Is there a place for ethics in business? Many would argue that there is, but would they still feel that way during a recession when money is tight? A new ComputerWorld article, "The High Cost of Ethics Compliance," addresses this question: "Should an IT department hire a more expensive vendor because the vendor shares its own company's ethics standards, or should it go with a lower-cost provider that doesn't?"
The evidence suggests that companies which have already made a commitment to ethics compliance will continue to do so regardless of the economy, but companies which have not yet done so are not likely to spend additional dollars to start. "Even when CIOs are committed to designing systems that promote ethical behavior, they usually have to sell the applications by promoting whatever financial benefits the tools can create -- and not on any particular ethical merit."
Environmental degradation is more common in poor countries than rich ones. Wealth leads to "green" because being green usually costs more. Similarly, being ethical costs more - in the short term.
Great investments only make sense when you have the money to invest.