Ethics in business communication

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Communication is the process by which individuals exchange information between other individuals or groups of people. Throughout the process, effective communicators try as clearly and accurately to convey their thoughts, intentions and objectives to their receiver.Communication is successful only when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information.In today's business environments, effective communication skills are necessary due to the highly informational and technological era.[1]

Regardless of context, communication involves choice, reflects values, and has consequences. For better communication, understanding the obvious and the subtle issues relating to communication is necessary. Any company that aims to be socially and ethically responsible must make a priority of ethical communication both inside the company and in its interactions with the public. In theory, many consumers prefer to do business with companies they believe are ethical which gives those ethical businesses an advantage in the market. Ethical issues of business communication are one such issue. Some of the vital characteristics of ethical communication are discussed below.

  • Conveying the point without offending the audience:[2]

While communicating to the audience, conveying the desired message to them in a significant manner is of primary importance. For instance, the employees in a company can be asked to increase their efficiency in a demanding manner whereas managers and executives will feel offended if the same tone is used on them. There are different ways to explain the exact things to them in a much smoother manner.[3]

  • Maintain a relationship with the audience:

Maintaining the same wavelength with the audience is very important for a communicator to ensure the audiences feel at home. Experienced communicators immediately build a relationship based on trust with the audience as soon as they start speaking. Great orators such as Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi always were able to maintain a relationship with their audience because they were masters at striking the same wavelength of the audience.[4]

  • Avoid withholding crucial information:

In the modern era, information is vital for all decisions. Hence, it is vital for any organization to be cautious when communicating with the public. The communicated information should be absolute and all vital information must be conveyed appropriately. Purposely withholding crucial information might result in the public conceiving a bad image.[5]

  • Well organized value system:

In order to ensure that this concept is successfully practiced and understood in an organization, a well-organized value system must be established throughout the organization by the top management. If an organization functions on the base of value systems common to both the top management and the employees, mutual respect between them will be present. A sound and healthy value system can make way for ethical communication.[6]

  • Accuracy of information is necessary:

Any information that is to be passed on must be true and accurate. Communicating without checking the truth of the information can be highly dangerous for the organization. Identification of the source and testing the information is necessary before communicating it.


  1. ^ Hereford, Z. "Good Communication Skills - Key to Any Success". 
  2. ^ "Online etymology Dictionary". 
  3. ^ Singh, Meenakshi Raman, Prakash (2006). Business communication (2. impression. ed.). [S.l.]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-567695-5. 
  4. ^ Rogin, Mary Ellen Guffey, Kathleen Rhodes, Patricia (2009). Business communication : process and product (3rd brief Canadian ed.). Toronto: Nelson Education. ISBN 978-0-17-650046-7. 
  5. ^ al.], A. C. "Buddy" Krizan (2006). Business communication (7th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western. ISBN 0-324-37485-2. 
  6. ^ Jethwaney, Jaishri (2010). Corporate communication : principles and practice. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-806365-2. 

[1] [2] [3]


  1. ^ Principles of Communication. Retrieved November 30th, 2014.
  2. ^ Eadie, W.F. (2009). 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook.San Diego, CA. SAGE Publication Inc.
  3. ^ Thompson, S. About ethical communication in business. Azcentral: A Gannett Company. Retrieved from
  4. ^ IABC code of ethics for professional communicators. (2014). Retrieved from