Being Ethical is Profitable

Alankar is a senior program manager in Bangalore, India.

Abstract
Ethics, as a term, is often misunderstood and some companies falsely believe that being ethical is an expensive practice that causes the organization to forego profits. This article explains that this is not true – ethics is about following what is right for society, customers, and stakeholders, while keeping the organization’s long-term vision in mind. Shortcuts and sleazy behavior sometimes pay handsomely, but only for the short term. Organizations must remember that any benefits from lying, cheating, and stealing usually come at the expense of their reputation, brand image, and shareholders. Therefore, leaders and managers should work hard to be ethical and remain that way. It is important for every project to fulfill its social responsibilities and welfare commitments. Ethical companies are more trusted by people and this trust provides higher chances that the organization will remain profitable and continue to grow for many years. Studies show that people are willing to pay a premium for an ethical company’s products and that ethical organizations have continued to survive and grow.

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use it[s]resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition …


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- Francis Bacon

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