Famous advice on Ethics

Another advice on Ethics

Across countries and continents, continuing economic uncertainty and some highly publicized business failures have led to a questioning of the quality of corporate governance processes. Transparency and credibility of the corporate reporting process are under a microscope. Increasingly, there are concerns about conflicts of interest, about independence issues, and about ethical performance. Corporate governance guidelines and business ethics are rapidly evolving. Higher standards are being demanded by investors and other stakeholders. Companies that do not have proper corporate governance and ethics procedures risk severe damage to their reputation, criminal/legal action, and regulatory penalties. The consequences could include loss of customers, reduced share price, and the loss of management control over the business. Some claim that moral values are a necessity in business decision-making anyhow and that without moral values, stable business relationships and a sustainable world community are impossible. This page provides critical business ethics advice by the world's greatest thinkers, hopefully inspiring those working in the field of business ethics and corporate responsibility.

The wisest ethics advice


To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

Confucius 551BC - 479BC, Chinese philosopher, The Analects, Book II, Chapter XXIV


A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business.

Henry Ford 1863 1947, American industrialist


If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.

Robert Noyce, inventor of the silicon chip


I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1839-1937, American entrepreneur


There is no such thing as business ethics. There is only one kind - you have to adhere to the highest standards.

Marvin Bower, former managing partner of McKinsey & Company

The wittiest advice on ethics


Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

Isaac Asimow 1920 - 1992, Russian writer and scientist


Corporation, n., An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.

Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914, American columnist, The Devils Dictionary 1906


The higher the buildings, the lower the morals.

Noel Coward 1899-1973, English actor, dramatist, & songwriter


Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.

Albert Einstein 1879-1955; German-born American theoretical physicist


We may pretend that we are basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of history proves otherwise.

Terry Hands 1941-, British theatre and opera director

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