Protocols are important because they provide a common moral framework in which people operate. Without these assumptions, people are more likely to stretch the boundaries of right and wrong, whether in matters of courtesy or in matters of structuring deals in a way that reflects everyone's best interests.
The philosophical basis on which protocols rest is the idea that a mindful consideration of the feelings and interests of others is the best way to do business. This means that, before a person undertakes an action, he should consider whether he would like to have that action performed by someone else toward him. One acronym to help people remember the spectrum of protocols is IMPACT (integrity, manners, personality, appearance, consideration and tact).
While many organizations are becoming increasingly lax in their protocols, particularly those involving such ostensibly peripheral subjects as dress code, use of cell phones during the business day and interactions in the workplace, maintaining professional protocols ensures that members of an organization keep their professional mission in mind and similarly use protocols in all areas of their decision-making processes. The eventual goal is the establishment and maintenance of an atmosphere of integrity. Through the use of protocols in all areas of a business, management makes ethical conduct more likely at all decision-making levels.