Ethikos Editor’s Weekly Picks: Serving Shareholders Doesn’t Mean Putting Profit Above All Else

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Examining ethics and compliance issues in business since 1987


Serving shareholders doesn’t mean putting profit above all else

by Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales for Harvard Business Review

Is the only responsibility of business to maximize profits, as Milton Friedman famously argued in 1970? Many scholars and business people have criticized this idea on the grounds that companies should cater to employees and the community, not just to shareholders. But the law seems to support shareholder primacy: Under Delaware law, which controls the vast majority of corporate America, directors are elected by shareholders, and, according to Leo Strine Jr., a Delaware judge, directors owe their loyalty to those who elect them. Read more

On ethics and technology – we all know we have to do better, right?

by Bryan Glick for Computer Weekly.com

Many experts – and many articles in Computer Weekly – have warned of the potential for social and cultural disruption and unrest as a result of the digital revolution. Does it feel to you, too, that we’re increasingly reaching a tipping point where this could happen?

Only this week, we’ve had the UK government unveil plans for a new strategy for internet safety, aiming to “encourage” rather than force internet companies to be more responsible in their attitudes to “fake news”, online abuse and terrorist material. Read more

Why values and ethics are good for business

by Doug Tieman for Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Taking an ethical approach and putting best practices and standards in place may not always appear financially beneficial to addiction treatment organizations in the short term, but the effort will pay off by sustaining the business for the long run. It does not matter if the business is for-profit or not-for-profit, the emphasis must be on empowering individuals and their families to recover from addiction and begin the life-long journey of recovery. However, one of the benefits of being a not-for-profit is that we don’t answer to investors. Therefore, we can engage in treatment, research, prevention, and charity care. Read more

Ethics and your business: Bluffing vs. lying

by Tim Triplett for Steel Market Update

“Business negotiation is similar to poker. Just because I may be bluffing doesn’t mean I am morally defective. Bluffing is a universally recognized part of the game,” responded one reader to Steel Market Update’s new “Ethics and Your Business” column.

Is the steel business like a poker game? Some would say that bluffing is basically another form of lying, distorting the truth to gain an unfair advantage. Others would argue that bluffing is just gamesmanship, and that the bluffer is not acting unethically in any way. It would be naïve to believe that what the other player is telling you is always the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, free of any calculation or exaggeration. Without bluffing, a company would put itself at a big competitive disadvantage in all its dealings, they say. Read more

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