American expert in business ethics (pictured right).
Good Intentions Aside
Organizations need a “Covenantal Business Ethic” based upon long-term relationships with
stakeholders (particularly customers and employees) that promote ethical values without sacrificing profits.
Such values (like respect for people, honesty and fairness) come from the:
- organization's corporate culture.
Business ethics (applying personal morals to business) increases profits through:
- improving corporate image.
- attracting talented recruits.
People must be ethical, because codes of conduct can be ignored.
There are various ethical responses to conflicts between personal conscience and
company policy (managers’ biggest moral dilemma):
1. Conscience before corporation
Immoral action (like bribery) is never justified even for the sake of the organization’s survival.
2. Sacrifice before self
‘You first’ is the right philosophy, not ‘me first’.
3. Truthful and informative advertising
(which doesn’t entice people to injure themselves).
- accepting unwelcome information from them.
- being sensitive to their views.
Reporting wrongdoing to people inside or outside the organization.
6. Social responsibilities
Taking action on social issues like poverty and the environment.
To assess how ethical a decision is, a manager must ask various
1. What is my intuition and gut instinct i.e. does the decision
2. Could I disclose it to my child, a respected mentor or the
3. Is it right, honest and consistent with
4. Is it legal and should the law be obeyed anyway?
5. Does it promote trust?
6. How does it treat others: am I hurting anyone?
7. Does it add to the good reputation of myself and the
8. Is it fair to the organization’s stakeholders, and have I
listened to their opinions?
9. Have I considered all the facts?
10. Would it still look good, if it was made in the future, or
repeated 20 times over?
11. Am I blinded by arrogance or saved by humility?
Key quotes on business
Integrity is a condition that demands that you walk as you talk.
Ego corrodes empathy.
Key quote on human resource
He who is exploited tends to exploit back.