The difference between moral issues and ethical issues is subtle, as the term moral refers to issues that influence the character of an individual while ethics is used with regard to the social system in which the morals are implemented. This implies that the code of behaviour expected of a person from the group to which he belongs or associates with constitutes ethical issues. The moral code of an individual seldom changes, though the ethics practised are dependent on the situation presented, mainly professional, social or family.
The conflict between morals and ethics is common for criminal defence lawyers. Lawyers assigned to defend criminals who have committed immoral acts according to them, such as murder or rape, are supposed to defend the accused client to the best of his abilities. This is an ethical requirement of the lawyer, despite knowing that his arguments may be convincing enough to free a criminal, and result in more criminal acts. To uphold the justice system, lawyers are supposed to overlook their personal morals and exercise legal ethics, in order to provide their clients with a fair trial.
Still in the field of legal ethics, it is required that the evidence against a suspect be based on the particular case on trial, even if the individual has had past encounters with the law. It would be unethical for the prosecutor to bring up past mistakes or crimes of a suspect, as this would result in prejudice from the jury; therefore, influencing their judgement on the particular case. The prosecutor on the other hand, would find it difficult to retain such information, if the suspect was dating a close friend, since social ethics kicks in, as he would be obliged to protect his friends from any kind of harm.
Company ethics have also been observed to conflict with the morals of an individual. Companies demand a lot from employees, in most cases crossing the ethical line due to greed and competition. This is reflected on the employees when they are overloaded with work and responsibilities that take away family time. Every individual has the moral duty to cater for the spouse and children in more ways than providing financial assistance alone. At the same time, some employees do not conduct good personal morals and end up losing their jobs due to theft and fraud.
Personal ethics has to do with the conscience of an individual while business ethics involves obedience to the professional code of conduct. Economists have repeatedly raised concern about the conflict between businesses involving production and the environmental as well as societal events. Ethical issues are observed in businesses when suppliers decide to collectively withhold their products in order to increase the market demand for the product, resulting in a significant increase in market value. Buyers on the other hand can decide to reduce the demand, especially bulk buyers, until the prices of the commodity fall, in order to make profits based on scarcity of the item.
The issue of ethics is also observed when poorly paid workers demand an increase in their wages by abandoning their duties. The ethical issues in such a case are observed in the poor pay provided by employers, and the justification of the employees to abandon their duties for which they are paid and twist the arm of their employers.
Ethical issues in business are observed to occur in multiple industries, on a frequent basis. Such issues include bribing officials for the sake of winning bids and tenders, paying employees in the competitor businesses to provide internal information concerning plans, investments and clients, among others, gender discrimination at the workplace resulting in harassment, compromising on the quality of products to reduce production costs, denying the public of information regarding side effects of using their products and poor pay, among others. Personal ethics in business can be observed in maintaining integrity and openness with the clients, accepting responsibility when mishaps occur and avoiding deceptive marketing among others.