One definition of Business Ethics is conformance to accepted professional high standards of conduct.
Most businesses have prepared, documented, and published their company policies derived from their basic beliefs and philosophies, and Business Ethics is usually one of them.
We must avoid even the appearance of unethical conduct.
How do Business Ethics apply in the workplace?
One perspective on Business Ethics is what each of us thinks about using the company equipment and information we have access to as we perform our duties:
- What we think about making copies of personal (non-business) documents on company provided equipment.
- What we think about faxing personal (non-business) documents on company provided equipment.
- What we think about making personal (non-business) telephone calls on company provided equipment.
- What we think about sending personal (non-business) electronic mail messages on company provided computers and Internet network connections.
These and other non-business usages and actions are a drag on company profitability.
Other applications of Business Ethics in the workplace might be:
- Do you copy software to take home for personal use?
- Do you properly dispose of classified information regardless of media type?
- Do you “shoulder-surf" when a colleague is entering his or her password or viewing sensitive data?
- Do you ask those who “tailgate" upon entrance to the controlled-access office building to see their ID?
Let's be sure that our Business Ethics “dip-stick" always reads FULL.
The author, at one time, was an IT Staff Auditor for a Fortune 10 company, and also managed the global Information Security Program for the Information Technology organization that supported a Fortune 10 company.