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Ethical and Unethical Company: Positive and Negative Impacts


Business ethics is a broad subject and its definition is not specific. However, it is suffice to define business ethics as simply adherence to moral codes of conduct and commitment of the same in companies’ strategic plans and administration. This is a question of balancing individual business actions in consideration of what is right or wrong. Business ethics are basically codes of conduct and values that govern a company while the ability to follow the right path is what acting in ethical behavior is all about.

This has enough benefits to both the company and the society surrounding it. One of the most positive impacts of ethical behavior is that the company has an advantage of maintaining a mutual relationship with the society.

Positive impact from ethical company

The Microsoft Company has been responding to societal needs over the years and to that effect, customer loyalty has been on the rise. Based on regulatory policies, sustainable business practices and public endorsements, the Microsoft Company was among the chosen companies in the list of the most ethical companies. Ethical behavior includes social corporate responsibility which is not a legal requirement but an ethical obligation to follow. The Microsoft Company is recognized through its support for non-profit companies that work towards strengthening the economy, addressing challenges experienced in the society and also promoting health. Their support, mostly in kind, has been very effective in the society and has consequently earned the company a good name globally.

Negative impact from unethical company

Companies are at liberty to choose whether or not they will respond to their respective social responsibilities in their locality. People judge a company according to its ethical response. A company that shows lack of interest in the well being of the society is perceived and treated with a negative approach. The BP oil company suffers a bad public image especially regarding the recent Alaskan oil spill. Another blow to its tainted image is the Texas City refinery fire in addition to the Mexican explosion. The company has a responsibility to manage its resources so that any of its action does not compromise the well being of the society.

What can the non ethical a company do to change its ethics

To mend a company’s ethics, the management must consider options available to that effect. There are a number of ways through which a company can review its ethical policies and make them right. In the case of BP plc, the company is seen to have engaged policies to try and correct their image but like it seems, this is quite not enough. The company rebranded from ‘British petroleum’ to its current name ‘Beyond petroleum’ which did not pay off as expected. Its carbon emission policies as well did not yield much in response. Nonetheless, the company can exploit the utilitarianism theory to achieve ethical standard in the public arena. Utilitarianism suggests that a right exploit is the action that leads to achieving the good of the maximum number of people.

What theory does the ethical company fall under?

The ethical theory practiced by the ethical company in this case is the Kantian ethics theory which states that an action is right if it follows the moral principle or guideline. The company responds to moral obligations and conducts its operations with more consideration on the impacts its actions may have on the society.