By Natalia Sotskaya—–On February 24, 2017, I had the honor of attending the Business Ethics Forum luncheon and represent the University of St.Thomas. Visiting the Business Ethics Forum luncheon was interesting and useful. I saw that in our “dog- eat-dog” society, there are still a lot of business professionals who care about the welfare of the society. During the luncheon, I learned some interesting lessons.
The Business Ethics Forum is a community of business professionals who gathers several times a year in order to discuss ethical issues related to the modern business world. On this day, the luncheon was dedicated to the issues of creating workplaces and full employment based on the case of one furniture company. Among the discussion were questions about the possibility of reconciling the dual goals of full employment and maximum profit and the of possibility “serving two masters,” existing shareholders and future employees.
The discussion started with a question about the purpose of business: what is the main goal of the organization, to make profits or benefit the society by creating, for instance, full-time workplaces? The participants of the discussion have agreed that making profits is the main reason why the business exists, but at the same time, companies should not neglect ethics since ethical businesses are more profitable.
How can it be? If a person does not have a full-time job, he or she do not have enough money and thus cannot buy from the companies and, consequently, companies cannot make profits. This means that any organization has a direct interest to give people well paid jobs. Also, as one of the participants mentioned, people are happy when they a stable job. This means that if employees of the company have fulfilling and stable jobs, they are happy. What a happy employee means to the company? If an employee is happy in his or her workplace, then it is a productive employee, one who can generate great profits for the company.
Thus, when a company benefits the society by creating full-time workplaces, it benefits itself as well. This means that it is possible to combine the goals of full employment and maximum profit as well as serving existing shareholders and future employees. I learned a lot and enjoyed the lively discussion, and I was honored that I had the privilege to be part of this important dialogue.
Univ. of St. Thomas – CSB – MBA Candidate