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Business Ethics and Accountability Examples

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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As an accountability coach, the topic of business ethics and accountability always comes up in conversations with my clients. Sadly, most entrepreneurs are faced with the dilemma between maintaining high levels of business ethics and accountability versus profitability.

Before we dive right into the topic, I’d like to give you a brief description of ethics and accountability. We’ll also discuss how the two come into play in the business sector.

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Table of Contents

What are ethics, and why do they matter in business?

Business ethics can be defined as moral values and principles that guide the decisions and behaviors of organizations as well as individuals. 

I like to think of business ethics as the glue that holds everything in an entity together. I would like you to take a few seconds and ponder on what would happen if the glue was poorly installed, or if the glue started to slowly fall off. If ethics were a physical item, then it would fall from the anchor, possibly in a thud!

In the same manner, if a company is not set up with the right ethics in mind, it will not survive the market let alone flourish.

Real-life examples of ethics, and how they affect business

1. Integrity and Honesty

A company that operates with integrity and honesty builds a foundation that all stakeholders can trust. For instance, I am a loyal customer of certain businesses that observe integrity and honesty. I always have a sense of pride whenever I purchase a service from such a business. And most times, I won’t even think about the cost factor nor will I run around to seek services from the competitors – all because of these ethical considerations. In fact, I am quick to refer these businesses to my networks.

2. Fairness

A fair workplace is inclusive to all employees regardless of age, religion, identity, or race. This environment ensures that all workers have all they need to become successful in their own way. If you are keen, you may observe that employees of ethical companies hold their employer in huge regard. As such, workers take the company with pride and even make significant sacrifices to achieve the company’s goals.

What is accountability, and why does it matter in business?

As the backbone of ethical business practices, accountability is an organization’s or individual’s obligation to take responsibility for their decisions, actions, and subsequent consequences. In simple terms, accountable individuals or organizations own up to their actions, regardless of whether they result in successes or failures.

As a chaperone of business ethics and accountability, I have noted that companies that embrace accountability create a culture of responsibility and transparency. In return, this fosters resilience, innovation, and sustainable business practices. 

Being accountable is also like being the captain of a ship. Everyone has their job, and they know they’ll be held responsible if something goes wrong.

Real-life examples of accountability, and how it affects business

1. Accept Criticism

Accepting criticism is an incredible way to be an accountable employer or employee. Rather than throwing tantrums when caught in the wrong, I always advise folks to own up to their mistakes. Doing so ensures that you focus on the solution rather than on how you can avoid the blame. You will also learn of handy improvements that you need to set up for your business. Also, try not to take criticism personally. Rather, take it as a way to improve and scale your business.

2. Show up as a leader

Showing up as a leader is a sure way to foster accountability in your team. However, you need to differentiate between being a boss and a leader. Rather than openly supervising others without being of much help, lean more on working as a team. Think of showing your team how to complete a certain difficult task by leading by example. Alternatively, take initiative in every business process.

3. Learn how to handle disagreements maturely

Sometimes, creating an accountable work environment may more often than not result in arguments. Imagine a scenario where it’s clear a team member is at fault. Yet they won’t take ownership of their mistakes. Rather than having a heated disagreement, try as much as you can to stay calm. You can then guide them to reflect on their actions and how they led to certain results. This will teach other employees the act of holding mature disagreements.


As an entrepreneur, business ethics and accountability will not only help you uphold the integrity of your venture but also build trust with your customers, employees, and investors. 

If you would like to build a workplace that fosters ethics and accountability, then consider looking into my accountability coaching packages or book an accountability assessment today.