Ethical Consciousness in Business (II)

Ethical Consciousness in Business (II)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo

The corruption of businessmen globally is manifested in different ways and the most common instances occur when private entrepreneurs do business with the State. Foremost among them is the payment of bribes to the public sector, although this also occurs in negotiations between private entrepreneurs. There are other cases of corruption, such as agreements between competitors of a particular brand to share markets between them and fix prices, as a result of which the society suffers most as it is left without the option to choose the best product and the best offer. But there is no doubt that the chief form of corruption is the payment of bribes to the public sector.


Another form of corruption is when businessmen manage to influence the State’s decision-making and go beyond lobbying and are able to buy decisions. This is something very serious because the State is then at the service of individuals. A very common case is when there is collusion between private individuals and government agents in public tenders. It is very common for construction companies to pay bribes to be awarded the most lucrative State projects.


According to Infobae experts, for entrepreneurs to be more honest they don’t have to be good people because corruption is a social problem directly related to institutional controls. When there are few legal sanctions there are many cases of well-known members of the public sector who participate in corrupt activities because they receive light prison sentences. The social message sent to the community is that instead of working harder you have to take shortcuts because nothing will happen.

Businessmen behave ethically when to behave otherwise is more costly from the perspective of both the law and the market. The message sent by the State against fraud or the commission of a moral crime by a company is very important. In the US, the business lobby is widely accepted, but lies are not. The Nordic countries and Germany are also very vigilant. Since it is the State that imposes the law, the ultimate responsibility belongs to government. So there must be a combination of commitment on the part of government and a decision by companies to develop mechanisms to improve transparency.


It is no coincidence that social transparency does not exist in underdeveloped countries because corruption encourages inefficient short-term management models. So it is very difficult to be competitive and achieve sustained economic growth. In short, what is needed is a change in social consciousness, which is not easy, so it is necessary to start working in stages as soon as possible.


Addendum: It is very likely that we are living at the precise moment when human society in general will experience a complete paradigm shift, and material goods, power and money will take a back seat in the life of human beings.