TRNAVA - Rarely when people think about successful companies does morality come to mind. More likely, phrases such as "It's a dog eat dog world," or "winning at all costs" define the booming business. But for one popular management training and research consultant, high ethics are what make a successful company with happy, motivated employees.
Speaking to a classroom of 100 teenagers last month at Trnava's Obchodná Akademia, Dorothy Marcic, an American economics professor from Nashville, Tennessee, encouraged her young pupils to choose ethics as they embark on business careers. "In the past, some young people avoided going into business as they thought it required them to be dishonest," Marcic said. "If we can show them this is not the case, we will get a new 'breed' of business people for the future."
Marcic engaged the class by discussing the principle of trust, a key component in her latest book, called "Management and the Wisdom of Love." Comparing trust to the law of gravity, Marcic explained that trying to break either results in negative consequences, whether it is a broken leg or a loss of trust. Businesses are also subject to these laws, and if people have a choice, Marcic said, they will deal with a person or company that they trust and can rely upon. For example, Marcic said that the mutlinational company Hewlett-Packard (HP) saves millions of dollars a year because customs officials know that they never lie on customs declaration forms when they ship goods. In many countries, HP shipments go through customs much faster than those of other companies, "and we all know that time is money," Marcic underlined.
Marcic speaks from experience. She has done management training and consulting for multinational organizations such as AT&T, and the Hallmark Corp., and for the US Air Force; she lived in Prague for the past four years, working as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Economics and the Czech Management Center, where she taught MBA students and managers.
6. Nov 1996 at 0:00 | Eva Torn