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  #21  
Old 28.08.2011, 18:53
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

This is a very hard question to answer.

For me it really follows a little story about how companies have changed in the last few decades. Back early last century most big companies were owned by people, specific shareholders that could be seen to be making ethical judgements about things, or not. In today's world most companies are now owned by funds of some sort which do not provide good ethical traction when it comes to the organisation.

This makes it very difficult to judge an organisation on an ethical basis because there is no accountable person visible most of the time.
I generally feel that the consumers are the first line of ethical governance for companies in today's world. Unilever being moved to new ways of doing things by Greenpeace, Starbucks and ethical sourcing, both are good examples where this has happened.

Governments and funds on the other hand turn a blind eye much of the time when it comes to the ethical behaviour of organisations as long as the results (economic or otherwise) suit their agenda. The big banks or arms companies are a good example.

For the employees, I am not sure how much you can do. Yes, influence can be exerted, sometimes even resulting in change, but is it really the accountability of the employee to take this on.

Caleb has a good point in that his family are a bigger priority. Perhaps sometimes one has to work for a company which has questionable behaviour to be able to support your family.

I believe though when all is told that it is a personal decision made under personal circumstances. If you are working for a company that you feel is very unethical but have an option to move to a company that you think is ethical, then you need to weigh up the other factors like salary and your families wellbeing. You really can only make this decision for yourself.

I would suggest a very good method for deciding these things though. Look at all the good things the company does, look at all the bad things that the company does and then sit down and ask yourself in the most honest way: If I owned this company, taking into account the wellbeing of my employees and the community that I operate in, could I sleep at night knowing how this company operated?

You do spend a lot of time and put a lot of yourself into the company you work for. You should know it well, who owns it, what does it really do, who runs it, etc. Then you need to decide if it is the right company for you, your family, your conscience, your community, mankind and the rest of the world.
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  #22  
Old 28.08.2011, 18:56
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

Oh, another thing from my side.....

I don't think i would or could have an issue working for a company whose products i use (eg plastics, alcohol, clothing) nor could i criticise somebody else who worked at such a company
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:00
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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???
Sorry I'm confused -- who is/was posting from an Apple iPad? Or was that just hypothetical?
Just for the sake of the argument (plus a dose of sarcasm, not directed at you though)
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:04
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Re: Ethical and moral values during employment

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Not all bosses make you shower with them you know.
I wish mine did Oh, sorry, that's another thread (or maybe another forum)
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:17
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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I have some questions that has been popping up in my mind a lot lately:
  • What do people feel doing a job that they know that the ethical and moral value behind the business is not right ie. money laundering, underpaid employees in 3rd world countries, underage kids working,...etc?
  • Does your existence and having a good life with your family become a higher priority than thinking about how moral the business you're working for is?
  • Do you feel you're doing the right thing and ignoring the fact that other people are suffering for you to have such a life?
  • Have you ever thought to give your job / job offer up as you refuse to be a part of such businesses?
  • Do you really sleep well at night knowing you're a part of this sort of businesses?
I would appreciate clear truthful answers with no much ideologies / sarcastic comments, as i consider this a real issue that needs to be addressed.
This is all so broad its almost a useless question....

Am I unethical if I eat meat, or if I eat soybeans instead (as they are 99% genetically modified)?

Should we destroy the local ecosystem in order to plant new crops to feed starving kids in Africa? Whats more unethical?

Every job has negative consequences. Look at what these horrible NGO's have done to Africa. What an embarrassment, yet we still fund them for moral reasons.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Aid-Worki.../dp/0374139563

http://www.amazon.com/Aid-Trap-Colum...4551800&sr=1-9

And for the sake of argument, canned tuna tasted much better back when it had a smattering of dolphin in it.
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:21
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Oh, another thing from my side.....

I don't think i would or could have an issue working for a company whose products i use (eg plastics, alcohol, clothing) nor could i criticise somebody else who worked at such a company
Agreed, but depends on whether they are targeting kids or poor third world countries, etc (for instance alcohol and tobacco, or Monsanto seeds). Some clothing firms for instance have much better records than others regarding employment, materials, pollution, etc. There must be limits for most of us, surely. And we as customers have a big role to play too.
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:27
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

I recall a course I had on this topic in university many many years ago

Ultimately, it came down to (aside from the clearcut breaking the law examples) many cases of moral dilemmas.

Example... a car manufacturere decides to not spend another 300 Euro to upgrade protection to gasoline tank. The design fits within all legal requirements and passes the safety tests. Yet due to not upgrading, probably another 10 people or so will die due to the gasoline tank exploding under certain circumstances in the case of a crash. Entire classroom said: unacceptable... they must upgrade!

Then the lecturer showed a LONG list of possible upgrades. The car manufacturer had already put in place many upgrades above and beyond what was legally required. It could have put in many, many more... and it could have made the car incredibly expensive.

Point being, there are tradeoffs. Nobody is holier than the pope.
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:29
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Exactly, while posting from an Apple iPad manufactured by some poor person in China working for Foxconn and slowly heading towards suicide.

"I love Apple, it's hip and not as evil as Microsoft"
Thats true and dont forget that Apple is the reason so many have died in the Congo in the last 7 years. They are fighting a war for something called Coltan. Ipads and Iphones wont work without it because their LCD's would use too much energy.

We have several projects in Mbuji Mayi, Goma, and Northern Katanga. No one kills for diamonds and you can buy gold at 40% below the spot price. The only thing people kill for (and enslave for) is coltan.





So enjoy your "ethical" Ipad
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  #29  
Old 28.08.2011, 19:50
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Thats true and dont forget that Apple is the reason so many have died in the Congo in the last 7 years. They are fighting a war for something called Coltan. Ipads and Iphones wont work without it because their LCD's would use too much energy...
So enjoy your "ethical" Ipad
Wow, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had no idea about this (Coltan). Thank you so much for sharing the info. and videos!

I suppose this is just another example of how important it is for people (when they can) to really try to know more about the products they use. It seems that we're so far removed from nature and from the manufacturing processes that go into our products that we often don't even think about it (of which I am also definitely guilty!)

So I guess it's a bit hypocritical for anyone to complain about a lack of corporate responsibility if they themselves don't assume some kind of "consumer responsibility"... ?
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:55
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Wow, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had no idea about this (Coltan). Thank you so much for sharing the info. and videos!

I suppose this is just another example of how important it is for people (when they can) to really try to know more about the products they use. It seems that we're so far removed from nature and from the manufacturing processes that go into our products that we often don't even think about it (of which I am also definitely guilty!)

So I guess it's a bit hypocritical for anyone to complain about a lack of corporate responsibility if they themselves don't assume some kind of "consumer responsibility"... ?
Thats right. Ultimately it always comes down to demand.

We have lots of diamond projects in Africa. People always talk about Blood diamonds. They have no clue. Infact the second they ask about blood diamonds we know they have no clue.

Chinese companies and local feudal generals are fueling these small scale wars and they have no access to diamonds these days.

Yet the focus is still diamonds. People make believe that everything else is clean.

I own several apple computers, so Im not some uber liberal trying to start a fight. But when people bang on about moral standards they dont realize that there is nothing in this world that doesnt have a negative aspect.
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:56
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

Corbets: Groan....

Eh? What was that for?
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:58
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

Why the groan Corbets- are you denying the facts Zuger highlighted are real?

I am an Apple user, and I had no idea. Thanks for the links Zuger. Edit: post crossed Zuger.
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Old 28.08.2011, 19:58
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Thats true and dont forget that Apple is the reason so many have died in the Congo in the last 7 years. They are fighting a war for something called Coltan. Ipads and Iphones wont work without it because their LCD's would use too much energy.

We have several projects in Mbuji Mayi, Goma, and Northern Katanga. No one kills for diamonds and you can buy gold at 40% below the spot price. The only thing people kill for (and enslave for) is coltan.





So enjoy your "ethical" Ipad
Which publically listed companies mine coltan? Yes, I'm looking for good stocks to invest in
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Old 28.08.2011, 20:01
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Which publically listed companies mine coltan? Yes, I'm looking for good stocks to invest in
*SPANK*

(There needs to be a spank button here... not just "thanks" or "groan")
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Old 28.08.2011, 20:07
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

So I assume you don't have two job offers starting in October and December , and intend to accept both and leave the first after two months ?

AYB

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what I have a problem with is a corporate culture of dishonesty. If lying, misrepresenting, or falsifying is a requirement to be successful, then I don't want to be a part of that.
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Old 28.08.2011, 20:09
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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Which publically listed companies mine coltan? Yes, I'm looking for good stocks to invest in
Foxcon flies in buyers from Zambia Mombasa weekly.... There are a few "rare earth metals" buyers from Switzerland and Japan as well. But honestly Ive only heard of them. Ive never seen them. The Chinese are always there when we are there though.

But companies? None that I know of. There's not much coltan in the world.

But Foxcon needs it because and Iphone uses 7x as much coltan as the next biggest smart-phone.
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Old 28.08.2011, 20:10
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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*SPANK*

(There needs to be a spank button here... not just "thanks" or "groan")
The demand for the product is there. I believe (although I freely admit it's not my motivation) that investing in legit public companies will do more for the people there than to have demand being met through shady deals by private companies, etc.

Business can be a force for good, and business needs to be fueled by capital.
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Old 28.08.2011, 20:14
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

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The demand for the product is there. I believe (although I freely admit it's not my motivation) that investing in legit public companies will do more for the people there than to have demand being met through shady deals by private companies, etc.

Business can be a force for good, and business needs to be fueled by capital.
Thats true, look at Botswana...... Much higher standard of living than DRC and a higher per capita GDP than China.
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  #39  
Old 28.08.2011, 20:44
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

I have never worked for a defense contractor, neither here nor in the the US, nor would I.

I also have never worked for religious groups, environmentalists, etc., pretty much for the same reasons that I wouldn't work for the DOD.

Wackos are wackos, and I don't want any part of it.

Tom
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Old 28.08.2011, 21:00
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Re: Ethical and moral values of businesses while employed

One thing I have come to repeatedly notice/realize is that it often seems like "one man's good is another man's evil."

The relativity of morality, I guess...

But is there a universal code (beyond something as simplistic as "the golden rule")?

I sometimes fear that the evolution of the human race is no longer governed by "survival of the fittest" and is instead becoming increasingly ruled by "survival of the richest."

Hell, I'd settle for "survival of the smartest" but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
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