Doing the Right Thing When Dollars Are on the Line

Jim Sinegal, Co-Founder and former CEO of Costco

 

 

Jim Sinegal talks through a decision to do the right thing for his employees despite an economic cost to the company. Sticking to your word, even beyond what might be reasonably expected of you, reveals true character.

Teaching Notes

Use the following prompts to facilitate a guided discussion on this installment of Walking the Talk: Insights on Putting Ethics into Practice.

How can we define moral courage?  Why is it so important?

What were the elements of Costco’s approach to administering a significant change for their employees – a healthcare cost increase – that helped ensure it was successful?  How do these elements relate to the stakeholder concept in ethics?

What is the “business case” for going above what is required of you as an employer?  In the example of the employee 401K bonuses, could you argue that it was a smart financial decision for the company?

How does Sinegal define “obligation” in terms of the relationship between employer and employee?

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