Can ETHICS Be The Competitive Advantage For a Business?

Ethics sets the tone, manner and the foundation on which an organisation’s culture is developed, resulting in the way the organisation does its business.

This in turn shapes the way an organisations’ employees interact and deliver the brand promise, internally and externally.  Ultimately resulting in the positive brand relationship that all marketers strive for in order to have increasing trust and repeat sales.

Islamic ethics is defined as “good character”. The foundational source in the gradual codification of Islamic ethics was the Muslim understanding and interpretations of the Qur’an and practices of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Its meaning has always been in context of active submission to AllahSWT, performed by the community in unison.

The fundamental force in Islamic ethics is the notion that every human being is called to “command the good and forbid the evil” in all spheres of life.

Islam as a comprehensive way of life encompasses a complete moral system that is an important aspect of its world-view. We live in an age where good and evil are often looked at as relative concepts. Islam however, holds that moral positions are not relative, and instead, defines a universal standard by which actions may be deemed moral or immoral. Islam’s moral system is striking in that it not only defines morality, but also guides the human race in how to achieve it, at both an individual as well as a collective level.

As Muslims when we carry such ethics into our work sphere or commercial dealings we create an environment for an organisation whose corporate culture is future-proof and automatically has sustainable ‘competitive advantage’.

By basing its work culture on Islamic ethics an organisation is automatically undertaking a particular code. A code that has a positive tone and manner and provides a socially interactive platform in order to deliver value to its eco-system (stakeholders including the consumers and employees).

The basics of Islamic ethics compel an organisation to willingly, undertake all activities which are moral and good, both at the individual level and at the group or collective level i.e.: by virtue of the ethics, the organisation is bound to develop a culture wherein employees learn and develop, individually and thereby benefit through the self-improvement. This creates a strong, positive disposition and attitude, which is then reflected in the brand advocacy that these employees deliver.

The work culture becomes one of delivering the brand experience as a key benefit (as a manifestation of the organisations’ service).

This, single minded focus, on providing the benefit, is the competitive advantage for the organisation. It’s identified much more closely (by the stakeholder) vis-a-vis the values the individual upholds and leads on to having a positive  brand experience.  Which in turn results in increasing brand usage leading to the organisation having a preferred and profitable brand.