Business ethics explained

Business ethics in communication has emerged as a critical part of organizational activities and governance policies. In the face of fierce industrial competition, businesses are continuously striving to increase client brand awareness and preference. In pursuit, they are also using immoral methods to attain speedy outcomes. The study analyzes unethical social media marketing practices and their harmful impact on stakeholders, particularly consumers. It has been discovered that the companies purposefully publish biased product reviews by social media content creators while concealing the information about their sponsorship. Moreover, creating false hypes about products and brand also plays its role in the illegal influence on customer buying behavior. It has been concluded that such unethical practices can severely damage the brand or corporate image of a company and can have catastrophic impacts on its long-term growth and sustenance.

Key words: ethics, business ethics, business communication

Table of Contents

Business Ethics in Communication……………………………………………………………4

Summary 4

Impact of Ethics in Communication 4

Relevance of the Content 5

Impact to the Society 6

Importance of Ethics in Business 6

Reflection 6

Implication of Lessons Learnt 6

Conclusion 7

References 8

Business Ethics in Communication

Ethics play a crucial role in the long-term success of a business organization. Business ethics defines the way in which a company conducts its operations following a moral way, where it is ensured that the interests of all the stakeholders of the business are taken care of (Mittal, Saxena & Matta, 2014). An organization with ethical operations and governance policies needs to oversee various aspects of the business, such as communication, workplace policies, social responsibilities, etc. The paper focuses on the importance of business ethics in communication, through a thorough analysis of articles on the topic of discussion. The relevance of the contents and the impact of ethics on communication have also been discussed along with its importance and critical reflection.


Business communication allows for the seamless flow of information among the stakeholders, which is essential for conducting business operations with transparency. However, as mentioned by Vinjamuri (2011), the ethical business communication plays a vital role in the long-term success of the business ventures, especially in the advent of digital communication in business. Ethical business communication involves transparency and moral behavior with the stakeholders, especially with the customers and the investors. The social media communication has become widely popular among the firms, owing to its far-reaching exposure on the target audience. However, organizations often tend to use unethical means to enhance their brand and corporate image to face the cut-throat competition.

Impact of Ethics in Communication

Ethical practices act as a determining factor behind the business communicational strategies of an organization. An ethical approach compels the firms to adhere to the morality of the business communication process while ensuring proper transparency and legitimacy of the information (Cornelissen & Cornelissen, 2017). In order to survive the steep competition in the industry, the firms often take unethical means to improve their market share and brand awareness among the customers. It may offer short-term returns, but in the long term, it can have detrimental impacts on the brand image of the organization, such as brand rejection by the consumers and negative influence on the shareholders and the investors. Therefore, the ethical business communication ensures that the firms conduct its communication activities in a moral way.

Relevance of the Content

In the contemporary global business environment, the competition among firms is ever increasing, where each of them seeks to overtake their nearest rival in terms of market share and brand preference. In its pursuit, they often take the unethical approach, especially on the grounds of transparency and legitimacy (Crane & Matten, 2016). The companies use social networking platforms to support the brand and create brand hypes, in order to attract the customers. From the ethical perspective, the firms often show disregard towards the basic regulations of business communication that involve avoiding disclosure of key information, hyperventilating a product or service features or avoiding the social implications towards a community. As highlighted by Vinjamuri (2011), companies often pay product reviewers on social media to promote their brand, without disclosing their sponsorship. As a result, the audiences are exposed to biased reviews which are in favor of the company, thereby creating a false trust over the brand. Therefore, the audience trusts the biased reviews in the social media, in a hope that they are being offered with unaltered information. Moreover, the firms also alter the purchasing decisions of the customers by creating false hypes about a product or over emphasizing about their CSR activities. All of such practices create a false impression on the stakeholders of the company, especially the consumers.

Impact to the Society

Unethical business communication, as underpinned in the previous section, highlights the fact that it falsely influences the purchasing decision of the consumers in favor of a specific brand or product. In terms of the impact on the society, it can be stated that unethical business communication can have a negative impact on the consumers, as they are being influenced to purchase products or services, without having proper information or relying on false one (Murphy, Laczniak & Wood, 2007). As a result, it can also damage the trust that the customers have on the brands.

Importance of Ethics in Business

Ethics is severely important for any organization to ensure its long terms of growth and sustenance. The unethical approach may offer short term and quick results, but eventually, it can backfire on the brand or corporate image of the firm (DesJardins & McCall, 2014). Upon the exposure of such unethical approach, the consumers may choose to reject the brand and it can have a catastrophic impact on its sales volume.


The study provides a clear understanding of the importance of ethics in business communication and how firms should adhere to the ethical approach. It is highlighted that misusing the social media platform, by secretly paying content creators to offer biased reviews is severely unethical and can lead to negative impact on the brand itself. Thus, it is vital that the firms should take an ethical approach and disclose the sponsorship of any form of advertisement made in the social media.

Implication of Lessons Learned

The key lessons learned from the study should encourage the organizations to ensure that they conduct their business operations in a more ethical manner. They should specifically assure that their business communications are transparent and legitimate, that can help them build the customers’ trust.


Ethics in business communication plays a vital role in long-term success. However, amidst the steep competitive environment, the firms often take the unethical approach to promote their brand. Not only does it have the negative impact on the community, but also it can have detrimental effects on the company itself in the long run, as it clearly breaches the trust of the consumers. Thus, it can be emphasized that the organizations should focus on an ethical approach to ensure long-term sustenance and growth.


Cornelissen, J., & Cornelissen, J. P. (2017). Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization. London: Oxford University Press.

DesJardins, J. R., & McCall, J. J. (2014). Contemporary issues in business ethics. Connecticut: Cengage Learning.

Mittal, M. S., Saxena, A., & Matta, M. G. (2014). Ethical Issues in Service Marketing (With special reference of banking industry). Global Journal of Finance and Management, 6(2), 179-184.

Murphy, P. E., Laczniak, G. R., & Wood, G. (2007). An ethical basis for relationship marketing: a virtue ethics perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 41(1/2), 37-57.

Vinjamuri, D. (2011). Ethics and the Five Deadly Sins of Social Media. Retrieved on June 10, 2017 from

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