Maybe it's just my sensitivity to the subject, but some days it seems like no business can operate ethically and every headline exposes some "new" and more unseemly behavior.
Why can't our businesses behave the way they should?
An easy question to ask - and one that certainly should be frequently asked - but thinking about how to answer it leads to more confusion and frustration.
Who decides whether a behavior is good or bad? Who's the "they?" How do you define a "good" behavior versus a "bad" behavior? Are all "good" behaviors always "good" or are they sometimes "not-so-good?"
Our usual response is for Congress to enact a new law, regulation or rule, proclaiming, "This will fix the problem and make businesses behave the way they should."
This usually lasts just long enough for the lawyers (and business managers) to find some loopholes and ambiguities big enough for truckloads of even worse behaviors.
How do we do the "right thing?" Is the right thing following every rule or is it making wise choices? Here's a short lecture by a scholar of psychology and economics (do they go together?) about how choices get made and could get made in our modern society. Enjoy.