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Business ethics: concepts and principles

All social relations are governed by certain rules and regulations. The set of these rules is called etiquette. In the business environment, as in any sphere of public life, there are rules of conduct, which are indicated in two words - business ethics. Let us consider in more detail what it is.

What it is?

Business ethics is a combination of moral and moral principles and rules that should be inherent in a business person. They must be respected.

Business ethics arose from a mixture of secular and military etiquette. In the context of the globalization of economic relations, so that there was no misunderstanding between representatives of different cultures, we tried to make a code of business ethics common to all participants in business relations, regardless of their culture, nationality, religion. Every self-respecting businessman must know and apply the principles and rules of business ethics.

In addition, a person who is far from business should at least get acquainted with these rules - their ignorance can provoke embarrassing situations if he suddenly finds himself in an organization with strict rules of conduct.

Studies show that modern business etiquette performs a number of functions.

  • Informational. Etiquette is primarily aimed at informing a person about the rules and norms of behavior in society.
  • Standardization of models of individual and group behavior. Knowing the rules gives us the opportunity to act in accordance with the regulations in each specific situation, makes it easier to join the team, and reduces the feeling of psychological tension in business relationships.
  • Social Control. With the help of rules and norms in society, unwanted deviations in behavior that can harm normal relationships are prevented.
  • The function of diplomacy, political struggle. Compliance or non-observance of business etiquette allows the interlocutor or opponent to understand their attitude to themselves. Deliberate non-observance of the rules speaks of manifestation of hostility, the exact observance of all the rules can indicate respect and disposition to a positive outcome of the negotiations.
  • Identification with otherscreating psychological comfort. Business etiquette is, first of all, a manifestation of corporate culture, corporate team spirit, it helps an employee to feel part of the organization.

Like any information system, business ethics has its own structure - it consists of macroethics and microethics. Business macroethics means the interaction of organizations at the state and international levels.

The higher the level of negotiations, the more serious attention is paid to the study of etiquette. But microethics is intra-organizational etiquette. It includes the rules of interaction between subordinates, with customers, with partners and even competitors.


Business etiquette is a relatively young area of ​​etiquette, but nevertheless it has a number of its own characteristics that define business communication. Consider these features in more detail.

  • Significance of reputation in business communication. Losing a reputation in the business world practically means a collapse of the company. Each leader should value his name, as in order to gain a reputation among partners and clients, a lot of effort and time must be applied. Business etiquette plays an important role in building a reputation. An unethical leader or employee can easily drop a company's image. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that the whole team knows at least the basics of business etiquette.
  • Specificity and clarity - Another important component of business communication. Goal setting is of particular importance in the organization’s activities, since all its activities are carried out for the sake of the goal. Uncertainty in the formulation of the goal or its inaccurate formulation can lead to negative consequences. An organization that does not have a goal does not make sense, and therefore cannot exist for a long time.
  • Mutually beneficial cooperation also an important element of the art of business communication. Every successful businessman knows that mutually beneficial cooperation is the best way to a profitable partnership. Business relationships always mean the concept of mutually beneficial relationships.

The importance of business etiquette must not be underestimated. If you show unethical behavior in everyday life or in secular society, then your reputation of a well-educated person is at stake.

But in the business sector, behavioral errors can cost a job and income.


The following types can be distinguished in business etiquette:

  • etiquette of live communication with customers;
  • etiquette of electronic communication;
  • etiquette of phone calls;
  • leader etiquette.

Communication with customers

The etiquette of communication with customers begins with the following fundamental rule: the customer is always right. Correct communication with customers involves extremely polite, friendly, respectful communication. You can’t interrupt, raise your voice, be angry at the client. The employee must always remain calm and give people the same attention, providing equal service. It is necessary to give the client an understanding that they are listening to him, his problem is important for the company. All these rules are achieved by intonation of the employee, gestures, facial expressions.

Each client-oriented company should pay attention to training its employees to communicate with customers. The culture of communication with customers directly affects the organization’s income: no customers - no income.

Email Correspondence

Network development gives us more opportunities for communication. The etiquette of electronic communication is one of the main types of business distance communications in the modern world. The following rules are observed in electronic correspondence:

  • filling in all fields of the email;
  • friendly address and name of the sender;
  • Mandatory indication of the subject of the letter;
  • correspondence of the text of the letter to the rules of business correspondence;
  • a mandatory response to an incoming business letter, with the exception of spam;
  • Confidential information cannot be sent by mail.

Requirements for the text of the letter are about the same as for spoken language - politeness and courtesy. But, in addition, there is a certain specificity. For example, you cannot write words in the caps lock register; this can be perceived as a scream. The rule of good taste will be the availability of an electronic signature. You also need to specify several ways to contact you (phone, fax, email)

Also, in the internal mail or in a letter to a person you know, to give emotional coloring to the letter, you can use the so-called smiles - graphic images of a person with different emotions. It is not recommended to use emoticons in business letters and letters to clients, so as not to give the impression of a frivolous person.

Phone conversation

A business telephone conversation protocol involves the following sequence of actions:

  • think about the topic of conversation in advance;
  • start with a concise greeting;
  • Introduce yourself and introduce the company;
  • demonstrate a respectful reaction to questions and comments of the interlocutor;
  • end the conversation shortly and politely.

During a telephone conversation, try to ask as little as possible, not to be distracted from the conversation. Any business conversation implies that the time spent on it will be minimal. In order to achieve location and loyalty, it is recommended to contact the interlocutor by name as many times as possible. Watch your intonation - you can always hear a positive or hostile attitude on it.

Manager etiquette

The essence of the etiquette of a leader lies in the art of communication with business partners, subordinates, senior management, and clients. The bosses should always be distinguished by calmness, high self-control and courtesy. The leader must be able to listen and hear his subordinates, in difficult situations to meet them and help.

In Russia, ethical standards in business communication have become relatively recent. We can say that more than half of the collapse of domestic companies is due to a lack of understanding of the essence of etiquette and non-observance of its norms.

Fundamental rules

There are not many rules of business etiquette, but their observance represents open doors to concluded deals and new partners.

  • Time is money: a business person must possess the basics of time management, take care of both his own and the time of his business partners. Violation of the punctuality rule in the business environment leads to severance of business ties, to the rejection of new contracts and termination of agreements.
  • Dress code: surrounding people always form their first opinion about you in appearance - a business style in clothes, accessories, hairdo will tell about you as a person who has a status and position in society.
  • Desktop: maintaining order on the desktop is an important component of the image of a business person. All items must be in place. Remember: the mess on the desktop is a mess in the head.
  • Literacy: business literate speech in essence should be an indispensable quality inherent in every businessman.
  • Respect for the opponent: if you act only in your interests, all partners and customers will quickly disappear. The opponent’s opinion should be respected, even if it does not coincide with your point of view. Respect, without excessive altruism, is the key to successful deals and productive negotiations.
  • Trade secrets also an important rule of business etiquette. Secret information will protect the organization from unfair competition, but its leakage in the worst case may lead to bankruptcy of the organization.
  • At work - work: give maximum effort to perform their duties. The ability to work will quickly grow into a take-off on the career ladder.
  • Business gestures: closed poses, vanity, looking away will tell you about you as a secretive, unreliable person. Watch your movements and postures - direct posture, a confident look, lack of fussiness will tell about you as a person in business.
  • Respect for subordination It is also an important rule of service etiquette. This is almost the main characteristic of the employee, which worries the bosses in all areas of activity.

Following the strategy of ethical behavior by all employees of the organization will lead to improved discipline in the company, to individual career advancement and new appointments within the organization, and at the external level, the company will strengthen its ties and gain new opportunities. A person’s knowledge of the basics of business ethics plays an important role in hiring and choosing among all candidates exactly his person.

See what the next video is about business ethics.


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