Crispety- Great point, I just want to add that honesty is an important business ethic when dealing with the employees as well as the customers.
With employees, they should always know where they stand in a corporation. If their performance is substandard they should be told, so that they could have a chance to succeed. A company simply firing an employee without being honest is not following proper business ethics.
Likewise with a customer, it is important to be honest about product availability, even if it means that a customer will seek to buy the item somewhere else.
There is an online company that does just that. Zappos refers customers to competitors when they are out of stock of an item.
Customers are finding the fact that the company is putting the welfare of the customer ahead of their own, often makes them return in droves to shop at Zappos because of this.
Following proper business ethics is a win-win situation for all involved.