Using Business Principles to Support Ethical Communication

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Ethical Communication - definition

Practicing ethical communication is not an easy way to live. Being ethical in the workplace or at home, or with anyone can be a struggle. Often it can be easier to not say anything at all then the truth. In our society gossip is a daily occurrence and some people even make their living that way.

Ethical communication means being truthful and upfront at all times. For example, say your co-worker is driving you nuts and you complain to your best friend without addressing the problem with your co-work first; that is unethical. The co-worker might not know he/she are being annoying and by talking behind their back does not solve anything. It is important to practices ethical communication for resolving conflicts, as well as everyday interactions. No one likes being talked about behind their back.

Ethical communication is promoting communication that consists of caring and mutual understanding that respects the unique needs and characteristics of individuals. Respect is very important in everyday interactions. Everyone deserves to be respected regardless of their job, socioeconomic status, gender, and or race.


In 1985 the first mobile phone call was made on the Vodafone network. This is now one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. In the UK alone, more than 15 million people use the Vodafone service. It now has interests in 27 countries and it partners networks in a further 27 countries. Its vision is to 'be the world's mobile communications leader'.

When customers make key decisions about mobile phones and the networks they would like to use, they need details that make sense. They will want to be aware of charges and tariffs before committing themselves. They will also want to make comparisons between networks.

Why ethical communication is important for business?

Companies working in this sector need to make sure that their information is honest, clear and easy to understand. This information will be used by customers to make the correct choice of mobile phone and tariff for their individual need.

Every business or organisation turns inputs from its environment into outputs that are returned to the world in which it operates. They have to be able to adapt and manage constant change

In recent years, chiefly in high-tech industries, the rate of market change has become even faster. New products and services are developed and launched more quickly and can be perceived as more complex. Customers and different stakeholder groups want different information but all want it to be relevant.

In such a world, responsible businesses must think carefully about how they communicate messages to customers and other stakeholders.

Communication - channels and barriers

There are two main ways of sending information – verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication involves people talking to one another. Non-verbal contact may include visual and written material. If verbal communication is face-to-face, then there is also a non-verbal element through body language.

It is important to Vodafone to reduce the number and types of barrier to ensure its messages are delivered and understood.

Effective communication

Successful communication relies on information being sent, received and understood. This process can be seen as a flow between sender and receiver.

When there is an obstacle to this process, a barrier to good communication is created. These obstacles might be details which are not clear, complex language, complicated technical terms or other jargon. This is sometimes referred to as 'noise'. It is important to Vodafone to reduce the number and types of barrier to ensure its messages are delivered and understood.

External communication with customers

Vodafone has developed a set of ten Business Principles. These Business Principles give a plain and moral pathway to help guide the actions of employees.

One principle relates to communications where Vodafone states: 'We will communicate openly and transparently with all of our stakeholders within the bounds of commercial confidentiality.' Vodafone expects these Principles to help reduce barriers to communication. They ensure that its messages, verbal and non-verbal, are clearly understood.

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