Malachowski, Ethics and Business Essay

Submitted By Sara-Cupo
Words: 844
Pages: 4

Ethics and compliance program, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance, leadership, innovation and reputation are the scoring and methodology system put in place by Ethisphere; “the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success.” (Ethisphere) These are the building blocks of any company, but what makes an ethical company stand out to be awarded such a title is how they successfully implement morality and success into their business. Companies in the 2014 winners consist of 3M, GE, Kellogg, Dell, and the Eastman Chemical Company, thus proving that being moral can still give you a competitive advantage. Business is a game of survival, but how you choose to survive proves your moral compass. Alan Malachowski explains and supports this notion in his article “Focus: Ethics in Competition.” Malachowski contends there are three key moral issues “which are obscured by evolutionary models of business” (Malachowski); the nature of business, special moral responsibilities, and moral character. Scientifically, business should evolve naturally; as per Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution a key to survival is adaptation. How you choose to adapt to compete in todays cutthroat concrete jungles says more about you than the business of which you are employed. Business must view morality as a strategy, not a means to an end. Moral fiber is intrinsic; business on the other hand is not. What makes a business or company what it is, where it begins and where it ends has more to do with those who work there/for it. Employees are the veins that pump blood throughout the body of a business. It would be foolish to say that every human shares the same mentality as Mother Theresa but there are genuine hardworking people out there that get tarnished and ruined by corporations. If a business is built of only cinderblocks and lies an upstanding citizen will get lost in the mix. A business must incorporate the goodwill of humankind into it, not the idea of money and power. A company with good ethical practices, one that stays out of the news for “scandal” and cheating already has a competitive edge. To continue to build on that character only makes them stronger. Moral responsibility is not a luxury but a building block. All of the metaphors (“it’s a dog-eat-dog situation” and “it’s a jungle out there”) are fogging up this fact. “The metaphors of unavoidable struggle blind us all to legitimate fine-grained questions concerning which moral responsibilities business ought to shoulder.” (Malachowski) Malachowski is sound in his argument that businesses have created these conditions in which we are all fighting to win. Business’ moral responsibilities are to be fair to their stakeholders, consumers, employees, environment, and more. A Kantanian approach (as per Immanuel Kant) to business ethics is something that all businesses should consider. Kant believed that one must treat humanity in a person as an end, not as a means merely; “A business relationship requires two things. First, it requires that people in a business relationship not be used, i.e. they not be coerced or deceived. Second, It means that business organizations and business practices should be arranged so that they contribute to the development of human rational and moral capacities, rather than inhibit the development of…