Overview of Business Ethics

Business ethics, also referred to as corporate ethics encompass a key aspect of doing business in the modern business environment.

This is effectively reflected in the way ethics have become a critical study area in college, where assignments like an essay on business ethics are the order of the day.

Accordingly, writing such a business essay requires an understanding of the proper definition of the term as well as the underlying principles.

Per se, business ethics could be defined as:


“Written and unwritten values and code of principles that are determined by the culture of an organization and that guide the actions and decisions of the organization.”


Note that you are likely to come across different types of writings on business ethics in college; may it be business case studies or business research papers.

In this, the importance of business ethics is evident in how often you will be required to explore different business ethics research topics in college.


Writing an Essay on Business Ethics

If you have concrete knowledge on business ethics, the process of writing an essay on business ethics is generally easy and straightforward.

Such knowledge is critical in helping you effectively appreciate the importance of business ethics within particular circumstances.

With this knowledge, you can go ahead and follow the respective steps on how to write an essay to come up with outstanding work.

That said, it should be clear that different ethical principles are the basis of such knowledge.

These principles include:

1. Fairness

2. Integrity

3. Law abiding

4. Honesty

5. Trustworthiness and ability to keep promises

6. Accountability

7. Loyalty

8. Leadership

9. Concern for others

10. Respect for others

11. Commitment to excellence

12. Reputation and morale


Following these principles, it is possible to effectively unravel the different types of business ethics entailed in a particular scenario.


Types of Business Ethics

Before you start writing an essay on business ethics, it is important to review and understand the different types of ethics that are subject to good decision making within a business environment.

Note that although scholars have not been keen on classifying business ethics into distinctive categories, there are some specific types are quite obvious.

These categories include:


1. Economic Responsibility

This is an important category of business ethics to consider when writing an essay on business ethics and social responsibility.

It focuses on a business enterprise’s conduct in relation to activities that it carries out in order to make profits.

Mainly, this entail important issues like efficient use of resources and adoption of measures and decisions that help curb fraudulent activities.


2.  Personal Responsibility

Personal responsibility looks at an individual’s application of morality within a business environment. It entails values such as honesty and trustworthiness.

It is one of the most important area of types of business ethics to consider when exploring suitable business ethics essay topics.


3. Legal Responsibility

This is an extremely important category of business ethics. It entails the demands exerted on the business by the legal environment.

Accordingly, you should examine the different ethics that an enterprise should adopt in order to effectively address the challenges associated with the existing legal framework.


4. Technical Ethics

This also ranks as one of the important types of business ethics to consider when writing an essay on business ethics.

In this, good business practices require you to pay adequate attention to technical ethics since technology is much central to production and business processes.

You should therefore look at how the adoption of technology could compromise the quality of products or services.


5. Personal Loyalty

This category of ethics looks at the values that could be negatively influenced by an individual’s excessive loyalty to another individual.

When exploring business ethics essay topics, you could look at how subordinate employees could be ethically compromised due to loyalty to their superiors.


6. Representative Responsibility

Representative responsibility is viewed as one of the critical types of business ethics among the different categories.

It looks at the ethics entailed in cases where an employee or a manager is representing a business enterprise.

This is in regards to the enterprise’s rules one is required to adhere to.


Ideas for Essay on Business Ethics

There are various areas you could seek to explore for apt business ethics essay topics.

Principally, these areas focus on the relationships business enterprises have with different entities.

Some of these areas may include:


1. Relationships with the Society

This a very critical area of ethics in the modern business environment. It can provide numerous topics for your essay on business ethics and social responsibility.

In this, you can examine the ethical implications entailed on the different impacts business enterprises have on the society.

Some key areas of interest include:


a. Political Discourses

This entails the participation of the business enterprise in political discourses. Herein, you could explore the extensive debate on corporate political activity (CPA).

In this, you could look at issues around the need for business enterprises to participate in CPA, the goals of CPA, and forms of CPAs.


b. Corporate Social Responsibility

This another area to examine when writing an essay on business ethics and social responsibility. In this area, you could study the ethics that direct the business enterprise towards CSR activities.

Accordingly, your essay on business ethics could look at areas such as reasons for and against CSR, duties of the firm to the society, the role of corporates in addressing societal ills, etc.


c.  International Business

International business is also an area to look for business ethics essay topics. This is particularly the case for the business operations of multinationals (MNCs) and transnationals (TNCs).

This area could look at various issues that arise when conducting business outside the country of the parent company.

As such, key issues that could be sources of these topics may include divestment, relativism, environmental degradation, poverty, labor, human rights, culture, etc.


2. Relationships with Customers

This is another important area to consider when writing your essay on business ethics. You can derive numerous topics from the study on how businesses relate with their customers.

Some key areas to explore for business ethics essay topics include:


a. Products and Services for Sale

This area entails issues relating to the sale of controversial products and services like human organs, surrogacy services, and controlled substances like marijuana.

Topics in this area could look at the potential exploitation in the sale of such products and services as well as the potential impacts of their legalization.


b. Pricing

Product pricing is another area where you could look for business ethics essay topics. This would look on the ethical issues entailed in pricing and price limits.

As such, some key issues you could examine involve price discrimination and price gouging.


c. Product Safety

Product safety is a classical debate area that provides adequate study ideas for an essay on business ethics.

Mainly, the topics in this area could look at the liability that may result from damaged low quality products.

You could explore liability in regard to the entailed contract, expected due care, and involved social costs.


d. Advertising

Advertising is another area of debate and a solid source of topics for a business ethics essay.

Some the key areas relating to advertisement that could be explored include ethical advertisement and persuasive techniques adopted by business enterprises.


e. Sales and Negotiation

As well, sales and negotiation is an interesting area for an essay on business ethics.

Business ethics essay topics in this area could largely focus on issues relating to disclosure during sales.


3. Relationships with Employees

This is another critical area that you can look for viable topics for your essay on business ethics.  Accordingly, numerous ethical issues arise from the way businesses relate with their workers.

Some areas where these issues arise include:


a. Hiring and Firing

This is a promising area to explore for business ethics essay topics.

For hiring, one of the major ethical issue that could be studied entails discrimination in the employment criteria and the negatives impacts of different forms of discrimination.

On the other hand, ethical issues on firing would look at the rights of the employees, powers of the employers, and reasons for employment termination.


b. Meaningful Work

This area would focus on the need for business enterprises to create meaningful work for their employees amidst extreme specialization initiatives that are motivated by high productivity drives.

Major topic areas to examine would involve the different issues on meaningful work, including employee autonomy in the workplace.


c. Remuneration

Employee pay is another area to focus on for an essay on business ethics. This is because of the numerous dilemmas that arise in the reconstitution of the payment sum.

Business ethics essay topics in this area would therefore focus on justice issues relating to different views of employee pay such as “agreement view” and “contribution view”.


d. Whistleblowing  

Whistleblowing is also a feasible area to look for business ethics essay topics. This is particularly the case with high incidences of unethical behavior among business enterprises.

As such, key issues to examine in this area may entail the justification of whistleblowing, duty of loyalty to the employer, effects on the employee, and potential success of whistleblowing.

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