Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Something is Good for Business, Can it Also Be Ethical?

" Hard-headed though businessmen are supposed to be, they are all too often perplexed and embarrassed by a very basic question. Having struggled to present their ethical credentials, having proudly shown how they have treated their employees fairly, and their customers honestly, and their waste products responsibly, businessmen are nonetheless frequently stumped when the question is posed: if what the business has done is good for the business, can it really be ethical? They shuffle about, and examine their shoes, and fall silent, unable to rebut the implied accusation that because the business has benefited, it and its good acts are somehow less moral.

But such moral diffidence is quite unnecessary. The answer to the question is simply, emphatically, Yes: if it's good for the business, it certainly can be ethical."

Elaine Sternberg, Just Business: Business Ethics in Action

No comments: