The dynamic nature of the contemporary business environment has led to managers and specialists to develop policies and guidelines that highlight the expected behaviors and contact between and among different people in a business environment. Business ethics is mainly concerned with the study of potentially controversial issues which may arise in the course of doing business such as insider trading, bribery, corporate social responsibility, and governance among other disciplines. Business ethics has particularly become popular with advancement in technology and globalization which brought about the multiplicity of cultural and professional practices within the same business environment.
The applicability of business ethics within any business environment is guided by established laws but gives a basic framework through which different businesses may operationalize different policies and practices normally outlined in the law. Business ethics has normally formed the basis upon which a company or a corporate entity gains the acceptance of the public. There has always been a thin line between business ethics and the law. An essential distinction between business ethics and what is legal is that the former involves the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and actually doing what is right while the latter refer to what is lawful and not necessarily what is right. As such, corporate managers have always been required to harmonize their business ethics so that they do not conflict with the law. On the face of it, business ethics should espouse standards and principles, practices and policies which define the agreed way of conduct in a business environment. The existing business ethics should thus underpin the mode through which management makes decisions (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2012).
Every employee in a business environment must thus have a form of business ethical standards which are expected of him or her and which must be followed to ensure that the rights of each person are respected. The implementation of business ethics within a business environment does therefore not necessarily apply with the shareholders only but also the stakeholders including the community surrounding the business and the customers of the business. The management need to have a laid down system that allow the review of the existing business ethics standards and guidelines so that whatever the practice in the business is in tandem with the contemporary practices in the same industry (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2012).