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The main reason for the application of business ethics in various business transactions stems from the fact that a business world without any ethical considerations would be a chaotic one where anything would go. As such, the need for business ethics is related to the order, consideration and integrity that ethics infuses into the business world. Bearing in mind the fact that while some ethical considerations may be considered universal because they are derived from basic morality, the real meaning of ethics in business is not something that can be referred to as an established set of laws. This means that the perception of ethics in business is somewhat malleable and can have different meanings for companies, especially in the global business community where different cultures and values play an important role in determining the exact business ethics that will guide the operations of the company. The reasons for the application of ethics in business could be for marketing, corporate image or other personal considerations unique to the company.
One of the reasons for the application of ethics in business is the fact that the application of good business ethics helps a company build goodwill among the members of the business community, among consumers, and also among the members of the society where the business is located. A company that develops a reputation for fair practices will have a very high standing among other business men and women who will use this ethical reputation as a yardstick for measuring its dealings with the company. This good reputation is loosely tied to the presentation of the corporate image that such a company is trying to build, something that can also be used as a part of its identity. The desire to develop its image forms a need for business ethics since it will be the foundation for developing the corporate image.
A need for business ethics can be illustrated by using the example of a company that builds its brand based on the fact that it sources its raw materials in a manner that does not harm the earth or environment. This illustration of the need for business ethics can be further explained by establishing a connection between the perception of a company among consumers and the effect that perception has on sales. A considerable percentage of consumers like to think that they are being conscious of issues relating to the preservation of the planet and may patronize such a company based on the view that it is environmentally conscious, leading to an increase in sales for the company.