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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Organizational Conscience

Profit is important but to pursue profit at all cost is immoral.

Do you wield some power in your organization? I hope so. The news and the things I see on the streets gives me very little hope about the government here in Philippines and elsewhere. It came upon me that the necessary social changes can only be made through powers higher than the government. By this I mean the business managers whether they are top executives or middle managers.

I don't want to discount the impact of my small voice that I add to those who are shouting at the top of their lungs and sounding the alarm that our society is hustling down the road to perdition and that we need to make a turn around really quickly because we are almost reaching perdition.

Look at the issues that hound us today. Medicine overpricing, fuel crises despite the discovery of alternative fuels, pollution, monstrous traffic, food shortage and even political crises brought about by our own brand of patronage politics. I'm far from being an expert on this topic but I don't think it requires an expert to know that the business sector has a lot to do in this and can do a lot about this.

"Above board" is a term I often hear when business managers claim that all their corporate actions comply with the regulatory requirements. I say that not everything legal is moral. And While immoral is less likely to lead them to jail, somebody will pay the price for it. The sad part is, it's not always just them. The raping of the environment affects everyone, the food shortage and the overpricing of medicines victimize the poorest of the poor. Their patronage of corrupt government officials destroys our country.

We need to put a stop to this by saying no. There are at least two ways to do it. First is to use our organizational power to drive the organization towards choosing the moral path to profitability. From an HR perspective, this could mean training and requiring Public Utility vehicle drivers to follow traffic rules or disallowing smoke velching company vehicles to spread their poison on the streets. If you wield more power than the HR Manager, you can probably do something to ensure that your factory or establishment has a suitable waste management system or use materials that are recycleable or at the very least managed properly. Styrofoam cups and plates are now considered white pollutants. Is your company concerned with this issue? Do you aggravate or mitigate it? These are just examples. Your company and your creativity can do something to contribute to the change.
The other way is to refuse to work in a company that engages in a business the hurts people as it pursues profit. Do not allow your company to pay employees below the minimum wage while the top executives eat lunches that equal their employees' monthly salary. Refuse to work in a company that won't pay for their employees' legislated benefits. Refuse to work in a company that circumvents the law or encourages corruption.

It would probably be too naive of me that this little article will encourage a company to review it's behavors and social values but I really hope that all who read this will bring the issue on their corporate table and make the necessary contributions to society. Seasonal sponsorship of civic actions and charities will not pay for the harms done by unscrupulous business. We need more.

Let's do something before it's too late.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:50 AM

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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