Business Ethics And Bribes-Alive And Well

I participated in a recent global discussion on business ethics to answer a hypothetical question:  Would you or your company pay a bribe to do work in another country if this were the industry norm?  How would this affect your company’s ethic code?

This was my take and specific response…. it is my view that we are fast becoming morally bankrupt in the business community.

This is far more serious than our financial problems.  Any company that truly has a established a credible and serious business ethics culture would not be tempted to engage in such behavior, regardless of what their competitors are doing or what the industry norm is.

Business Ethics and personal ethics must be as important as driving sales period. When viewed and practiced this way, business temptations and illegal behaviors are quickly repelled and dismissed.

When I train and consult companies in the field of personal and business ethics, I challenge everyone to ask themselves just how honest and ethical they believe they are.

You should see the reactions from the participants.  They are a little taken back by the question and should be.

Every individual would do well to identify their morals, principles, and values as a starting point.  Every organization can do a much better job of improving their cultures and environments by making business ethics a top priority.

Unfortunately greed, money, power, and control still are prevailing thoughts and behaviors in most companies and organizations.  For the life of me, I cannot identify a company that clearly sets the highest standards for behavioral ethics.

Here’s the problem….humans in most cases look out for themselves and that is our DNA.

This can lead to questionable decision making and shortcuts. One shortcut leads to another.

No organization that I know of is invulvernable to poor ethics- misconduct and breakdowns are inevitable.

I urge every one of them to create a mission statement, ethics statement, create compliance programs, and dedicate themselves to building sound business ethics cultures.  This is smart business and will save them more money than they can imagine.  

As always, I ask you to strive to do the right thing!!

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