Ethical behavior includes respect for others and society.
Clovis de Barros Filho – Ethics and Corporate Philosophy Professor and author of books on these subjects.
The word ethics comes from the Greek word ethos, meaning “good practice” or “superior custom”. From the expansion of ancient Greece philosophy, the concept has spread worldwide. The theme remains current and is connected to the values that we follow, as the interviewee in this edition demonstrates.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOUR CONNECTION WITH REFRIGERATION IS?
Both my grandfather as well as my father worked as refrigeration technicians. I even did the courses, but my father (who worked with refrigeration in the Legal Medical Institute) insisted that I graduate in Law. I love my profession as a professor, but I’m still fascinated by the innovations in the field of compressors. My cousins, who work with refrigeration, always keep me updated.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ETHICS?
Ethics is the study of the values that we use to guide a decision. It’s one of the pillars of practical philosophy and its aim is the good life, that is, life in the most correct way. The values that we follow or don’t follow define us as people.
DO YOU CONSIDER ETHICS AS ONE OF THE KEY ISSUES OF THE 21st CENTURY?
This is one of the key issues of the 21st century, as it has been in the last 30 centuries. It must be remembered that ethics has been present in human life since the beginning. It can be seen even in prehistoric cave paintings.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR SOMEONE TO BEHAVE ETHICALLY?
There are two reasons: the first is the search for the best choices to live well; and the second is our concern to live satisfactorily within society.
HOW DO YOU INCLUDE ETICHS IN THE WORK’S DAY TO DAY?
That’s a good question and with a high degree of complexity, which is the theme of the book The Executive and the Hammer, which I wrote with my colleague Arthur Meucci. In this book, we address our idea that, to insert the ethical issue into daily professional life, we need to start a debate on the values that should be followed in a company or an activity.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE ETHICAL ATTITUDE AT TIMES AND GIVE IT UP AT OTHERS?
It’s not possible to be half ethical. Being ethical only when it suits you demonstrates a clear character deviation. Psychoanalysts call this perverse attitude.
CAN BUSINESS ETHICS BE A DIFFERENTIAL?
Currently it isn’t a significant differential for the market. If it did represent one, it wouldn’t be so disrespected. It’s important to highlight that ethics must be followed by principle, duty, and not to ensure benefits. Respect others and society must again become an ethical duty, and not be seen as a market differential.
HOW IS ETHICS INCLUDED IN THE ACTIVITY OF A TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROFESSIONAL?
There is a social demand for transparency in executing services. This means informing all procedures performed and how they were charged. Another demand is to be as honest as possible in relation to the delivery time of the service. I’ll give a practical example of the lack of ethics of a refrigeration technician: when he fixes something simple, but charges for replacing the compressor, as if he had done this. Unfortunately, this still occurs.