Monday, October 20, 2008

A Managerial Hippocratic Oath?

An article in the October Harvard Business Review argues that "Managers have lost legitimacy over the past decade in the face of a widespread institutional breakdown of trust and self-policing in business" and offers the solution of a managerial code of conduct to be enforced by some sort of governing body. (Here's the Economist's discussion of the article.)

It's a pretty long code, but here's one interesting part of the pledge:
My purpose is to serve the public’s interest by enhancing the value my enterprise creates for society.
Hmmm.. not sure how you would measure value created for society. Anyway, if I risk my capital to start a business, my purpose is to serve my interests by enhancing the value my enterprise creates for me. I think I would pass on taking their pledge.

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