The business with high ethical standards has three primary advantages over competitors whose standards are lower:
1 . A business of high principle generates greater drive and effectiveness because people know that they can do the right thing decisively and with confidence. When there is any doubt about what action to take, they can rely on the guidance of ethical principles. Inner administrative drive emanates largely from the fact that everyone feels confident that he can safely do the right thing immediately. And they also know that any action that is even slightly unprincipled will be generally condemned.
2. A business of high principle attracts high-caliber people more easily, thereby gaining a basic competitive and profit edge. A high-caliber person favors the business of principle and avoids the employer whose practices are questionable. For this reason, companies that do not adhere to high ethical standards must actually maintain a higher level of compensation to attract and hold people of ability.
3. A business of high principle develops better and more profitable relations with customers, competitors, and the general public because it can be counted on to do the right thing at all times. By the consistently ethical character of its actions, it builds a favorable image. In choosing among suppliers, customers resolve their doubts in favor of such a company. Competitors are less likely to comment unfavorably on it. And the general public is more likely to be open-minded toward its actions.