Sample Essay on Ethical Behavior versus Legally Compliant Behavior

Ethical Behavior versus Legally Compliant Behavior


Ethics are moral principles that determine a person’s behavior; they determine whether such behaviors are right or wrong. However, wrong or right is considered a subjective idea. Ethical behavior is the act of doing that which is believed to be right, and it is perceived to be good for business. Legally compliant behavior entails complying with rules and regulations of maybe a company and non-compliance leads to punishment.


An individual can be seen to exhibit ethical behavior if they present good values as they are required by the society. Helping an injured person is ethical while pushing and hurting the same person in their state is a form of exhibiting unethical behavior. Some individuals are known for chasing the homeless from the streets; an act which is legal. However, it is against moral principles to move the homeless from the streets.

Businesses and companies employ the use of legally compliant behavior mode of ethics on their employees. Employees are forced to follow given rules and regulations even though they may be ethically incorrect. The employees get punished for non-compliance. This type of behavior does not allow employees to become ethical actors as it instills fear in them. Some companies can be legally performing their tasks which are not necessarily ethical. For example, it is legal to carry out pollution in the name of saving costs while ethically it is wrong.


The difference between law and ethics is that the latter is of good faith while the law is as a result of set rules and regulations. Following ethics gives one a good reputation and they earn respect from the society, whereas legal compliance brings about fear and dis