Corporations that chose deception — cooking the books and paying outlandish executive salaries — have hit rock bottom. Business ethicist David Batstone presents a blueprint for change in Saving the Corporate Soul (Wiley). He outlines eight principles for creating integrity and profitability without selling out. Is your company on the right track?
- Leadership and governance: Align personal interests with the fate of stakeholders, and act in a responsible way to ensure the viability of the enterprise.
- Transparency and integrity: Business operations should be transparent to shareholders, employees and the public; executives should act with integrity.
- Community: Think of yourself as part of a community as well as a market.
- Customer care: Represent your products honestly to customers and honour their dignity up to and beyond a transaction.
- Value the worker: Employees should be treated as valuable team members, not just hired hands.
- Respect for the environment: Treat the earth as a silent stakeholder — a party to which the company is accountable.
- Diversity: Strive for balance, diversity and equity in your relationships with employees, customers and suppliers.
- Globalization: Pursue international trade and production based on respect for the rights of workers and citizens of trade-partner nations.