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What do the terms “business ethics” and “social responsibility” mean? Why are they
important components of a firm’s overall philosophy toward conducting business?
Business ethics are the standards of conduct and moral values governing actions and
decisions in the work environment (examples: a firm keeps promises, honestly reports its
financial status, expects employees to report concerns over unethical behavior).
Social responsibility refers to the belief system of a company as well its philosophies,
policies, procedures, and actions that hope to enhance society’s welfare (examples: a firm
writes a code of conduct, considers the impact on the environment before making a decision,
works with community groups or charitable causes).
They are important components of a firm’s overall philosophy because businesses must find
the delicate balance between doing what is right and doing what is profitable.
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