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What Should be Done? A Practical Approach to Business Ethics

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 January 1990



The decision‐making process in business frequently involves ethical considerations. Although ethics often come down to personal decisions, those decisions ultimately affect the corporate image of an organisation. It has been shown that sound ethics are good for business, and therefore it is important that managers encourage their staff to recognise and to implement the company′s ethical priorities. This article looks at practical ways for managers to establish ethical priorities at three levels: an individual level, a group level and an organisational level. Each of these levels is explored, and the benefits and disadvantages of different action‐related strategies for encouraging an ethical awareness will vary among companies, industries and cultures – no single method is universally appropriate. However, all managers should consider how ethical standards can best be introduced and communicated throughout their organisation. Ethics is not just a “flavour of the month” – it is here to stay, and presents a challenge to all managers.



McDonald, G.M. and Zepp, R.A. (1990), "What Should be Done? A Practical Approach to Business Ethics", Management Decision, Vol. 28 No. 1.




Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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