What is "business ethics?" The following exercise will help you uncover a good definition.

In this first Exercise of this Guided Inquiry, you will work toward creating a brief definition of "business ethics." You will begin by exploring some WWW sites that deal with business ethics and then based upon that exploration you will be asked to write your definition of the field. A guiding question in this exercise is: what ethical issues, problems and dilemmas do professionals face in business?
1The first site to be visited is a commercial site constructed by KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. Here you will find a discussion of the "business ethics process" in which KPMG takes their clients through in order to assist them in managing ethics within their business organization. Read about this process and keep its major components in mind when you go to write your definition of business ethics.
2Next, read a paper written for the Electronic Journal of Business and Organization Ethics which is published by the Business and Organization Network (BON), University of Jyvaskyla, School of Business and Economics, Finland. The paper is titled "Business Ethics in Global Economy" and its author is Marjaana Kopperi.
3In the paper you just read, Marjaana Kopperi makes reference to and use of the concept of a "stakeholder" in business ethics. Listen to an audio file (800K) that gives us a good sense of what a legitimate stakeholder in business might be. The speaker is Thomas W. Dunfee, the Kolodny Professor of Social Responsibility and Director of the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
4 Finally, read "Business Ethics: Not an Oxymoron" by Elizabeth Loweth who is the former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy.
5Now, to finish this exercise, write an essay titled: A Definition of Business Ethics.