The concept of 'business ethics' is one of those terms which causes quite different reactions in different people--and not always for the same reasons. A recent article in Fast Company, the magazine of business management entrepreneurs, by David Meyer of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan seems to think so, and for good reason, as he aptly points out.
"Even before the financial crisis of the past decade, there were the Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco scandals. Before those, there was Gordon Gecko. And while the U.S. economy is finally recovering, the wealth disparity between rich and poor continues to yawn wider. Memories of Wall Street execs cutting themselves big bonuses right after being bailed out are still potent, and so is the popular impression that business and ethics just don't go together," says Meyer, in his introduction.
The sad thing is that he is RIGHT. People simply do not believe that business and ethics can truly go together, but they can, if proper safeguards, including the opportunity to act ethically, is enshrined in an organization. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in this rush to fame and fortune world we live in.
It's a great article, and very timely. If you don't have time to read the whole article, read the story at the start and see if that picture fits you as well.