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Corporate Governance and Ethics by Zabihollah Rezaee

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Chapter 3

Introduction to Business Ethics

INTRODUCTION

This chapter starts with the general definition of “ethics”; its field of study, including metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics; and proceeds with business ethics. Ethics are broadly described in the literature as moral principles about right and wrong, honorable behavior reflecting values, or standards of conduct. Honesty, openness, responsiveness, accountability, due diligence, and fairness are core ethical principles. An online poll conducted in January 2005 by the Dallas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (Dallas/IABC) reveals that (1) about 30 percent of respondents indicate that they have been asked to compromise their integrity often, very often, or extremely often; (2) of these, more than 10 percent responded that they have been asked to compromise their integrity extremely often; and (3) the remaining 69 percent said they have never or not often been asked by management to compromise their integrity.1 Those results suggest that employees and even executives are still under pressure to compromise their integrity despite the requirements of corporate governance reforms (SOX, listing standards) ...

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