Self-interest vs. the “common good”

A common exhortation heard today is: Set self-interest aside and act for the “common good.” Businesspeople in particular are accused of selfishness and are...

Selflessness is not a virtue

Most people take it for granted that selflessness is a virtue. In business, altruism—always putting others first, selfless service to a company,“servant leadership”—is praised...

Virtuous egoism

You have heard this before: you are either good, or you are selfish. For the majority of people, virtuous egoism is an oxymoron: they...

Why business and force don’t mix

My recent post on the Pope’s misguided accusation of business for exploiting workers has received some reactions that indicate a misunderstanding of the role...

Key to effective management: Objectivity

Management is commonly defined as the process of accomplishing common goals by working through or with people. According to Chester Barnard, American businessman and...

Businesses make the world a better place

Hollywood has a long history of businessman movie villains, from Mr. Potter in ‘It’s a wonderful world’ to ‘Wall Street’s’ Gordon Gekko and Lord...

Is egoism obvious?

My book, How to Be Profitable and Moral: A Rational Egoist Approach to Business, has been translated into Finnish and was recently published in...

Business is a moral endeavor

When I tell people that I teach business ethics, I am often told that it is an oxymoron because business cannot be moral. That...

Three confusions in business ethics: selfishness, altruism and personal values

There seems to be three issues central to business ethics about which most people are confused: selfishness, altruism, and personal values. These are serious...

How mistaken moral views explain bad economics

Morality poses the question: For what purpose should I live and how? Economics studies how to organize production and trade of goods and services...

Why is there racism in business?

A recent trip to the Southern United States made me aware of a sad truth: racism is live and well, decades after racial segregation...

Misunderstood self-interest

I have been reading articles about business ethics lately, and to my dismay discovered a common feature: a lack of understanding of self-interest. This...