This morning, I read about a company using on-line auctions to defraud customers. We need to ask these questions: “How ethically vulnerable is our company or organization?” “What are the core values and guiding principles of our company or organization?” “Are we committed to living and exhibiting our core values in everything we do?” The answers to these questions will define the state of ethics in our business.
The philosophy of business also deals with questions such as what, if any, are the social responsibilities of a business; business management theory; theories of individualism vs. collectivism; free will among participants in the marketplace; the role of self interest; invisible hand theories; the requirements of social justice; and natural rights, especially property rights, in relation to the business enterprise.
Part of business ethics is responsibility to the investor and for that reason companies with strong reputations in the field of ethical business behavior are also companies that tend to attract more investment from people that are new into the market.
The ethical issues in business have become more complicated because of the global and diversified nature of many large corporation and because of the complexity of economic, social, global, natural, political, legal and government regulations and environment, hence the company must decide whether to adhere to constant ethical principles or to adjust to domestic standards and culture.
Much has been written about transparency in public companies and governments, but even with the importance of trust in all business transactions and relationships, little is published about how to use this trust building mechanism to improve organizational performance at the operational level.