Business ethics is basically a type of principle of applied ethics, which analyzes various ethical rules and ethical or moral problems that may take place in a commercial environment. In the 21st Century, one of the most significant aspects of the commercial marketplaces all over the world is the growing focus on conscience.
As a result, the necessity for highly ethical business practices (which is also referred as ethicism) is on the rise. At the same time, force is also being applied on businesses and industries for the development of business ethics with the help of novel public efforts and regulations (for example, increased amount of road tax in the United Kingdom for vehicles with higher emission).
Business ethics can take the form of a descriptive field (subject area ) or normative field. The descriptive discipline is applied in the academic world. The normative discipline is basically implemented as a corporate device and it is also utilized in the form of career specialization.
The number and degree of business ethical issues gives the evidence of how much a business is compliant with the social values (non-economic).
The different forms of business ethics can be categorized into the following types:
General business ethics
These ethics deal with the following issues:
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Professional business ethics
The professional business ethics can be categorized into the following types:
Ethics of human resource management (HRM)
Strike breaking or union busting
Occupational safety and health
Ethics of accounting information
Misleading financial analysis
Ethics of production
Harmful, addictive, or defective products
Carbon emissions trading
Mobile phone radiation
Genetically modified food
Product testing ethics like animal testing and animal rights
Ethics of sales and marketing
Pricing: Price discrimination, price fixing, price skimming
Particular marketing strategies: Greenwash, shill, bait and switch, spam (computer), viral marketing, pyramid scheme, and planned obsolescence
Advertisement contents: Attack ads or promos, sex in advertisements, and subliminal messages
Marketing in schools
Grey markets and black markets
Ethics of intellectual property, skills, and knowledge
Patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement
Patent misuse, patent troll, copyright misuse, submarine patent
Biopiracy and bioprospecting
International business ethics
Fair trade pricing
A large number of companies are appointing business ethics officers as a part of their compliance and ethics programs, and these officers are also known as risk and compliance officers.