The role of ethics in business communication is the way in which ethical considerations are applied to business communications. Ethics in business communication may be from the management of the organization to the employees, from the employees to the customers and suppliers, or between the organization as a whole and the outside. In this sense, business communication may be viewed from the internal communications within the business, or it may be viewed from the perspective of the business entity and the outside.
Generally, organizations have methods of communicating with their employees or for disseminating information to them. The communication within an organization may be structured in such a way that the information may flow from the top to the bottom through several channels, such as the human resource department. Ethics in business communication means that the communication between the management and the employees must include the application of ethical standards during communication. For instance, the management must be as clear as possible in the way they deal with their employees by communicating to them the reasons for certain actions and expectations. If the company has declared a large profit, for example, the management must share the bonus in an equitable manner among the various employees or communicate to them the reason for not doing so.
The application of ethics in business communication gives the employees a sense of belonging and it encourages them to be more productive. Management in the organization must also clearly communicate to the employees the type of ethical standards that they must exhibit toward outside entities like customers, suppliers and other classes of people who interact with the business. This includes the type of instruction that the management has given to the employees on the way they must communicate with the customers. Communication in this sense includes what they do and say, or fail to say or reveal to customers.
The use of ambiguous words or the deliberate misrepresentation of the true situation of events is a part of ethics in business communication. Some companies phrase their offers to customers in such a way that the customers do not realize there are hidden catches in the offer. An example of this is the offer of a very low interest rate on a mortgage by a financial lender, without letting the customer understand that the interest rates will go up in the future, or that the repayment terms may be changed by the financial institution.