Business ethics has come to be considered a management discipline, especially since the birth of the social responsibility movement of business
in the 1960s. In that decade, social awareness movement raised expectations of businesses to use their massive financial and social influence to
address social problems such as poverty, crime, environmental protection, equal rights, public health and improving education. The emergence of business
ethics is similar to other management disciplines. As commerce became more complicated and dynamic, organizations realized they needed more guidance
to ensure their dealings supported the common good and did not harm others -- and so business ethics was born.
About 90% of business schools in the world now provide some form of training in business ethics. Today, ethics in the workplace can be managed through
use of codes of ethics, codes of conduct, roles of ethicists and ethics committees, policies and procedures, procedures to resolve ethical dilemmas,
ethics training, etc.
Many people are used to reading or hearing of the moral benefits of attention to business ethics. However, there are other types of benefits, as well.
The following list describes various types of benefits from managing ethics in the workplace:
- Attention to business ethics has substantially improved society.
- Ethics programs support employee growth and meaning.
- Ethics programs help ensure that policies are legal.
- Ethics programs help manage values associated with quality management and strategic planning.
- Ethics programs promote public reputation.