Five Guidelines for Ethical Business Communications


Do you understand what behaving ethically entails? According to Michael Josephson, there are four principles of ethical behavior: honesty, integrity, fairness and concern for others. You can think of these four basic principles feet imaginary chair. One missing leg will create a wobbly stool, but two missing legs makes the stool collapse. If you are not fair or caring, your pride to be honest and have integrity means nothing.

Ethical Behavior in Business

as of late, ethical business behavior has been the number one topic of concern. Reviewing last year’s event, it seems that the words “business” and “ethics” are conflicting terms. Whether you look at Wall Street, mortgage companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or private companies like AIG, never mind all mortgage companies being investigated for questionable business, the news is depressing. It seems that in 1980 the mantra “greed is good” never truly went away.

The criminal dealings top entrepreneurs have been uncovered, which should motivate other individuals to behave more ethically. In truth, though, does it generally as an excuse for not changing poor behavior. What harm can there be in use PC computer company’s own business when your boss uses the telephone company for personal long distance calls? When employees see how company management conducts itself, they begin to feel no shame for whatever little indiscretions they may have committed.

Managers can unintentionally be signaling that unethical behavior is tolerated when they put pressure on smaller, fewer employees to produce more. When employees feel forced to meet business goals by any means possible, ethical behavior may go by the wayside.

They get the message, “It’s OK to be dishonest, as long as you meet your goals.” As the economy takes us on a roller coaster ride, we need to evaluate our own thought patterns to ensure that we do not allow ourselves to fall into unethical behavior just because it looks like we can easily get away with it. There is always room for improvement in corporate communications

These are five guidelines to assist you in communicating ethically (Source: “Business Communication, Process & Product,” Mary Ellen Guffy, 2000) :.

(1) Be truthful. Statements that are misleading or false should never do. It is also not ethical to tell partial truths or to exaggerate.

(2) Be sure to mark the views views. Do not try to convince anyone that something you only believe to be true is already proven. To work; research thoroughly and assure you that you are not just representing the opinion of another person as your own.

(3) Do not show bias. Understand that your own subjective beliefs may come through your writing. Even if you are passionate in your opinions, ethics call for you to be dispassionate in your presentation.

(4) communication should be easy to understand. You should put down your thoughts clearly, so they are simple to understand. Make sure that what you write is easily understood by the reader. Do not muddy the waters by using convoluted sentences and all kinds of hard-to-understand industry jargon.

(5) Credit sources. Do not copy any work. Most have basic knowledge that they must use quotation marks if they have a direct quote from another writer. But there are a number of people who do not understand that they need to properly credit the ideas of others as well. You are still cheating if you paraphrase sentences and throw in a handful of new words without crediting the author.


Not only must you communicate ethically to be successful in the long term, but it is also morally right. Be sure that you conduct yourself in the way you’d want others to emulate. If you conduct your affairs ethically and are successful, other people will follow your lead.


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