“Ethics Pays”

Originally posted in our October 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter.

“Is good ethics good for business? Crime and sleazy behavior sometimes pay off handsomely. People would not do such things if they didn’t think they were more profitable than the alternatives.”

With topics of climate change, societal inequity, and governance at the forefront of many big thinkers’ minds, we need to talk about the role of ethics in business. This piece suggests that while unethical behavior may have a certain appeal, such as prioritizing growth over impact, it does not benefit the company in the long run. From creating customer trust, employee buy-in and retention, and other corporate benefits, an ethical culture for a business leads to better outcomes.

A business built on integrity and reputation has longevity that other business systems cannot match. What’s more, an ethical corporate structure enables its employees and customers to flourish. On the other hand, studies have found that corporations without an ethical business structure in place breed unethical behavior in some of their employees, while others will leave. Considering businesses provide the goods and services for society, the closer their structure looks to the way we want our society to look, the more in tune their practices will be with changes in the market.

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