The Market Principle can be Consistent with Imperatives of Sustainability…

A value-based company management from the economical point of view means that only those projects are implemented, that are also giving a good return among profitable market conditions, that make “a positive contribution to the total enterprise value” [1]. It is crucial for the economic success of a company, to generate the expected return to shareholders, which will be read on the bare figures of balances. Resignation is the previous result of the current conflict between profit and principles, sufficient money earnings and balance sheet fraud. Many managers experienced that their stakeholders can not longer be convinced by simple ethical slogans – particularly being caused by the Dot.Com crisis of the late 90s.

Descriptive-empirical case studies of Business Ethics have gained more relevance in recent years. But the pursuit of sustainable normative goals can not be decreed on prescription. But a modern business ethics can create more sensitiveness for ethical problems in companies (assessment), more consciousness in dealing with ethical issues, a better implementation of ethics projects with the management (policies) and more specific proposals solving applied problems of ethics in everyday life.

Subjective values provide guidance and ultimately have a normative, regulatory impact, less in general discourses, “but the fact that they are adopted, internalized and are being lived concretely” [2].

[1] Sattler, Ralf, Unternehmerisch denken lernen, Das Denken in Liquidität, Erfolg und Risiko, München 22003, p. 103.

[2] Plathow, Michael, Das Werte-Thema in kirchlichen Äußerungen und reformatorischer Wirklichkeitsdeutung, Deutsches Pfarrerblatt, 3. Ausgabe, Speyer 2002, p. 107.