Ethical behaviour refers to behaviour that is ethically and morally correct according to the society. An ethical behaviour is legal in the eyes of law, is based on everyone`s best interests and leads to the welfare of the society.
Ethics are general principles of right conduct that direct the decisions and activities of an individual or an organization. Every society has a general set of standards of what is good or bad and right or wrong, and expects all members to adhere to the ethnic norms and morals of the society.
Ethics, Morals and Values of a society may be determined on the basis of Religion, Culture, Social Norms, Morals, Traditions and Laws that prevail in a society or country.
An organization must study and satisfy the ethical concerns of the society and avoid developing products and advertisements that leads to undesirable consumer behaviour or confuses or misleads the customer or hurt his personal or cultural sentiments. Special care must be taken when dealing with products and advertisements meant for children as they get influenced easily.
An organization must adhere with the cultural norms and ethical standards of the society and must maintain high operating standards that are directed towards the welfare of the members of the society.
The broad areas where an organization needs to serve ethically are:
Health & Occupational Safety
Fair Labour Practices
Consumer Protection and Fair treatment
Environmental and Legal Protection
Ethical Issues in Consumer Behaviour
The ethical issues or concerns in consumer behaviour arise in the following:
Moral and Ethical values of the society
Marketing and advertising to children
Product, Pricing and distribution issues
A marketer must comply with all the ethical concerns of the society and avoid using a strategy that violates the ethical and moral values of the society. The following points must be kept in mind by a business to be perceived as an ethical and socially responsible business:
All facts and details about the product/service must be clearly revealed to the customer
Consumer`s personal information must be kept private and safe
Special care must be taken when advertising to children
All the central, state and local laws must be complied with
Advertisements (T.V., Radio, Newsaper, Magazine, Internet) and promotions must not be misleading or deceptive
The company must be accountable and responsible for any loss, injury, damage due to product failure
Products must be inspected properly for quality before they are put for sale
Pricing of products must not be discriminatory or unfair
A business must develop ethical business practices and be socially responsible while making business decisions
A business must have a systematic feedback and complaint management system
A business must care about its customers and their environment