The Honest may not be the Stupid one

The Honest may not be the Stupid one

How must be designed a system of Wages that this claim was right? The connection is seen in the support potential of the incentive system for the implementation of business ethics.

It is not of a human image, after which man is guided in his Actions only to material incentives, but also to values and norms, which he considers to be correct and binding. That this assumption is not a work of fiction, we learn not only constantly in everyday life, but finds its confirmation in numerous studies and experiments.

Nevertheless, the material rewards (or punishments) play a role for the behavior.

It would mean that the morality of the Individual greatly on the sample set, if, as popularly formulated, the Honest and Responsible always the Stupid one.

What is the use of the commitment to the renunciation of corruption, when a person is promoted, the draws with the aid of bribes the largest order in the country? Or if the Manager, carries out, in accordance with the public confessions to the sustainability of investments in Environmental protection will be reprimanded because of the cost?

With all due confidence in the morality of most people is to be expected, an Erosion of the moral ethos, if you constantly get in front of your eyes, that those benefits take, the behave opportunistically.


  • An illustrative example of the charges against Sears, Roebuck & Company: The Company was accused of your customers in the area of auto service is systematically redundant services and spare parts. The employees were put through rigorous requirements of the minimum number of hours for a mechanic and minimum sales amounts for certain car parts as well as the payment of premiums for high turnover under strong pressure to sell virtually at any price. Was rewarded systematically the one who had the least scruple to lie to the customers. As to be expected, took up the cases of customer fraud.
  • The rewards define the behavior also shows up impressively in the still widespread wrong advice to customers who want to invest capital. The employees of the banks sell in the first line of products, providing the Bank or you self-commissions and bonuses, instead of the customers interest in the forefront. Considering, therefore, whether we must distinguish more clearly the financial intermediary that operates on a Commission basis, from the neutral financial Advisor receives a fixed fee. A financial adviser is likely to get its neutrality to preserve any commissions from certain facility providers.

What is rewarded, is also made. Therefore, ethical aspects are to the assessment points is also consistent in the Performance and reward systems are internalized.

“It is important to design the incentive structures in a consistent manner, that ethical and responsible behaviour is rewarded and reckless, solely on personal Enrichment or career goals-oriented behavior is demotivated instead of Vice versa”

This begins with an explicit anchoring the company’s mission statement explicit ethical expectations of the behavior of the Individual in the job descriptions, perhaps even in the employment contract to make it clear that they are part of the basis for the assessment. The assessment of standardized or semi-standardized, i.e., assessment of characteristics and evaluation levels are more or less pre-determined, then the desired behavior must be added to remain in the assessment sheet. An increase of the objectivity degree of assessment, which is based often on non-quantifiable personal impressions, is by the involvement of several judgments possible. In addition to the direct supervisor, for example. Colleagues, internal and external customers, as well as the Assessed itself questioned. The inclusion of the self-assessment of the subject and the character of the employee is strengthened. The principle of the equality of all people, in spite of functionally meaningful hierarchical Sub – and Parenting, comes in the so-called “leadership from below”, i.e. the assessment of the supervisors by their employees.


In the company’s report of the BASF from 2008, it is specifically designated as a target that 80% of the top executives, go through a feedback process with your employees.

In the context of approaches to a comprehensive quality management assessments through the most important stakeholder groups (employees, customers, investors, social institutions) will be provided for some time. External Affected can, however, often make no immediate judgment about the Actions of certain individuals. Their complaints are based more likely on certain unwanted results of the company’s actions, such as inferior products, loss of jobs, environmental pollution, destruction of capital, etc., It is then a matter for the internal assessment procedures, such stakeholder complaints in the staff assessment.

This post is an excerpt from the new book on corporate ethics.

Der Ehrliche darf nicht der Dumme seinHow can be implemented the business ethics as a Management responsibility? A stronger orientation of the corporate guide on the guiding principle of a life-serving economy is more and more demanded. Elisabeth Gödel discusses the philosophical foundations of ethics and clarifies the relationship of ethics and Economics. The focus is on the institutionalisation of ethics is on the level of the individual company.

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