The most basic business ethics concepts can be summed up as the values of honesty, integrity and fairness. The exact behavior will depend on the country and the company. Honesty has to do with ethical advertising and a reasonable cost for the quality of the product or service as well as the company keeping its word to everyone it deals with and in everything it does. Integrity covers a wide range of ethics, but includes issues such as social and environmental responsibility. Fairness is one of the very basic concepts in business ethics in that it can refer to the simplest form of treating all people in commercial dealings, whether buyers, employees or customers, fairly.
Fairness in business dealings means being objective and having an interest in creating a win-win situation for both parties whether that is employer-employee or company-client. The basic business ethics concepts of fairness can be tested through the analysis of negotiations and commercial dealings from both parties by an objective observer. Sometimes referred to as a fair playing field, ethical business dealings should be profitable or beneficial for both parties. Ethical business concepts of fair play include the fact that profit must be made, but not at the expense of deception.
Integrity in business includes the social aspect of being considerate and fair to others while at the same time realizing a profit. It also means keeping agreements and promises. Whether an employer promises an employee a raise or a vendor agrees to supply top quality merchandise, the basic business ethics concepts of integrity mean keeping one's word and following through. Dependability and telling the truth are basic integrity ethics concepts that are used in all aspects of business from serving customers to hiring and firing employees.
Honesty applies to every part of running a business while making a profit. Honesty also relates to fairness and integrity as it means telling the truth to others. Honest businesses sell quality products at reasonable prices. They make a profit through ethical business strategies rather than trying to take advantage of others through dishonest pricing.
Personal ethics are usually considered as the foundation for running ethical businesses. Basic business ethics concepts should flow down from the top ownership and management of a company to all workers. Leadership ethics also influence customer relations and how well the values are enforced in the workplace environment.