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An Empirical Research of Corporate Ethics in Business’ Performance and Profitability

Below are views of the world’s famous CEOs about ethics in business in an interview conducted by Robert Reiss of Forbes:

  • Dan Amos, Chairman and CEO, Aflac, 11 time recipient of Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies award and the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the U.S.
  • Timothy Erblich, CEO, Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices
  • Rodney Martin, CEO, Voya Financial, a leading company that helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings; and a 4-time World’s Most Ethical Companies honoree.

Robert Reiss: What phrase defines ethics and explain why?

Dan Amos: “Ethics is a mindset, not an option.” There is no alternative in today’s highly skeptical culture and when you do it right, consumers will respond in a positive way.

Tim Erblich: “Good Ethics is Good Business.” In fact, there is a growing body of data, including our own, that shows that the financial return of ethics (ROE) is significant.

Rodney Martin: Ethics is a reflection of our commitment to doing business the right way. We emphasize trust and transparency — and we reward our people based on not only what is achieved, but how it is achieved.

Reiss: What is the relationship between social corporate responsibility and ethics?

Martin: Corporate responsibility includes key aspects of a company culture, such as ethics and transparency; diversity, inclusion and equality; environmental sustainability; governance; and volunteerism and philanthropy. It has been invaluable in defining and building the character of the Voya brand. Corporate Responsibility, highlighted by the commitment of our people, demonstrate the authenticity of our culture — and help to deepen our relationships in our communities and with all of our stakeholder groups.

Erblich: Corporate Social Responsibility is a critical component of the overall ethics quotient. As is governance culture, transparency, risk management and employee, customers and community relations. At the same time, company culture, diversity, gender equity, philanthropy, keeping a healthy workplace environment are all traits of a socially responsible company. It is all combined to build trust.

Through direct observation as daily stakeholders of a company, we as the general public could weigh that it is better to be a customer on ethical firms than those who do not know our values. Thus, we, as stakeholders are the center of the business industry, their profitability and we can define their performance. Through the researchers’ claim it is very crucial for a business to have ethics.


  1. Business Ethics
  2. Corporate Ethics (or commonly referred as Business Ethics) means providing reasons on how things ought to be in the economic world. Ethics is normative and is concern on what should be done, not what is done. It requires the following:

    Arranging values to guide decisions. There needs to be a clearly defined and well-justified set of priorities about what’s worth seeking and protecting and what other things are willing to be compromised.

    Understanding the facts. To effectively apply set of values to any situation, the situation itself must be clearly defined.

    Constructing Arguments. This shows how one action serves our values better than other actions.

  3. Shareholders
  4. Entities that are affected by the business directly or indirectly. They are composed of the customers, employees, government, shareholders, etc.

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