Category Archives: Careers!

Business Ethics #4 Keeping up with business

Greetings heroes!

As we mentioned in the last post, there are three ethical options for superheroes trying to succeed in business.  The first is attempting to keep up as best as possible, obeying the rules and conventions.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many superheroes who own their own business (Iron Man and Batman being notable exceptions), and those that do don’t seem to face this problem all that often.

This site also accuses them of being the same plot line. They have a bit of a point...

Before providing illustrations, a little background first:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Business Ethics #3- How Do You Play Fair and Play to Win?

Greetings heroes!

The previous two posts have dealt with the problem of conflicts of interest, which is a somewhat easy topic to discuss because there is a direct right and wrong: it is wrong to perform certain tasks if you have a strong competing interest which prevents you from fulfilling that task.

You can't be both an ok Deadpool and a terrible Green Lantern

But let’s say you get pas the conflict of interest and go to work in the business world.  You go to work every day, and you do your best to make money without breaking any laws or causing any harm.  Sounds simple, right?

Well, no, that’s not all.  Let’s pretend I was talking about sports instead of business.  If you were playing hockey, you would never play with the goal of just not breaking the rules.  In order to be a good game of hockey, you also have to try to win.  And that means playing to win without breaking the rules.  And these two goals are often at odds with one another.  If you don’t do everything you possibly can to win, its not a good game.  And if you don’t follow the rules, its also not a good game.  If you are on a team of superior players, this is not an ethical challenge: you simply play your best and you’ll win.  But what if you’re the underdog?

But here’s the other thing about sports: if you cheat at everything, you lose everything, too.  Because if the game becomes no fun to play, no one will want to play it.  And then there will be no game at which to excel.

But sports is only so strong an example because, even if you lose, at the end of the day you’ve only lost a game.  But what if the stakes are much, much higher?

For example, what about war?

Continue reading

Business ethics, Part 2-Counseling ethics

Greetings again, heroes!

After reading the last post, some of you are thinking, well, I know how to be amazing in my work and avoid those conflicts of interest: I’ll just be a counselor!  Or a teacher!  Or something equally awesome!

Google search for "Awesome", I love you.

 

But while its popular to think that taking up a career in which one sacrifices the allure of large paychecks for arguably noble goals is automatically heroic, we only value those positions in society because they don’t take advantage of their noble post.  Teachers and counselors also need to avoid conflicts of interest. Continue reading

Heroic Careers-Business Ethics: the Conflict of Interest

Greetings superheroes.

So we’ve established that you shouldn’t be supervillains.  Now that we’ve done that, a problem presents itself: how exactly do you make a living without being evil?  After all, since you have to eat somehow, and you can’t be evil, well, how do you do both?

Recalling that ethics addresses right and wrong, good and evil, it makes sense that these rules would extend to business as well.  After all, we all know that there are plenty of ways to do evil business, and the last few years have shown that evil business practices affect everyone, even those only tangentially related to the marketplace.  Evil should have no place in business.

And yet....

Business ethics covers a broad range of situations and topics, Continue reading

Rationalizing Super Villainy- The problem of Individual Pragmatism

Greetings fellow superheroes!

After fighting crime and standing in the moral good for some time, you may get to thinking that this superhero thing is great, but there are some real drawbacks.  You never have the money to buy nice things, you’re always tired, and just once you’d like to be able to buy your spouse or significant other a nice dress or a night out.

You took me to the moon last month.....

None of these motivations are evil in and of themselves.  Heck, most of them are considered downright noble.  So maybe, you think to yourself, maybe I’ll do just a little supervillainy.  You know, on the side. Continue reading