Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ethics for social entrepreneurs

Is there a code of behavior for social entrepreneurs?

Turn inwards where morality meets ethics, and you'll likely find some sense of what lines cannot be crossed, a moral sense -- but if you look around outside, can you also find a code that's agreed by your peers, that guides you in cases where your personal sense of morals may be conflicted -- and perhaps even instructs you to a narrower range of choices on occasion?

Does the community of entrepreneurs answering a social vision have a formal code?

Professor David Batstone offers ten Principles for entrepreneurial ethics. Reading them, I wonder how far they go towards converting an "entrepreneurial venture" into a "social entrepreneurial venture" by their very nature:
1. Company directors and management will consider their work force valuable team members, not merely hired labor.
2. A company will think of itself as a part of a community, not just a "market."
3. A company will take every possible care to ensure the quality and safety of the products it brings to the public.
4. A company will treat the environment as a silent "stakeholder," a party to which it is wholly accountable.
5. A company will strive to diversify the kind of people who lead and manage its affairs.
6. A company will pursue international trade and production based on reciprocal exchanges that respect the same rights accorded its own people.
7. A company will nurture an organizational culture that encourages its employees to give critical feedback on unethical practices, and even "blow the whistle" when their voices are ignored.
8. A company will protect the privacy rights of its suppliers, customers, and employees.
9. A company will deliver what it promises, and promise what it can deliver.
10. A company will not seek to generate any revenue from practices that threaten life.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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