Business Ethics in E-commerce

Khanh Nguyen

Thesis Autumn 2016 School of Business and Culture Degree Program in International Business


The thesis studies about business ethics generally and business ethics implementation in E-commerce particularly. The main objective of the thesis is to explore how ethics is implemented in electronic business, hence research problems are those following: which kinds of ethical issues organizations have to deal with when doing online commerce; what are opportunities and challenges regards to ethics they have and how they manage them. The thesis is inclined to exploit aspects from organizations’ perspectives.

In the theoretical part, definition of business ethics and its relevant issues were introduced, namely, philosophical approaches to business ethics, corporate gov-ernance and corporate social responsibilities. Core concepts of e-commerce such as definition, different e-commerce business models and e-commerce strategy were also discussed. Most importantly, ethical implementation in e-commerce concerning with some ethics issues and the ways to manage them were presented in detail.

A case study about Millenial Limited Company, a Finnish company of marketing and e-commerce solutions, was chosen to be in the empirical part. Data is collected by quantitative methods, including document analysis, observations and two in-depth interviews with the CEO and the trainee of the company. In the end, findings from the company were analysed and evaluated, research problems were solved.

In conclusion, major ethical issues companies face when doing business related to e-commerce are privacy, security, trust, intellectual property rights, some environ-mental issues. In order to manage ethical issues in e-commerce, managers have to help the company to design an effective strategy and long-term management procedure as well as security policies and training. Different companies and differ-ent fields of e-commerce have different security problems, thus, different strategies. However, it must be legal, feasible, effective and innovative.

Keywords: business ethics, e-commerce, ethical issues, ethical implementation in e-commerce, Millenial Company.


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