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The crisis in the economy and ethics in business

Recently, at one of the forums (I will not write which one, so as not to provoke a discussion of a particular problem here), another scandal around tricky tariff policies was discussed, which can lead to unexpectedly large customer spending. The situation itself did not surprise me, this happens often, just this particular case was blatant. Rather, I was worried about the same reaction of a fairly large number of people who were discussing the topic on the forum.

This reaction boiled down to the following two points:

We will now return to this topic, but for now - a small digression. Many analysts believe that the crisis in the United States and then around the world has erupted, including because of the extraordinary efficiency of financial mechanisms in this country. Such superefficiency allows you to instantly make many deals. But to make a lot of deals quickly, you need to make decisions quickly. For this, most decisions should be made automatically. Automatic decisions are made by computers, the decision criterion alone is the maximum benefit. But these bots were written for a normal development scenario, and as soon as the problems started, continuing to make deals automatically, they aggravated them.

Why did I talk about it? The United States is a country in which the market reigns, and the US authorities have always tried to regulate it to a minimum, believing that the market contains internal mechanisms that protect it from disasters. After all, the objective function of all market participants is reduced to the maximum benefit, which means that it is not profitable for anyone to bring down the market. So, it will not be filled up. However, fell.
Another feature of the United States: in this country, a lot is tied to the judicial system. Everything is determined by law. Everything according to the law is right. Sue all and with all. Perhaps there is not a single more or less significant company that at any given time was not in a state of litigation, and not one with anyone else. But an alternative to this is a system built on mutual trust, and trust is an ineffective thing, because it implies long-term relationships and the need to abandon the maximum benefit for reasons of maintaining these relationships.

These two factors - the primacy of the benefits and the primacy of the law over everything else, are the cornerstones of the American economic machine, which, as we know, is very effective when it does not fall into a crisis. If we now return to the beginning of the article, it will become clear that from the point of view of the American world outlook on business, the two postulates described above are absolutely correct.

But the outbreak of the crisis forced Americans to talk about such things as long-term partnership, ethical standards in business, etc. It seems to them that these categories, reducing the current efficiency of the economy, give it a certain strength, and increase its stability. As it turned out, maximum efficiency is not always beneficial.

Why did I decide to write about it? ABBYY prefers the Japanese long-term business model. The global benefits of such relations are put by the Japanese above the momentary benefits, and the processes of making key business decisions are not as fast as in the United States. The Japanese choose partners for a long time, and they do not quickly give up their chosen partners. These are the fundamentals of Japanese business etiquette, so different from the way America is organized, where in the morning you can be a partner of one company, and in the evening - its competitor. Europe is somewhere in the middle between these poles.

Surprisingly, we were able to pursue a policy of long-term relationships and honesty with respect to partners and customers, and in the United States, which gave its results during the crisis. Thanks to this policy, we also met with several large Japanese companies and work with them at the level of strategic interaction, and it is the American office that is responsible for Japan.

There is another important result of this approach to business. When a company is focused on maximum benefit at the expense of relations with the outside world, then inside it gets the same situation: employees are guided by short-term relationships with the company with the maximum benefit for themselves. With such a team is difficult to do big things. If the company is honest with partners and customers, and company employees see this, then they themselves also belong to the company itself. As a result, such a company becomes a place where people like to work, they give themselves to work with a calm soul, and work for a long time. As an example, I will cite the following fact: more than 90% of ABBYY employees who, by the year 2000, had worked for the company for several years, are still working there.

We now return to the crisis. Actually, there is no crisis anymore: a crisis is when critical events occur. Fracture usually lasts for a short time (someone who has broken himself knows something). After this, the post-crisis syndrome begins, smoothly flowing back to normal. Post-crisis syndrome, accompanied by oops and ahami about the happy past, has successfully passed, and present life is our norm. However, unlike previous crises, this continues to frighten us, and the feeling that he will return does not leave. Why? Because nothing has changed: someone went to the bottom, and those that survived, continue to live as before. And examples of stories like the one with which I started the article are a good confirmation of this.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/102109/

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