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7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on – corporate ethics #sample

#business ethics articles

#

7-Eleven. Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University

Disclosure statement

Carl Rhodes does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation’s partners

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

Republish this article

We believe in the free flow of information. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Chairman and major shareholder of 7-Eleven Russ Withers sits in a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

There is perhaps no phrase more hackneyed in the corporate world than: “good ethics is good business”. Against the image of the ruthless business baron who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of wealth and power, the slogan tells us there is no friction between being good and being successful.

As luck should have it (for corporations that is) it is argued organisations can stand up and be righteous about their do-gooding, and this will actually lead to the achievement of self-interested business results. The cake can be had and eaten.

But does this ethical catch phrase really hold sway in the corporate world? Events this September suggest not.

The month of the corporate scandal

September 2015 was mired in corporate scandal. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was raked over the coals for installing software in its cars that ensured it falsely passed emission tests. Eleven million cars were involved over a period of seven years. VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the affair and now faces possible criminal charges .

American corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals was publicly vilified for its predatory pricing when it raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 4000%. This is a drug used to treat infections associated with HIV and AIDS. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli was described by the Washington Post as “the most hated man in America”.

In Australia trouble arrived at convenience store chain 7-Eleven when the ABC’s documentary series Four Corners revealed its use of exploitative and illegal work practices to reduce its labour costs. Employees were being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. Young and foreign workers were especially targeted. The scandal saw the resignations of 7-Eleven’s chairman Russ Withers, and its CEO Warren Wilmot.

Bad ethics is good business

Each of these scandals has been scrutinised in terms of business ethics. We are not talking here about contentious and nuanced debates about the nature of morality. In these cases the ethical issues relate to cheating, lying, deception, law breaking, exploitation, and merciless profiteering. As far as any common understanding of ethics is concerned these things are on the far side of the thick and grey line that separates right from wrong.

What do these cases have in common? Each one suggests there was an ethos in place in these corporations that held that “bad ethics is good business”. Seven years of highly orchestrated cheating at VW meant increased sales. In 2009 VW became the world’s biggest car manufacturer .

Institutionalised wage fraud and labour exploitation at 7-Eleven kept store costs down, increasing profits both for franchisees and (especially) for the parent company. 7-Eleven has twice been names Australia’s “franchisor of the year”. Price gouging at Turing meant a drug listed on The World Health Organization’s essential medicines list could bolster the company’s profits by exploiting the sick and vulnerable.

Just don’t get caught

The “bad ethics is good business” approach was going well for these businesses until they got caught. These three cases have triggered debates still raging in all sectors of society. Heads have rolled and bottom lines are jeopardised.

Does this really confirm that “bad ethics is bad business”? Of course not. There is no doubt many other corporations are profiting handsomely from deceit, lies, fraud and exploitation. The scandals of September 2015 show that “bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught”.

It’s not just about not getting caught. It is also about the political, legal, social and economic implications of being found out. In the cases of VW, 7-Eleven and Turing there has been a massive public and media outcry about their reprehensible and selfish behaviour.

Bringing these corporations to justice was not the work of one heroic individual, nor the result of government action. It was a collective effort that involved NGOs, scientists, academics, politicians, the media and the general public. This was a victory of civil society and democratic dissent.

So, we can reformulate our proposal: “Bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught … and as long as you aren’t the subject of a public outcry”.

Democratic business ethics

When corporations speak of business ethics their idea is that they can keep it all in house. The ethics of business is largely seen as a matter of corporate self-regulation so that pesky outsiders won’t stick their noses into corporate affairs. The September scandals suggest an entirely different ethics.

If we want ethics in business, what we need is more corporations being caught and more public outcry. For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.

What we can learn from the business events of September is that ethics cannot be left to corporations themselves. Business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions.

Business ethics, to borrow a phrase, is about keeping the bastards honest.





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The primary source of these protections is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that applies to employers throughout the United States. State laws called the Maine Human Rights Act and Maine Whistleblowers Protection Act also prohibit many types of workplace discrimination and retaliation against whistleblowers. It is important to note that the Fair Employment provisions of the Maine Human Rights Act also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, a protection not currently found in the federal Civil Rights Act.

Other federal laws also outlaw other types of discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of a mental or physical disability ; the False Claims Act bans retaliation against employees who make complaints that relate to an employer engaging in activities that, if discovered, could lead the federal government to require the employer to reimburse federal funds previously received by the employer; the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that makes pregnancy discrimination illegal; and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers over the age of 40 from employment discrimination. Under state law, workers of all ages are protected from discrimination, making it unlawful to discriminate against young employees as well as old.

The Maine Employee Rights Group enforces the protections provided by all relevant federal and state laws on behalf of Maine employees. If you think you are the victim of illegal workplace discrimination, contact the experienced attorneys at our firm. Call 207.874.0905 or fill out our online contact form to see if we can help you.

Harassment and Retaliation Has No Place at Work

Unlawful workplace harassment and retaliation often accompanies workplace discrimination. Like discrimination, workplace harassment based on race, gender, religion and other characteristics is illegal. Any trait that provides the basis for illegal discrimination can also be the basis for illegal harassment.

Sexual harassment is the most prevalent type of workplace harassment, and it is banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Maine Human Rights Act. A type of gender discrimination. illegal sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, touching, or offers to exchange sexual behavior for employment benefits. Any actions that create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment or that interfere with a person s ability to do his or her job can constitute sexual harassment.

Many times an employer might fire or otherwise punish an employee for complaining about unlawful discrimination or harassment. These practices are also illegal and could give way to a claim for retaliation or unlawful termination.

Employees who believe that they have been illegally harassed or subject to retaliation should contact an experienced Maine employment attorney right away, as there is a limited amount of time to file an employment discrimination or retaliation claim.

Employees Injured at Work May Be Entitled to Compensation

All employers in Maine must carry workers compensation insurance. The Maine workers compensation system is the exclusive remedy for injured employees, meaning that the employees cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for their workplace injuries in most cases; they must seek compensation through the employer s workers compensation insurance. If an employee is injured on the job, the employee must report the injury within 30 days. Once the employee misses more than a week of work, he or she may start to receive weekly compensation benefits .

If you have been hurt on the job, our experienced and top-rated Maine workers compensation lawyers can help you file your claim and ensure that you seek the maximum benefits allowed under Maine law. Call 207.874.0905 or fill out our online contact form to see if we can help you.

$1,065,000 jury verdict
– whistleblower claim

$147,000 post jury verdict settlement
– employment discrimination

$800,000 settlement
– whistleblower retaliation

$250,000 post jury verdict settlement
– medical leave violation

$360,000 settlement
– employment discrimination

$300,000 post jury verdict settlement
– disability discrimination

$550,000 settlement
– gender discrimination

$275,000 settlement
– disability discrimination

$340,000 settlement
– race discrimination

$175,000 post jury verdict settlement
– sexual harassment

$298,000 settlement
– age discrimination





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7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on – corporate ethics #best

#business ethics articles

#

7-Eleven. Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University

Disclosure statement

Carl Rhodes does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation’s partners

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

Republish this article

We believe in the free flow of information. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Chairman and major shareholder of 7-Eleven Russ Withers sits in a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

There is perhaps no phrase more hackneyed in the corporate world than: “good ethics is good business”. Against the image of the ruthless business baron who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of wealth and power, the slogan tells us there is no friction between being good and being successful.

As luck should have it (for corporations that is) it is argued organisations can stand up and be righteous about their do-gooding, and this will actually lead to the achievement of self-interested business results. The cake can be had and eaten.

But does this ethical catch phrase really hold sway in the corporate world? Events this September suggest not.

The month of the corporate scandal

September 2015 was mired in corporate scandal. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was raked over the coals for installing software in its cars that ensured it falsely passed emission tests. Eleven million cars were involved over a period of seven years. VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the affair and now faces possible criminal charges .

American corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals was publicly vilified for its predatory pricing when it raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 4000%. This is a drug used to treat infections associated with HIV and AIDS. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli was described by the Washington Post as “the most hated man in America”.

In Australia trouble arrived at convenience store chain 7-Eleven when the ABC’s documentary series Four Corners revealed its use of exploitative and illegal work practices to reduce its labour costs. Employees were being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. Young and foreign workers were especially targeted. The scandal saw the resignations of 7-Eleven’s chairman Russ Withers, and its CEO Warren Wilmot.

Bad ethics is good business

Each of these scandals has been scrutinised in terms of business ethics. We are not talking here about contentious and nuanced debates about the nature of morality. In these cases the ethical issues relate to cheating, lying, deception, law breaking, exploitation, and merciless profiteering. As far as any common understanding of ethics is concerned these things are on the far side of the thick and grey line that separates right from wrong.

What do these cases have in common? Each one suggests there was an ethos in place in these corporations that held that “bad ethics is good business”. Seven years of highly orchestrated cheating at VW meant increased sales. In 2009 VW became the world’s biggest car manufacturer .

Institutionalised wage fraud and labour exploitation at 7-Eleven kept store costs down, increasing profits both for franchisees and (especially) for the parent company. 7-Eleven has twice been names Australia’s “franchisor of the year”. Price gouging at Turing meant a drug listed on The World Health Organization’s essential medicines list could bolster the company’s profits by exploiting the sick and vulnerable.

Just don’t get caught

The “bad ethics is good business” approach was going well for these businesses until they got caught. These three cases have triggered debates still raging in all sectors of society. Heads have rolled and bottom lines are jeopardised.

Does this really confirm that “bad ethics is bad business”? Of course not. There is no doubt many other corporations are profiting handsomely from deceit, lies, fraud and exploitation. The scandals of September 2015 show that “bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught”.

It’s not just about not getting caught. It is also about the political, legal, social and economic implications of being found out. In the cases of VW, 7-Eleven and Turing there has been a massive public and media outcry about their reprehensible and selfish behaviour.

Bringing these corporations to justice was not the work of one heroic individual, nor the result of government action. It was a collective effort that involved NGOs, scientists, academics, politicians, the media and the general public. This was a victory of civil society and democratic dissent.

So, we can reformulate our proposal: “Bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught … and as long as you aren’t the subject of a public outcry”.

Democratic business ethics

When corporations speak of business ethics their idea is that they can keep it all in house. The ethics of business is largely seen as a matter of corporate self-regulation so that pesky outsiders won’t stick their noses into corporate affairs. The September scandals suggest an entirely different ethics.

If we want ethics in business, what we need is more corporations being caught and more public outcry. For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.

What we can learn from the business events of September is that ethics cannot be left to corporations themselves. Business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions.

Business ethics, to borrow a phrase, is about keeping the bastards honest.





Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

White Plains Criminal Lawyer – Westchester County Personal Injury Attorney – Osorio Cachaya Law

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7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on – corporate ethics #harvard

#business ethics articles

#

7-Eleven. Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University

Disclosure statement

Carl Rhodes does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation’s partners

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

Republish this article

We believe in the free flow of information. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Chairman and major shareholder of 7-Eleven Russ Withers sits in a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

There is perhaps no phrase more hackneyed in the corporate world than: “good ethics is good business”. Against the image of the ruthless business baron who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of wealth and power, the slogan tells us there is no friction between being good and being successful.

As luck should have it (for corporations that is) it is argued organisations can stand up and be righteous about their do-gooding, and this will actually lead to the achievement of self-interested business results. The cake can be had and eaten.

But does this ethical catch phrase really hold sway in the corporate world? Events this September suggest not.

The month of the corporate scandal

September 2015 was mired in corporate scandal. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was raked over the coals for installing software in its cars that ensured it falsely passed emission tests. Eleven million cars were involved over a period of seven years. VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the affair and now faces possible criminal charges .

American corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals was publicly vilified for its predatory pricing when it raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 4000%. This is a drug used to treat infections associated with HIV and AIDS. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli was described by the Washington Post as “the most hated man in America”.

In Australia trouble arrived at convenience store chain 7-Eleven when the ABC’s documentary series Four Corners revealed its use of exploitative and illegal work practices to reduce its labour costs. Employees were being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. Young and foreign workers were especially targeted. The scandal saw the resignations of 7-Eleven’s chairman Russ Withers, and its CEO Warren Wilmot.

Bad ethics is good business

Each of these scandals has been scrutinised in terms of business ethics. We are not talking here about contentious and nuanced debates about the nature of morality. In these cases the ethical issues relate to cheating, lying, deception, law breaking, exploitation, and merciless profiteering. As far as any common understanding of ethics is concerned these things are on the far side of the thick and grey line that separates right from wrong.

What do these cases have in common? Each one suggests there was an ethos in place in these corporations that held that “bad ethics is good business”. Seven years of highly orchestrated cheating at VW meant increased sales. In 2009 VW became the world’s biggest car manufacturer .

Institutionalised wage fraud and labour exploitation at 7-Eleven kept store costs down, increasing profits both for franchisees and (especially) for the parent company. 7-Eleven has twice been names Australia’s “franchisor of the year”. Price gouging at Turing meant a drug listed on The World Health Organization’s essential medicines list could bolster the company’s profits by exploiting the sick and vulnerable.

Just don’t get caught

The “bad ethics is good business” approach was going well for these businesses until they got caught. These three cases have triggered debates still raging in all sectors of society. Heads have rolled and bottom lines are jeopardised.

Does this really confirm that “bad ethics is bad business”? Of course not. There is no doubt many other corporations are profiting handsomely from deceit, lies, fraud and exploitation. The scandals of September 2015 show that “bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught”.

It’s not just about not getting caught. It is also about the political, legal, social and economic implications of being found out. In the cases of VW, 7-Eleven and Turing there has been a massive public and media outcry about their reprehensible and selfish behaviour.

Bringing these corporations to justice was not the work of one heroic individual, nor the result of government action. It was a collective effort that involved NGOs, scientists, academics, politicians, the media and the general public. This was a victory of civil society and democratic dissent.

So, we can reformulate our proposal: “Bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught … and as long as you aren’t the subject of a public outcry”.

Democratic business ethics

When corporations speak of business ethics their idea is that they can keep it all in house. The ethics of business is largely seen as a matter of corporate self-regulation so that pesky outsiders won’t stick their noses into corporate affairs. The September scandals suggest an entirely different ethics.

If we want ethics in business, what we need is more corporations being caught and more public outcry. For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.

What we can learn from the business events of September is that ethics cannot be left to corporations themselves. Business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions.

Business ethics, to borrow a phrase, is about keeping the bastards honest.





Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on – corporate ethics #business

#business ethics articles

#

7-Eleven. Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University

Disclosure statement

Carl Rhodes does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation’s partners

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

Republish this article

We believe in the free flow of information. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Chairman and major shareholder of 7-Eleven Russ Withers sits in a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

There is perhaps no phrase more hackneyed in the corporate world than: “good ethics is good business”. Against the image of the ruthless business baron who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of wealth and power, the slogan tells us there is no friction between being good and being successful.

As luck should have it (for corporations that is) it is argued organisations can stand up and be righteous about their do-gooding, and this will actually lead to the achievement of self-interested business results. The cake can be had and eaten.

But does this ethical catch phrase really hold sway in the corporate world? Events this September suggest not.

The month of the corporate scandal

September 2015 was mired in corporate scandal. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was raked over the coals for installing software in its cars that ensured it falsely passed emission tests. Eleven million cars were involved over a period of seven years. VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the affair and now faces possible criminal charges .

American corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals was publicly vilified for its predatory pricing when it raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 4000%. This is a drug used to treat infections associated with HIV and AIDS. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli was described by the Washington Post as “the most hated man in America”.

In Australia trouble arrived at convenience store chain 7-Eleven when the ABC’s documentary series Four Corners revealed its use of exploitative and illegal work practices to reduce its labour costs. Employees were being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. Young and foreign workers were especially targeted. The scandal saw the resignations of 7-Eleven’s chairman Russ Withers, and its CEO Warren Wilmot.

Bad ethics is good business

Each of these scandals has been scrutinised in terms of business ethics. We are not talking here about contentious and nuanced debates about the nature of morality. In these cases the ethical issues relate to cheating, lying, deception, law breaking, exploitation, and merciless profiteering. As far as any common understanding of ethics is concerned these things are on the far side of the thick and grey line that separates right from wrong.

What do these cases have in common? Each one suggests there was an ethos in place in these corporations that held that “bad ethics is good business”. Seven years of highly orchestrated cheating at VW meant increased sales. In 2009 VW became the world’s biggest car manufacturer .

Institutionalised wage fraud and labour exploitation at 7-Eleven kept store costs down, increasing profits both for franchisees and (especially) for the parent company. 7-Eleven has twice been names Australia’s “franchisor of the year”. Price gouging at Turing meant a drug listed on The World Health Organization’s essential medicines list could bolster the company’s profits by exploiting the sick and vulnerable.

Just don’t get caught

The “bad ethics is good business” approach was going well for these businesses until they got caught. These three cases have triggered debates still raging in all sectors of society. Heads have rolled and bottom lines are jeopardised.

Does this really confirm that “bad ethics is bad business”? Of course not. There is no doubt many other corporations are profiting handsomely from deceit, lies, fraud and exploitation. The scandals of September 2015 show that “bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught”.

It’s not just about not getting caught. It is also about the political, legal, social and economic implications of being found out. In the cases of VW, 7-Eleven and Turing there has been a massive public and media outcry about their reprehensible and selfish behaviour.

Bringing these corporations to justice was not the work of one heroic individual, nor the result of government action. It was a collective effort that involved NGOs, scientists, academics, politicians, the media and the general public. This was a victory of civil society and democratic dissent.

So, we can reformulate our proposal: “Bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught … and as long as you aren’t the subject of a public outcry”.

Democratic business ethics

When corporations speak of business ethics their idea is that they can keep it all in house. The ethics of business is largely seen as a matter of corporate self-regulation so that pesky outsiders won’t stick their noses into corporate affairs. The September scandals suggest an entirely different ethics.

If we want ethics in business, what we need is more corporations being caught and more public outcry. For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.

What we can learn from the business events of September is that ethics cannot be left to corporations themselves. Business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions.

Business ethics, to borrow a phrase, is about keeping the bastards honest.





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7-Eleven, Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on – corporate ethics #free

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7-Eleven. Volkswagen cases show why we should push back on ‘corporate ethics’

Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University

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Carl Rhodes does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

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Chairman and major shareholder of 7-Eleven Russ Withers sits in a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

There is perhaps no phrase more hackneyed in the corporate world than: “good ethics is good business”. Against the image of the ruthless business baron who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of wealth and power, the slogan tells us there is no friction between being good and being successful.

As luck should have it (for corporations that is) it is argued organisations can stand up and be righteous about their do-gooding, and this will actually lead to the achievement of self-interested business results. The cake can be had and eaten.

But does this ethical catch phrase really hold sway in the corporate world? Events this September suggest not.

The month of the corporate scandal

September 2015 was mired in corporate scandal. German car manufacturer Volkswagen was raked over the coals for installing software in its cars that ensured it falsely passed emission tests. Eleven million cars were involved over a period of seven years. VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the affair and now faces possible criminal charges .

American corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals was publicly vilified for its predatory pricing when it raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 4000%. This is a drug used to treat infections associated with HIV and AIDS. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli was described by the Washington Post as “the most hated man in America”.

In Australia trouble arrived at convenience store chain 7-Eleven when the ABC’s documentary series Four Corners revealed its use of exploitative and illegal work practices to reduce its labour costs. Employees were being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. Young and foreign workers were especially targeted. The scandal saw the resignations of 7-Eleven’s chairman Russ Withers, and its CEO Warren Wilmot.

Bad ethics is good business

Each of these scandals has been scrutinised in terms of business ethics. We are not talking here about contentious and nuanced debates about the nature of morality. In these cases the ethical issues relate to cheating, lying, deception, law breaking, exploitation, and merciless profiteering. As far as any common understanding of ethics is concerned these things are on the far side of the thick and grey line that separates right from wrong.

What do these cases have in common? Each one suggests there was an ethos in place in these corporations that held that “bad ethics is good business”. Seven years of highly orchestrated cheating at VW meant increased sales. In 2009 VW became the world’s biggest car manufacturer .

Institutionalised wage fraud and labour exploitation at 7-Eleven kept store costs down, increasing profits both for franchisees and (especially) for the parent company. 7-Eleven has twice been names Australia’s “franchisor of the year”. Price gouging at Turing meant a drug listed on The World Health Organization’s essential medicines list could bolster the company’s profits by exploiting the sick and vulnerable.

Just don’t get caught

The “bad ethics is good business” approach was going well for these businesses until they got caught. These three cases have triggered debates still raging in all sectors of society. Heads have rolled and bottom lines are jeopardised.

Does this really confirm that “bad ethics is bad business”? Of course not. There is no doubt many other corporations are profiting handsomely from deceit, lies, fraud and exploitation. The scandals of September 2015 show that “bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught”.

It’s not just about not getting caught. It is also about the political, legal, social and economic implications of being found out. In the cases of VW, 7-Eleven and Turing there has been a massive public and media outcry about their reprehensible and selfish behaviour.

Bringing these corporations to justice was not the work of one heroic individual, nor the result of government action. It was a collective effort that involved NGOs, scientists, academics, politicians, the media and the general public. This was a victory of civil society and democratic dissent.

So, we can reformulate our proposal: “Bad ethics is good business … unless you get caught … and as long as you aren’t the subject of a public outcry”.

Democratic business ethics

When corporations speak of business ethics their idea is that they can keep it all in house. The ethics of business is largely seen as a matter of corporate self-regulation so that pesky outsiders won’t stick their noses into corporate affairs. The September scandals suggest an entirely different ethics.

If we want ethics in business, what we need is more corporations being caught and more public outcry. For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.

What we can learn from the business events of September is that ethics cannot be left to corporations themselves. Business ethics requires a vigilant democracy where the public and its institutions will hold corporations to account for their actions.

Business ethics, to borrow a phrase, is about keeping the bastards honest.





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15 Best Business Card Cases and Holders 2016 – Leather Business Card Cases #business

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15 Business Card Cases to Keep Your Office Style Game on Point

Stewart/Stand Diamond Grey Stainless Steel Card Case

With the growing concerns about card skimming and other identity theft on the rise, the demand for RFID-blocking wallets continues to grow. Stewart/Stand’s wallets use a thin layer of flexible stainless steel to protect you from theft, as well as add a nice reflective detail to your card case. This is a great example of function meeting form in the best possible way.

Stewart/Stand Diamond Grey Stainless Steel Card Case

With the growing concerns about card skimming and other identity theft on the rise, the demand for RFID-blocking wallets continues to grow. Stewart/Stand’s wallets use a thin layer of flexible stainless steel to protect you from theft, as well as add a nice reflective detail to your card case. This is a great example of function meeting form in the best possible way.

Custom Fabric Business Card Case

The great thing about Etsy is that it seems like there is no shortage of made-to-order products that can be customized in a variety of ways. These snap-front card cases come in a wide variety of fabrics to suit your wardrobe and personality.

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Alexander McQueen Embossed Skull Calfskin Leather Card Case

We’ve long had a soft spot for all things from Alexander McQueen, and this simple embossed skull card case is a safe and easy pick from the current collection. It’s not quite as bold as the wallet of theirs we recently featured. making it a better choice for those who prefer to be a little more subtle.

Led Zeppelin Concert Ticket Card Case

This is definitely one of the more clever designs we came across when building this list. Whether you were around in 1970 when this show took place, or you’ve just recently been introduced to Led Zeppelin, having a card case sporting a print of one of their old ticket stubs is pretty darn cool either way.

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Acme Studio Imperial Business Card Case

Architecture and design fanatics will love this metal card case from Acme Studios. Its design is inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and is copyrighted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. That said, you aren’t paying a premium for design as much as you are for its well-executed and sturdy construction.

Herschel Supply Co. Charlie Card Holder

Camo has yet to fall out of favor after a reasonable run, and at only $20, this card case from Herschel Supply Co. is a great way to stay on trend without breaking the bank.

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hook + ALBERT Gradient Leather Card Case

Simple, supple and colorful is the name of the game when we look at this card case from hook + ALBERT. Available in nine different colors, this card case is a fine choice for someone who wants to brighten things up without going overboard.

Montblanc Meisterstück Pocket Holder

Montblanc leather goods are always a fine choice for those wanting to spend a bit more coin on something timeless that will last them a good number of years. Still a staple of the Montblanc line, the Meisterstück pocket holder pairs perfectly with the brand’s extensive line of cufflinks and pens .

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Rerii Bamboo Business Card Holder Case

In case you’re on the hunt for something that will stand out without blowing the bank, we’ve found a card case that will do the trick just fine. Crafted of real bamboo, this simple wooden card case from Rerii is an excellent conversation starter when a business card exchange is afoot.

Ermenegildo Zegna Textured Leather Business Card Holder

Leave it to Zegna to present a stylish business card case that still has a practical twist to it. This spring-loaded case will keep your business cards secure, allowing you to slide a single card out via its thumb-sized opening.

14 Stylish Men’s Dopp Kits to Pack Like a Boss

Dapper yet practical dopp kits to store all your travel. By Justin Mastine-Frost





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