Is it possible for businesses to be both ethical and make a profit?
It is possible for businesses to behave ethically, while working to earn a profit. In fact, being ethical makes sense as a business strategy, since it tends to create bonds among customers, employees, and the community.
It is true that there are a number of shortcuts a business can take which are both unethical and more profitable than doing things right, but these shortcuts tend to hurt in the long run. A company which behaves this way will find itself being corrected in any number of ways, ranging from losing individual customers or employees, to formal boycotts, to legal action. Trying to increase profitability by ignoring ethical concerns will eventually wind up costing the company money. Additionally, many jobs have specific codes of ethical conduct. A violation of one of these codes of ethical conduct could cost a company its professional license and the profits it obtained from unethical conduct.
Sometimes, behaving ethically may require a company to sacrifice some profit for the sake of the company and its reputation. This is entirely consistent with capitalism. Capitalism means working to make a profit, it does not require sacrificing all else for the maximum possible profit at every moment in time. Investing in goodwill for the future is a completely rational business strategy. Ethics in business is looking out for its own best interest without interfering with others and making a profit.
If you have a strong reputation based on honesty and ethical behaviour, people are more likely to do business with you. People only buy from consumers they like, it doesn’t matter how good or how cheap the product is. They will buy from the company whose individuals demonstrate honesty and ethics. In business, your reputation counts for a lot. When you are attracting new customers, most of the time it is your reputation that is the attracting factor. If you act...