Business ethics shapes work quality. Along with personal ethics, businesses and governments establish the rules of conduct or codes of conduct to define their normative ethics in such areas as professional conduct, stockholder relationships and social responsibility. Without solid business ethics creating a positive professional image is impossible. Violate a normative business ethic and you can lose your job or go to jail.
Stockholders purchase business ownership in the form of financial stocks. Stockholders do not operate daily business operations so they must trust a business’s ethic to correctly manage the business for profit. Governments create normative business ethics to regulate the financial management of stock companies, the sale of stocks and the distribution of stocks. The Securities and Exchange Commission forms normative ethics and monitors them through stock market and financial over site. States regulate ethics by requiring companies that sell stock to define their normative ethics within a document called The Articles of Incorporation.
Normative ethics for professionals fall into three categories consequence, societal and personal. Businesses and governments define consequential normative ethics through the establishment of business codes of conduct and government regulation. Society’s standards of good behaviour form societal normative ethics while families or person’s religion defines personal normative ethics.
Professionals are often required to follow normative ethics from multiple categories. For example, employees practicing racial bias may face government, business and societal censure. Other professional normative ethics such as prohibitions concerning theft can also include religious normative ethic violations thereby creating guilt in the perpetrator.
Social responsibility defines a business’ normative ethical obligations to society and their employees. Social responsibilities to workers are often a result of government normative ethic codes in the form regulatory laws for employees. Businesses define employee and employer normative ethics through the codes of conduct they enforce in the work place such as sexual harassment policies.
Other socially responsible ethics in business are developed by both government agencies and societal opinion as in the case of environmental responsibility, both government regulators and public organisations often review a business’ environmental policy and often have input into formation of such normative ethics.