How obligated are employees to deal with ethical issues independent of “the top dogs” or of management infrastructure? If the corporation is like Enron, based on shifting financial and product/service goals, then it would be hard for employees to note—not seeing the forest for the trees—when goal-values extended into ethically gray areas. If, like Toyota, the “One Voice” policy makes dialogic communication with a buying public undesirable, then employees bear no responsibility towards the general public—only toward government and legal officials, depending on the ethical guidance of “established” law to determine when the company is or is not ethical…as well as legal. Once, however, an unhealthy dialogic is invested in by lobbyists and fishy politicians, what is and is not established becomes blurry…the law is what is allowed to evolve from the ethical state established by corporate reps and government shills.
Is it reasonable to expect corporations, as profit-driven entities, to serve community interests above or alongside their own? Even recognize public welfare at all? Apart from the damage that bad press does to corporate growth and valuation, only a new sort of corporation that places ethical products and services above a profit motive could fulfill such a role. In the case of factory farming, since any true dialogic would have to include representatives for the sentient animals (persons?) objectified as food products, the likelihood of communications leading to a major shake-up in agribusiness won’t happen until Homo Sapiens in mass acknowledge that traditional farms and “meat factories” are categorically different businesses.
World citizens! unite…haha…what a funny wor(l)d. But, in a global market where we ourselves are commodities, it’s worth reminding ourselves that we were once “citizens” and can be again. What ethical obligation do we have to scrutinize our food stuffs? To face up to our environmental impact? If we can “dialogic” our way past the notion of communications as conveying objective information rather than as—ideally–connecting subjects, maybe the human masses can work alongside other animals…and components of the earth system we don’t yet recognize. As far as TC goes, anyone willing to make money for/with an apparently unethical organization (private or government) does not deserve the moniker of TC expert. Something I’ve learned in this class; one can’t compartmentalize ethical identities and expect professionalism to excuse bad actions.