Basic Definition of Business Ethics

by Angela Wills

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One of the traits I’ve always prided myself with is having great ethics.

I believe ethics comes down to having a fundamental need for fairness, equality, humility and genuine concern for others.


But in business, how do you maintain your ethics when you need to be cut-throat?

Well I for one don’t believe you have to be cut-throat. Especially not online. I believe you can be ethical and be a highly successful business person.

So what’s my definition of business ethics?

Well I think it is a combination of the following character traits in a business person:

Integrity – Sticking strictly to a moral code or ethical standards.

Honesty – To tell the truth, to never mislead by only disclosing the ‘attractive’ part of the truth and neglecting to disclose all information.

Sincerity – To be real, to never fake being nice or fake interest to make sales.

Fairness – To do what’s right, to not take advantage and to be kind.

When it comes to the internet, I think there is a huge temptation to relax your usual ethics because of the anonymity of it all. On the internet you can hide your face, your location and your true intentions far more easily than you could if you were sitting face to face with someone and boldly trying to cheat them. Well unless you’re just a pathological liar.

That’s why I think as internet marketers it’s really important that we define and state our ethics publicly, then make sure to show them in our actions.

So, how do you define ethics in your own business?

Is it ok to leave out a few details? Is it ok to grab ideas from the competition? Is it ok to steal keywords, customers or affiliates from the competition? Where and how do you draw the line and is that line in line with your own personal ethics?

Whatever you decide, make sure to align your personal ethics and business ethics. You’ll never truly love what you do if your internal ethics are compromised.

!Note – In this context, to draw a line means to set a limit on what you would do in certain situations.  For example: “I draw the line when it comes to lending money to friends.”

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