The Importance of Codes of Ethics

Examination of the Need of Business Ethics and the Efficient Usage of Codes of Ethics for Good Corporate Governance

Anna Mika

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During my time of studying business and economy, I have been fascinated by the fact that nearly everything in our world is influenced by the global economy. Every simple trade transaction or exchange of services involves a lot of people and impacts several countries nowadays. The constant rise of the globalisation produced multinational enterprises with a lot of power and control over big parts of the world¿s resources. The decay of human moral understanding and the recent scandals due to unethical business practices promoted my interest of multicultural and ethical business. The change in the business ethos and the grey zones emerged due to country differences supported unethical business behaviour. Ethics and moral as defined thousands of years ago by the first philosophers need to be taken seriously again. Especially, by institutions, which have an influence on many people and our environment, as businesses have nowadays. My goal is to illustrate this importance of business ethics and their main instrument, the codes of ethics.
Is there really a need for business ethics? If everybody would act morally, why is then everybody talking about ethics in the business context?
Following the thoughts of Aristotle¿s virtue ethics and Kant¿s categorical imperative, there would be no need of business ethics since everybody would be trustworthy and respect the society and the nature. Recent scandals on the other hand illustrated that ethics and moral are not well-known in enterprises with its main goal of profit maximization and that managers tend to live against the categorical imperative. The debate about the connection between business and ethics started with the birth of modern capitalism and intensified with the industrialisation and globalisation. Capitalistic thoughts, increase of corporations and individualization of humans created opportunistic behaviour, which is incompatible with the moral of values according to Aristotle. The globalization and impact of growing number of stakeholders aggravate the situation of the society¿s moral understanding. Through NGOs and media pressure and a change in customer¿s attitudes towards corporate responsibilities the awareness of a missing moral occurred. Multinational enterprises have to face various dilemmas caused by differences in cultures and national laws. These diversities and gaps on the global level provoke grey zones, which corporations can take and some already took [...]


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Seitenzahl 53 (Printausgabe)
Erscheinungsdatum 08.06.2011
Sprache Englisch
EAN 9783842815131
Verlag Diplomica Verlag
Dateigröße 411 KB


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