“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” _ Theodore Roosevelt,

Preparing a blog post for the class was not an easy task to start with, as I am trying to write on something interesting and to reflect on it from my experience. I decided first to post about profitability and project management in the work place as profit is the major source for opening and operating any business. However, I changed my mind when I came across an article about “Being Ethical is profitable” as I heard from various resources that some managers always use short cuts to add more profits to their business regardless if it is ethical or not but when you read this article it would open a discussion about this issue.

Unethical behavior can be extremely profitable in the short run, but a business is supposed to create long term-customers and shareholders and these scams will not last for long as being ethical matters not just to your customers but to your employees and the team that work on any project. Project manager should work hard to be ethical as it is important for every project to fulfill its social responsibilities and welfare commitments. As an ethical project manager you would follow what is right for society, customers, and stakeholders, while keeping the organization’s long-term vision in mind. In addition, being ethical in projects pays future dividends as the team members feel very safe to share their thoughts and making innovation with no worries.

Why Being Ethical Matters:

The goal of any company is to generate revenue for the shareholders, creditors, employees, and society. Also, the responsibility of a business or project is to remain profitable. “Project managers should not resort to shortcuts and unethical means in order to generate profits because that will be disastrous for the project, client, and the organization in the long run” The author indicated that “Studies show that people are willing to pay a premium for an ethical company’s products and that ethical organizations have continued to survive and grow”

According to Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey, which includes 7,800 of tomorrow’s leaders from 29 countries, the value of strong business ethics is increasing. This stresses the fact that today’s young workforce also prefers to join ethical organizations that they can trust for their future growth.

I never worked in any unethical companies before but I could see it happened to big companies not only in the US but also abroad. Look at what happened to Enron scandal that the top project managers were stealing money and committed fraud that the economist and historian of the country will be writing about this scandal for years to come.

  • Does being Ethical pay?
  • Have you experienced something similar in your work place? What action have you taken and what advice would you like to share with unethical project manager?


URL: http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/300210/Being-Ethical-is-Profitable/

6 thoughts on ““Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” _ Theodore Roosevelt,

  1. Great post, WIll. I think the two questions you posed are great discussion questions. Being ethical does pay. Like you said, it’s about the long-term payoff versus the short-term. Ethics deals with a company’s reputation, so customers and partners want to work with somebody that is trustworthy. I have worked in unethical companies before, and when I hear about it, I feel ashamed to be apart of it. One president let a drug pass through to clinical trials knowing a dose was too high. A patient felt really ill and it was noted on our documentation for further processing. It made me feel embarrassed. When people ask me where I work, I didn’t like to tell them because I was associated with the unethical company.

    1. Thanks Amy for sharing this true example from real life experience. As being ethical in projects and organizations would make the team members or employees feel very safe and proud of their company. On the other hand, we can’t deal with unethical, untrustworthy project manager as things would go wrong eventually.

  2. Will, I found your post to be great to read. You are so right that some managers will do anything, even if it mean to be unethical, just to make a buck. I can’t agree with you more that unethical behavior may be profitable in the short-run, but sooner or later shady behavior will surface and companies like Enron go out of business.
    I think being ethical pays off in the short and long-run. When people know that you and your company are ethical they will feel comfortable that they are in good hands. I think that when people know they are purchasing products or services from an ethical company they will remain as loyal customers.
    Thankfully, I have never worked for an unethical company. To be honest, I can’t even imagine the culture in an unethical company. It has to be stressful and unimaginably uncomfortable for most who work at such a company.

  3. I came across the title of your article and couldn’t help but smile because I have this saying framed above my computer and I look at it every day. As far as ethics in business, it’s amazing how even after case studies after case studies, companies are still engaging in unethical activities to turn a profit. Business schools have special courses designed to teach ethical behaviors and social responsibility but unethical behaviors still occur far too often. Just take Volkswagen for example. Just last week, VW was caught in a scandal involving unethical practice of installing software to circumvent emission testing standards in their cars sold in the US. I strongly feel that one way to deter companies from engaging in such deceptive and unethical practices is to prosecute the executives involved with severe punishment and fine. I realize that this may not stop it completely but hopefully will deter some of them.

    1. I agree with you 100% that these unethical executives have to test severe punishment and fine as their act is contagious and make others think that what they doing is a way of living.

  4. Will, I enjoyed this post as I feel ethics is more and more important in today’s working environment. I constantly see companies having business ethics initiatives to spread awareness. Due to the scandals that happened in the past decade there has been a spotlight on this side of business. I strongly agree with the post in which you say that strong business ethics will help a firm in the long run. Companies will be much more inclined to have repeat consumers with ethical companies. In a day where everything is shared in a millisecond and every piece of big news goes viral, it is critical for companies to practice strong business ethics.

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