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Business Ethics Courses

Learn Business Ethics with a variety of online courses and lessons from Harvard, MIT, and more of the world's leading universities. Take online courses that cover ethics issues related to data science and analytics as well as the development of new technologies.

What is Business Ethics?

The area of professional or corporate ethics known as business ethics examines the values and principles that govern the conduct of a business as well as the individuals acting on behalf of the business. The goal of business ethics is to support ethical individual professional and corporate conduct. This goes beyond merely operating within the legal rules and regulations that may be required by governmental organizations and may also be at odds with the goal of maximizing corporate profits. For example, a government regulation in a particular area may not prohibit the dumping of raw waste in a river, however, a company, if operating according to certain ethical values and standards, would choose not to do this as it would pollute the environment and potential harm the local population. Ethical issues are present in every aspect of a business including finance, human resources, business practices, corporate responsibility, business development, sales, intellectual property, reporting and more.

Online Business Ethics Courses and Programs

The study of business ethics is essential to becoming a good decision maker and business leader. Managers and executives will often be faced with complex ethical questions that require critical thinking and a deep understanding ethical leadership principles and best practices. Ethical Leadership: Character, Civility, and Community from Boston University is a free, 12-week online course that explores the theoretical and practical elements of ethical leadership.

An extremely popular online course from Harvard University, Justice, provides an excellent introduction to moral philosophy and decision making. Students examine controversial issues and discuss moral and ethical dilemmas. The 12-week online course is a great starting point when learning about philosophy and ethics.

Additional ethics courses deal with ethical technology development, bioethics, data science ethics and ethics as they relate to the life sciences. Learn from business ethics case studies and understand key business ethics issues. You will also learn corporate social responsibility, whistleblowing, insider trading, conflict of interest, code of conduct, human rights, corporate governance, code of ethics, ethical practices, moral principles, and more. In addition to these learnings, you will review legal issues that can arise, work environment conditions, unethical behaviors to watch for, lying and the consequences of those decisions, and more.

Jobs in Business Ethics

Corporate ethics roles include positions for creating, communicating and enforcing company ethics policies and codes of conduct. Corporate compliance officers investigate violations of ethics policies and provide guidance for how to deal with violations. Often they are also tasked with determining if any laws were broken. While the number of job positions specifically for business ethics officers and ethics analysts may not be very large, the number of job positions requiring the adherence to high ethical standards is huge. The importance of business ethics cannot be overstated. Practically every job position will come with the required demonstration of strong business ethics. Learning ethical decision making while having a competitive advantage and practices is key for every position you pursue.

Explore a Career in the Area of Business Ethics

Corporate ethics and values are extremely important at every company and having a strong knowledge of ethical principles is key to jobs in management, human resources, business development and other areas. Compliance officers and investigators ensure that companies and employees are operating within their defined codes of conduct. Enroll in free ethics courses to explore this important field and see if a career in business ethics is right for you.