Do Business Ethics Pay?
Ethics for Strategic Planners
Ethics has been described as what one does when one thinks no one is watching. “Do business ethics pay? This is a question that some would say is a wrong one. Behaving ethically, they argue, is what you do because it is the right thing to do.” (Welby & More, 2003) In today’s business environment everyone is watching. Newspaper headlines range from accounting scandals to insider stock trading.
“Many casual observers could fail to see the connection between strategic planning and ethics. Yet these two concerns are intimately related.” (Ethics Resource Center, n.d.) Two kids who met in seventh grade gym class in Merrick, New York ...view middle of the document...
While one can then infer about an individual’s personal or professional values from their responses such generalizations are not always accurate. Another story utilized to impart a company’s ethical values is the Found Suitcase scenario. After completing the Gold Watch scenario, participants are told this hypothetical tale. You just found a suitcase full of money. There is no identification in the suitcase and no one saw you find it. What would you do with the suitcase?
The discussion raises issues such as;
• The differences in value judgments between responses to the first and second scenarios.
• How justifications such as it probably belonged to a criminal or it depends on how much money change some participant’s perception of ethics.
“Strategic planning models suggest that an effective strategy is a reflection of the organization's environment, available resources, relevant history, mission and vision. What is also recognized is the significance of the organization's stated values.” (Ethics Resource Center, n.d.) From employee led action teams to the Ben & Jerry's Foundation that established in 1985, the organization’s commitment to working towards eliminating the underlying causes of environmental and social problems is permeated throughout the organizational culture.
According to Gnazzo (2003), “Recent ethics scandals in corporate America have left many executives wondering how a handful of their management peers could go so wrong in their business practices.” A recent editorial by the SmartPros Editorial Staff (2003) noted the following.
More than 80 ethics, human resources and legal officers were surveyed at the Conference Board's 2003 Ethics Conference in...