The Triple Bottom Line: the People, the Planet, and the Profits

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People: Ethical Leadership Considerations and Recommendations

One of the most overlooked components of the 3BL is the portion concerned with ethical decision-making and leadership within an organization. The ethics of a company are a direct reflection of the values and morals that are embodied in a company; a company cannot claim to be an employee-friendly organizations while its policies and procedures are designed to unfairly exploit the workforce. Ethical leadership is one way in which a company can change its entire character without having to invest in costly equipment or drastically change the company’s way of doing business.

The management team of any company must remain keenly aware of the ethical image they are propagating. Not only must the management of the company maintain a personal commitment to high moral and ethical standards, they must expect the same of their subordinates and all associated with the company. Management must place a high priority on the execution of sound values and ethical principles in order to move the company in the right ethical direction. Managers could have high personal ethical commitments, but if they allow their subordinates to operate under lower ethical standards, then they, too, are responsible for the poor ethical performance of the company.

It is recommended that management takes personal interest in the ethical treatment of employees. The human capital is what makes the company work, and without their loyalty and service, the company would quickly collapse. Management must also ensure that employees are provided with regular training in ethics and ethical decision-making, so that when faced with an ethical dilemma, the employee would have the tools to make the decision th...

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...evaluate ethical problems and solutions to maintain the highest ethical standards. An independent firm would be objective enough to evaluate ethical problems faced by the company in an unbiased way, and therefore BBA would then be able to address ethical problems with the most objective decisions to ensure its business integrity (Freeman & Stewart, 2006).


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