Employers have moral values

Employers have-moral-values

In a consultation, Jeff reveals his problem with his current employer to me: “My company is currently receiving a lot of negative press. And there is at least a grain of truth to the allegations.” He talks about adventurous constructs in tax havens, raw materials from sensitive natural areas, and marketing full of greenwashing.

Jeff asks himself, "Can I still stay with this company, or will it break me?"

His working conditions are good: his colleagues form a functioning, friendly team; their tasks are pleasantly challenging. Her supervisor actively supports her employees and their needs and development. At the same time, the company works with controversial methods and partners as long as legal and regulatory requirements are adhered to. This creates an internal conflict among the employees: the company’s strategy contradicts their own convictions.

Jeff asks himself, “Can I still stay with this company, or will it break me?” This cannot be answered in general terms. What needs to be considered is: Are there any practical consequences if the employer behaves contrary to one’s morals? If he perceives his work as empty or even destructive, it can, in the worst case, lead to burnout – without any revision.

Even if your own ideals match those of your employer, but the rest of society thinks differently, you are constantly exposed to nagging questions. It can be nice to stand up for your beliefs, but it is often perceived as tiring.

Moral conflicts can make it difficult for employers to find suitable employees. This could either force salaries to rise or destabilise the employer by such a long-term problem.

You can make similar considerations in an academic setting. Almost a fifth of the third-party funding comes from industry, which can set conditions. Questions of scientific independence are central for researchers engaging in such collaborations. In addition, recruiting doctoral students and postdocs is easier if your research is perceived as beneficial.

Moral considerations are always deeply personal. Don’t push these aside, but ask yourself: Do your development perspectives and moral values fit with this employer?


This article was first published in Nachrichten aus der Chemie (issue 04-2024). See here the German original.

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