What Would Your Employees Do?
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is a catalyst for dialogue on the best way to create an ethical organizational culture within Silicon Valley businesses and around the globe. We expect our employees to deal with everyone in a fair and open manner and to conform to the spirit and intent, as well as the technical requirements, of all contracts and agreements that we enter into, and with all laws, regulations and rules that govern us. Our approach to business ethics is guided by our Code of Ethics, which is implemented through our Doing What’s Right program, supported by our Anti-Corruption Policy, and has provisions for conflicts of interest.
As a result, although raising wages would cost the business more and they may not work overtime each day, productivity would still remain high if they are given the inspiration and a better working environment so that they could actually look forward to going to work for Nike each day.
To put this in evolutionary terms, we need to generate a constant stream of innovations in business ethics, which are then tested empirically and selected so that the most effective ones become more common throughout the business world, while those that are ineffective or counter-productive fade away.
The reason why the prevailing image of Japanese management systems in very large companies and small companies is very similar, if not the same, is because the Japanese economy, and with it the business structure of virtually any kind of business or large company in Japan is directly influenced by Japanese cultural values, relations and structure, in particular, those of Confucian origin.
Maslow’s theory was that there are a broad array of human needs that can be depicted as a hierarchy, such that the lowest level of need is of primary interest to the individual, and that it is generally the case that the individual will be inclined to fill his lowest level of need before seeking to fulfill needs on a higher level.