This quarter, I am taking a course entitled A Guide to Business Ethics. The course is equal parts (1) how technological change brings up unresolved ethical questions in the business environment, (2) how religion, politics, and business have evolved over the last 100 years, and (3) how should business leaders and politicians respond to the changing ethical environment.
As I am spending the day doing some reading for the course, I thought it would be an interesting poll to pose the question to you:
What role should business ethics play? And, why?
(a) Central. There is a "right" way to conduct business.
(b) Central. Conducting business ethically is a profit-maximizing move.
(c) Secondary. Profit-maximization and returns to shareholders are more important.
(d) Non-existent. As soon as you give up your ethics, the rest is easy.
I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about this question. So, please vote early and often (on the sidebar --->). Tell your friends and CEOs to vote. I'm looking forward to seeing the response.