Ethics and comunication

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How and why businesses integrate ethics as part of their communication strategy?


I would like to address a special thank you to my supervisor, Mr Riccardo De Vita, whom has helped me with my research by shared with me his knowledge. It was a pleasure to have a supervisor who provided me with good advices and feedback.
In addition I would like to thank you the entirelibrary staff for their support.
A big thanks you also to my friends and family for their support and faith in me. You are my motivations.


The notion of ethics applies and intervenes at every level of the "network" of a company, which produces or manipulates goods or services: since the upstream (supply, relations with the investors) until the approval distribution, (relationswith the consumers) but also the management inside the company itself.
The current trends as for the application of ethical principles (communication, work on the brand image but also the concrete realizations) show that companies mainly perceived the interest that exists to take into account ethical values. But the alternation of success and failures proves that the real stakes in an ethicalapproach are badly understood, or that certain companies divert this notion in their profit.
The reason is that, there is no definition and lack of clear criteria to identify an ethical behaviour. The role of manager when adopting an ethical communication is then really important.



Over the last few years, the interest in business ethics has grown significantly.Most companies are focus on their main goal, which is being profitable, however, many also try to adopt a good conduct that will have an effect on all shareholders. Nearly all corporations have now a code of ethics. As the demand towards the topic is rising, companies have to adopt themselves and have to incorporate CSR into their strategies.
Recent researches have shown that there is apositive link between the corporations’ actions and the consumers’ attitude.

The aim of this paper will then be to analyse how and why businesses communicate and behave ethically.

This study will demonstrate that ethics is fundamental and must be put in a company, by emphasizing all the levels of the chain in which ethics has a role to play: in the company, but also upstream and downstream tothis one.
Then it will show that this notion makes sense because it can bring a lot to a company, and the last part will analyze the current tendencies of a the practice and application of ethical principles within a company.

To answer this question, a literature review on the topic will be provided. Also, the methodology use for this research will be analysed and then the discussion of thefindings will be provided.

Literature review

Relevance and Definition of CSR

Presently, we can notice that there is a rise of awareness on the fact that organization must adopt and act in an ethically and equally beneficial way. Also, businesses have now to take into consideration the society's growing demand for ethically responsiblebusiness practices (Joyner and Payne, 2002).
At the moment, business ethics have been placed on the top of the action to be made by the corporation. This is due to the high number of ethical scandals within the business environment that have happened in the past.

It might seems easier now to argue that consistent ethical behavior has to have a mainpresence into organizations cannot be left to external regulation. It became today the mission for a business leader to integrate in the core business strategy the social and ethical dimension.
Thomas, Schermerhorn and Dienhart (2004) states that leaders has to include the goals of creating and sustaining ethical climates in order to generate for each employee an ethically habits...