Chapter ThreeRight at Work

Doing Right by Co-workers and Customers

Business Ethics: An Oxymoron?

Most businesspeople are interested in doing the right thing—up to a point. Most of us, on the job, adhere to a code of business ethics. But this code is usually pretty businesslike; we might reasonably question whether it’s ethical. When the dual demands of conscience and competition pull us in conflicting directions, competition often wins out. We justify our behavior by telling ourselves that everyone does it. Or that business is a special game with different rules for what’s acceptable. No doubt both of these responses are true. But what does that say about our code of business ethics? And what does it imply for the moral legacy we are leaving? ...

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