Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conducted and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.
Business ethics refers to contemporary standards or sets of values that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization (or environment). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics
So why is this important? Let’s say we have a group of 5 lawyers, one of them specializes in criminal law, one is a prosecutor, one does contracts, one divorce, and the last one medical malpractice.
They all know each other and even play golf together once in awhile. They often run into each other at social events and at conferences. They’ve even been opposite each other in court!
But what I want to point out here is this: Regardless of their professional relationship, they also have a personal relationship. Even though they have been on opposite sides in a courtroom, at the end of the day, they shake hands, and head out to enjoy a cold beer.
So what do we have here? We have a group of people that share the same profession, yet show each other professional courtesy and there is a high level of respect. Our lawyer who does Divorces, doesn't try to read a complicated contract between 2 businesses that are merging. This is not his specialty. But he knows someone who does this day in and day out. He refers these companies to his colleague that practices Contract Law, Let me say it again, this is professional courtesy. It is having a level of respect for friends, colleagues and others in your profession and know your own limits. We have colleagues that are much better suited for jobs we aren’t. After all, it would be impossible to know it all!
And as a side note, let me say, it is not a weakness to admit that we don’t know everything, nor is it weakness to refer a potential client to someone better suited for the job. Additionally, don't we want to provide the highest level of service we can?
In the case of our lawyers, it takes many years of schooling and continuing education for every branch of law. But the same can be said for anyone who practices their profession in a niche. If you plan to be remarkable at your craft, whatever it may be, then the same dedication and hours of study need to be invested.
So now think about this: If you’ve spent your time and energy into a particular skill set, and you are remarkable at it, then if you have a potential client who needs services in an area that you know little about, what do you do? Refer the client to a colleague OR try to fill their needs in a “the best way I can” sort of way. This now becomes an Ethical Dilemma, or does it?. What do you do? Comment below...