ARTICLE

HONESTY IN BUSINESS

In business, several discussions and bargains are carried out before arriving at a compromise as to what should be paid for goods sold or services rendered, in the normal course of business discussions the parties involved are expected to be truthful to themselves.

The correct description of the goods or services to be rendered must be stated correctly and sincerely in accordance with the utmost good faith principles. The parties involved must be honest, straight forward, should not tell lies or deliberately plan to cheat in the course of business. In the long run, if a party to a normal business transaction is discovered to be dishonest and have cheated deliberately, the law will take its course.

Meaning of Truthfulness?

This is the ability of an individual to say what is right, the truth about an issue or event and gives the actual facts or information about something or a business transaction in an honest manner or the way the event actually happens.

Attributes of Truthfulness

A truthful person should have the following qualities or attributes.

  1. Consistent Behaviour – An important attribute of truthfulness which a businessman should possess is that of having a consistent behaviour. Someone with a consistent behaviour must have an idea! Pattern of doing things which must not change from time to time or from one customer to another. He must be seen to be truthful all the time in every business transaction. For example, if statements of accounts are mailed by banks monthly to customers, a consistent bank must endeavour to mail them monthly without fail. Similarly, a worker who is punctual to work every day should remain punctual whether the boss is present or not.
  2. Steadfastness – Steadfastness is another attribute – which a businessman must exhibit in the conduct of a business. A businessman who is steadfast must have a strong belief in what he is doing and should not change his opinions or actions at will depending on the person or organization he is transacting with. An establishment. will usually command due respect if those charged with responsibilities are steadfast in dealing with everyone
  3. Straight Forward – An individual who is truthful must be straight forward, that is, he must not be difficult to understand, such an individual should be clear, very honest and transparent in dealing with people. He shouldn’t be difficult to transact with and should not do things in a complicated and corny manner.

Factors That Cause People to Lie

The following are some of the factors that make people to lie in the normal course of business.

People lie in order to:

  1. boost the quality of their inferior products,
  2. get rich quick
  • boost ones ego or image/prestige
  1. run down competitors
  2. get out of danger
  3. take undue advantage of others
  • avoid being punished or prosecuted
  • avoid admitting offences committed.
  1. conceal or hide a business secret

Rewards for Being Truthful

Some of the rewards for being truthful are:

  1. i It boost the image of the individual or organization
  2. It gives self-relief and fulfillment
  • The truth can set you free from danger or prosecution
  1. It enables you to command the respect of others
  2. It can lead to promotion on the job and financial benefits.
  3. It gives credence to action taken.

Consequences of Not Being Truthful

Below are some the consequences of not being truthful.

  1. It leads to injustice or miscarriage of justice.
  2. The wrong persons may be punished for offences not committed
  • You may not have peace of mind,
  1. The innocent person may suffer unduly,
  2. The wrong person can be thrown into jail
  3. It is a sin punishable on judgment day.
  • You do not command respect among your peers or colleagues,
  • It can ultimately lead to death

 Meaning of Fair Play

This is the ability of an individual to behave in an honest way that is devoid of cheating, and requiring compliance with set rules and regulations of doing business. Some of the attributes expected of an individual when fair play is applicable are:

Attributes of Fair Play

  1. Equity: The attribute of equity requires everyone to be treated in the same way in a reasonable and fair manner. No one should be given undue advantage or favoured at the detriment of others.
  2. Openness: This is the attribute which encourages everyone not to hide anything in the course of normal business transaction. This attributes calls for total disclosure of available information which parties to a transaction must have.
  • Impartiality: Some people can be influenced easily because of undue familiarity, friendship or family ties. The attribute of impartiality as it relates to fair play requires all to be true to himself and should not be influenced when decisions are taken. An impartial referee or judge for instance will give wrong verdict and make wrong declarations.

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