The term ethics refers to a code of conduct that guides an individual while dealing with others. Ethics means the rules or principles that define right and wrong conduct. It is a study of individual and collective moral awareness, judgement, character and conduct. It relates to the social rules and cardinal values that motivate people to be honest in dealing with others. Such ethical rules (code of conduct) are determined largely by customs, traditions and prevailing environment. Certain ethical values such as honesty and fairness are universal and stable over centuries. Ethical rules of conduct provide guidelines for human behaviour that will preserve a society’s, a group’s or an individual person’s notion of morality.
Ethics directs human behaviour and also differentiates between good and bad, right and wrong and between fair and unfair human behaviour or actions. It creates decency, decorum and discipline in the behaviour of individuals and also in the society.
The term “Ethics” is derived from the Greek word “ethos” which refers to character. According to Webster dictionary, “ethical” means conforming to professional standard of conduct. Ethical action means an action, which is socially and morally good. Such actions are fair and not harmful to others. Ethics can be defined as a system of moral values. It is concerned with that branch of philosophy, which deals with values relating to human conduct/behaviour.