Ethics In Business

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A community for people who are interested or care about ethics in business.

FT Manager requested for an additional PT subordinate. The workload keeps herself & her current FT subordinate working 50 hours a week. The GM denied, saying working 40-60 hrs is "expected". Thoughts?

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Signing off...thank you all for such an engaging conversation today and the nice words about a tough Airbnb day. Reach out to me on Linkedin to stay in touch, and I'll stop back in the bowl soon! Rob

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No one has raised sexual harassment yet, but it's had a crippling effect on a number of companies. Love to hear thoughts...have you been a victim? Witnessed it? And how to prevent it?

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Lots of great discussion this afternoon...there are few objectively "right" answers in this area, and I'm impressed that everyone on the forum engages in vigorous but respectful debate.

upliftinglike
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I'm genuinely sorry to hear abt the layoffs at AirBnB and my heart goes out to your coworkers who are affected. How can a company approach restructuring in a way that is ethical?

likeuplifting
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Ethics is a topic in computer engineering that I have had to dance around. In a federal capacity with a security clearance ethics didn't mean anything.

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Whew. It's been a busy morning, I've had a lot of fun responding to some fascinating questions around business and ethics for the last couple hours.

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From what I understand, ethics is separate from legal. Legal violations have consequences, ethical violations don’t. What’s the point of ethics if there are no consequences? Sure when it’s convenient to be ethnical, everyone will be. It only matters when it’s not convenient. So should there be ethics set up with consequences like loss of job that applies evenly for everyone in the company including the CEO? Should their be financial consequences set up for smaller violations?

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I was fired after I reported a partner for a serious (criminal) ethics violation. The firm covered it up. Are all companies like this in the end? I’ve lost my trust and don’t know how to start over.

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Do you think with so many businesses barely getting by now with the pandemic that we will see more and more sacrifice ethics for survival?

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Ethics are a glorified way to protect companies from liability. Change my mind.

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Can a company that is seemingly unethical incorporate ethics into its operations? Take Exxon for an example - can it ever become ethical?

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Do you think capitalism is compatible with a sense of ethics, or is another system better suited for it?

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Absolutely. Businesses can be ethical by treating people the way they’d want to be treated. 3 ways Airbnb can do this: Aggressively fight fraudulent listers, let Airbnb members control their data (allow data requests/permissioning/deletion from any state or country), and oh - make it easy for people to get their money back if their travel was affected by covid-19. How not to be ethical: marketing ethics vs living them.

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I’ve long disliked the term ethics. Definitions of ethics all refer to morals. Morals are very personal and vary a lot from person to person, culture to culture. Law is how we as a society express our preferences and impose rules and restrictions on ourselves. So the question should never be about whether companies can be ethical. What does that mean? One person thinks eating meat is unethical, another thinks it’s perfectly ethical. Companies should focus on complying with the law.

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How does AirBnB promote acting ethically amongst its rentals? There are many rentals that skirt their local laws and fail to procure the proper licensing for putting their property in AirBnB. Does AirBnB have any proactive measures in place to ensure all local rental licensing laws are complied with? Is it ethical to be willfully bind of this issue?

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What levers can a “Chief Ethics Officer” pull to make a company behave in an ethical manner? Is the position performative, i.e. does it exist to fulfill a need to appear ethical versus as a forcing function for the company to act ethically?

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Does the ambit and application of ethics vary per the rank and profile of an employee in the organization? For instance what would be an ethical take on the Amazon VP quitting over virus firings?

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What are the ethical standards a corporation should use as it's North Star? Should these standards govern how businesses treat employees, competitors, regulations, and/or lobbying activities?

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