In this blog entry from BEH co-editor Chris MacDonald, the need for an ethical approach to sales throughout an organization is explored. MacDonald points out that it’s easy to conflate “ethics of sales” with “ethics for salespeople,” and that’s a mistake.
LINK: Ethics in Sales — Across the Organization (by Chris MacDonald for Business Ethics Blog)
…The Walmart case also raises the role of customer-facing employees a few steps farther down the professionalism scale than licensed, highly-educated insurance agents, namely the checkout cashiers taking home pay at-or-near the minimum wage level. One account of Walmart’s decision notes that the company will be sending ‘secret shoppers’ to Walmart stores — presumably, underage individuals who will attempt to buy cigarettes. Cashiers who fail the test may be disciplined or fired. Two things need to be said about that: first is that those cashiers are among Walmart’s more vulnerable employees. I hope they receive training that makes it at least somewhat fair to put the pressure on them. The other point is that this story illustrates how ethics in sales needs a top-to-bottom approach. ….
What do you think?