Business ethics is cornerstone of corporate social responsibility. “Business ethics is the rules, standards, codes or principles which provide guidelines for morally right behaviour and truthfulness in specific situations” (Sexty, 2017). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a general management concern; that is, it is important to all aspects of business, and it is integrated into a corporation’s operations through its values, culture, decision making, strategy, and reporting mechanisms. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has formulated standards for risk, quality, environmental, and energy management. Its ISO 26000 standard defined social responsibility as the responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that:
- contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society;
- takes into account the expectations of stakeholders;
- is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and
- is integrated throughout the organization and practised in its relationships (Sexty, 2017).
Companies build up reputations by implementing corporate ethics programs which comprise some combination of the following: a statement of values, code of conduct or ethics, ethics training, ethics audits and consulting services, ethics officers and committees, and ethics reporting systems.
Sexty, R. W. (2017). Canadian Business and Society Ethics, Responsibilities, & Sustainability. McGraw-Hill Ryerson.