Why is there a need for Corporate Ethics?

Ethics has been studied from the time of Socrates. However, Business Ethics has come to the forefront in the 1980’s. Though there is a lot of research in USA and UK in the area of Business ethics, India is lagging behind in research and action. Anita Shantaram’s doctoral work throws light on the two seemingly unrelated topics Ethical business practices (EBP) and its correlation (empirically) with Company financial parameters (CFP). The research study concludes that Ethical practices can be used to create an Ethical culture and these do have a positive correlation to performance parameters. The findings of the research make a contribution to an enhanced understanding of theory and practice of Business ethics by generating empirical data in Indian organisations.

Business Ethics for long has been considered an oxymoron. The view of Milton Friedman that the sole purpose of business is profit maximization has often been considered an appropriate view. Good ethics are not usually viewed as good for business.

The areas yet to be explored in the area of Ethics:

  1. Which factors lead to the development of an ethical culture?
  2. What constitutes ethical leadership?
  3. Gender basis of ethics.
  4. Is there a difference in how male/female respondents view the ethical practices?
  5. Is there a difference in rating on ethical practices based on position of the respondent’s hierarchy within the organisation?
  6. Is there a difference across types of industries?
  7. In depth study of a particular industry to understand the ethical practices in an organization for eg: Tata’s, Infosys, Wipro – IT industry