A few years ago, companies used purpose to differentiate. It was an edge over their competition, something that was applauded by consumers. Today, it’s the expectation. Businesses want to not only do well for their companies, they also want to make a difference in the world, and between modern slavery and extreme poverty, the supply chain is the ticket. We’re living in an age where supply chains are becoming more and more complex and what you can’t see can hurt you.
This month’s column features big thinker Ronald Dworkin. I like Dworkin because he tackles and integrates major ideas in ethics, morality, equality, justice and the “unity of value.” One of his most famous of many books is entitled Justice for Hedgehogs.
Don’t let the humorous book title fool you; there’s no question that Dworkin is a heavyweight. Dworkin is a Professor of Philosophy and the Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at New York University and Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London.
We often hear stories of business relationships that appeared strong suddenly turning sour. These relationships may even have existed for some time. So what is going on? It is likely acts of opportunism.
Economist and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey has some thought-provoking and highly nuanced takes on innovation and ethics in the commercial arena.
How about this for starters: capitalism is innovation, in her estimation. And she contends that capitalism/innovation backed by liberal economic ideas “has made billions of poor people pretty well off, without hurting other people.” Did I mention she is also controversial?
We know that trust, ethical behaviour and collaboration go hand-in-hand in our personal and social relationships. But how widespread are those things in our business and outsourcing relationships? Obviously they should be!