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It has often been suggested by some that the expression business ethics is an oxymoron – it employs contradictory terms because business seeks to optimise or maximise gains from its operations while ethics implies a very different basis for business practices. However, although the more cynically minded would seriously subscribe to this view, there has been a very dramatic upturn in an interest in ethical considerations by business leaders and professional business organisations partly as a result of the demands of societies which have had to bear the cost of spectacular corporate collapses and the unscrupulous business activities of a minority of business practitioners. In fact the subject has become an industry with several books on it being published, several courses, seminars, workshops and lectures devoted to the subject, numerous models promulgated and an ever increasing number of comments and debates in the public media.

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