Is it ethical to be ethical

04.01.2010 08:40

10 theses on the ethics of the economy

Dr. Arno Bothe Editorial office bdvb - Medien
bdvb - Federal Association of German Economists and Business Economists

The associations cooperating in the action group service providers (AKL) have drawn up a joint ethics paper. The central question is: How can an individual in a large economic unit keep a moral compass?

1. Ethics are not an annoying obstacle, but an elementary prerequisite for sustainable economic success
The measure of the economy is man. The competition is also a social event for the benefit of consumers. Success makes ethical action easier. The greater the success, the stronger the ethical obligation. The more anonymous a structure, the more difficult it is to enforce ethics. Because people then have to reckon with fewer sanctions for their actions.

2. Everyone is a role model for others with their actions
When it comes to ethical issues, no one can be relieved of responsibility for their decisions. Everyone must be an ethical role model for others. Role models that fail damage morale.
In an economic context, this also increases costs. Because a lack of trust leads to greater uncertainty and thus to higher transaction costs. Existing trust lowers and accelerates uncertainty and security costs

3. The pursuit of profit and ethical action can and must be reconciled
The pursuit of profit in itself is value-free. But not maximizing profit at any price. The appropriation of profits is also an ethical decision that takes into account the interests of everyone involved in the company and the company itself
must keep.

4. Sustainability is ethical
Sustainability strengthens a company's future viability.
Resource-saving behavior and "fair trade" are important elements of sustainable action.

5. Control is good, trust is better
Trust is an ethical and economic advance payment. Trust lowers the level of control. Without adequate internal and external control, morality slips away. An internal control arises from the conscience, an external control from those involved in the company and the market.

6. Liability strengthens responsibility
A lack of personal liability promotes excessive risk-taking. Liability helps with self-control and also ensures external control. Liability reduces the possibility of ethical misconduct.

7. Personal integrity is the backbone of a reliable compass of values
There is no complete picture of ethical standards for every action and every situation. Personal integrity therefore forms the backbone for human actions. Whoever has integrity is trusted.

8. Everyone is a participant
The actions of a company are fed by the decisions of employees, customers, but also the state. Each person is part of and connected to this whole.

9. Courage to be fair!
Acting ethically in competition means looking for balanced and fair solutions. Fairness means not only seeing yourself as an agent, but always including your counterpart in your actions. Fairness pays off.

10. Business and business ethics must become a compulsory part of the training.
The task of education and training is to impart ethical knowledge and the concrete connection of this knowledge with the concrete responsibility in a company.

"Each and every one of us bears responsibility for more ethics in business life."

The independent Bundesverband Deutscher Volks- und Betriebswirte e.V., founded in Berlin in 1901, represents the interests of all economists in their studies and work across the sub-disciplines. As a recognized and largest association of business academics, it supports the interdisciplinary discussion and is a forum for the professional exchange of ideas between science and practice.

More about the at

Federal Association of German Economists and Business Economists (bdvb)
Dr. Arno Bothe
Tel .: 0211-372332, Email: [email protected]

Additional Information: ...

Features of this press release:
Philosophy / ethics, politics, economics
Colorful science, collaborations