Business ethics does not differ from generally accepted norms of good or bad practices. If dishonesty is considered to be unethical and immoral in the society, then any business person who is dishonest with his or her employees, customers, shareholders or competitors is an unethical and immoral person. If protecting others from any harm is considered to be ethical, then a company which recalls a defective or harmful product from the market is an ethical company. Two theories are important when one considers nature of ethics.
The theory of moral unity essentially advocates the principle that business actions should be judged by the general ethical standards of the society. There exists only one set of ethical standards which applies to business and non-business situations.
Opposite to this is the theory of amorality, which argues that a business can be amoral, and actions of business people need not be guided by general ethical standards. Managers may act selfishly because the market mechanism distills their actions into benefits to shareholders and the society at large.