Ethics provide the overarching principles and rules which govern individual and organisational behaviour. These rules are normally documented in a values statement and reflected in policies, procedures and expected behaviours.
An organisation with a strong ethical base is less likely to breach legal obligations, particularly where the law or circumstances are ill-defined, or where there is considerable variability in the circumstances that are likely to be encountered.
While an organisation will have cultures appropriate to the various functions, it can have only one set of values.
The outcome from a coherent set of values is an increase in stakeholder trust leading to lower costs of doing business, ease in raising capital and greater market appeal.