Ethics in business – Does it exist?
Getting new clients – and keeping them
Market economy is often equal to a jungle where jungle laws run, and ruthless and wild animals fight for the pray. Using this metaphor has little similarity to reality. Without rules and people with strong integrity things wouldn´t work. A lot of what is in a market economy are sprung from ethics value. An example of this is possession and freedom. Every company that wants to succeed must make an ethical adjustment if you want to get new clients and then keep them. Companies must be aware of respect, openness and honesty and also show a will to take responsibility for environment, laws and the culture in the country where the company is active.
Profits vs. ethics
If the theories concerning perfect competition between companies is working in real life it would be best to let economy, follow its own laws. Then companies could get maximum profits and trust that the economic system would handle the responsibilities for society on its own. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There is no such function in a market economy that will value and set prices for environment, a stabile society and for that matter for democracy. There is a complete lack of economic rewards for contamination or consumption from nature. It is a huge mistake to think that companies with their profit margins will do what is best for everyone in all ways.
There is simply no reason to value everything in money. Then, for example, that nice bottle of brandy on the top shelf would be worth just as much as the poor mother’s medicine for her sick child. This of course means that they cost the same but have very different meaning and purpose. As well you can´t say that everything that is asked for, can be sold. That would mean that narcotics, sex and body parts would and could be in an open market to sell. Luckily the market isn´t ready for this kind of unethical businesses. An ethical judgement within every company’s management often leads to them following the rules and laws that apply including the cultural norms of the market.
Fast growth can lead to problems
During the years after industrialisation the question of whether you can combine ethics and economy has been asked many times. In the 60´s and 70´s it seemed impossible. The ones criticizing the market economy says it is a possibility since the economic system demands the use of natural resources and requires injustice. The large growth after the World Wars led to injustices as well as impoverished natural resources. Even pure criminality was a product of this powerful growth.
Developing in the right direction
Lately there has been a breakthrough. Many people think that enterprising and ethics is a prerequisite to good results. It is of importance that there is balance within a company where you consider both economical, ethical and ecological factors. Market forces leads the market in the direction where company’s take responsibility on ethics. An ethical responsibility gives an advance to competitors when consumers ask for environmentally friendly merchandises. As awareness with the clients is growing, the risk increases for unethical businesses will be out of clients which can lead to eradication of unethical businesses.