics consists of a set of moral principles and values (Jones – Parker – Bos, 2005:17) that govern the behavior of the organization with respect to what is right and what is wrong (Badiou, 2001; Seglin, 2003). It spells out the basic philosophy and priorities of an organization in concrete terms (French, 1979; French, 1995). It also contains the prohibitory actions at the workplace (Collier – Esteban 2007:19; Duska, 1999). It provides a framework on which the organization could be legally governed. With time, certain moral philosophies have helped in the evolution of four basic concepts of ethics.
They are deontologism, relativism, egoism, and utilitarianism (Kotsiris, 2003). The paper examines basic principles of business ethics and sheds light on the aforesaid concepts. Business ethics is the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world (Borgerson – Schroeder, 2008). The ethics of a particular business can be diverse (Solomon, 1983). They apply not only to how the business interacts with the world at large, but also to their one-on-one dealings with a single customer (Solomon, 1991). Many businesses have gained a bad reputation just by being in business (Carr, 1968). To some people, businesses are interested in making money, and that is the bottom line (Solomon, 1983). It could be called capitalism in its purest form (Antoniou, 2008). Making money is not wrong in itself. It is the manner in which some businesses conduct themse.