Difference Between Business Ethics and Social Responsibility (With Table)

There a lot of factors that lead to a business’s success, and business ethics and social responsibility are some of those factors if led and followed properly. Every business’s basic aim is to gain profits for the company and its employee, but that does not mean a business can do whatever it wishes to do. There are a set of rules and responsibilities one has to follow.

Business Ethics vs Social Responsibility

The main difference between business ethics and social responsibility is that the concept of business ethics is to know what is right or wrong for the company and its workers, while the concept of social responsibility is knowing what impact one’s business is making in the society and whether it is right or wrong.

Business ethics include following the right behavior that benefits the employees of the company as well the shareholders, stakeholders, customers, etc. The business is not supposed to harm anyone in the community, and if it does, it would be a violation of the ethics of business. The services provided by the company should follow a set of rules that benefits everyone, including society.

Social responsibility refers to doing business keeping the benefits of their communities in mind. There are a set of responsibilities and norms in a society that is acceptable, and a business should always follow them. A business’s success depends on how much it adheres to the social norms and society’s expectations.

Comparison Table Between Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Parameters of comparison 

Business Ethics 

Social Responsibility  


Business ethics include what a business needs to follow to profit its employees and stakeholders harmlessly. 

Social responsibility ensures all norms of a society are being followed in the right manner while building a business.  


To profit the employees and company. 

To benefit society. 


Used in a business sense. 

Used in a general sense. 


Involves corporate and companies 

Involves society or individual 

What is it about? 

Business ethics is about knowing what is good or bad for the company and its employees. 

Social responsibility is about seeing and keeping the morals of a society and environmental targets in mind. 

What is Business Ethics?

Every business has a set of rules the employees have to follow, and these rules also include business ethics. Business ethics include the policies and rules regarding subjects such as discrimination, bribery, responsibilities as an employee, etc. There are lawyers in most companies that overlook the guidelines of business ethics and make sure they are being followed.

Ethics simply means moral character and discipline. The word ‘Ethics’ comes Greek word ‘ethos.’ It means knowing the difference between what is the right thing to do and what is wrong. Always doing the right thing and being disciplined comes under ethics. Ethical decisions are always made by one’s principles and core beliefs. In business, ethics are very important to maintain the sanctity of it. A business is only considered successful if it is run by honesty and with proper ethics.

A business should be led keeping the profit of its employees, stakeholders, and everyone related to it, but also, it should be led keeping its customers in mind. Giving the customers honest and good service comes under business ethics. Not taking bribes is an important aspect of being honest with the company as well as its loyal customers. Ethics in business make sure the leaders and the employees always work their best and maintain discipline.

What is Social Responsibility?

Social responsibility means the behavior that is expected from a man in the workplace. The behavior of an employee should always be according to social and community norms. Businesses are supposed to work obliging the norms of society, and that comes under the company’s responsibility as human beings.

A business is not supposed to make a profit jeopardizing the community around it. It should be built keeping the people and surroundings in mind. This is the main meaning of social responsibility. For example, if a business is causing a lot of pollution in the area, it is supposed to shut down the activities causing it or reduce it to cause less pollution.

To ensure a company’s profit and success, business ethics and social responsibility go hand in hand. If a business is being built on being honest and ethical as well as well keeping social responsibilities in mind, it tends to be more successful and loved by people around more. Society always expects successful businesses to give back to their community and environment, and people tend to buy more from the companies that prove that they are following social responsibilities and giving back to the community and not harming them in any way.

Main Differences Between Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

  1. Business Ethics is more business-related and inclined towards duties regarding business, whereas social responsibility is related to the duties of an individual towards his community.
  2. Business ethics are more conscience-based, while social responsibilities are obligations.
  3. Business ethics aims to profit its employees and company, while social responsibility makes sure the norms of a community are being followed.
  4. Business ethics are for a company and its employees, while social responsibility is for everyone living in a community.
  5. Business ethics benefits a company, while social responsibility benefits everyone along with businesses.


To build a successful business, good business ethics and social responsibility, both, are important to follow. The expectations of society continue to grow, and it’s wise to keep good business ethics in check for a company to grow. A company should always make sure it is genuine, and all expectations of society, customers, and employees are being met. Attention to business ethics and social responsibility always creates a good environment and business.

Business ethics are very important as the company’s reputation is based on its ethics and how well the services are being provided by it. Business ethics and social responsibility always go hand in hand to ensure the growth and success of a company and its employees.


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