Bank Happy or Bank Evil?

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In last night’s Intro to Business class, the topic was corporate social responsibility, and I asked students if they would prefer to work for Bank Happy with an OK salary but knowing they are socially responsible or Bank Evil that pays a few bucks more but is known for their unethical actions.

Overwhelmingly, the choice of the students was to work for Bank Evil.  A mixed breed of demographics, the majority felt like it was on themselves to be socially responsible, but that what the company did to make a profit was up to them.  This is very interesting to me.  It certainly doesn’t do much to support Rand’s Objectivism.

I keep up with the CSR stuff.  Who doesn’t have at least 60 seconds to get the rundown from 3bl? But, the million dollar question here appears to be how many people are swayed by a small increase in monetary compensation. The actual actions of the organizations meant less to this particular sample.

I’m still wrapping my head around this…

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Zrymiak  •  Jan 29, 2013 @1:00 pm

    This is a very interesting discussion in which I wish I could have participated. While Bank Happy would simply go about its business, Bank Evil would hire PR firms to craft an elegant and persuasive message convincing the public that Bank Evil is actually advancing Social Responsibility with their practices. For example, imagine back in 2003-2007, Bank Evil was approving $500,000 sub-prime mortgages on applicants with $25,000 annual incomes with adjustable rates deferring payments for 5 years. Bank Evil would have justified this as “progressive business development” which not only satisfied applicants with positive approvals, but also enabled real estate and residential construction industries with economic activity. The tragedy is that because Bank Evil is deemed to be “To Big To Fail”, it does not directly suffer the consequences of its actions, but is shielded from their rightful burden of their loss to society (Taguchi reference) by government agencies and taxpayers. Without proper deterrents and incentives, more banks would be inclined to replicate Bank Evil.

    An alternative question would be if you discovered that your employer was Bank Evil, would you be prepared to untangle your present arrangement, disrupt your employment and resume at lower pay and prestige at Bank Happy, or would you remain and rationalize that as an individual, you are only accountable for your personal actions and strive to be socially responsible as an individual, while using Bank Evil as a means to support your family in a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed?

    (if I had more time, I would have written a shorter reply)