“If ethics are poor at the top, then behavior is copied down through the organization” – Robert Noyce, Inventor and “Mayor of Silicon Valley”
In the competitive market, making a profit and expanding a company is becoming increasingly difficult. Many executives act with only growth, profit, and success in mind. This limited focus often results in unethical actions, which significantly harms public appearance.
Why has it come to this? A company can only act ethically if all employees believe in a strong culture of ethics. And yet today, many top executives blatantly ignore these values all to make that extra dollar.
I’m not saying that striving for a profit is a bad thing; that defeats the purpose of a business. However, this pursuit must be done with companies aligning their actions with strong ethics. Dr. Charles Kerns, professor at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, suggests the following formula to help a company practice strong ethics: Virtuous Values + Aligned Action + Behavioral Standards/Codes = Increased Ethical Behavior (see more detail about this at http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/Creating-and-Sustaining-an-Ethical-Workplace-Culture/).
The pursuit of wealth affects customers, laborers, and competitors on a daily basis. Practicing business in an ethical manner allows companies to form stronger trust with each other, public appearance to be positive, and for overall business to grow and prosper. This can be done by not attempting to deceive customers about products, honestly reporting profits, and not abusing labor, such as sweat shops. This attitude must be encouraged by executives of a company to ultimately create a culture of ethics. Here is a video that explains some other situations and ethical responses:
How can your company create a culture of ethics?
Other helpful links: