Morality of Competition in Business

Dennis Lennon MGT 350-02 Alan Malachoski’s paper “Morality and Competitive Advantage” has a very interesting outlook on competition in the business world. The business “world” tries to describe its competitive behavior using evolution. Malachowski’s view on the evolutionary paradigm sheds light on the how business’ use their evolutionary beliefs to turn a blind eye,if not completely ignore moral behavior. This evolutionary idea believes that in order to be a successful business in today’s market you have to evolve and do whatever necessary to succeed.

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As a result society as a whole will view companies that have a competitive advantage as being better than others in the same business line. With this principle our society viewed business health as being won by using all legally necessary means to gain an advantage. The costs of using these principles were morals and ethics. One of Malachowski’s points dealt with morality within the nature of business. Past believes held that the business markets should be viewed a natural entity and they will change and evolve based on given situations. These ideas also held that putting moral constraints on business would produce high unnecessary costs.

The next of Malachowski’s points was that the evolutionary paradigm encourages business’ to hide from moral responsibilities using their evolutionary beliefs and metaphors like “survival of the fittest”. The belief behind this idea is that moral responsibility is something that cannot be afforded in the “jungle of business”. Malachowski’s final point on how the evolutionary paradigm can show that the immoral side of human nature can be controlled and create beneficial results within the marketplace while operating at the most efficient point.

He goes on to point out that it hard to believe that immoral behavior that is deemed as acceptable in the business world would not filter into peoples personal lives as well. Overall, Malachowski’s ideas state that the business world’s views of success is often if not all the time related to evolution and “survival of the fittest” where there is no room for ethics and morality. Prior to the current economic crisis our country is facing I would have naively believed that the business markets belief in the evolutionary paradigm was the best way for the economy to survive. We have all grown up with the Darwinist sayings of “it’s a dog eat og world out there” or “survival of the fittest” and these beliefs are etched into our moral foundations. However, I have first hand seen how this narrow-minded business practice will fail. Being a former employee of a multibillion-dollar corporation that failed in the past year and a half has shifted my views on this subject. I believed that in order to for our company to be successful we had to increase profits and gain market share at any cost. I think that the use of morals and ethics in business can have a positive impact on organizations from both marketing and financial standpoints.

A company that is seen as ethical can use that good publicity to gain market share over its competitors. On the financial end if a company practices good ethic and morals it is less likely to be sued therefore saving money on costly legal and court fees as well as saving them from negative publicity. In conclusion I feel that after reading this article I have a better understand of the nature of competition in the business world and a better appreciation of the values of having morals and ethics in business. After all George Santayana said it best “those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it”.

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