The Benefits of Embracing Ethical Business Conduct

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The Benefits of Embracing Ethical Business Conduct

Publication Number


Published Date

December 2020

Type of Publication


Publications Under

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation(SCE), Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group(SMEWG)





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Common wisdom and ample evidence demonstrate the negative impact that corruption has on public welfare and economies. Understanding the costs of corruption alone may not provide sufficient motivation to alter the behavior of companies or individuals. This literature review covers published work on the cost of unethical conduct in tandem with scholarly insights on gains from adopting ethical practices at the firm level, providing a compelling foundation for action that has thus far not been available. Guided by consultation with experts in the field of business ethics and drawing from published research from academia and multilateral organizations, this collection of literature demonstrates that enterprises worldwide, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), stand not only to avoid harm but also to tangibly benefit from embracing ethical practices.