Establishing a uniform professional-ethics system among different groups and cultures is one challenge of global business. Professional ethics or values comprise moral principles that affect conduct standards and support a profession's integrity. Increasing the commercial marketplace's globalization has encouraged many corporations to employ business-ethics officers who oversee and ensure globally uniform compliance of their own professional-ethics programs.
Scientific ethics define boundaries that dictate research. Sometimes, scientific ethics conflict with a society's religious or moral views, as seen in the battle over use of embryonic stem-cell research on human embryos. Many organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, require training in research ethics. Typically, scientists and scientific researchers maintain highly ethical standards. Effective peer review -- the process prevalent in today's scientific community -- keeps most scientists within ethical guidelines.
Judicial or legal ethics comprise the larger legal community's standards that help judges and attorneys maintain impartiality, fairness and independence. Professional ethics standards include oversight and control by a judicial commission in each state or province. Violation of established ethical standards may include an independent investigation followed by a hearing. Judicial ethical commissions have the power to sanction judges and may sometimes require them to retire or resign.
According to the National Education Association, educators' ethics include believing in each student's worth and dignity and the pursuit of teaching truth. This code of ethics stresses the magnitude of responsibility inherent in the teaching process. Professional ethics provide teachers and educators with a standard that governs individual actions and conduct. The code provides a consistent environment in which all students may benefit from and pursue a quality education.
Corporate ethics provides a moral code of conduct that directly affects a business' management and operations. These values or codes of conduct may dictate how a corporation operates in the national and international marketplace, the level of social responsibility and behavior of individuals within the corporation. In the 1990s, Enron executives who fleeced investors' life savings exemplified disregard for corporate ethics.
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