If you put the words history of business ethics into a search engine on the Internet, you can come up with more than 34,000,000 hits in 0.18 of a second. Most of those hits would focus on the scandals that occurred in the last 30 years only. That’s when the idea of what we now call business ethics truly emerged. But its theoretical history goes back far more in time. In the 1700s century, moral philosopher Immanuel Kant stated that “Ethical law is a product of reason and must be obeyed”. Kant refused to judge laws according to their results or utility, but only according to their morality. At the same time, came Adam Smith, and called for liberalizing businesses to enable them to freely pursue profits. Then came the utilitarianism and it is advocates who said: “The useful is the good; only the result of an act determines whether it is right”. So businesses were constantly moving away from ethics and heading towards profits and freedom. It was no surprise then, that in the 1800s many thinkers considered most businesses unethical. But in the 1900s, many thinkers tried to teach businesses how to act ethically.
This work exposes the biggest challenge in leadership. The authors look at what conspires against a culture of candor in organizations to create disastrous results, and suggest ways that leaders can achieve healthy and honest openness.
This book is not about gloating over the demise of once-mighty enterprises that fell, but about seeing what we can learn and apply to our own situation. By understanding the five stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce the chances of falling all the way to the bottom, tumbling from iconic
Smart Trust has met the strict scrutiny of business leaders around the globe and is validated by research from multiple sources that confirms that high-trust organizations outperform low-trust organizations by nearly three times. Smart Trust shares findings that verify how enduring success, vitality, and happiness are directly related to the level of trust in
We’re losing patience with bad companies. We’re fed up with tainted food, tightfisted employers, and “corporate social responsibility” that is more marketing spin than true caring for our communities. Society hasn’t given up on capitalist corporations. We rely on companies for the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, as well
Organizations of high integrity achieve superior performance because they attract and retain high-quality employees, customers, suppliers and investors. Creating organizations of high integrity takes time and effort. This does not happen automatically, because human beings are not morally perfect. Unethical employees, customers, suppliers and investors can prevent organizations from achieving high
Capitalism was successful at generating income and economic growth but often at the expense of the natural environment. Now things are changing: we can see the outline of a new system in which we can enjoy the undoubted benefits of a competitive market economy without the environmental costs. It is a
A business must only make or sell merchandise of reliable quality for the lowest possible practicable price, provided that merchandise is made and sold under just conditions.
Corporate accountability is the legal obligation to behave in a socially acceptable way or face criminal and/or civil penalties. CSR, on the other hand, is voluntary and not mandated by any law.
Improvements in the ethical environment can be most effectively driven from the top of the organization.
Many global companies lack effective programs to boost their reputations for being socially responsible to the local people. That must change in the coming years.