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The Gita and Business Ethics

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The word ‘ethics’ comes from the Greek word ‘ethikos’. It refers to one’s moral character and the way in which society expects people to behave in accordance with accepted principles. Business ethics is the code of good conduct that a business adheres to in its daily dealings both with other businesses and with customers. Most philosophers conclude that ethical failure occurs because of lack of character. Virtuous people will live ethically. Therefore, we need to think about the desired virtues and how one can develop those virtues.

Aristotle’s virtues for the city state included prudence, justice, courage and self- restraint. Christians added faith, hope and love. Over time, a number of others were added – compassion, generosity, empathy, hospitality, modesty and civility. In the month of Magha (December) 5,000 years ago, on the battlefield at Kurukshetra just before the start of Mahabharata war, Krishna outlined to Arjuna a system of ethics that has withstood the test of time In the …