How do I find research about why the study of ethics is important to business?


Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017     Views: 15

This is a very well crafted assignment question, or in other words, requires a lot of critical thinking. The real question is why should a business be ethical? In my experience, you won't find research exploring the problem of why ethics is important. What you will find is research exploring the impact of ethics on businesses, particularly in the areas of corporate social responsibility, organizational leadership, and decision making. I suggest you research these areas and look at how business benefits financially, socially and environmentally from ethical behavior or how a lack of ethical behavior negatively impacts business. Then you can determine why ethics is important in business. If this doesn't fit with what your professor is telling you, it may be best to return to the prof for clarification.

To do this research, begin with the Business LibGuide,, a collection of research resources. Select the Business Administration - Articles tab. Here you will find a list of resources including Business Source Complete and ABI Inform Complete. You may need to research in both. I started with Business Source Complete. I searched:

"business ethics" AND research AND profitability

Limit your search to scholarly, peer reviewed journals, full text, and a recent time-frame, say 5 - 10 years. This will provide the research studies you are requesting.

Another approach would be not to look for research studies. In that case, try searching

"business ethics" AND profitability

Limit your search to full text, and a recent time-frame, say 5 - 10 years.

It will take some weeding, but these searches should give you the information you need to formulate a strong response to why business should (or should not?) act ethically.

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