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What does moral value contribute to a company?

It is not only humans who have them. Today people also ask about companies’ moral values and purposes. Moral values such as ‘innovative’, ‘self-sacrificing’, ‘explorer’ and ‘perfectionist’ are now ...

Son Güncelleme: 01.01.2007

It is not only humans who have them. Today people also ask about companies’ moral values and purposes. Moral values such as ‘innovative’, ‘self-sacrificing’, ‘explorer’ and ‘perfectionist’ are now being used to describe companies. Indeed, these moral purposes are believed to play a role in the growth of giant companies. Even if values and purposes show themselves in different ways for each company, it is a fact that they provide a competitive advantage for giant companies.

Management expert say that, just as is the case with people, companies with a well-defined raise d’etre can be much more ‘successful’ and ‘happy’. For example, Wal-Mart makes a sacrifice by offering low prices in small towns but such an approach makes both the customers and employees happy. In the long term, such an approach has a positive impact on Wal-Mart’s reputation.

Companies which only focus on monetary targets find that they are insufficient to ensure success. In order for a company to be ensure long-term success and keep its employees highly motivated it needs to possess some moral values. Companies are advised that these moral values should be based on four fundamentals: ‘heroism’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘perfectionism’ and ‘innovation’.

Companies’ Moral Purposes
Today companies are looking for strategies to secure a competitive edge or for a way to sustain a competitive advantage. Experts throughout the world have recently been studying successful companies in order to provide them with answers. An increasing number believe that the answer to this question lies in the companies’ moral purposes.

These moral purposes are created by the company’s employees. They vary between companies. Having a common purpose unites employees, and the leadership and management teams. This purpose does not always complement the leader’s own moral purposes. For example, Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, is known as being a very difficult businessmen who did not understand the wishes of those around him. Indeed, Wal-Mart’s commitment to “providing the customer with the best deal’ takes precedent over earning money. Sam Walton realized this goal by making sacrifices and keeping prices lower than his rivals.

What Are The Purposes Of The Global Giants?
When one looks at the other global giants one can see that they are also based on a clearly identified moral purpose. For example, since the day that it was founded the global electronics giant Sony’s has been providing consumers with services with the motto ‘the pleasure of technological innovation’. The company’s moral purpose is based on the idea of ‘discovering useful, new things’. Indeed the founder of Sony even described the company’s raison d’etre in these terms.

Body Shop is known as ‘self-sacrificing’ because it respects animal rights. There are companies like Merck which are described as ‘heroic’ because, ever since the day that it was founded it has made substantial investments in trying to defeat devastating diseases. The purposes of each of these companies, which enable them to survive and provide them with a sustainable competitive advantage, are different… Indeed, over time, the company can diversify its purposes. But they all have a common characteristic: they are all explained to the workforce in the best possible way and they successfully bring together all of the shareholders around this common purpose.

Arçelik’s Moral Values
In Turkey many companies in the light of moral values going forward have been successful. One of these companies is Arçelik, Koç Holding’s leading company in the consumer durables sector. Before the Customs Union Arçelik realized the rapid pace of change on the market and since the end of the 1980s it has begun to establish the infrastructure for works towards innovation and R & D. Today Arçelik with the patent applications it has made is the ‘patent champion’ by a long way. In 2009 the company is planning to sell the licenses of the products it has developed. All of the workforce at Arçelik meet each other around keeping alive the slogan ‘Arçelik means innovation’.

İpragaz Is Aware Of Its Responsibilities
It was İpragaz which established the first filling plant in Turkey and first introduced the country to LPG and its moral purpose can be briefly described as ‘heroism’. İpragaz General Manager Selim Siper says that they united around such a goal because the company gives priority to addressing current problems before its own commercial sustainability. He says that in this regard they have introduced initiatives which have not been adopted by any other company. “The phrase description that best sums up İpragaz is sincerity and awareness of its responsibilities,” says Siper. He adds that in addition to being ‘heroic’ the company is also a ‘perfectionist’ and ‘self-sacrificing’.

Perfectionist Bossa Moves Ahead
Sabancı Holding is one of the largest holdings in Turkey. Its oldest company BOSSA is also indebted for its longevity in the sector to its moral purpose. The company has been active in the textile sector since 1951 and since the day that it was established it has focused doing everything as perfectly as possible. Bossa General Manager Can Piyale says that ‘perfectionism in business’ has always been one of its core values. He says that in order to make progress in the development of this value they have adopted a project-based strategy. “This approach has resulted in us incorporating our workforce into the business and ensured that the principle of perfectionism has been internalized by everyone.”

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