To think about: CEO ethics

01 Feb

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Pablo Camacho
24 years old
Student (and independent writer)
Bogota, Colombia, South America

This is my answer to the question “Should company executives have a code of ethics similar to doctors and lawyers?”


4 responses to “To think about: CEO ethics

  1. James Gray

    February 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Although I am not against codes of ethics, I am not impressed with “codes of ethics” in general. It basically means that we don’t need to actually understand ethics because someone will tell us what to think.

    What would be great is to have “philosopher kings.” I a not talking about a dictator. I am merely saying that the more powerful a person is, the more ethical we want them to be. We want those in power to truly be ethical, not just have a code of ethics, which probably will have loopholes. CEOs have no ethical requirements whatsoever. In fact, corporations might want to promote those with unethical tendencies. Then the real question is: How can we live in a society where truly ethical people are rewarded and those in power tend to be the most ethical people?

    Codes of ethics seems to try to cover a symptom of a diseased society instead of trying to cure the society of the disease.

  2. Neil

    February 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Interesting thoughts, James. You have an interesting site there.

    I can’t help thinking that imperfect as ethical standards for CEOs may be when examined philosophically, there is a case for such standards, just as we have come to accept the idea of standards (rather than free-for-all) in so many other areas of life.

  3. Benjamin Solah

    February 2, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hah! CEOs won’t accept ethics, even if they’re given to them. The system demands they make their companies profitable and if ethics get in the way, they’re thrown out the window. Rudd asked them to take a paycut last year, or maybe 2007, to which they basically said, “Fuck off.”

    Though, Neil, I bet you could have predicted my answer 😉 Sorry for the language.

  4. James Gray

    February 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Neil, I agree that there is a case for standards as you said. Better that than nothing, of course.

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