Definition of Ethics
• Ethics may be defined as “the set of moral
principles that distinguish what is right
from what is wrong.”
• Ethics is:
“the study of morality”
• Ethics has a two fold objectives:
– it evaluates human practices by calling upon moral
– also it may give advice on how to act morally in a given
• Sometimes ethics is used synonymously with
– An action, which is morally right, is also called an
– Codes of morality are called ethical codes.
– Business ethics can also be defined as business
Ethics: What Does It Really Mean?
• Ethics involves a discipline that examines
good or bad practices within the context of a
• Moral conduct is behavior that is right or
wrong or morality can be defined as the
standards that an individual or group has
about what is right and wrong.
Two Key Branches of Ethics
• Descriptive ethics involves describing, characterizing
and studying morality.
– “What is”
An investigation that attempts to describe or explain the
world without reaching any conclusion about whether the
world is as it should be.
• Normative ethics involves supplying and justifying
– “What should be”
An investigation that attempts to reach to conclusions about
what things are good or bad or about what actions are
right or wrong.
Religion and Ethics
• Muslims are required to learn “Islamic
Knowledge.” It is divided into two branches:
1. “Religious knowledge” and
2. “Scientific knowledge”.
• The scientific knowledge is called “Wisdom”
• Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’ said,
• “Wisdom is the lost property of a Muslim. He
should pick it up wherever he may find it.”
• “Religious knowledge” is made up of twenty
sub-branches, eight of which contain
teachings of a higher level and the remaining
twelve consist of teachings of a subsidiary
nature. One of the teachings of a higher level
deals with ethics.
• A Muslim who has good morals and is
advanced in the scientific knowledge of his
time is called a civil or a progressive
• Alternately, a person who is advanced in
scientific knowledge and has established
basic industries, and yet who has poor
morals is called a tyrant, a bandit(thief,
robber), or a dictator.
• Civilization means building cities and serving
human beings. This can be accomplished
through scientific knowledge, arts, and
beautiful morals. In short, when the scientific
knowledge and arts are accompanied with
beautiful morals, it is called civilization.
• A civilized person uses scientific knowledge
and arts for serving humanity.
Alternatively, tyrant use them for torturing.
• We can see that a true Muslim is a
progressive person. Unbelievers are
retrogressive, and miserable/unhappy
• People’s living in peace and comfort is only
possible through ethics of Islam.
• Business Ethics is the branch of ethics that
examines ethical rules and principles
within a commercial context; the various
moral or ethical problems that can arise in
a business setting; and any special duties or
obligations that apply to persons engaged
• Generally speaking, business ethics is
concerned with the study of what is good and
bad, right and wrong, and just and unjust in
Significance of Business Ethics
• Significance and importance of business ethics
can be enhanced by comparing it with the
foundation of a building.
• It plays the same vital role just like the
foundation & pillars play in constructing &
designing a building skeleton.
• As no one can imagine a building without
foundation and pillars, in the same way no
business without ethics along with a touch of
honesty and integrity.
• Every professional who conducts a business
always needs a guideline, comprises on rules
& principles. These ethics are designed
differently keeping in mind the core values
and standards of the respective organization.
• Every member or employee is bound to
follow the designed code of ethics with
sincerity, honesty, and unity so that the
organization can achieve the required goals
/profit in business.
• Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines ethics in
business or business ethics as it is often called,
is the application of the discipline, principles,
and theories of ethics to the organizational
• It applies to all aspects of business conduct
and is relevant to the conduct of individual
and entire organizations.
• So, business ethics is the behavior that a
business adheres to in its daily dealing with
the world. They apply not only to how the
business interacts with the world at large,
but also to their one to one dealing with a
Cases of Business Ethics
1. B.F Good Rich Case (Breaks Manufacturer).
2. American energy company accounting case
3. Ivermectin Medicine River Blindness disease.