Monday, 16 april 2018 | Redacción CEU
Every day we make decisions as employees, businessmen or managers, but also as part of a collective, members of a community, components of society and within the own family. Life is full of moments in which is necessary to choose one way or another. These dilemmas are not always easy to solve. On the labor path, it is more likely to find this type of complex crossroads, situations where professionals test the limits of the ethics and the moral. They are turning points that will test their values, principles and fundaments. What kind of solutions can be adopted from the business framework? How to ensure that decisions within an organization are not being made according to particular interests? How can the professionals that face conflicts act? Who beats whom in this battle of interests?
The conflict of interest is one of the great dilemmas on which business ethics are based. In the business world, professionals face situations that measure their ethical commitment day-to-day. There are many examples. When the manager of a company must choose between a supplier that is also a shareholder or another that is more appropriate for the job. When the professional responsible for hiring the staff in the company is related to one of the candidates for the vacancy offered. When an employee should advise on the appropriate adoption of new technologies over which he/she has no specific training and that could result in hiring another professional. How to handle the conflict within the multitude of scenarios that could happen?
The “who is who” in the battle of interests
As the term itself suggests, the conflict of interest in the business framework occurs when, in the performance of an activity, the particular interests of one subject face those from another actor, whether it is a professional, a company, an institution or an organization, with who he/she maintains an obligation. The correct ability to make decisions in these scenarios will be influenced and affected by the possible economic, labor or personal benefits that may be reported. Consequently, the good judgment of the subject in question will be in doubt.
Conflict of interest is inevitable. Conjunctures of this type frequently occur in the course of any professional's work routine. Being usual circumstances in the business world, in some occasions, no special attention is paid to its management. However, these neglected moments shape the “who is who” of both professionals and organizations. Its mismanagement can have serious consequences like the company's bad reputation, the beginning of a path before the corruption way or, even, the transgression of the law. It also outlines important issues outside pragmatism, such as the integrity, morality or spirituality that define the hallmark of the company.