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Title of Article: How virtuous is your firm? A Checklist

Author and Brief Background: Hershey H. Friedman
: Linda Weiser Friedman
Journal Title and Volume Number: Electronic Journal of Business Ethics
and Organization Studies Vol. 14, No. 1 (2009)
Date of Submission: 25
February 2014

In the article, How Virtuous is Your Firm? A Checklist, talks about the growing number
of business organizations as well as the consumers that focuses more on virtue, ethics and
corporate social responsibility in their working environment. It concerns about firms moving
towards conscious capitalism where the priority of profits in an organizations comes to the
last with people and their safety at first. Many businesses today no longer see themselves as
organizations that should only be alarmed with profits but instead are now concerned about
values which includes many factors as societal needs, employment safety, quality and
environmental sustainability. The authors through this article feed the need behind the
business to become virtuous. A checklist has been specified in this article that helps business
firm to conclude if they are virtuous or not.

Virtue is a behavior that shows high moral standards. A virtue is a positive trait or quality
deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral
being. It in simple terms means moral excellence. Virtues are instrumental in allowing a
person to act to gain values. The virtues connect ethics to business positively and provide a
sound logical foundation for business ethics. Given the laws of nature and of human nature,
there exists a set of virtues that fit reality and that are most likely to lead to success and
happiness in business.

The key points in this article is the ten checklist postulated that helps a firm to decide whether
they are virtuous or not are listed and briefly described below.

1. Hiring the Disabled:
As the numbers of disabled people are growing in the worldwide manner, any
business firm should encourage the employment opportunities for these incapacitated
people. People with disabilities like heart problems, spine problems, deafness and
hearing problems or others should get the equal prospects as others for they also can
help the organization to generate and develop ideas for the products or any

2. Diversity in the Workplace:
Workplace where every group of people with different demographics is fortified can
be called as a diverse workplace. Diversity can be created both in terms of external r
internal environment; Internal environment like employment for old age, female,
minor groups and external like doing business with varied suppliers. Diversity creates
an opportunity to learn.

3. Respect for Employees:
Every employee regardless of their status and position in the workplace should be
treated as an asset to the company but not only as the factors of production that
performs their basic duty just to increase the sales and profits. Each employee should
be treated respect and with dignity with the formation of environment to grow and
excel him or herself.

4. Ethics and Integrity:
Business organizations should be able to manage the conflicts of interests arising
among the internal employees. Everyone should be felt important yet should be
integrated as a whole to increase the productivity and maintain the sustainability of
the company.

5. Servant-Leadership:
The ratio of CEO pay relative to the average workers has to be fair based upon the
dedication and efforts they make towards attaining and achieving a better
performance. CEOs should be focused in servant leadership who empowers and
facilitates their co-workers and who cares about them being successful.

6. The Local Community:
Highest portion of human resources in any organization comes from the local
communities where they operate their business. So a virtuous organization should be
able to maintain the strong bond between local society and their business. Because a
firm can sustain long only if it can satisfies and enhance the living standards of the
people living thereby could be by providing employment or by conducting welfare
programs around.

7. Customer Satisfaction:
Any firms should always prioritize their customers first because it is only because of
them that they are being able to sustain in the market. So, they should always be in
verse of satisfying customers needs through by quality products or through in-prompt
services or even through listening their feedbacks and complaints and improvising
them accordingly.

8. The Environment:
Nowadays, consumers are being more conscious towards environmental issues. They
like doing business that produce quality products and attains a competitive advantage
position and yet do not harm the environment. A virtuous firm should therefore
always be concerned about the environment we all live in before conducting any
business that tends to harm.
9. Corporate Philanthropy:
A virtuous firm is supposed to serve the mankind throughout its operations though it
wont let them gain any monetary benefits. This act helps the firm not only to build its
strong corporate image and earn benefits in the long-term basis but also helps provide
some extra value to the society in which it operates.

10. Mission Statement:
The most interesting point in this article is the necessity of good mission statement to
become a virtuous firm. This has been the issue that most of the company gives a little
attention to even fails to postulate a proper one with respect to their nature of
operations and stability. Mission statement of a company tells much more about its
plans, actions and what it is actually supposed to do. So to become a virtuous firm, it
should not orient its mission statement only on profit making and growth rather
should focus more upon firms ethical and moral values. The needs of every
stakeholders of the firm must be addressed.

All these mentioned checklist directly relates with the corporate social responsibility
and ethics followed and regulated by the company. This shows how a firm can be
moral bound, discipline and principles bound; can be a virtuous one and still earn a
competitive position in the market with longer sustainability.


This article in overall illuminates the application of virtue to business. A significant paradigm
has occurred in the business field where the firms are moving from traditional approach to
business ethics that related to consequentialism and codes of conduct towards conscious
capitalism (new insights made in the article) where the firms prioritize virtues at first, then
the people and their safety and lastly the profits. The current approach has been a better
construct for understanding the relationship between virtues and business and its inevitable
need in business. Traditional approaches are viewed as formulaic, prescriptive, constraining
forces that legislate the form of moral deliberation whereas new approaches focus on a set of
prohibitive principles or rules that tell people how they ought to act. This article of virtue
provides a plausible moral framework in which one may conduct business and exchange.
Therefore this will definitely help readers to identify their virtues in business, match them
with their action and set a model for developing an ethics of business. They can assure that
virtuous actions can lead to the achievement of values and pursuing virtuous principles,
strategies, and actions can result in firms realizing their values including their mission,
purpose, profit potential, and other goals. In a virtuous firm employees tend to carry out their
roles in a competent manner that is congruent with the firms goals. Thus, to be successful, a
business needs to embrace a set of virtues that are reality-based, non-contradictory,
integrated, and comprehensive.