Business ethics examine the ways in which conflicts between a society’s moral demands and economic requirements can be solved.
According to the theories, markets and morals do not have to disagree: Because of the market’s “invisible hand”, the sum of individual economic choices increases the overall welfare. A baker for instance does not primarily bake for altruistic reasons, but in order to make a living.
Instances exist in which conflicts arise between entrepreneurial pursuit of profit and a society’s legitimate interests. However, these can be resolved in a constructive manner. The government can intervene with regulations (systemic ethics), companies can act responsibly (corporate social responsibility) and individuals can act morally (individual moral).