"How would you define business ethics, and why are ethical standards necessary in professional selling"

Essay by michiko_85University, Bachelor'sC+, April 2006

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Ethics is the study of the general nature of morals and of specific moral choices; moral philosophy; and the rules of standards governing the conduct of the members of a profession. Business ethics is the application of ethical values in a business' behavior and even its salespersons to how the company conducts its business in order to make profit (Institute of Business Ethics n.d.). "It applies to any and all aspects of business conduct, from boardroom strategies and how companies treat their suppliers to sales techniques and accounting practices" (Institute of Business Ethics n.d.).


High ethical standards requires both business and salespersons to conform to sound moral principles as companies with good records on ethics and social responsibility are likely to enjoy better public image than less ethical competitors. However, due to some special aspects, ethics must be considered before it is applied to the business.

In order to make the organization survive, businesses must earn profits. If profits are taken in through delinquency, then the life of the organization may be shortened. Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2005, p. 6) stated that, "firms like Enron, Kmart, Arthur Andersen and Sunbeam have made headlines due to wrongdoing and scandal eventually went bankrupt or failed because of the legal and financial repercussions of their misconduct".

Also, business must balance their desires for profits against the needs and desires of society as maintaining this balance often requires negotiation or tradeoffs. To deal with these unique aspects of the business world, society has developed rules which is both legal and understood to guide businesses in their efforts to earn profits in ways that do not harm individuals or society as a whole (Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell 2005, p. 6).

Ethical standards are necessary in professional selling and it contributes to...