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Ethics in Business: Amazon’s Approaches


The ethical aspects of doing business are an essential part of today’s market economy, where high competition and the drive to accumulate profits can lead to dishonest work. As a target company to consider, Amazon is selected, as one of the most successful corporations in the e-commerce sector. With global operations and enormous profits, ethical business conduct is crucial to maintaining the company’s positive image. This work is aimed at identifying Amazon’s approaches to ethics in work and determining the corporation’s specific achievements in this field.

Amazon’s Work to Comply with Business Ethics

In its work, Amazon adheres to several standards of business ethics. One of the main areas is sustainability, which is achieved by adhering to the principles of efficient resource allocation to address the needs of the company and its employees (Amazon, 2021). Another important aspect to observe is equality, which is an integral part of the work of the corporation’s activities. According to Amazon’s latest sustainability report, the company supports the principles of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (Amazon, 2021, p. 71). Gibson (2007) mentions the rights of employees in the workplace, particularly safety, freedom of religion, social security, and some other factors. In its work, Amazon addresses all these aspects by caring not only about its subordinates but also about global problems in general.

In 2020, the corporation spent about $11.5 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and many funds were used to ensure the safety of the company’s personnel (Amazon, 2021, p. 10). Finally, moral motivation can be seen as another ethical principle of Amazon’s activities. As Gibson (2007) remarks, this driver is aimed at providing adequate compensation for subordinates. Amazon’s management promotes the pay equity and cash bonuses programs, which makes employees’ work fairly paid. In addition, according to the corporation’s mission, Amazon sets the goal to become “Earth’s most customer-centric company” (Amazon, 2021, p. 7). Therefore, the corporation addresses business ethics successfully and demonstrates interest in this field.

Failures in Addressing Ethical Aspects

Despite Amazon’s success in following ethical business principles, not all its activities are successful in this direction. For instance, the official corporation’s report states that the company had to end its cooperation with many suppliers due to differences of opinion (Amazon, 2021). In addition, in the future, if the company sticks to utilitarianism as a key approach, it will negatively impact customer interest. As Gibson (2007) argues, this practice is associated with personal motives and is often condemned for selfish ends. Therefore, Amazon needs to prove that its ethical solutions are independent of market trends.

Relevance of Ethics to Amazon’s Business: Personal View

Compliance with business ethics is of paramount importance to Amazon due to the high demands placed on the quality of e-commerce services in the modern world. Building a positive image is a valuable opportunity to continue to lead the industry. Any cases of unethical behavior are immediately publicized, and this is in the interests of Amazon not to lose its reputation and potential profit due to mass condemnation and the lack of customer interest. As a result, the corporation has to adhere to ethical standards.

Overall Value of Ethics for Businesses

Ethical standards are an integral component of today’s business environment in which respect and equality are promoted as indispensable factors in the work process. According to Gibson (2007), due to existing social contradictions, for example, the unequal access of men and women to career opportunities and, therefore, feminist movements, ethics can help mitigate these problems. Companies have the right to dispose of their resources on their own, but the modern realities of a democratic society do not allow establishing authoritarian management principles when the subordinate depends entirely on the manager. Therefore, the value of ethics lies in the ability to smooth out rough edges and maintain normal relationships in the team. An ethical business contributes to unleashing the potential of each employee and stimulating adherence to universal values not only in the workplace but also outside it.

Application of Marquette’s Motto

When applied to different businesses, relevant ethical principles can be universal. One of such standards is Marquette’s motto based on developing “men and women who will dedicate their lives to the service of others” (“Our mission,” 2021, para. 5). This approach means that the main purpose is not to impose selfish interests but to try to teach people to fulfill their immediate responsibilities with dignity and responsibility, regardless of gender. For Amazon, in addition to being a customer-centric corporation, as one of its mission values, the company seeks to build “a sustainable business for our employees, customers, and communities” (Amazon, 2021, p. 7). Such approaches are in line with Marquette’s motto because Amazon notes stakeholder orientation but does not include itself as the main participant in the business. Thus, the dedication of its professional activities to the service of others is an important aspect of Amazon’s ethical work.


Amazon’s approach to business ethics, reflected in the company’s official report, underlines the corporation’s interest in adhering to the principles of ethical interaction with various stakeholders, including customers, employees, and communities. Addressing acute social issues also finds its place in Amazon’s activities, which increases the company’s authority, although adherence to utilitarian practices and aggressive market behavior can affect the organization’s reputation negatively. Ethical adherence is essential in today’s business environment, and Amazon’s values ​​are consistent with Marquette’s.


Amazon. (2021). Amazon sustainability 2020 report: Further and faster, together. Web.

Gibson, K. (2007). Ethics and business: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.

Our mission. (2021). Marquette University. Web.

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