Business ethics

Values and/against norms

Business ethics is, in our opinion, very concrete. It is how a company acts and views itself, and how its behavior is viewed by others. Therefore, we believe business ethics to involve two modes of communication:

  1. Internal communication including the questions of organizational culture and moral code;
  2. External communication embracing the fields of public affairs, corporate responsibility and intercultural relations.

The internal mode of communicating about business ethics builds on intrinsic moral values, whereas the external mode correlates corporate ethics with established norms. Values and norms are thus central to business ethics.

This is not surprising given that values and norms determine the core dilemma of ethics at large:
'We act according to our values'- virtue ethicists claim;
'No, we act according to our duties and norms' - duty ethics, or deontology, objects.
The debate evolves endlessly, as business ethics does.

However, your time is limited and you need practical and tailored solutions.

Balance between responsibility and profit

Your company can be confronted with many hot issues of business ethics:

How to balance social responsibility with profit?
How to match our CSR strategy with the standards of non-financial reporting?
How to achieve a higher listing in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes?

The versatility of non-financial reporting standards and the growing public pressure can aggravate the tension between the ideal of responsible business and the reality of for-profit organization. How to bridge the gap between the ideal and the reality?


Your unique ethical profile

EthixAdvice can help your company to alleviate the tension between social responsibility and profit. We can offer a solution in the form of ‘ethical profile' modeling, which involves three stages:

  1. Define your unique ethical profile
  2. Match it with CSR standards
  3. Communicate and improve


1. Defining the unique ethical profile of your company.

It all starts with moral values and commitments of your company. What are intrinsic motivations and ambitions of your company with regard to society? We’ll analyze your unique ethical profile to find areas requiring improvement, as well as strengths you can build on.

2. Matching the unique ethical profile of your corporation with the international standards of CSR reporting.

It is your corporate values that dictate what is essential in your CSR strategy and reporting. Values give direction to norms, and not the other way round. That is why your ethical profile is unique.

3. Communicating the ethical profile to your stakeholders and getting their feedback for improvement.

Listening to the feedback from your stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, community and society at large) and thus engaging in an open reciprocal dialog with society is essential for making smart strategic decisions. Integrating public moods and large societal trends into your business plan is part of a strategic future vision.


Why is an ethical profile increasingly important for contemporary businesses?

Research studies show a weak correlation between CSR and directly improved financial performance. We suppose, the reason for that lies in the different nature of CSR and financial profit. In order to result in concrete numbers of improved financial performance, CSR needs to take the long road in the field of ‘soft’ improvements. These soft improvements include winning public trust, strengthening mutual understanding with diverse stakeholders, verifying sustainable results of reputation management and improving corporate governance.