The article “In favour of ethics in business: The linkage between ethical behaviour and performance” touches a very timely issue that considers probably all large corporations. This dilemma comprises the cynicism towards business based on the contradictions between the aim to provide the earnings’ growth to the investors and ethical conduct to stakeholders. In their review of scientific literature, Upadhyay and Singh mark out three components of business ethics that the managerial decisions usually touch. These are choices considering the law, economic and social issues, self-interests of the company and its stakeholders. Having concluded that the ethical behavior of all members of the team is important, the authors mark out that the most common mechanisms of control are codes of ethics and a telephone hotline. However, they are not very effective. The survey showed that the steps to successful ethics should comprise the constant work of a leader, proper guidance codes, rules and policies.

Unethical behavior can harm the reputation of the company and damage the brand value. Therefore, the stakeholders of ethical business are the investors, suppliers, leaders and employees themselves. In general, these are everyone, who is interested in the proper work and development of the company. The article presents  the example of the Shell company that used to have a good corporate reputation in Germany, but has lost a market share because of the accusations in harming the environment in 1995. However, after the incident, in 1999, 40% of the respondents reported a negative view on the company.

To sum it up, the points discussed in this article can become quite useful in personal and professional life. Firstly, it emphasizes high importance of social responsibility and reputation for the further profitability. Moreover, it shows that the most effective ways to encourage the employees support the ethical issues is to make executives and supervisors care about ethics, properly direct, control and motivate the workers. Although unethical behavior can let raise the profit ones, the impact it will have on the further business development and reputation can become very damaging.

References

Upadhyay, Y. & Singh, S.K. (2010). In favour of ethics in business: The linkage between ethical behaviour and performance. Journal of Human Values, 16(9), 9-19.

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