Characteristics of Business Ethics:
(i) A Discipline:
Business ethics are the guiding principles of business function. It is the knowledge through which human behaviour is learnt in a business situation.
(ii) Ancient Concept:
Business ethics is an ancient concept. It has it origin with the development of human civilization.
(iii) Personal Dignity:
The principles of ethics develop the personal dignity. Many of the problems of ethics arise due to not giving dignity to individual. All the business decisions should be aimed by giving dignity to the customers, employees, distributors, shareholders and creditors, etc. otherwise they develop in immorality in the business conducts.
(iv) Related to Human Aspect:
Business ethics studies those activities, decisions and behaviors which are concerned with human aspect. It is the function of the business ethics to notify those decisions to customers, owners of business, government, society, competitors and others on good or bad, proper or improper conduct of business.
(v) Study of Goals and Means:
Business ethics is the study of goals and means for the rational selection of sacred objects and their fulfillment. It accepts the principles of ―Pure goals inspire for pure means‖ and ―Means justifies the end‖. It is essential that goals and means should be based on morals.
(vi) Different from Social Responsibility:
Social responsibility mainly relates to the policies and functions of an enterprise, whereas business ethics to the conduct and behaviour of businessmen. But it is a fact that social responsibility of business and its policies is influenced by the business ethics.
(vii) Greater than Law:
Although the law approves various social decisions, but the law is not greater than ethics. Law is usually related to the minimum control of social customs whereas ethics gives importance to individual and social welfare actions.