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business question

BH

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we have all heard the phrase business is business and personal is personal. why is it that we have a different morality or sense of right and wrong when it comes to work and another morality away from work?
 

Politesse

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Because morality is bad for business, and although the kind of people who say shit like that find greed more motivating than decency, they still want to be perceived as decent by others. So they are happy to discover at some young age that someone has made up an aphorism that lets them keep both their ambitions and their social respectability, and even frames other more genuinely kind people as misguided weaklings who don't understand business. Bingo!

Of course, the popularizer of the phrase was a fictitious gangster whose "business" was extortion, tariff evasion, and murder...
 

BH

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To me it has always appeared illogical to be all survival of the fittest at work but not be survival ofcthe fittest away from work.

Example, you dont make the cut at work and get let go. Too bad so sad.

A few years later the boss who fired you marries into your family and asks you to help him out with some money. And you are the bad guy and mean if you say "survival of the fittest, no, so sad too bad"
 

rousseau

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why is it that we have a different morality or sense of right and wrong when it comes to work and another morality away from work?

I don't think you can claim some kind of universal ethical code when it comes to the business world. Some orgs are pretty fair, some aren't. Some families are pretty fair, some aren't.

Politesse has got it right that it might be something some people say to justify what they're doing. That doesn't make the business world some kind of ubiquitous jungle of greed, though.
 

Jarhyn

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I agree with Politesse except that business and personal do have a boundary point wherein one is acting pursuant to the "self" of a network of people, where the other is acting only as an individual.

It comes down to the conflict of interest.

I personally desire to move away from serving any self for the sake of that self, but to serve for the sake of everyone including myself.

It comes down to whose authority you are acting upon and in service of, and what the actual focus of such a "self" action is, whether it's actually personal, or effectively servicing concerns of some larger body.

In every case it's absolutely appropriate to have the outline of the business logic laid out and demand that it be applicable and sensible, else default back to "personal and thus actionable"
 

steve_bank

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I do not see a difference.

Individuals and business are both free to go to the limits allowed by law.

In personal relationships people lie, steal, and cheat.

Business is run by people. Business can be no better than people who run it.

As an engineer I managed to navigate ethical and moral issues and maintain professional integrity. Occasionally I paid a price for it. Others were not so ethical. Business is made up of people who behave ethically or not.

I expect the ethics of a person on the job reflect the ethics in personal relations. Of course it is not black and white. In the work environment someone may be aggressive and ethical in the pursuit of job security, wages, and advancement yet be perfectly ethical outside of work

Good OP.
 

Tigers!

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I don't think you can claim some kind of universal ethical code when it comes to the business world. Some orgs are pretty fair, some aren't. Some families are pretty fair, some aren't.
Yet by saying that some orgs are fair and some aren't you are utilising some sort of universal ethiucal code. How would you know the difference otherwise?
 

rousseau

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I don't think you can claim some kind of universal ethical code when it comes to the business world. Some orgs are pretty fair, some aren't. Some families are pretty fair, some aren't.
Yet by saying that some orgs are fair and some aren't you are utilising some sort of universal ethiucal code. How would you know the difference otherwise?

I guess what I'm getting at is that claiming 'the business world is selfish' is overly simplistic. Company values, measured against normal standards of morality, vary widely.
 

BH

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here is another thing. I know we all have to eat...

but at least in the US no one is forced to take care a job or position. if being immoral or dishonest is part of the job it's still your choice to take it. If ruthlessness is just the qualification of getting that vp job it's still your choice to take it or not.
 

Swammerdami

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I agree with OP: I've never understood the "Business is business" meme. I don't think I've come across it in real life, but it sure is a common theme in gangster drama, and specifically in all three of the greatest crime epics of all time:
 

Politesse

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I agree with OP: I've never understood the "Business is business" meme. I don't think I've come across it in real life, but it sure is a common theme in gangster drama, and specifically in all three of the greatest crime epics of all time:
Also a minor plot point in the epic 1998 Meg Ryan / Tom Hanks romantic comedy "You've Got Mail". (He's catfishing her, so the association with crime is still there).
 

steve_bank

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Business in terms of free market captia;ism is not a social system, it is an economic system. There are positives ad negatives. As mentianed one positive is a lot of freedom. You are free to work where you want at what you want to do if you are willing to work for it.

If you want to be a doctor you gave to do what it takes.

Progressives are trying to turn the economy into a kind of welfare system.

On the flip side if a company wants to reduce workforce it can lay people off without any obligation. Some would call that busness is business.

What s fair?

Should a high school grad with no skills or experience make the same money as someone with experience and education?

Boeing workers are essentially demand cradle to grave support. Full medical benefits for life funded by the company.As to busness ethics It depends on the company. Keep in mind the vast majority of businesses are small.

IBM, Apple, and Microsoft as examples have histories of predatory business practices. Buy out competition and then end it for one example.

In the 70s a company began selling a lower cost equivalent to the old IBM terminals at a lower price than IBM. IBM sold its terminals at a loss until the competition went out of business. Those kind of tactics are not unheard of. Laws limit unethical practices but do not eliminate it.

There is no quetion that today larger companies can be predatory. MS has aalwys been highly unethical in business practices. IMO it should be broken up.

Amazon's and social media business prctices are clearly unethical. Amonzon can clealy pay its workers better wages and does not. Its productvity standards go back to the early 1900s. Work untill you drop keeping up with a mechanized assembly line.
 

SIB

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we have all heard the phrase business is business and personal is personal. why is it that we have a different morality or sense of right and wrong when it comes to work and another morality away from work?
yeah, when a persons transgressions start to hurt a business one may have to fire the person. It feels bad and one may wish the absolute best of luck to them. But the simple fact is when a persons actions start to pull down a team they may have to be terminated.

And despite what the news may say, its rarely the first time it has happened. Well, for the regular life happenings anyway.
 

fromderinside

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Business uses the capital of others to increase the capital of those in that occupation. How persons treat one another is a zero sum game. That is one takes and gives according to their personal situation.

Business is based on those in the group getting ahead of those in other groups. Personal transaction, on the other hand, tend to be this is better for me and that is better for you.

Or principle of personal equity versus principle personal gain.
 

Marvin Edwards

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we have all heard the phrase business is business and personal is personal. why is it that we have a different morality or sense of right and wrong when it comes to work and another morality away from work?

We expect moral behavior from businesses as well as individuals. Laws are intended to prevent harmful behavior, whether by business or by individuals. A business, being in a position to harm people in many different ways, is subject to additional rules to prevent that harm. The 40 hour work week and payment for overtime, worker's safety and compensation for job-related injury, anti-monopoly laws, the Food and Drug Act, health inspections for restaurants, and probably many more, are all intended to prevent or reduce possible harms.

Morality is about achieving the best good and the least harm for everyone. Rule systems are one of the tools by which we pursue the goal of our morality.
 
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