Discover how Kyocera’s management principles help foster an ethical corporate culture.
What is more important: ethical business practices or profits? This continues to be a conflicting question for many businesses because an ethical approach often demands greater initial investments to establish best practices – this means lower profits for the organisation. For instance, paying higher wages, reducing pollution levels by investing in new technology, or organising corporate team-building or community initiative
events all require financing.
While overlooking people-centric principles might offer short-term benefits, it can ultimately inflict damage on your brand’s reputation in the long run, not to mention that an unethical decision can result in a decline in productivity and, in worst-case scenarios, financial loss and hefty fines.
But before we delve any deeper, let’s start with the fundamentals of business ethics.
In simple terms, ethics are the principles that regulate our behaviour and ensure we do the right thing. According to the Institute of Business Ethics, business ethics “is the application of ethical values to business behaviour (...) relevant both to the conduct of individuals and to the conduct of the organisation as a whole.”
Although morals can differ among individuals, in most situations, the
moral line is evident, and the responsibility to respect or cross that boundary lies with the business owner. It is also vital to remember that while an ethical corporate culture helps to ensure business legality, there is a difference between ethics and law. According to the Institute of Business Ethics, “ethics goes beyond the legal requirements for a company and is, therefore, about discretionary decisions and behaviour guided by values.” Some actions may be perfectly legal but could be perceived as unethical by your employees, customers, and the general public.
So how do we distinguish right from wrong? How can we do business more responsibly and sustainably?
The Kyocera philosophy is here to help.
Kyocera’s management philosophy instils a strong sense of moral responsibility within our organisation. By adhering to fundamental human ethics, we ensure that each decision we make is guided by compassion, respect, and fairness. We’re living proof that ethical leadership does not inhibit company growth or reduce profits. Our global success has demonstrated that corporate social responsibility is key to long-term prosperity and maintaining a strong relationship with our employees, partners, stakeholders, and customers alike.
Kyocera’s philosophy plays a pivotal role in ethical decision-making by emphasising key values and the importance of a people-centric approach.
Here's how Kyocera's management philosophy contributes to its ethical
Commitment to fair management: Embodied in the phrase "Do what is right as a human being," Kyocera’s philosophy places a strong emphasis on socially responsible management. This commitment ensures that the company's decisions and actions are based on ethical considerations, treating people and the planet with respect and fairness. From prioritising employee wellbeing to reducing our own impact on the environment, “doing what is right as a human being” can be applied to all aspects of our business. In truth, our entire philosophy roots in this simple, yet fundamental mindset that instils a sense of moral responsibility across our whole organisation.
Transparency: Kyocera maintains an open system, where all employees have access to information about the company’s financial performance
and decision-making processes. As highlighted in our Transparent Management philosophy, “Since the entire company is transparent,
we can confidently devote ourselves to our respective tasks”. This management principle not only helps us to build trust with our employees and partners but also maintains good brand recognition.
Profit with honour: All too often, business leaders choose the easy way
and try to make a quick fortune by taking risks or engaging in questionable
practices. But Kyocera’s philosophy of “Pursue profit fairly” is testament to the fact that businesses can pursue profits while preserving a strong value system. It’s about not being tempted by short-term gains and upholding strong ethical business practices even during difficult times. As featured in this key principle, “Kyocera's management, however, must persist in doing business fairly, pursuing a fair profit and contributing to society.”
Teamwork and collaboration: The Extended Family Principle at Kyocera creates a strong sense of unity and a shared purpose within the organisation. The principle revolves around treating the company as an extended family, emphasising mutual respect, trust, and responsibility. When employees feel connected to their organisation, they are more likely to act ethically and consider the broader implications of their actions. This is how we’ve achieved to lead harmonious relationships with customers, suppliers, and the wider community, in addition to doing responsible business.
Standing up for the truth: By applying the “Follow truths and principles“ Kyocera philosophy, the organisation is able to uphold honesty, integrity and adherence to moral principles in all aspects of business operations. When faced with dilemmas or challenging situations, employees and leaders are encouraged to refer back to these truths and principles as a moral compass which ensures that choices are aligned with Kyocera’s values and long-term objectives. By consistently upholding ethical standards, Kyocera has constructed a reputation as a trustworthy business
entity, earning the respect and loyalty of its stakeholders and customers.
From helping to build customer trust to improving employee behaviour,
there are countless benefits of engaging in sustainable and responsible
business. However, the question still remains: how will you govern your
business? Will you resist the temptation of making quick profits or choose an approach that is more conducive to long-term, sustainable success?
By integrating Kyocera’s management principles into your business today,
you’re one step closer to earning a reputation as an ethical and socially
responsible corporation. Focusing on ethics will require you to remember some crucial points throughout the process such as the importance of fair management, integrity, transparency, and truth. But ultimately, ethical leadership boils down to one phrase: doing what is right as a human being.
“Embrace business ethics by doing what is right as a human being”