Business Ethics and Teamwork

I have always found that there is a delicate balance to achieve between teamwork and ethics in a typical business setting. Teamwork and ethics often clash in a business environment, and small businesses frequently encounter even more conflicts than larger companies when trying their best to blend business teamwork and ethics. When ethical and teamwork considerations are viewed separately, there are still a number of potential problems and mistakes to anticipate.

Some of the business teamwork and ethics topics to be addressed here include collaboration, proposals, training, and consulting. In my experience, the successful use of business proposal writing and business training are among the most cost-effective of all small business management strategies. However, both areas can provide disappointing results if teamwork and ethical issues are not given a proper amount of attention.

Please don't overlook my special commentary (Because It's the Right Thing to Do) near the end of this page.

If business teamwork, collaboration and ethics are desired goals, how do we get there?

A Few Expert Words about Ethics and Teamwork

  • "Relativity applies to physics, not ethics." (Albert Einstein)
  • "Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we." (Anonymous)
  • "The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings." (Albert Schweitzer)
  • "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." (Helen Keller)
  • "It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare." (Mark Twain)

Ethics in Banking and Business Excerpt

"There are ethical challenges everywhere, so it should not be a surprise to learn that business and banking ethics continue to provide learning experiences. Banks have undergone a number of financial and legal changes which have contributed to some of the best ethics teaching moments." (Stephen Bush)

Mixing Ethics and Teamwork

By definition teamwork and collaboration involve more than one individual. For that reason alone, in practical terms there will always be a significant potential for ethical challenges when collaborating and teams are involved.

The lesson from the likelihood that ethical dilemmas will be present in a team and collaborative environment is not to avoid teamwork but rather to do a better job of establishing a healthy ethical environment.
  • "Teamwork is the ability to work as a group toward a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry." (Anonymous)

One More Thing

Business Proposals, Consulting, and Training

The following two areas are examples where teamwork is always needed:
  • Training
  • Proposals
Business proposals and training also represent situations that tend to have a much lower incidence of ethical problems. When attempting to evaluate why business training and business proposal writing have fewer challenges involving ethics, here are some possible explanations:
  • A management structure that is frequently temporary in nature
  • Both areas lend themselves to the inclusion of business consultants
  • The involvement of business consulting help creates a climate that tends to inhibit ethical disagreements

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.

(Henry Ford)

It's easy to get good players. Getting them to play together is the hard part.
(Casey Stengel)

Ethics and Economics

"History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them."

(B.R. Ambedkar)

Because It's the Right Thing to Do: Why?

If ever there needs to be a collective sigh of "Because it's the right thing to do," it is when we are talking about why we should be ethical, collaborate, and use teamwork. Is there a downside to ethics, collaboration, and teamwork that I am missing?

The Dark Side. The Bad Guys.

Perhaps it's just getting more difficult to distinguish between good guys and bad guys? For example, with banks do you think there are both good guys and bad guys? Are banks doing the right thing?

I have published additional overviews about "Doing the Right Thing" and "Collaboration" because I thought that these mindsets deserved to be elevated and highlighted. Perhaps both of these issues are too "serious" to get much attention and readership.

But we should not let popularity determine what is the right thing to do. As Augustine of Hippo said, "What's right is right even if no one is doing it. What's wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it."

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