By John Adam
Business ethics – it’s far more than a buzz phrase. Business ethics are a real concern and there is a corporate responsibility to reduce corruption and improve accountability. Through the implementation of business ethics and practices, that’s exactly what can occur.
When there is a lack of ethics and corruption occurs it reduces a company’s working capital and it affects the bottom line in a negative way, as sooner or later corruption must be recovered from. There tends to be a snowball effect within a company who ignores business ethics. Small acts of corruption or human rights violations tend to grow slowly over time.
In the globalized economy the lack of business ethics will follow a company to its home base. What does this mean? It means if a company operates across a number of countries and in one or more of those countries does not operate ethically, it will follow the company to its home land, and even if business ethics are in place there, they will feel the wrath of consumers and the public alike. The lack of sound ethics hurts a company’s reputation and reduces the likelihood of long term sustainability. A code of ethics is designed to protect the company’s long term sustainability.
There is a corporate responsibility to incorporate solid business ethics within a business. In fact, it’s part of social responsibility for business to improve their practices in the countries they operate in. People are far more likely to seek out employers who have solid business ethics. In countries where ethical practices are minimal, those companies with the solid ethics are sought after for employment. When foreign companies are operating in a country the expectation is that they should behave in a manner above and beyond local companies.
We are moving towards a world that’s more moral, that has higher ethics, and that demands more from corporations operating within that world. Globalization has changed the way business occurs. No longer does a business stay secluded to its own small region, today these same businesses are competing globally, with pressure to conform to the demands of more advanced societies, otherwise they will simply be overlooked for a company that has put strong business ethics into place. Globalization is at the very root of the growth in the number of countries putting ethics laws and practices on the books.
As a Hong Kong academic, NG Thomas recognized the importance of strong business ethics to the long term success of a corporation. With a Masters in Law from the Queensland University of Technology, a Master in Business Administration from the University of Derby, and a Doctorate in Juridical Science at La Trobe University, NG Thomas has a solid business and ethical background and is in a position to see the big pictures on a global scale. Currently NG Thomas is completing his Masters in Liberal Arts in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University.
NG Thomas works with multinational companies focusing on business ethics and human rights. He works with all levels of government, private companies, and corporations in an effort to education and improves their business ethics practices.