Business ethical practices. International principles.

Philisophical concepts of ethics and moral can hardly be referred to economical concepts. Nevertheless, attempts to correlate moral and ethical criterias to western business practice are made constantly. In many countries there are many companies, conducting their business practice on the following principle: "Profit is first, but honour is first and foremost". It seems impossible to build business relations without mutual trust and respect to the partners. Responsible care for company reputation and image, legal business operations, ability to keep the word are the fundamental concepts of ethical business practices.

Within any social society legal and actual norms of conduct which do not meet social standards, are considered to be unethical. Business ethics practices imply application of the systems of business culture norms and behaviour in business operations. This system should be based on moral principles of a human being and social legal acts, excluding unfair methods of business relations. Business ethical practices of company requires directors and employees stick to fair dealing, honesty and integrity in every aspect of dealing with other company employees, the public, the business community, shareholders, customers, suppliers, competitors and government authorities. When acting on behalf of the company, directors and employees must not take unfair advantage through manipulation, concealment abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or other unfair-dealing practices.

Company business ethical practices prohibits unlawful discrimination against employees, shareholders, directors, officers, customers or suppliers on account of race, color, age, sex, religion or national origin.

International Business Ethics Institute has formulated four features which should be practiced by company in order to consolidate its reputation:

1) fair relations with all people dealing with the company;

2) favourable corporate atmosphere;

3) effective work aimed to reputation improvement,while appearing of flaws in company reputation reflects work results inevitably;

4) competent work with legal acts and finance resources.

To observe laws in business practice means to built stable future for company.

Annually Business Ethics Magazine publishes rating of the companies, using business ethical practices policy based on the above mentioned business ethics criterias. According to assessment results of 2004, the first ten companies meeting these criterias, are:

1. Fannie Mae (rendering financial services in real estate market;

2. Procter & Gamble (household chemical goods and cosmetics);

3. Intel corporation (computer and informational technologies);

4. St.Paul Companies Spc (insurance and financial services);

5. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (foodstuffs);

6. Deere & Company (mechanical engineering);

7. Avon Products (cosmetics);

8. Hewlett-Packard Company (computer and informational technologies);

9. Agilent Technologies (IT, electronics, chemical goods);

10. Ecolab (cleaning services).

Business of leading companies assume that in conditions of developed competence it is to the company's advantage to follow business ethical practices.

Businessmen ethical practices is provided and watched not only by state authorities, but numerous business associations and societies, regulating their business members activities. Moreover, such like associations work out professional code of honour, describing certain actions considered as unethical by members.

All efforts of the company to follow business practice ethics will be doomed to failure if top-managers do not manage to create working climate, encouraging ethical norms of application. Here are some steps which are to be made by managers to stipulate employees'positive attitude to business ethical practices: working out code of business and personal ethics in the conduct of duties and responsibilities, staff training;proper conduct encouragement, disciplinary actions application in case of violation of company policy and establishment of the business ethics department, managed by consultants in ethics.

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