BBC – GCSE Bitesize: What is ethical behaviour? #gcse, #bitesize, #revision, #business #studies, #environment, #market, #competition, #eu, #government, #consumer


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Businesses can choose to work in a way that profits only the owners or in ways that benefit the community. Working ethically means acting in ways that are both fair and honest.

What is ethical behaviour?

A big business has a lot of power, which it can either use responsibly or selfishly. Many firms operate to meet the needs of owners. Ethical firms also carefully consider the implications of what they are doing and the effect it might have on the community and the environment.

Ethics is about doing the right thing. Ethical behaviour requires firms to act in ways that stakeholders consider to be both fair and honest. Managers making ethical decisions take into account:

  • Impact. who does my decision affect or harm?
  • Fairness. will my decision be considered fair by those affected?

Children harvesting crops in a field in Bangladesh

Many owners believe that acting ethically increases costs and so reduces profits. For example, a business can cut costs by hiring child labour at very low wages in developing countries. Paying below average wages lowers the firm’s total costs.

Other businesses such as the Fairtrade Foundation have built an ethical brand image. believing that customers are prepared to pay more for products that consider the environment and pay a reasonable wage. Higher sales compensate for higher costs.

Profits from acting ethically are higher than firms that only consider their own narrow self-interest.

Business activities that meet the requirements of the law, but which are considered unfair by stakeholders can result in bad publicity. For example, a restaurant that pays minimum wage but keeps staff tips to boost profits is not breaking the law. It does, however, run the risk of losing the goodwill of customers.


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Derby Adult Learning Service provides hundreds of courses in Derby for you to choose from in a whole range of subjects. Select one of the learning areas below for a list of related courses available:

Computing
Computing for beginners, Internet and Email, European Computer Driving License (ECDL), Digital Photography, Various entry level courses

Cookery and Baking
Introduction to Cookery, Italian, Indian Cookery, All about Chocolate, Wine Appreciation

Education Training
Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
City and Guilds – Train the Trainer Level 3 Award in Education and Training and Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training

English and Maths
Brush up on your English, Improve your maths skills, English GCSE, Maths GCSE

Hospitality, Sports and Leisure
Wine Appreciation including WSET (Wines, Spirits, Educational Trust) Level 2 and 3 Qualifications, Italian Cookery, Indian Cookery, Yoga, Tai Chi for Health and Relaxation, Keep Fit – Mature Movers, Keep Fit – Seated Exercise

Jobseeker’s Learning Programmes
Improving your skills for gaining employment, Adult Learning Service Work Club, Creating and updating your CV, Building up your confidence, interview skills and techniques, presentation skills, job applications

Languages and Communication
Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Also includes British Sign Language (BSL)

Psychology
Psychology GCSE

Skills for Life (Foundation)
Basic Skills, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Return to work and learning, Programmes for those with learning difficulties

Visual and Performing Arts
Life Drawing, Watercolour Drawing, Painting and Drawing, Pottery, Woodwork, Silversmithing, Embroidery, Textiles, Jewellery, Mixed Crafts, Singing, Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele