Chapter 5. Leadership for the Future: How to Approach Ethical Transparency
Aside from identifying ethical issues, organizations need to be prepared to address their role and their employees’ role in making moral decisions. I do not believe that companies should have an obligation to teach their employees ethics. I am a firm believer that a business’s purpose is to deliver goods and services in an efficient and profitable way. In this respect, I side with Milton Friedman’s article “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits”. Leave moral and ethical education to the family, educational institutions, and religious and other belief-based organizations.
Yet we live in a technologically complex world in which moral and ethical issues are quite complex and confusing. Ignoring them by closing our eyes is not the right choice. I believe that companies have the duty to acknowledge the moral and ethical concerns of employees. Employees also have the right and obligation to raise such concerns.
The juxtaposition of balancing a business’s obligation to efficiency and profitability and acknowledging workforce concerns around ethics has led me to conclude that establishing full ethical transparency in organizations is the best route forward. Financial transparency has produced miracles for organizations, leading to more accountability ...